Mrs Longbottom and her Apple Sanga’s

lunch time sandwich || cityhippyfarmgirl

It was in a small sun soaked dusty country school, thirty years before, that Mrs Longbottom* had taught. She probably should have retired ten years prior, but she hadn’t though and her young class of country folk kids were paying the price for that.

Instead she was committed to the little darlings, well at least until the end of the school year anyway.

The highlight of her long and tiring day was lunch time. Not because the pint sized ones were off running outside on the red sun baked dirt. Or because their muffled childish shouts were a little more muted when they hid within the pepper tree’s branches.

But because she really enjoyed eating her lunch.

Each day, it would be exactly the same thing, no matter what. Fresh white bread, thinly sliced crispy apple, thickly sliced cheddar cheese and walnut halves.

With an enthusiasm unmatched in the rest of her day, she would eat that sandwich. With walnut crumbs gently retrieved and her last mouthfuls slowly savoured.

Lunch time indeed was the best part of the day.

lunch time || cityhippyfarmgirl

Reinvented Apple and Cheese Sanga

(one to make a teacher look forward to lunch, and *not her real name.)

the best sourdough bread you can find

the best crispiest seasonal apple in all the lands

caramelised onions

and your favourite tasty cheese

Tipple Time- Eat Local Challenge #7

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

Jubilee || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’m not much of a drinker. Half a glass of wine, a full glass if I’m feeling particularly robust and that’s about it. That’s not to say I don’t like it, I do, I love wine lots and lots. Anything more than a glass though and it just gets me sleepy and quite frankly, there is always something else to do. I don’t need to feel extra sleepy on top of my usual sleepy. I can do that perfectly well on my own accord.

Now if I am going to have a glass of wine, it’s got to be a good one. I want organic and or as local as possible pretty please. On our recent trip to St Albans, I hit the local winery jackpot at the farmers markets of Glenorie, just near Dural, (aided by the enthusiastic French accented fellow who got me wine tasting and buying at 9.30am.)

Jubilee Vineyard Estate- I’m not sure there is anything closer if you are looking for a Sydney locavore drop, what’s more it was delicious, (which is why the photos are shown as one down and one to go.)

The White Chambourcin is described as, “clean fresh fruity aromas of strawberry, raspberry & lemon with a palate of raspberries and lingering citrus.” While my wine palate descriptions are restricted to good or not so good. It was definitely on the good side, delicious even.

How about you, do you enjoy a tipple? What’s your favourite local drop?

eat local challenge || cityhippyfarmgirl

eat local || cityhippyfarmgirl

Where did it come all from?

Shallots and Capsicum- Rita’s Farm, Kemps Creek 50km

Mushrooms- Margin’s Mushrooms, Woy Woy 80km

Potatoes- Naturally Grown Naturally Better, Crookwell 240km

Eggs- Port Stephens Eggs

Wine- Hawkesbury River

 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

celebrate

macarons || cityhippyfarmgirl

This is a post that celebrates…colour.

This is a post that celebrates, macarons, puddles, sunsets, pink skirts, cumquats and shadows.

You see, this is a post that is wholeheartedly celebrating those teeny tiny everyday moments,

that so many of our lives are made up of.

Celebrating those moments, and sharing the every day…

in a photo kind of way.

party dinosaurs || cityhippyfarmgirl.com puddle jumping days || cityhippyfarmgirl

hot tea || cityhippyfarmgirl

tea party || cityhippyfarmgirl

Partying dinosaurs that can’t help but bring a little celebration to the table,

and weekend muddy puddle seeking, because…well they can.

 A celebration of tea- that first sip of tea while it’s still hot, utter bliss, (tepid tea just doesn’t compare.)

And invitations to constant tiny tea parties.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Sydney sunset || cityhippyfarmgirl

The magic of a flower that holds all the colours of a winter sunset.

