Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Around here - Rosemary, Oregano & Sea Salt Bread

We are right into bread making at the moment and when I saw this recipe on Leah Instines IG account the other day I had to give it a go.  This would be great to serve with soup or some dips.

3 cups plain flour
1.5 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon dried yeast
Pinch of salt flakes
Pinch of dried rosemary [I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in the dough - could use 1 teaspoon]
Pinch of dried oregano  [I mixed 1/2 teaspoon in the dough - could use 1 teaspoon]

Pre-heat oven to 220° Celsius

Mix warm water with yeast until dissolves. Add it into the bowl with flour and mix well.

Lightly flour a bench and knead the bread until it forms a perfect little ball. Place back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours.

Remove from bowl, sprinkle herbs and then shape into a ball and place it onto gladbake/parchment paper. 

Make a cross cut on the top of the bread and sprinkle salt flakes on top and place into a oven safe pot and cover with a lid.  I placed the parchment paper and dough into the pot.

Cook in the oven for 30 mins, remove lid and cook for another 10.

This recipe is mixed by hand however I used my Thermomix and used the same instructions I used on the Turkish Bread I made on the weekend.

I also sprinked extra rosemary and oregano on top and the sea salt goes on top too.

I cooked mine in the Aldi pot which I bought a while back for approx $25. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Around here - Turkish Pide Bread for lunch

On the 30th June, 2013 we made our first Turkish Bread in our Thermomix and the recipe took three and a half hours from start to finish with most of that time being for proving.  It's the recipe we have been using for all these years.  Yesterday I saw a post on IG about another recipe which I thought I would give a go and I can say it's a 10 out of 10 for me.

You can make it with or without a Thermomix and the recipe took me 1.5 hours start to finish.  It's always good when at 10.00 am you decide you want to make something and 1.5 hrs rather than 3.5 hours.  This is the Turkish Pide Recipe and as mentioned has a standard recipe and the Thermomix instructions at the bottom of the recipe.

TURKISH BREAD [This is the Thermomix recipe

500 gms plain flour, sifted [I didn't do this]
7 gms dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
365 ml warm water
olive oil to grease the bowl
2 teaspoons Sesame seeds
1 teaspoon Nigella seeds [I will have to buy some of these for next time]
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon olive oil


Add warm water to bowl, then yeast and sugar.  Set at 37 degrees and mix on speed 3 for 30 seconds to dissolve the yeast.  Wait 5-10 minutes to be sure the yeast is alive and kicking.

Add flour and then salt and slowly bring up to the speed of 4 to mix until just combined.

Knead for two and a half minutes.

Grease a large bowl with olive oil and place the dough into it and turn the ball over so all sides are coated with oil.  Cover with cling wrap. [note spray top of cling wrap so if dough rises it doesn't stick].

Place in warm spot for one hour [I placed mine on a chair in the backyard].

Once it has doubled in size, place the dough onto a floured surface and divide into 2 loaves.  Form two rectangles by stretching and pressing the dough and then place them onto baking paper.

Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for 15 minutes until they are puffy.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees and place a tray into the middle rack of the oven.

Use the end of a wooden spoon dipped in flour and poke holes in the bread or use your finger which is what I did.

Whisk the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of olive oil together and brush over the loaves.

Sprinkle with seeds and sea salt and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until it's golden brown.

This is a picture of how it looked before it went into the oven.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Around here

Hope everyone is staying safe.  I haven't really got too much to say as hour by hour we are all facing unimaginable times ahead.  I made a good call on cancelling my trip to Perth last week and as it turns out over the weekend the WA borders are now shut now and as of last night my niece had to cancel her wedding until further notice.  So close, yet so far.  As sad and disappointing it is, imagine getting married and not being able to hug the bride or sit next to someone at the reception.  It's for the best however I know how this is difficult for all brides having to cancel their big days.

This week our school is getting ready for the kids to go on-line which I'm sure will happen after the school holidays.  We have two more weeks of school here in Queensland however we will see if how things escalate as they may end up finishing prior to end of the term.  Regardless of whether your kids stay home or not, school assessments and assignments still need to get done and as I have one in Grade 11 and one in Grade 9 the Grade 11 work is so important to make sure it gets done.  I am so glad he is not in Grade 12 this year along with the new grading/assessments I'm thankful he will be the second year through this new process without adding this on top of it.

I haven't been to the shops for a week however today I had to venture to Bunnings, Aldi & Woolworths.  I always wipe my trolley handle at Woolworths and have done this for a long time with the wipes they provide however currently there aren't any and Aldi I just use their trolleys.  Today as things seemed more heightened I wore gloves to Bunnings and then bought the 2nd last box of gloves at Bunnings.  When I got to the supermarket I opened the pack and used a new set.  I have three people in my family who are in the high risk category so I am staying away from them.

