Moving into our tiny strawbale has been pretty easy in many ways. Easier than I thought. Annie, being a consummate optimist and pretty intrepid in the adventuring stakes probably always thought it would be fine. But me, I was a little nervous deep down. Thankfully my nerves were unfounded and it has been really quite wonderful. There's only one thing that has really been niggling at me and this is our total absence of an oven. For I love to bake! I love getting all domestic goddess-y and ensuring there are baked treats aplenty for our family and for whoever happens to be around at any given time. For now, this is not possible as our cooking is done entirely on a BBQ and a portable gas ring. Recently we've added a fire to our cooking but this still doesn't really allow for the possibility of cakes, biscuits, pies etc etc... As result we are eating a lot of pikelets and a lot of fruit... it's probably all for the best really. However the lack of baking possibility has gotten me down on a few occasions.
In time we will build an outdoor wood fired oven and in time we will build another strawbale dwelling which will contain no less than a commercial kitchen and a cold store for all our pasture raised smallgoods creations mmmm.. but that is a story for another time. In the meantime I have Moro! Some beauteous friends, perhaps knowing I'd be feeling the lack of an oven, bought me Moro East for my birthday, and it is so suited to where we are now, in our eating and our living. Really, it was a revelation and gone was the lack. So perfectly timed was it with our increased zeal for foraging, helped in no small part by our reading of The Forager's Year, Whole Larder Love and the fact we live in a place where foraging is really pretty easy.
|Big bowl of fresh cut stinging nettles|
|Delicious cornucopia of fresh cut greens from our garden, including foraged nettles, which we pre-cooked for 30 seconds to de-sting them|
The delicious simplicity reminded me of my time in Oaxaca Mexico many moons ago where my favourite lunch was from a particular stall in the markets. It was a quesadilla comprised entirely of shredded zucchini flower and Quesilla (a Oaxacan stringy cheese) eaten with pico de gallo it was utterly delicious and an important reminder of just how good simple, fresh food of a particular place can be. I was reminded of this once again this Sunday night when we feasted so happily around our fire.
The dough was made earlier in the day then left in a covered bowl on our tyre retaining wall. It may not be pretty but those tyres sure capture the warmth of the sun, working a treat for dough that needs to "double in size". Then when we returned from an uber-delightful birthday party at Mumbulla Creek Falls we were ready to start making.
|Oscy, forever the helper, cooking up the pre-dinner lemony cumin-y cauliflower - "I being like Per!"|
It was a good reminder of how well we can eat with so little. In the past I've gotten caught up in seeking out particular ingredients to create particular meals. This approach is all starting to feel a little wrong. This meal was dictated by what we had grown or found + a little flour, olive oil + a little South Coast fetta. This feels so very right and definitely points to our way of eating for the future. And the result? Now I don't want to diss the very talented and hardworking Turkish ladies at all the markets everywhere but these gozleme were pretty much the best ever. We could taste the myriad different fresh and zesty greens contained within the crispy, warm, olive oil bread. The kids were happy, we were happy. It was total sensory overload, total joy, just so very good.