Marvelous May Newsletter

Below you will find an excerpt from my May newsletter. To read the whole thing, including some new recipes, please click here. It is fun and fabulous!

Almonds
Everyone, including me, has been waiting for news on Richard’s fantastic Johnston and Somerton almonds, grown in the almond district, Willunga, south of Adelaide. I spoke to Richard on Tuesday. He told me there was a fabulous crop this year and he will be sending them sometime in June! Yippee!

swap crop logo

Introducing Crop Swap
Recently I came across an Australia and NZ group of people as keen as I am to share garden produce and, in fact, anything edible or related to food. So, I joined the group and made us a sub-group and website Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds. There are several others in Tasmania too. Please join the Crop Swap Cygnet and Surrounds facebook page for updates etc. If you would like to help me make this work, please contact me asap. I am really keen to get started! No money is involved at all. Whether you are a backyard gardener, home cook, forager, seedsaver, cuttings guru, pickle maker or bread baker, you are welcome.

Sundried apricots, pears, plums and peaches
Kevin and Cindy’s fabulous, new season’s organic, sundried fruits were supposed to be arriving this week but the silly freight people have not picked them up….. so it will now be the first June market before they arrive. Oh lalalalala, how do businesses survive that are run so badly? 

Rain-fed rice
The Qld floods inundated the Lismore freight depot but now they are up and running again. I am pleased to say that Slater Farms’ magnificent, fragrant, bio-dynamic, long grain rice did not get flooded and will be at the market, along with rain-fed medium grain rice and rain-fed rice flour too. 

May Sourdough Workshop-full 
I am pleased to say there are no places left for this workshop but I will be running another in late June or early July. Read about my sourdough workshops here.

More than just Permaculture
There are lots of permaculture design certificate courses but our Gumboot Gardeners group is helping to host something broader, deeper and more easily used for your own property. Please read about Julia and Charles’ course below, based on 25 years of teaching all over the world.

Just for a laugh
Here is a little video I made about 10 years ago, of how to easily dig in green manure. For some reason it is not playing as clearly as it used to! Check out the dry stone wall in the first few seconds. I built that, with stone from my yard when we were making terraces. I had to raid a roadside cutting to get a few bits to finish it off. It is a tricky, twisted circle, going above then below where I am standing, as it was on a massive slope!

Square eftpos
The Garden Shed and Pantry now has credit card, debit card, chip and contactless payment facilities! Square is a simple and cheap system suited to every form of transaction. It may be cheap but it is not free, so I would still prefer cash but no longer will there be any inconvenience if you do not have enough cash with you! 

New products arrive after the storm…

Unprecedented rain swept away lives, cars, cows and land last week in northern Tasmania. No freight went in or out by the ferries. Luckily none of my stuff was lost but many people lost goods coming in which were afloat in one depot and much produce going out could not leave. Finally my orders are arriving, with only one left outstanding and I have found out it is safe, at least.

Beeswax wraps

 

BeeKeepa Organic Wraps

Organic cotton fabrics with beeswax and jojoba oil….. does away with cling film for wrapping sandwiches, covering bowls and jars etc. I love the chook and vegetable garden fabrics too.

Various sizes or in a pack.

 

 

Egyptian Gold Flour 

Four Leaf organic, ancient grain grown on their farm in South Australia. From the Four Leaf website:

“Egyptian Gold Flour is derived from the ancient khorasan wheat thought to have been found in an Egyptian tomb. Gavin was given 6 grains over 30 years ago, which he promptly planted in the vegie garden. These grew well, so they were planted in subsequent years. It has been such an interesting process and we have learned so much from the exercise. The wheat grows about 30 to 60cm taller than normal varieties and has a beautiful black beard. It is very striking in appearance. The grain is nearly twice the size of normal wheat and we believe that the modern Durum Wheat is developed from this wheat. It produces a high protein flour and has a sweet, nutty flavour, and is excellent for pasta and bread.
Egyptian Gold Flour has similar properties to Spelt Flour and can be tolerated by many people with wheat sensitivities.”

This is one of the original grains used from ancient times to make sourdough bread. Research indicates it probably originates in northern Iran.  In parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, it has been grown in subsistence farming systems for centuries.  The flour is slightly more fibrous than wheat flour, with a sandy golden colour and a lovely earthy flavour – almost a taste of the fields.  You can use Khorason on its own, but it contains a less strong form of gluten than wheat , which can make for a denser crumb than we are used to with modern wheat.  You get much lighter results when you blend it with strong wheat flour.

Many people with wheat intolerances can handle khorasan and spelt. Luckily for us, khorasan from Four Leaf is not much more than wheat flour in cost and a lot less than Tasmanian spelt.

