flemington farmer’s market

A really lovely thing to do on a sunny summer Sunday is go for a walk at a farmer’s market. You could go with a friend who is really excited about the abundance of food and the experience of acquiring it from the people who grow it. You can talk to those people and really hear about their passion for food and plants and people and community. You can pet a really cute puppy and drink an ice-cold fresh orange juice slushy. You can taste heirloom apples and local cheeses and give them a party in your mouth.

I hope your weekend was as amazing as mine.

beetroot

beetrootcarrots

applesherbs

pear

 

aforementioned cute puppy

 

greek basil

 

alpine strawberry seedling

 

mini heirloom pumpkin

 

green tomatoes

 

apples

 

mini jonathons

apple butter

It’s time to talk about apples.

It’s already spring here in Australia but there are still some lovely apples to be had and I urge you, before it’s too late, to make this delectable condiment before it’s too hot to have the stove on for five hours.

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chai spiced apple cake

I’ve been in a bit of a funk for the past few days. It started at approximately 1300 hours Perth time, Wednesday the 4th of January, when I boarded the plane bound for Melbourne. I really did not want to go home.

And then it continued, as I lazed around the house and didn’t do my washing and procrastinated my huge list of things to do. I didn’t bake, I read books and trawled the internet and definitively didn’t write any blog posts.

I started quite a few in my mind but every time I went to bake something there was something in the sink, or on the sink, and I was so lazy I couldn’t be bothered with dishes, either mine or anyone else’s.

That’s a lie. I was pretty good with my own dishes. Pretty good. Not perfect. But pretty good. Easy, seeing as I wasn’t eating proper meals anyway. (Mum, pretend you didn’t read that.)

But the funk is debunked. I have gone back to work and I did two loads of washing, I ate cabbage for dinner (no, really. It’s pretty amazing. I’ll tell you about it soon) and I baked a cake.

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apple pie

Writer’s block is not fun.

I have plenty of other ways to procrastinate, I don’t have to blog.

Some options include:

Sow seeds (in life and in the ground).

Organise possibility of being a lead tenant for Youth For Christ next year.

Organise possibly extending my trip to Perth so I can hang out with Peace Tree. (and visit Georgia and Dave?)

Study for my quiz tomorrow.

Make more chocolate muffins for September Camp.

Upload my study questions for Sep Camp.

Go for a walk. Or a run. Or do some yoga. Or some other kind of physical exercise to not. stress. out. Because I have this essay I keep procrastinating from doing.

So yeah, I wrote up a complete running sheet for the last few days before camp. I have an illness. I have lists upon lists and I HAVEN’T STARTED MY ESSAY YET (Mum and Dad, just forget you read that, yeah?)

It’s ok, I planned time to write the essay. It’s gonna happen. I haven’t got a back up plan so it HAS to happen (hopefully with little to no effort on my part.)

Besides, I have apple pie to calm my nerves.

Technically, it’s apple and pear pie. I got fruit from the farmer’s market on the weekend because it’s almost not apple and pear season anymore and I wanted pie. I love pie.

And thanks to Pam’s Pie Tutorial courtesy of The Pioneer Woman (thank you, Ree!) I made a perfect pie. I’m not kidding. It tastes amazing, it was perfectly cooked, it looks incredible and it’s just as good cold as hot.

I know. I’ve already had more than I need.

Apple and Pear Pie (two crust)

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Pam says that pie making is not a recipe, it’s an approach. It’s about the technique. So while this is a recipe, it’s a very loose one. Play around. Enjoy. Make pie.

2 1/2 cups flour (plain or pastry)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

250g butter, cold, cut into chunks

1/4 cup ice water

about 6 cups (8 pieces of fruit) fruit, peeled and chopped (if needed)

1/2 cup (more if needed) sugar

2 tbsp cornflour or other thickener

juice of one lemon

2 tsp cinnamon

pinch ground cloves

pinch nutmeg (more than cloves)

Pulse 2 cups flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Add butter and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs (alternatively, whisk together dry ingredients and use fingertips to rub in butter.) Pulse in 1/2 cup flour (just) and place in a bowl or on your counter. Sprinkle water over, knead in and form into two discs.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Celsius.

Stir together fruit, lemon juice, thickener and spices. Make sure all the fruit pieces are even and that the mixture coats each piece.

Now, to roll out the dough, take two pieces of parchment paper (or baking paper) and place a dough disk in between them. Roll out to fit your pie pan (this recipe makes enough for one two crust nine inch pie). Place one rolled out disc into the bottom of your pie dish and prick all over with a fork.

Place the fruit in the dish and dot with butter (about four or five tablespoons). Cover with the other half of the dough, rolled out. Crimp the edges however you like and slit the top a few times. (You may choose, as I did, to decorate the top with the scraps of dough left over.) Brush with a beaten egg or some heavy cream.

Bake at 250º for about half an hour, until nicely browned on top. Cover with foil to stop browning and lower heat to 200 degrees for anywhere from 1/2 hour to 40 minutes – apples will need longer, berries will need less.

Let rest for about ten to twenty minutes on the counter before you eat with heavy cream or ice cream.

apple cinnamon oatmeal cookies

You know how most people clean the fridge when they’re procrastinating?

Well, that’s me.

The fridge, the kitchen, the bathroom, my bedroom, my clothes, the dishes. Nothing is safe from my cleaning wrath.

To be honest, the main reason I had to clean the kitchen was so I could make more cookies. MORE!?!?!? I can hear you shout from over here. How can you make more cookies?

Simple. People eat them, I make more. We’ve still got some chocolate chip cookies but the rest of them are G-A-W-N gawn. Disappeared. Kaput.

They were just too good.

And also, I’m catching up with the TEAR group tonight so I have to bring something. Have to. Can’t help myself, really. It’s a bit of an addiction.

(For those of you who read into the enneagram system, yes, I am a two. I’m working on it. For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m on about, I’ll probably write more about it later. Hang in there.)

But hey, I like giving cookies out, people like eating them; it’s a win-win situation. Except these ones I kinda stuffed up.

See, I didn’t pull my cup measure out, I only pulled the half cup measure out, thinking, oh, yeah, I’ll just use two of these for one cup.

I don’t really bother too much about accuracies unless I’m making macarons. Then we get serious.

So I put half a cup of flour instead of one cup. I am, as my father would say, a nuff nuff.

Ah well. The crispy, falling apart first batch will be perfect for both garnishing my breakfast muesli and stirring into ice cream. It’ll be fine.

And the second batch, which took ages to cook because I’d turned the oven down, were perfect. Eat warm. With whipped cream.

I also think these would be great as a muffin. Just add milk, yeah?

Excuse me. I have to go try that now.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Cookies

Adapted from Joy the Baker

125g butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract (or half a teaspoon vanilla bean paste)

1 1/4 cups oats (I used rolled; quick cooking is also acceptable)

1 cup flour

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 largish apple, peeled, cored and diced

juice of half a lemon

 

Preheat oven to 180º and line two baking trays.

Toss the apple and the lemon together. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla, scraping down the bowl, until light and fluffy.

Add the dry ingredients and stir in until just incorporated. (Don’t forget half the flour like I did).

Plop tablespoons of the mixture onto prepared trays. Bake about 10 minutes.