Followed by a real sunset… and that will never get old.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Celebrating small hands that still slip easily into our own.

cityhippyfarmgirl.comFor the desire to run and the freedom felt that goes along with it. He doesn’t have to explain it to me, I can see it.

cumquats || cityhippyfarmgirl Celebrating foraged cumquats in a country valley, that turn into delicious marmalade, on home made sourdough, on a sunny Saturday morning.

cumquat marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

knitted socks || cityhippyfarmgirl

 For winter days when I get to wear knitted socks that were made with love by my nana. Celebrating afternoon light that barely looks real, and that brings on all kinds of games purely because of the shadows and highlights it creates.

These are not big, large, life changing things. But they are some of our simple happy moments in what are often chaotic and seemingly far too busy days.

These are some tiny snapshots of life, that I am wholeheartedly celebrating.

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This is the last of my posts using the loaned Olympus camera- I had borrowed an OM-D E-M10  as part of the Voices of 2014 competition. As I’ve mentioned in my last couple of posts (here and here) it’s a rather nifty little camera that as a keen taker of pictures I’ve been really happy to have had the chance to play with.

As a last hoorah, I’m going to mention some of the bits I really liked. (See my previous two posts for some of the other trickster bits I might have mentioned before.) 

colour || cityhippyfarmgirl

Bits of the camera that I whole heartedly celebrated

Compact- weighing in at about 400g, it’s a camera that isn’t going to drag your neck or shoulder down carrying it about. I’ve done it for hours on end and haven’t even noticed it, except to take photos of course.

Post picture taking and one of the stand out things is the wifi. I do use instagram, FB and email. The wifi is pretty much gold for switching photos from your camera to your phone. Effortless I tell you. No adaptors, no bluetooth, no cords, no dropbox, no emailing yourself a picture. It’s all there in your phone and I still say it’s a magical Wifi-the-Fairy type kinda way.

You can also use your phone as a live camera remote, which is how I took the knitted socks shot- camera in position, adjust ALL camera settings via phone (that still blows my mind a little) and snap, picture taken.

The Art Filters and different Scenes you can choose from are all there to create photo master pieces from too. Either within the camera or afterwards in the phone app. You can also use the Art Filters when shooting video, (yep, that’s a bit cool I know.)

Quality- For a little camera I was really surprised. Lots of oooh kind of moments after I’d taken a pic. I’d love to play with some of their other lens but the kit lens the camera comes with (14-42mm) it does the job, yes it does. None of these photos were edited, not even a whisker, (except the coffee pictures above which were done using the Pin Hole Filter as mentioned) I actually really enjoyed the challenge of finding the camera’s happy spots*, (turns out it as lots.)

birthday || cityhippyfarmgirl

* I also celebrated the fact that I had a different camera at my disposal with lots of different buttons. So ahem… I set out to fiddle with every little button and see what they all did- this photo and the earlier five shot colourful umbrella picture uses the template function, where you can join photos together in various ways.

Photo Geek Talk

All photos in this post were unedited using the 14-42mm lens, (except for the above shots in this section as mentioned.) ISO I used varied a little, but generally was set at 400 for most of these shots. I find shooting in manual gives me more scope to play with the effects of the picture but if I’m having trouble getting it all, the auto option is pretty damn easy along with the Scenes settings, (depending on what I’m taking the picture of.)

Thank you Olympus. For the return of your gear, you may now try and pry my fingers from the camera. 

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Tell me, what are you celebrating at the moment?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

just a little bread and jam

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

lime marmalade || cityhippyfarmgirl

sourdough || cityhippyfarmgirl

Jam in summer, marmalade in winter. That’s how it seems to roll around these parts. A steady supply of preserved seasons to go with the endless sourdough that seems to drift out of my oven. It’s a simple pleasure that never ever gets old.

What have you been preserving lately?

