Bespoke Sasafras Racks for Spice Oils, Panforte time, Tasmanian-grown Tea!

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Sasafras Spice Oil racks
Alex, from Bruny Island, has made mini spice oil racks for me, from Tasmanian sasafras so you can have your herb and spice oils at hand, on display and not have them falling over. They come with 6 slots and will sit beautifully on even a very narrow ledge.
Great Christmas gift idea! More info here.


It is Panforte time again!
This GF Italian Christmas cake of nuts and chocolate with brandy is pressed into tins and baked until almost crisp. I made my first batch yesterday and they will be available in limited supply at the Cygnet Market from now until Christmas. You can also order them from me. Prices and options here….


Tea from Allens Rivulet!
The list of Tasmanian grown foods is ever increasing with the latest being an exquisite tea which Hugh says is the best he has ever had. Gordon and Jane Brown grow tea in Allens Rivulet, south of Hobart. Their half-hectare patch of land is the southern-most tea farm in the world. More here.
I now also sell Tasmanian grown poppy seeds. So, if you want to make the fabulous poppyseed torte (GF) from a previous newsletter, why not use Tasmanian poppy seeds!


Organic Sourdough Kit – Australia wide delivery

My Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is available for Australia wide delivery.

The price for the Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is $65 and includes postage within Australia.

I have now sent hundreds  of kits all over Australia to people wanting to make foolproof, easy, delicious, nutritious sourdough bread.

Ordering is by email to me and payment by direct bank transfer. After email order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit now available for Australia wide delivery

Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit now available for Australia wide delivery

There has been an enormous amount of interest in all of my workshops recently, particularly Sourdough Bread Making, so, for those too far away to attend, I  offer the kit and a proving bowl for purchase online. Adding up all of the Sourdough Workshops that I have conducted plus all of the kits that have been sold at the Cygnet Market and online, would mean that I have sold over 300 kits in the 4 years since I have been offering them. Below, you can read some of the feedback I have received about the kits.

I recommend Four Leaf Organic grains

I recommend Four Leaf Organic grains

The Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit has the recipe and all of my tips and tricks for making delicious and easy sourdough bread, the ingredients required for two standard loaves, plus the rye-based starter which ensures excellent bread into the future.  In addition, it has a proving bowl which has been designed specifically for sourdough bread. I only post on Mondays or Tuesdays so your starter does not sit over the weekend in a Post Office, instead of in your fridge!

The ingredients include the special sourdough starter and the flours are all organic flours of the highest quality from Four Leaf Milling in South Australia.  Flour from dry-land farming in South Australia has all of the characteristics that are best suited to sourdough bread-making since the sourdough method originated thousands of years ago in Egypt, another dry land.

Again, the price for the Organic Sourdough & Proving Bowl Kit is $65 and includes postage within Australia.  

Since I don’t have an online payment facility, ordering is by email ( and payment by direct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details. and payment by dire

Dec 2016

Perfect sourdough loaves made with the kit


ct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

You can check the performance of my kits by reading the testimonials below and read about my workshops here.

Contact me if you would like to purchase one of my kits..

Here is another complete kit ready to go in the Express Post bag.

Sourdough Bread Express Post Kit

Sourdough Bread Express Post Kit


May 2, 2015: Hi Kate,  baked my first  loaf today and it turned out beautifully.  Tastes great too.

Thanks, Ruth

Ruth April 2015

Hi Kate. Thrilled with the result from your kit. Made two loaves and rest of starter in fridge for next weekend. Beautiful crust and flavour. Kit easy to use. Will be in touch before Mother’s Day to get one sent to my mum. Many thanks. Anne.

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Hello Kate,

I’m not sure if you remember me; you were kind enough to help me on my way to a successful sourdough bread baker after sending my kit . See attached photographs of the loaves I made on Saturday. We are so happy.  I have planned a greater wholemeal and rye content for this weekend’s bake. We enjoy a substantial percentage of wholemeal/rye in our bread. Anyhow, the crust and crumb are exactly as we like it and the oven spring is great.

One is a ‘normal’ sourdough with only bread spices and the other is an olive sourdough (yummy toasted on Sunday morning with a fried egg on it!).Thank you again for all your help. With your guidance (and taking away the fear of baking SD) I’m now where I wanted to be when I started my research.

Kindest regards,


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Fermenting crocks and pestles, locally made and beautiful

It is very exciting to have been able to source some wonderful, Tasmanian timber, fermenting pestles, made for us by my friend Rod, right here in Cygnet.

And now, locally made fermenting crocks too! Meet Nanna and Zsolt below.

Ceramic crock and wooden pestles

Fermenting is undergoing re-invention (although it has been and still is in everyday life in France, Germany, Scandinavia, China, Korea, Japan…. and much of the rest of the world!).

I am passionate about health. I am passionate about food. Fermenting and sprouting techniques bring us health and amazing food; the likes of which you may never have experienced before. See below for my next workshop.


Various crocks and weights

kefir pot

small kefir pot

Fermenting and Sprouting  Workshop in June

Book here.

Fermenting and sprouting are simple, ancient skills, fundamental to our health but which disappeared from our homes in the 20th century with the advent of factory processing. The 21st century is bringing them back as everyone realises that you cannot be truly healthy without them!
Read about the workshop here.
All workshops are $45.
Amazing value for health insurance!

 Meet Nanna and Zsolt of Glen Huon
Foolishly, I did not take any photos when I visited Nanna and Zsolt at their home in Glen Huon but I have the image in my mind of a woman in a long, vibrant dress and warm jumper, picking vegetables into a basket, as I drove up,  and I knew we were to become friends!

