Passata Day 2015

Passata Day || cityhippyfarmgirl

Last years Passata Day with Milkwood was a highlight for me, a big highlight. When the horizon was promising another gorgeous tomato infused day, well I was glad to get a chance to be there again.

Coming together as a community with a group of like minded souls. Wonderful conversations accompanying wonderful food…well this is a highlight of life surely. Simple living at it’s beautiful, delicious best.

  Trolleyd cocktails and mocktails using local, foraged, sustainable and organic goodness.

Passata… the making, the bottling

and importantly, the eating.

Passata Day 2015… you were delicious!

Passata Day || cityhippyfarmgirl

 

 

Seasonal Eating and Earth Hour

It’s Autumn here and while I’m still waiting to feel any big seasonal shifts in the weather, there has been a slight change in what’s gracing my kitchen bench. Seasonal changes in our food are one of the things that get me really excited. I love having things in abundance, eat them in everything and just when I really don’t want to eat them any longer, the season changes and voila! A new vegetable to embrace.

Others who are also embracing all things food and farm related is Earth Hour this year. It’s on again this Saturday, and this time they are focusing in on farmers and how environmental changes are impacting Australian farmers and our food they grow. (They’ve also put out a cookbook to go along with it- with all proceeds going back to Earth Hour’s work.)

How about you? Are you doing anything particular for Earth Hour this year? Or enjoying eating any particular seasonal or local foods?

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OOOOBY- a super easy way to get some seasonal goodness delivered to your doorstep if you live in Sydney. If you have been thinking about signing up but haven’t quite done it yet. OOOOBY is offering $15 off your first box if you type in CITYHIPPYFARMGIRL as a referral code. 

Earth Hour

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An excellent local drop…Krinklewood

Loving…Tea, trains and catching words

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Loving… The Lull of a Train

The train gently rocks from side to side. Lulling me into a sleepy submission. I ignore the muffled conversations around me, the book closes softly and I let my thoughts wander. It’s a novelty these days and I embrace it.

Loving… Tea for Two

Cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Scones with jam and cream. Tea sipped over chuckles with my nana. I don’t take this time for granted. I know at different points in her life there could have been completely different outcomes. We high five each other happily for being alive still- she’s that kind of nana.

Loving… Catching Words

Plucking words from the air, rearranging them, and then trying desperately to make some sort of sense of them. They can be uniform in shape, nonsensical in their line up, or simply lost. But occasionally? Occasionally they fall just as they were meant to be. Captured within that micro second and dragged to forever with pen and paper.

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“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]

What are you loving?

That Sugar Film

That Sugar Film

I watched this film last week and attended a Q & A. I’m still reeling a little from it all. I don’t even eat like this and I’m reeling. Seriously…this sugary world we live in is quite something to think about. While I’m not about to quit sugar and and go paleo any time soon. I do know when my body is at it’s best…and unfortunately it’s not with a jumbo juice and monster muffin by my side.

That Sugar Film… watch the trailer at the very least. Please.

There is also a book which backs up the movie but is also great in it’s own right. I tell you, I’m left with a big taste for kale and buckwheat that’s for sure. (And just quietly even more determined to rejig those ‘healthy’ doughnuts from the weekend.)

The not really sourdough doughnuts

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

I made some grand bold statements before Christmas on making sourdough doughnuts. I really was. I was going to do it. Really and truly, cross my heart and all that.

Then I looked at a few recipes and my figurative doughnut balloon? Well it slowly deflated.

I don’t know. All that deep frying, sugar, needing of an extra special cutter or doughnut maker thingy stuff. All that extra, well everything. It just took the wind out of my doughy-nut sails. I didn’t want to buy another contraption and I didn’t want to fry them all in lots of oil. Actually when I thought about it, I didn’t really want to cover them in oodles of sugar either.

Well why on earth would I be thinking about making doughnuts then, I hear you ask?

Rather good question really. You see, it started here…I blame them entirely for turning my world upside down with the deliciousness of their baked goods. It was because of them that I had lofty dreams of making sourdough doughnuts in the first place. Having the heady smell of cinnamon and sugar wafting around my kitchen. The decadent bite down into that amazingly heady mix of sugar and fat. Yes it sounded good, and my kids well they were more than keen, (they also had tasted those doughnuts you see.)

I paused. Had a little think and a then a little reassess. Maybe I would try a slightly healthier version? Could it be done? Would it pass the family taste test?

I decided to give it a crack. The first ones were completely edible, the kids inhaled them so there was no loss there. BUT, they really and truly weren’t doughnuts. They were rolls. Plain and simple. So what did I need to do to take them up to doughnut status?

