Monday, October 8, 2012

of bread, braises and cow manure

There was quite a lot of cooking going on this weekend. With twelve family members when we are all together, and the littler and not quite so little ones getting bigger appetites every year,  there is always lots of cooking and eating involved with our Italian side of the family.

I made my first batch of ciabatta bread (and had to laugh at this video, as well as my need to watch said video) from this book. (Recipe online here). As well as a braised beef in red wine, from Angela Hartnett's Cucina, replacing some of the not so good quality wine with marsala, which seemed to even out the flavour nicely.

Not photographed, but worth mentioning as is it is now officially Luca's favourite dessert, was the semifreddo, also from the Cucina book. I found the recipe online here. Luca has requested it to be his birthday cake this year, despite the slightly adult taste. It really was delicious and quite easy, which says more for the recipe author than for this cook who has never made ice-cream in her life before.

Sunday was a little quieter, and after our breakfast of leftover semifreddo, we headed out to the paddock behind our house, where the lady owner had kindly given us permission to take as much cow manure as we wanted. The manure was several months old and had begun to compost beautifully. I never thought I would get excited about manure, but there you have it. All hands helped with the gathering, and bucket carrying to the trailer, and I think the littlest of us may have even taste tested it. Old timers around here tell us that this paddock was once an orchard, and there is a few remaining old blossom trees, with one old white one that I find particularly beautiful, which also provides an idyllic scene framed by our bathroom window.

So it is was with rather full tummies and an abundantly piled compost heap, that saw the weekend, and the school holidays, draw to a close. Quicker than usual, and perhaps feeling just a little more tired, with our loss of an hour due to daylight saving. It feels a little too early and cold for this yet, don't you think? This Monday morning our wood fire is burning again and I'm blogging here in my favourite wool jumper and old faithful ugg boots (that desperately need a good clean!). The house is so, so quiet with school starting up again.

How was your weekend? Did you enjoy a good meal? Any crafting done? Was it an indoorsy one for you with the rain? Is your house a little quieter today than it has been?

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the week.


  1. A long time reader, I would like to thank you for sharing your life. You seem like a lovely, normal woman. By this, I mean that you have your ups, your downs and your plateau's like the rest of us, but you admit it. I love your blog, it's like a big, warm hug from a great friend.

  2. It looks so good to have all that around you to enjoy. The countryside is just lovely. I can't wait to see all your veges thriving with that manure!

  3. An outdoor weekend for us here lots and lots of weeding. Big cooked breakfasts and BBQ's for dinner :-)

  4. yes, I'm not a fan of daylight saving as it is and it's definitely too early for it. Cool here as well.

    Your weekend sounds delicious (well apart from manure taste testing hahaha). Great way to end the holidays.

    Having been at the coast for a few days this week it was a busy saturday of grabbing some groceries, attending a birthday party, much needed hair cuts and buying school shoes. Sunday then saw us relaxing, well if you count loads & loads of washing into that ;) With the sun out I had to make the most of it. Helped my oldest make a fairy house out of a cardboard box, let kids swim in pool, made vegetable salad for lunch, baked bread, ahh a lovely day.

  5. I thought for sure that was beouf bourgingone....semi fredo sounds lovely and I thought we were the only ones that eat pav or cheesecake for breakfast the morning after :)

  6. What a truly lovely sounding weekend Tania! Those recipes sound are such a busy woman!
    We began toilet training the twins on the weekend which was....interesting!
    We had a scorcher weekend so daylight saving didn't seem to bad...but back to cool and cloudy weather today with grumpy, tired toddlers so not liking it as much now lol!
    Have a great week x

  7. Sounds like a great weekend. My weekend was a bit of inside and outside. A lot of sewing (new cushions for home) and fertilising the garden and tending to the veggie patch.
    I, too, would get excited at free, semi-composted, manure.
    Have a lovely week Tania.

  8. you made me laugh when you described what you are wearing.. love it.

  9. We are all at odds with daylight savings and the heater on now that it's cool again! Perhaps that's why our dinner was ready so late tonight .... Your bread looks wonderful and how lovely to have family around. Hope back to school goes well for you this week.

  10. My uggies need a good clean too; they have certainly had a good bit of wear the past few months.
    Your garden will be appreciative of the cow poo. Did you find any dung beetles when you were collecting it?

  11. My iphone got us moving faster than usual on Sunday as we were getting ready to go fishing. It ignored the fact that it is a Queenslander, and therefore not a part of daylight savings, and put the clock forward an hour anyway. It righted itself in time. But we did have a good laugh in the aftermath, wondering where that hour had gone.

    Your photos and your notes from the weekend are always lovely. I'm sure that those who sat around your dining room table enjoyed your cooking too. :)


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