Last night my 3 sisters and I did a video conference call on Whats App which was fun.  My sister in Perth and the 3 of us here in Brisbane.  I told them that's what we will be doing at Easter instead of getting together for Hot Cross Buns which is our family tradition...we can eat them together on the video conference.  Actually it was a lot of fun and lots of jokes.

This week I was so excited to get a delivery of "spray free" fruit and veggies from Spray-Free Farmacy.   I found the family owned business about 3 weeks ago and was wanting to give them a try.  I will be ordering them every 2nd week as that would suit my family needs and was very impressed with their service and communication given they had a huge amount of home delivery orders this week instead of the usual "drop of point locations".  My drop off point location is ten minutes from here however this week I opted for the home delivery as they had reduced the delivery cost given the current climate.

It is a husband and wife team and one of their Dad's does the deliveries on Saturday.  Orders open Monday midday and close Wednesday then you can collect your box from the pick location on Saturday or in my case I paid extra for the home delivery.  Last week they had the 450 boxes get snapped up in 24 hours and I can only imagine this week it will be quicker.  Regardless of the Coronavirus I was going to give them a try and I was very happy to support a Mum and Dad home based business and in turn supporting the local farmers and growers where they source the produce.   Look how beautiful these fruit and veggies look.

Here's some old photos of mine with love hearts for you as I think we all need a bit of love at the moment...from our family to your family.

I thought the following photo will make you laugh, Circa 1992 [28 years ago] when I was Office Manager in the city for a Chartered Accounting firm where I worked for 12.5 years.  A time when shoulder pads and big glasses were in and yes, I had red hair back then, dyed of course.   The baby in this photo is 8 weeks old and is this is my first born niece and the one that was getting married in 4 weeks time.  My sister flew over to Brisbane with Cassandra and we were so excited to meet her.   

And something pretty for you to view in country Australia is the Silo Art Trail in country towns in Australia and this is the IG page.

Hope you all have a good week as best you can and stay safe.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Around here

Goodness me...each day things get more dire and it's becoming more alarming.  Four weeks ago I was going to my nieces wedding in Perth, 3 weeks ago I was still going, 2 weeks ago yep...however in light of all the news this week I will be cancelling it.  I booked through Webjet so I'm hoping they come through with the credit so I can use it in a year's time.  I'm flying Qantas and they sent an email about the actual flight that you can get a credit however if you went through a third party you have to go through them.  I'm sure it will be fine, just hanging out for an email so I don't lose my $600.   I haven't been to Perth in 14 years to see my sister so I was really looking forward to it.  She does come over here every year or two to visit us however I was looking forward to going over there.  Anything can happen with the wedding in the next 4 weeks and at this stage it's still going ahead as they have a small wedding.  So the trip is off.  I feel sorry for all the brides who have been planning their big days and they are all postponed to who knows when.  To the people who are now out of work, financial stress is huge and it's going to be very stressful on peoples mental and physical health in the next 12 months.  This afternoon they have imposed another restriction on gatherings of people under 100 people so it's more thank likely the wedding will have to be postponed which is 4 weeks today.

Bill Gates did this 8 minute TED talk back in 2015 which is slightly unnerving now we are in the current situation.

On Monday morning I went to Bunnings to get some more seedlings to plant and to be honest, it's a bit like the supermarkets shelves, pretty empty as everyone has had the same idea.  They also said Office Works have been selling chairs, printers and computers like hotcakes as people start transitioning to working from home.

Everyone is now stocking up on veggie seedlings to plant out now to have some extra food and save going to the supermarket, every little bit helps.  It was good to be in the garden too, away from all this news.

Here's some photos from my week.

Some tomatoes planted - close together however I have no more space so I'll see how they go.

Some capsicums in this pot, again doing the best I can to see if they survive.

The cucumbers have been eaten however they are flowering so I'm hoping to get some eventually.

My Basil which I plant are the little "seed mats" which are great because you get a bunch growing.

I've got two coriander seed mats growing and although this is small at the moment last time I had 2 bunches of these I didn't buy coriander for 3 months as you can just go and pick some leaves for your dinner which was great.  I have missed having it.

Pretty flower.

From inside looking out.

Afternoon shadows in the house.

More shadows from a different direction in the afternoon....I quite like these.

Made my own Hand Sanitizer with Witch Hazel, Aloe Vera Gel & doterra Essential On Guard Oil.  I saw how this was made at the "Addictive Free Lifestyle Course" I did a few weeks ago.

 Beef Pho soup....OMG sooooo yummy and the flavours are amazing.

And this is the state of International Travel from Australia from DFAT as at the 18th March, 2020.  Every country in the world is a "no go zone".

Stay safe everyone and we will all get through this even if it takes 12 months.  There will be a lot more of those "Homesteading" skills being learnt by people.  A forced slow down of people all over the world and from what I can tell the Climate will be happier too with basically no pollution from air travel, cruise liners etc.  People will be able to connect more with their families, spending will become "the basic necessities" and there will be more of the "needs" rather than than "wants".  People if they haven't ever budgeted before will most certainly have to do that now.  It is challenging times for every single person in the world, young or old, in work or out of work.