I could try to make a little hole in them perhaps? And maybe up the sugar a smidge?

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

Second go. Doughnuts, they shouted! As I quietly plonked them on the table in front of them.

Now to the die hard doughnut fans of this world, there will probably be a brief muttering of no, that ain’t no doughnut lady. (I’ll spare you on all the corners I cut.)

Third go. Actually third go, didn’t even warrant a picture. Edible sure, but over proved and really bordering on a little burnt around the edges. (Actually maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a baker of doughnuts after all?)

Fourth go? It nearly didn’t happen, I was a bit over them, but there seemed to be this incessant whisper, one morrrre goooo….and so I did and they were the best ones yet. Were they technically sourdough doughnuts? Well, I’m not sure about that. What I do know is that I’ve locked myself into developing this recipe a little further and in the mean time? I hear they make excellent ones in Byron Bay and Hobart, lucky for me, two of my favourite places to go and visit!

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How about you? Have you tried making sourdough doughnuts?

doughnuts || cityhippyfarmgirl.com

All About Women

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In the lead up to International Women’s Day I sent out a bunch of cards to a bunch of women that in someway, shape or form rock my world and I think they are a bit awesome.

I’d written before about giving bunches of lavender, this time I wanted to give a card. A few words, a tiny token of thanks for being a pretty wonderful woman in my life.

Speaking of wonderful women, last Sunday I got to hang out with Elizabeth Gilbert and hear her talk on creativity. Hear a panel that included Germaine Greer and Clementine Ford, taking in their thoughts on “How to be a Feminist.” And lastly watching the documentary of Finding Vivian Maier.

Three completely different trains of thought, that at the end of the day I think I felt a bit overwhelmed with. I felt charged and inspired with the first two and then watching the documentary on Vivian…in some ways it felt like the complete opposite to the first two. Certainly lots of bits to muse on over my notes anyway.

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Are you scribbling notes anywhere? What have you been up to?

The distracted feminist

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Hello. My name is Brydie and I’m a distracted feminist.

It’s an odd title but, but there it sits. Like me sitting down to write this post. I thought, I ummed, I errred a little, I paused, I read and then I thought some more. I had an idea, and then…well, I got distracted. Distracted by the bills that needed paying, one or two children, the door bell briefly and then I got distracted by the enormity of the topic- feminism.

I read article after article on different feminist points of views. I had rich and emotionally charged conversations with my husband. I laughed and laughed when I watched this funny lady. And then I thought some more.

Initially, I thought feminism wasn’t dead at all, instead it had just been pushed to the back of the ‘I’m too busy’ pile along with so many other things that people used to have an opinion about.

When people’s attention span has so dramatically decreased in recent years with the introduction of social media, online options, and general ‘busyness‘. It’s hard to hold someone’s attention for ten pages of feminist musings. Let alone, an entire book.

After that initial thought though, I leapt from one thought process to the next and wondered if our communities weren’t being exceptionally dumbed down and our women still indeed have a long road to travel. It sits uncomfortably that thought, but it sits all the same. Gender based inequalities, a rather long held topic really.

I do think living in a continually distracted state can keep us from some of the most important things in life- things that we should have an opinion on and be engaged with. 

While I’m completely guilty of being a distracted feminist at times, I’m also more aware of things then I ever was as my younger self. Stories, plights, endeavours and opinions of my fellow women I will devour and never tire of hearing about. Why? Because I am a woman and I want to think about these things. I want to have an opinion. I want to play a part in trying to change things that need changing. And it’s not just women that need to think about these things it’s our men and boys as well. Inequalities should be thought of as we are human, not because of what sex we are.

Becoming a parent introduced me to a whole range of subtle feminist musings I had never previously considered as a childless person. Things to consider, actions made or simply words and their substantial weight when said in a seemingly careless fashion.

So how does my day-to-day life align with feminist thinkings without dusting off the Germaine Greer books by my bed side table and stalking Clementine Ford‘s twitter feed? Well, it’s having an opinion and speaking up when I hear stupid comments like…

“Oh take your skirt off!” said to the young boy when he was hurt playing soccer and had paused the game.

“Boys will be boys”, on a messy bedroom. No, just because they have a penis doesn’t mean they are entitled to a room that looks like a bombs gone off, and yes girls can do that just as well, (my sister was an expert in this.)

cityhippyfarmgirlI don’t just read books to my kids where the hero is always a male. Nor do I subscribe to the useless princess stories waiting for her whole life to be fixed by a charming prince.

