Pumpkin and Jerusalem Artichoke Soup- ELC #6

pumpkin and jerusalem artichoke soup || cityhippyfarmgirlOn a weekend out of the city recently, there was talk of visiting a local farmers market. I quite like talk like that, even if I’m the one who initiates the talk (ahem).

So to market we went. Buying up on some lovely locally grown organic vegetables, a succulent for $2, and a chopping board. Now I’d been on the look out for a little board quite awhile now. Time was passing, calendar pages were changing their years and still, I hadn’t found quite the ‘right’ board. I knew they were easy enough to make, but I just didn’t have access to any decent wood.

Then I came across ‘The Man at the Markets’, a man who who knew his chopping boards, and every tiny piece of the different woods behind them. After a general chit chat about the weather and the local area, we started talking about the boards he had for sale. Giving each one a run down on the type of wood it was and how to look after them, and what I was going to do with it.

It was this little one that caught my eye though, asking him about it, it turns out it was from an old skirting board from an equally old house just a short distance away from the markets. You can still see the nail holes if you look closely.

It seems I had found my board. It was locally made, recycled, looked good and seemed to fit pretty well with the pumpkin soup I had planned to serve with it. (What type of wood it is, I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea. The man did tell me, but it seems I forgot as soon as I stepped out of the market area….lovely wood I think it’s called now.)

pumpkin and jerusalem artichoke soup || cityhippyfarmgirl

Where is my food coming from?

Pumpkin- Red Bank, Eurobodalla

Jerusalem Artichoke- (Crave Natural, Apple Tree Flat)

Creme Fraiche- (Pepe Saya, Sydney)

 Interested in taking the challenge?

Just how local is local? Well this depends entirely on you. Only you know how you and your family eat. Raise the bar just a little from what you already do. If making sure the majority of your meal includes solely food produced in your country, than make that your challenge. If you want to make it a little trickier, go for produced in the same state…trickier still within 160km.

My aim is to really know where my food is coming from for at least one meal a month, (where I will be posting here in the last week of the month).

Eat Local Challenge #5

Eat Local Challenge #4

Eat Local Challenge #3

Eat Local Challenge #2

Eat Local Challenge #1

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

memory

cityhippyfarmgirl.comcityhippyfarmgirl.com

This is a post that I seem to have written countless times in my head. One line here, another line there. At times bursts of whole paragraphs.

Sometimes though, it’s not a post at all, sometimes it’s simply a letter. A letter to be written, reflected on, and then gently folded away. After a time, brought out again once more.

These words that I stick together in fits and bursts are words that are accompanied by so much more. There are vivid pictures, and strong seductive smells, intense inner feelings and deep hidden emotions. In there is also probably more than my fair share of nostalgia. It’s my precious memories I’m talking about, and if I stored them in suitcases I think I would have a whole mountain of them.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

I’m not the first in my family to hold on to memories like a sacred gate keeper. My grandma before me is also one too. I held her hand recently to take a picture of it. Somehow I wanted to capture a tiny portion of her own memories that she held, before I no longer could.

These hands that had lived through a depression era, a world war. Hands that had held three children as they had traipsed their way to school. For eleven grandchildren, these hands had lovingly waved and told stories of the “olden days”. Hands that had now been lucky enough, as she says, to stroke the soft cheeks of five great grandchildren.

As a woman now in her 80’s, there’s a new found fragility to those hands, which is something that I have never known before.

Something that isn’t in my memory.

In the afternoon I took the photo, holding my Grandma’s soft skinned palm, and cool fingers in my mine- I felt her memories. Every single one of them.

In that moment I wanted to say a thousand things, but I didn’t. As the memories they got stuck, and they wouldn’t, couldn’t get out of my throat. Making a jumble of my words, my grandmother, I think she knew. As she held back her own choked words. Instead, I felt the soft, delicate skin of her hand and I was simply there.

As one day, I knew she wouldn’t be… but then, neither would I.

As I type this I can hear my boys muffled giggles. Through a closed door they are trying to be quiet while their little sister sleeps the afternoon in. My small sleeping girl’s memories are just emerging, and I wonder what it will be that both her and her brothers will choose to record for their own childhood memories. Will they carry them around in the suitcases that my Grandma and I seem to do, or simply leave them to the whirl of the winds? Something to be caught, held and then thrown free again at a moments notice.

