Kangaroo Valley

A recent weekend away with friends was just what I needed. A chance to inhale, exhale…and return to centre.

A beautiful sunrise.

a misty morning in the valley

and a spot of cat chasing in a winery while parents are wine tasting.

The winery, Yarrawa Estate is nuzzled into some beautiful looking hills. Their view was quite simply…stunning. While wine tasting with 4 little kids isn’t the most relaxing way to spend your afternoon, I can certainly think of worse things to do. It did give just enough time to demolish a cheese platter, sample a few drops, chase two cats, plunder the chicken coop, and tease the family dog with a nut or two. Bottles bought and onwards we went, (Chambourcin and Verdelho some delicious stand outs.)

Kangaroo Valley is a picturesque little valley that sits a 2hour plus drive from Sydney. East of the Southern Highlands and just a little further west than the Sourdough Bakery at Berry. Famous for it’s locally made fudge, and lush fertile land. The areas dairies produce some great local milk, South Coast Dairy. While fudge, wine and milk doesn’t sound like much if eating as a locavore.

It’s certainly not a bad way to start if you are in the area.



The secret of the picnic

To me the perfect Sunday is spent under a shady tree in the park, in the company of wonderful people, and with a  scrumptious selection of delicious-ness spread out on a picnic rug before me. Lucky for me this was just how Sunday was spent.

A group of people not seen for 5 years, but the conversation commenced like it was just the day before that we had all gotten together. We had all changed a little. Three little ones that weren’t there last time, some hair was lost, some hair was greyer, some weight was gained, and some was lost. The minor details were incidental, the excitement of being there and not a phone call away was wonderful. Catching up on events, news and wishes. Monkey Boy made a campfire of twigs and cooked us some ‘soup’ and the Little Monkey flaked out in his pram with his little monkey pal.

A gorgeous day followed by coffee and hysterical monkey giggles back at our place.

Thats what I love the most. Easy conversation amongst people that I respect and value their company… (with a little cake on the side.)

Orange and Coconut Cake

Serves 8-10.

2 oranges

185g butter

1  cup sugar

3 eggs

1 cup desicated coconut

1 1/2 cups of self raising flour

Preheat the oven to 160C. Cook the chopped orange flesh up a little until soft, add the grated rind of the two oranges. Process them until lumpy consistency. In to the processor add the butter, sugar, eggs, coconut and flour. Process until smooth.

Line a 22cm round cake tin with non-stick paper. Bake for 1 hour 20 mins.

(Adapted from a Donna Hay magazine recipe)