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For something a little different, have a peak at ABC’s Organic Gardener magazine- feeling pretty happy to be squeezed in between the lovely likes of fermentation king Sandor Katz and Kate of Foxs Lane.

cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Pumpkin Spiced Cake or when to break the rules

spiced pumpkin cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I knew there was something…but really couldn’t quite gather enough thought process to find out what. And yet slowly whatever it was, it built up. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t draw. I couldn’t take any pictures and I sure as eggs couldn’t think what on earth it was that was slightly sitting out of alignment.

So I stopped. Stopped trying to put my finger on it and closed the lap top. Said bugger the homework. Put another jacket on us all and headed out. The rules of the afternoon, the time constraints, the blah, blah, blah. Yep, today they didn’t count, as today….there would be no rules.

You know why kids can play so beautifully, for so long, so uninhibited? Because their rules are different, and they don’t care particularly if they break them. If the row of animals isn’t put away before going to bed, life turns out, does continue on. If homework isn’t done on a one off Wednesday, doing double the next day is actually ok because the afternoon before, oh it was rather awesome.

So why was it, that it wasn’t until I had stopped, did I realise it was all the rules that were choking me and leaving me on edge? I have no idea. Really absolutely none. But on the upside I know how good it felt when we broke all the rules that afternoon in late winter and I have every intention of doing it again soon.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now this is a quite a moist, dense cake, that for me looked like a cake, but tasted like a pie, it kind of broke all the cake rules right there.

Looks like a cake, but tastes like a pie… this was a fine thing to realise indeed.

 spiced pumpkin cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

Pumpkin Spiced Cake

150g softened butter

150g brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp cardamom

zest of a lemon

2 beaten eggs

2 tbls molasses

225g self raising flour

75g wholemeal spelt flour

1 1/2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin (use less if you don’t like a moist cake)

Cream butter, sugar and spices together, add lemon zest, beaten eggs and molasses. Mix through pumpkin and then fold through flours. Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf tin and bake for approximately one hour at 180C, (or until a skewer comes out clean.)

Chocolate, Community and Choices

beetroot brownie || cityhippyfarmgirl

I’ll let you in on a little secret. This place here, is my number one place to eat out. It doesn’t happen often, actually hardly at all really, but when it does…oh it’s bliss. Sheer bliss.

While this blog is not about food reviewing (and never will be) I can’t help but want to stand on my pedestal and shout…”you really should go there!”

Once in that blue moon period when I do go out, I want to go somewhere that holds similar beliefs to me. Going somewhere where the selling points of a dish are “Salmon from Alaska, oranges from Malta, cheese from Turkey and wine to wash it all down with from Italy”. Nope, it just doesn’t cut it for me, I’m seriously not interested. Tell me the bacon is from a small scale farmer a few hours away, the milk is from the outskirts of Sydney, the eggs are organic and the plated greens were grown three metres away in the small backyard. Now that’s going to make me sit up and pay attention.

Also add to it being some of the best tasting food I’ve ever tasted and I will be scrambling for any opportunity to get a table again.

Now when time ticks by and life gets in the way, their cookbook will be tiding me over. The pages talk of how they started, seasonal eating, not wasting anything and community- all topics of which I’ll happily devour every page, (which is includes this rather tasty Chocolate Beetroot Brownie.)

beetroot brownie || cityhippyfarmgirl

Coming back for a moment, to that wonderful C word that I love so much- community. It’s important to me here in blogland. It’s important to me in ‘real life’ and is also one of the big things that has struck me every time I’ve been lucky enough to eat there. (And it really is a privilege to eat out , for anyone!) Community is something that really seems to jump out at you, even just walking down the street. You can tell that this is a close knit area that really looks out for each other, (which also includes famed sourdough legend, Iggy’s just a few doors down.)

Living in a big city, if you are lucky enough to be in the position of choosing to go out for a meal, then considering where your dollar is going just makes sense. It makes wonderful sense. Combine a little chocolate and community in with those choices and you have yourself a pretty great combination I think.

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Tell me, what are some of your favourite community minded places (or books) to eat or hang out at?