Will they have memories of being carried high on strong shoulders? Will they remember those late afternoons at the beach and the salty smell of the sea as they ran towards it?

Maybe they’ll have a very small memory of their mother quietly holding their great grandmother’s hand in a sunny room, late one morning.

Or maybe, they’ll simply look at some of my old photographs.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

 ***************

If I’m lucky enough to get to my 80’s, I don’t think I would ever have too many photo’s. As we are living in such a digital age, my collection of photographs continues to get bigger and bigger. How could it not though? For nostalgic kind of people like me, well photos are a pretty wonderful tool. 

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been lucky enough to be loaned an Olympus OM-D E-M10 for a trial period of a couple of months, and I’ve loved seeing some of the things I can do with it, capturing some of those moments that I want to remember.

There’s an always growing collection of many photograph piles and files, along with my instagram account. So many of those little seemingly small insta squares have now got a little memory attached to it like a post it note on a fridge. My kids flick through them, making comment, like the way I used to do to our family photo albums when I was their age. (With this camera there is a nifty wifi function that can switch your pics to any social media or email to doting grandparents as well.)

Being a compact little camera it’s an easy one to carry around in my regular every day bag, rather than carry around something bigger and separate. And, if you like to edit your photos a bit, there are also Art Filter options- which can be done easily either in camera, or afterwards via the Olympus app on your phone.

Sometimes I use this function, and other times I just leave it as it is. As a raw moment.

A captured memory. 

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

The Stars Dance Again

lemon and vanilla stars || cityhippyfarmgirl

lemon and vanilla stars recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

Soon our school will be holding it’s annual school disco again. Flicking through my archive of short stories, I was reminded of this post. That little almost convulsing dancing boy I still see in the playground from time to time. He’s bigger now and probably doesn’t even remember that intense dance-off he once did. I did though, and it still gave me a chuckle just reading about it.

In honour of school disco’s and the joy of uninhibited dancing, I made a few more of those dancing star biscuits.

lemon and vanilla stars simple recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

 lemon vanilla stars

200g softened butter

150g sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 tsp lemon rind

225g plain flour

squeeze of half a lemon

Cream butter and sugar, add vanilla and lemon. Then mix through the flour. Roll between two sheets of baking paper, and chill a little in the fridge.

Cut out stars and bake at 170C for about 15 minutes.

This dough also freezes easily into a log, just cut off rounds to bake as you need them.

school disco essentials…surely

loving… doors, dinosaurs, biscuits and coffee

secret door ways || cityhippyfarmgirl

 Loving…

secret leafy doorways that lead into secret leafy walled gardens. (If you never read The Secret Garden as a child, you really should get it from local library. The magic of gardens should never be underestimated.)

good coffee || cityhippyfarmgirlLoving…

coffee dates with friends. Just like leafy gardens, the magic of coffee should also never be underestimated. anzac biscuits || cityhippyfarmgirl

Loving…

a baking rack full of cooling Anzac Biscuits on wintry afternoons.

dinosaurs at dusk || cityhippyfarmgirl Loving…

Playing with dinosaurs at dusk, because really, how could you not love that?

*************

What have you been loving?

[“Often life’s pleasures pass us by simply because we don’t take a moment to focus on them… Make a point of noticing everyday something that uplifts your spirit or tickles your heart… Stop to breathe in the joy of this moment and then tell someone about it. Share your joy and revel in it. When your joy is savoured, and then shared, it is magnified…” ROBIN GRILLE]

 

 

 

Choosing a simple life

thistles and silos || cityhippyfarmgirl

grass at dusk || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’ve never been ‘on trend’ with things. Cutting edge seems more like a paper cut term to me, while most seasonal fashion trends hold my interest like a conference on data entry for a two year old.

One thing that I do seem to be knee deep in however, is the want for a simple life. From a blogging perspective, (and from when I first started) the bloggers searching for a simple life seems to have grown and grown.