I have seen some lovely IG posts on @alchemybread with people learning to bake their first loaf of bread and the kids are making bread.  If you go to her highlighted stories she has posts of kids making bread...so cute and a great skill for people to learn.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Around here - Where Art turns into Real Life

This was a very interesting post on art turning into life which I thought you might like to read from the "Artist as Family" blog.

Happen Films produced this 12 minute film a while back which you should watch as it's amazing how this family live and produce most of their own food, barter and work part time.  Their backyard is a thriving food bowl using permaculture principals.

They also built a couple of little tiny houses on their property from recycled materials.  They are not so much the large tiny houses as one room accommodation.  One is rented out on Airbnb and the other one usually homes any workers - wwoofers [World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms].  They live on 1/4 acre [1011 square metres] in near Daylesford, Victoria.  My last house we had an 880 square metre property so not much more than that.  I can say that their backyard seems really cosy.  

They grow most of their own food, don't own cars and ride their bikes instead, use very little electricity and forage food and materials from their local forest.  Not everyone can live this way in the big city however "Homesteading" is a term used for people who don't live in the country.  You can still cook from scratch, bake bread, grow veggies, have chickens etc. living in the city.  We don't all need to move to the country to do some of these things.  The family below is a perfect example of this.

Another Happen Films that I think I featured a while ago is another family who homeschool and live on a normal suburban block in the city.  This film runs for 8 minutes.

I hope you are all staying safe and well.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Around here

What a rough start to the year it's been....first the bushfires and floods and now we are in the thick of  a world wide pandemic with the Coronavirus.  It truly is affecting everything worldwide at the moment and it's escalating on a daily basis.  I have three people in my immediate family with compromised immune systems so we are bunking down a little.  You have to take it seriously and do the best you can so on a brighter note here's our week in pictures.

This is how my daughter cuts her orange so she can just peel out a segment which is pretty cool.

Pretty flowers up the street.

From where I stand.

Same pretty flowers.

Home made pizza using this pizza dough recipe which was great.

A trip to Woollies at 7.15 am in the morning yielded this beauty.

Home made garden spray for the bugs on my cucumber leaves.

It's those tiny black dots on the leaves are bugs I was trying to get rid of.

Home made yoghurt using this recipe this was the best batch ever and I let mine sit for 24 hours and add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the recipe at the end.

It makes two jars this size.....so delicious.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Around here - Botanic Gardens

Earlier this week I had decided I would take a wander around the Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens one afternoon however the first few days of the week were so hot I didn't get there until late Friday afternoon.  I only spent an hour there and I set my alarm on my phone for an hour.  The last time the kids and I were there we got locked inside the gates along with some other people and to be honest there wasn't really any way to get out.  I thought they might have someone on the gate to make sure everyone got out however it got locked and that was it.  Eventually we got the attention of the couple of staff at the restaurant to get out however it took us over 30 minutes of calling out for them to notice.  The gardens are open everyday and close at 5.30 pm however in April to August they lock the gates at 5.00 pm so make sure you are out by closing time or you'll be spending the night.

I took my camera and spent a leisurely hour wandering around so here's a few pics.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Around here

The world is in such a state at the moment with this health crisis.  I wasn't particularly worried about it 2-3 weeks ago however as the weeks go by and the rate of infection increases and spreads from country to country it is a worry.  I'm not sure why Australia is in a grip of "toilet roll fever" and flour and rice as well, however I did buy my supply of toilet paper yesterday morning.  Health crisis or no health crisis, we had run out and I was due to buy some in my normal shop so I did.  I ended up back at the supermarket in the evening and the end of the isle where they had a big supply of toilet rolls was empty and although I didn't bother going down the toilet roll isle it seemed every person had some in their shopping trolley.

It's had a huge impact on global tourism, the world stock market, and events are being cancelled left, right and centre.  The stock market affects superannuation and investments however the stock market has recovered over the years with these types of crisis in the past so there is no need to panic.  I think some of these things are necessary to at least slow things down and to protect people since there is currently no known cure.  One person gets on a plane and sits near people, then those people catch trains, buses, taxis and go to shopping centres and mix with other people who in turn do the same thing.  You can see why these things are on the move so quickly and all we can do is keep up with the hygiene which we should be doing anyway by washing hands thoroughly etc.

It's been a quiet week here so I only have a few photos to share.

The lettuces are coming along nicely.

Freelensed self portrait.

 Ricky out little bird.

Ziggy, my sisters bird who is having a stay-cation at our place while she is away.

Freelensed flowers in the backyard.

Coconut chickpea curry....so yummy.

Home made Tzatsiki which I just realized from this picture I need to put in the olive oil.

Carrot sticks cut up in cold water ready for my dip.