I would recommend using a very active starter, extra water and a long first fermentation if you are planning a straight khorasan bread.  It makes a very cakey bread – don’t expect big holes but it is not heavy! I prefer the straight khorasan, simply because it is so different in both texture and flavour.  But mixing it with wheat flour certainly makes it easier to work.

khorasan from sourdough forum

Khorasan sourdough……Beautiful colour and flavour with a tighter crumb but not heavy.

Who Gives a Crap….

Australian, recycled toilet paper and bamboo paper towels, both with aid to sanitation in developing countries. Check it out here.

crap

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Food Workshop Menu draft

I have been leafing through my favourite recipes and pouring over 3 of my favourite food books every morning from about 5.30am to 7am, for the last 10 days, to make our cooking-in-my-kitchen workshop educational, healthy, fun and 100% delicious.

The menu below is the first draft; it is ALL the things I would like to include but some may be culled or changed as I work out our time schedule and finalise the number of cooks in the kitchen and how much I need to do beforehand. Most things are gluten free, except the sourdough bread for dipping in the dukkah and the whole rye side.

There are still a couple of places left. Add your EMAIL to my booking sheet. The workshop is on May 28th from 10am – 2pm, in my kitchen at 4 Winns Road, Cygnet. Price $65. We cook, we talk and learn (well….. I mostly talk, you mostly learn 🙂 then we eat. Includes all recipes + 10% off all purchases from my Garden Shed and Pantry home shop.

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Dukkah + sourdough + walnut, parsley pesto dip + carrot sticks

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Pea and ham soup or corn bread and beans

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Wakame seaweed, soaked, as entrée side with…

Home smoked trout

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Smorgasbord …..

Quinoa tabbouleh

Veg. patties

Sauerkraut (already brewing in my laundry)

Lentil and bacon bake

Rick Stein’s fabulous lamb curry with homemade chapatis

Cooked rye grains (rain-fed rice for GF)

Whole baby chicories from my garden with pinenuts

Fennel and mandarin salad

Broccoli with lemon

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Golden Rough chia pudding

Fruit tart with nut pastry

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Nettle tea from the garden

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 (gasp4winns@gmail.com) and payment by direct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

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

Since I don’t have an online payment facility, ordering is by email (gasp4winns@gmail.com) and payment by direct bank transfer. After order confirmation I will send you the bank transfer details.

The perfect sourdough bread made with the kit

The perfect sourdough bread made with the kit

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

 Feedback:

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,

Ingrid

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Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

These are Michael Pollan’s words and it really is (almost) that simple to stay healthy. I would change it to: eat WHOLE foods, not too much, mostly plants. What I mean is eat foods that have not been processed, like a whole apple, not a peeled one or an apple muesli bar or dried apple rings that have had preservative added. I rarely eat packaged food; I get ingredients and make them into a meal. Simple. That’s what everyone did for all of human history until recently!

Winter is coming
Don’t you love autumn; when the nights begin to chill, the orchard trees begin to lose their leaves and, hopefully, we get glorious rain to soothe the garden. Mice are starting to look for winter hide outs and birds have finished rearing their chicks. Chooks are starting to moult and it is time to plant out garlic again.

Do you ever think of your own body and what it is telling you about all this? Eating seasonal, local ingredients will naturally guide you to eat what you need to stay strong and healthy all year round whereas supermarket shopping will lure you in with bright colours but leave your body confused and irritable.

Now and into April is the time to sow all those beautiful Asian vegetables like bok choy, mizuna, mibuna etc as well as European winter greens kale, spinach, rainbow chard etc. Open any health book and it will tell you to eat LOTS of green, leafy vegetables as the days shorten, so right now is your chance to make eating them as easy as picking them from your own garden.

I love chicories as, during winter, they each put on a beauty pageant like no other winter vegetable! It is not always easy to find the seeds but once you have them, you will see them popping up in your garden from early autumn onwards, forever, if you leave a few to go to seed. In winter they are less bitter but that bitterness is to be treasured, as do European cultures, because they instinctively know that foraging the hillsides for chicories and other winter herbs brings the strength of the land where they live, into the body.

Panforte…. the ultimate Italian Christmas cake

Panforte

Pan Forte… the ultimate Italian Christmas cake
Nuts, chocolate, brandy….sounding good already? I think my pan forte is the best and it is mostly organic; being made using all my GaSP ingredients. All my panfortes are naturally gluten free.

Available at the market: Slices to nibble with coffee / halves to take home.

Orders for whole panfortes will be ready to collect on my home shop open days (see above) starting Thursday Dec. 3rd.

$20 and $50 whole (available only by order, via email or in person)
$11 half (limited numbers available at every Cygnet market from Nov. 15th)
$6 slice (available at every Cygnet market from Nov 15th)