There must be something in it if we are all wanting a similar thing? And it’s not just bloggers and social media types throwing themselves into the quest for a simpler lifestyle than our current fast paced one. We’re just the ones with our own tiny pedestals, #hashtagging about it. What about the people who have been quietly plodding on in their own green pedal powered goodness doing their thing for far longer beforehand?

These people are the proverbial roots of the whole picture. The knowledgeable ones who, people like me look up to and learn from.

So is it gaining momentum this lifestyle, this yearn for a simpler way of life?

I hope it’s not like drinking out of glass jars with handles, blending kale and spinach green smoothies or winding yourself up in washi tape. I don’t want it to be a hipster fad, that’s highly talked of, coming and inevitably going. I really hope it’s not. My genuine hope is that this is more than a trend. Something that becomes bigger and bigger, until this quest for simplicity, this need for stepping off the increasingly fast spinning mouse wheel of life gives people a little pause and clarity of ideas. A quest of simple wants, needs and values. All things that so many of us do seem to be seeking.

The difference between my simple life yearning now and family’s simple life journey before me, was that their’s was one out of necessity and mine is by choice. While some people will argue (and I completely agree) that it shouldn’t be a lifestyle of choice, we should be doing more than we are in our current environment. For now though, it still comes down to choice.

I am in the privileged position of being able to choose to recycle. To choose to make bread. To choose to make hand made things. To choose to ride my bike. And, to choose from where most of my purchases come from.

Choices and necessity in creating a simple life for ourselves and loved ones…it’s kind of interesting to think about isn’t it.

What about you? Tell me a little about some of your simple life choices.

***********

More simple life seekers- blogging style

Simples Lives

Slow Living Essentials

Little Eco Footprints

House of Humble

Think Big Live Simply

Date and Pecan Sourdough

date and pecan sourdough recipe|| cityhippyfarmgirl

I like knowing what the date is. Life with three small people seems to be a whirl wind of calendars, times and places to be. All those things would be a bit of a mess without knowing what the date was.

I also like my dates to be surrounded by a square, a calendar with big squares for me to scribble things on. There is not much point in me putting things in my phone as I invariably check it only after the activity or appointment is that I’ve just missed, (and I still don’t like to be that enslaved to technology anyway.) If there is enslavement to be had, I much prefer it to be with my kitchen calendar, with the big quares.

Put it on the calendar; I have been known to shriek out.

Why wasn’t it on the calendar? I demand.

Checking those little squares for where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing is part of my obligatory morning routine. Never in a studious, calm fashion where I neatly check off things as they go by. No, it’s done as I close the fridge with my foot. Toss the second school lunch box to the bench, reach for the cup of tepid tea on my left and yell out; have you cleaned your teeth yet!? That’s when I do my laser scanning eye over the appropriate square and silently hope I haven’t forgotten to add something on this particular date.

**********

How about you? How do you keep track of the date and all the things going on your life? 

date and pecan sourdough recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

Date and Pecan Sourdough

400g refreshed starter (100%)

300g wholemeal spelt flour

450g flour

550mls water

200g chopped medjool dates

100g pecan halves

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

2 tsp salt

Mix all your ingredients together except your salt. Mixing for about 6 minutes. Now leave it. Go find something else to do for about 40 minutes.

Add your salt and mix again for about another 6 minutes or if by hand until you get a smooth dough.

Put it back in the bowl and leave it for about an hour.

Dough out on to the bench, and do a three way fold. Back in the bowl for another hour or so. Divide the dough in two and then do a three way fold with the two portions. Leave them on the bench for twenty minutes or so.

Shape it. Laying it on lined trays, banetton baskets or tins, cover it and prove for 1-3 hours. Bake at 220C with steam.

Winter’s Song

winter sun || cityhippyfarmgirl

winter || cityhippyfarmgirl

If winter had a song it would be deep and slow.

A song that gets carried around in coat pockets,

slowing warming cold fingers.

A lone violin, a methodical drum.

Music that gives pause and time for reflection.

A song with the sounds of muffled whispers, crunching footsteps

and grainy long grey shadows.

A solo tune that echoes into the dark night

music that is slowly swayed to in colourful knitted socked feet,

and listened to on plump fluffed up blankets.

wintry tree || cityhippyfarmgirl