We talked about the soil and she showed me the clay, with only a few cms of topsoil and we discussed the time it takes to make this good for growing vegetables. However, her face was all smiles as she told me that this clay is what they use to make their pottery and ceramic wares and to build the studio in which they create them. It is amazing who lands in southern Tasmania and the skills they bring!

Nanna is from Finland and her partner Zsolt originally hales from Hungary. They are nothing short of professionals; their designs are magic, practical and constantly evolving. The quality is beyond my wildest dreams; truly I was speechless at what I saw in this little kitchen, with its smoky, old oven when I walked through the door of a typical old, Tasmanian timber house needing repair in Glen Huon.

Everything they use in the kitchen is made by them and I wanted to touch and explore every piece. We had tea and I tried Nanna’s kombucha from possibly the most glorious urn I have ever seen. We talked about their plans and we found a synchrony in our chosen way of life that is rare. Zsolt makes the fermenting crocks and I love his attitude of evolution; making things to suit people who care about what they eat.

And so it is that I can be their link to customers who will want something useful, made with extraordinary skill, from clay in Glen Huon. How much better could it be than that!

New spice grinders arrive

A few months ago we were able to make contact with a Turkish business who specialise in the manufacture of spice grinders.  Indeed, this family has been making grinders for five generations.  A spice grinder is the ideal thing to have so that you grind just enough whole spice for the meal you are preparing.  That way, the spices you use are always at their freshest.

The first of these solid brass, Turkish spice grinders was very popular.  However, as we spent more time discussing customer requirements and researching the differences available, it became apparent that the “original” spice grinder would not suffice for all spice tasks.  Accordingly, we now have three different grinders available.  Each of them are just gorgeous but we do have a soft spot for the original (which is the smallest).  A spice grinder is a perfect and practical addition to your spice kit or an attractive and unusual gift for the cook who has (almost) everything!

3 spice grinders

So here they are:

On the left, the ornate spice grinder; it is approx 10cm high, made of solid brass with a steel grinding mechanism.  The spices are placed in the top slot and, when ground, fall into the holding chamber which can be separated from the grinding body, simply by twisting .

In the middle, the dial spice grinder; it is approx 14cm high, also made of solid brass with a steel grinding mechanism.  This grinder is suited to larger spices (such as long peppercorns) and works similarly to the large pepper grinders that you see in Australia.  The ground spice falls out of the grinding mechanism and drops onto the dish of food or wherever you want the spice to go.

On the right, the long, mini spice grinder; it is approx 14cm high, made of solid brass with a steel grinding mechanism.  The spices are placed in the top slot and, when ground, fall into the holding chamber which can be separated from the grinding body, simply by twisting. This grinder is similar to the ornate spice grinder, however the grinding mechanism is better suited to oily spices such as nigella, sesame and linseed.

We are happy to provide advice on which spice grinder or grinders would best suit your needs.

Prior to use, to clean the mechanism, grind rice and then discard.
In order to keep the grinder nice and clean, it should be wiped with a dry cloth after every use.
Do NOT immerse in water as the internal grinding mechanism will deteriorate.
The grinder can be polished with a soft cloth and brasso or similar.
These Spice Grinders (and the freshest spices) can be obtained from the Cygnet Market or at the Garden Shed and Pantry.

Renovations! GaSP!

A few months ago I had my thirty metre poplar tree chopped down.  It was on the north side of the house and took away all of my winter sun.  Even worse, the roots had spread and I feared they were going to damage the foundations of the house.  Now the top of the tree has been turned into a huge pile of mulch and the bottom of the tree has been cut and shaped into wood to make a garden setting.

A few weeks ago, the pantry was closed while we removed everything to install new shelving.  The pantry also received a fresh coat of paint.



My tree lopper / qualified carpenter, Corey (from Treemendous) , found the timber for free – local, recycled timber apple crates – saved in the nick of time from being burned!

I call this gourmet rustic.



Corey did a great job to put in new flooring and shelving and work out with me what would fit best.

So now I have lots of shelving on the left hand side (even a high shelf for displaying books) and lots of bench space on the right hand side.





There are special shelves for spices and a hanging wall for the seed racks.  It’s really great and I would love you to visit and check it out.

a big spice rack!

a big spice rack!


To celebrate the newly renovated pantry, I am introducing the frequent buyers scheme – spend $20 or more and receive 10% of the purchase price in spices.


Spend $20 and get $2 of spices

Spend $40 and get $4 of spices  etc

You may need a Spice Tin to store all of your spices and keep them fresh!

a wall of seeds

a wall of seeds

Indian Spice Tins

Just as Turkey abounds in gorgeous, solid and beautifully made spice grinders, so India produces thousands of versions of airtight, stainless steel tins (masala dabba) for storing spices (as seen on SBS’s Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation). Attractive, practical and affordable as they are by themselves, I have gone a step further and filled them with various spice collections, beginning, of course with Indian spices.

spices, grinders and tins

Of course there are far too many Indian spices to fit into one tin, so I have chosen a selection of seven that I think will appeal to most of my customers. This selection will be available at the market but if you come and shop at my Pantry Shop, you can choose the seven spices you desire and I will fill the tubs for you, when you buy one of the spice storage tins.

Indian spice selection

This Spice Tin (empty or full) can be obtained from the Cygnet Market or at the Garden Shed and Pantry.