I won’t put clothing on my daughter that will restrict her playing, learning and her general keeping up with her big brothers (or anyone else) because she is the “dainty feminine one”. Sure she LOVES tutus, and if that tutu is covered in mud and paint splodges at the end of the day well, it looks like that has been a damn good day.

I won’t cultivate my boys interests to more “masculine” orientated themes. If they are interested in something, bloody hell, I’ll do whatever I can to encourage that.

I also refuse to take stupid comments like, “oh your husband will understand better” on asking for technical advice in a phone shop, before being fobbed off. No. Err, no he won’t, which is why I am here asking for help.

It’s true. I am unfortunately a distracted feminist- things can get busy round these parts, just as they can for so many other people. But I can also can be a distracted mother, wife, friend, daughter, sister. Along with a 100 other labels I could pin upon myself. The difference is, that I am interested, and I do have curiosity to know more, do more, think more. I certainly don’t see my sex as being inferior or less than and I refuse to take on any restrictions that someone cares to throw at me because of it.

What I will do is, have an evolving strong feminist leaning opinion…albeit at times a slightly distracted one.

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Today is International Women’s Day, the 8th of March- this post, along with another at the end of the week will be written with a feminine curve, (just as I did last year with these posts below.)

Guilty rambles with a divided heart

Lavender and inspiring women

excellent reading and excellent tea

Earth Garden and PiP magazine || cityhippyfarmgirl

Tea break with Earth Garden and PiP magazine.

Tea breaks are short lived around these parts, so I make sure it’s worth it. Excellent reading and excellent tea. (Not telling the small people where I’m going to hide with said mags and tea also helps.)

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What are you reading and drinking at the moment?

Lemon Ricotta and Almond Cake

Lemon and Almond Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

Lemon Almond and Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

If I’m lucky enough to get to 85 years old I’ll probably eat cake for breakfast.

Straight up. A big chunk of cake on my favourite plate and a extra large cup of chai on the side.

I was certainly encouraging for my grandmother to eat cake for breakfast on her birthday recently. Not just any cake but this one that I made for her. It’s got almonds, ricotta and low in sugar, with some careful thinking I would say this cake ticks quite a few boxes for a slight woman in her eighties and the first meal of the day.

It also happily ticked a few birthday cake boxes. The requirements were gluten free, low sugar, not chocolatey and not ‘eggy’. With the satisfying soft scent of lemon billowing done the hall, I’d say this simple cake was done and dusted, (and dusted with icing sugar that is.)

Lemon Almond Ricotta Cake || cityhippyfarmgirl

Lemon Almond and Ricotta Cake

150g softened butter

2/3 cup sugar

3 beaten eggs

zest of two lemons

200g almond meal

250g ricotta

icing sugar

Cream butter and sugar together. Add beaten eggs and zest of two lemons. Fold through almond meal and ricotta. Pour into a greased and lined springform pan. Bake at 180C for about 45-50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

green with inspiration

artist as family

photo via Artist As Family

I first heard of Artist As Family on a day that had completely gotten me down in the dumps with well, pretty much everything.  Mass consumption, global environment woes, and a lengthy list of 100 other kinds of thoughts. I certainly had the ‘green blues’ that day.

Then up popped this amazing blog that had me breathing in hope, light and general excitement. I was so delightfully happy I couldn’t help but tell anyone and everyone that crossed my path that day, of this amazing journey this family I had just ‘found’ was embarking on.

In January this year they finished their epic journey riding from Daylesford, Victoria to Cape York, Queensland and back again. Living on mostly free foraged food, they cycled with two kids on the back, the cutest little dog on the front and countless people like me following along online with their story.

Later on in the year their book will come out, and I seriously. Can. Not. Wait.

(I dare you not to be inspired by reading their blog.)

Read here for a tiny snapshot of their amazing journey. “Living on road kill and bush tucker: One family’s epic cycling adventure”- ABC Ballarat

artist as family

Photo via Artist As Family

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Here’s a list of a few other people that combine their day to day workings with a rockin’ blog as well. All green tinged, and all inspiring for so many different reasons. Sit down, have a read. You’ll be so glad you did.

Kirsten, Nick and the Milkwood crew- inspiring people with their knowledge sharing and courses that encourage life skills.

Mel from Coal Valley View- watch this space as their amazing farm transforms.

Tricia from Little Eco Footprints- honesty and shared knowledge, that there is a beautiful combination.

James from The Upcyclist- upcycled furniture and tiny houses…all so damn good!

Pip from Meet Me At Mikes- Ethical Fashion pledge…everyone should be doing this. Everyone.

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How about you, want to share in the comments a green tinged blog that you love?