des glaneuses {the pecan harvest}

IMG_0004in the fields the pecan trees drop their bountiful treasure

the cockatoos swing overhead and the ticks lurk below shadows

a basket of size or make, soon spills brown eggs to hatch small brown birds

the queen nut and her babies are captured lovingly

while children bounce, frolic, nest and throw.

oh to covet a fireside nut crushing eve

and invent our own fairytales

this kinship and little people wriggles

jaffles in moonlight and the bright silhouettes sway

the foragers filled and the gypsies sleep by the coals in mandarin cloaks

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*

nut tree nut tree

there is treasure hidden in your leaves

nut tree nut tree

drop your gifts down to me

*
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IMG_0082thanking thee dear friends.

and Miss F for the capture of me in the frames above.

pumpkin and pecan pie anyone?

pecan ice cream?

pecan truffles?

pecan and cinnamon cake?

pecan and mushroom soup?

pecan pecan hecan mecan?

xx

did you like my nutty poetree? and my nutty daughter?

because you are what you eat!!

more on foraging here.

 

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Natural Dyeing of Eggs

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Friends in town invited us for a natural egg dyeing date today. It was a new method to me and the results are beautiful! In years past we have water colour painted, drawn upon, dyed in stockings with onion skin and parsley, wax crayoned and dyed and more. something in the natural plant and berry dyes pleased me so much today. the shades are unpredictable and all the colors are well, edible.  it brings to mind my natural dyeing of silk joy which has been put aside for many months. i keep opening the carton to caress these wonders. thankyou hens.

it was a pleasure to share one of our/their Easter rituals as often I hold festivals for my family alone. we spoke about festival traditions in the family and I realised with the weekend approaching fast i am ill prepared! {apart from having lots of eggs}. I look forward once again to seeing what authentically comes for the festival this year. it’s an interesting time to marry Easter to Autumn and i have found a few stories and inner images which sit peacefully for me. our Autumn table evolves slowly and soon the Egg tree will appear.

this book Easter in Autumn is helpful for southern hemisphere dwellers. i am seeing how contributions can become tradition in a few short years and the grounding this gives my children and myself. if you want to bring more depth or tradition to festivals, i recommend beginning simply, or adding just one or two things you can easily uphold and add to over the years.  i enjoy Lily’s anticipation of events, Cedars current enjoyment, worry expectations {my own mostly} may not be met, {can i really make sourdough hot cross buns this year?} witness her recounting past festival highlights to others and propel myself to find my Zopf recipe!

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Natural Egg Dyeing/Eco printing method

Using just herbs, ferns, flowers and weeds from the garden; press the leaves and petals over the egg (white shells for best color results, this year i found them in the library, raised by the High School kids garden chooks) and carefully wrap with sewing thread. this is tricky with a T at first. so be patient and help the little ones. leave a tail of thread hanging at the beginning so you can use it to tie up at the end. the more you wrap and press the leaves onto the egg the better your chance of a print. leave the north and south pole of the egg bare so you can blow your egg out afterwards. {thankyou for your wise counsel today E}

carefully blow your eggs and then pop into boiling water/dye bath for up to 10 minutes. for the dye bath use any plant/food matter which has a great colour content such as berries, onion skins, coffee, tumeric, red cabbage, etc only 500 mls or so is needed to do batches of 4 eggs.

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a brew of red hibiscus flowers in water dyed the shells a subtle blue, the pot of mixed squished up berries had more success with mauve to rich purple. keep turning the shells in the boiling dye brew to get an even colour as they will float on top of the liquid. remove and once cooled remove the thread and plant matter with a thread cutter, unpicker, seam ripper??. (technical name eludes me right now) useful sewing tool. everyone needs one!

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so for our Easter tree we have these beauties. we will break up matches and tie string on them to slip inside the eggs tomorrow.

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after all that fine work the children gallop exuberantly around the field. picking up ticks no doubt….

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a natural dye note to myself for next year.

marigiold petals dyed a wonderful gold.

waxy ferns made a resist to the dye

basil made a resist

chocolate mint left a lovely green

hibiscus left blue

parsley left green

and there where many surprises.

try a tumeric bath

*let each child have a different colored thread so you can easily identify them and wrap wrap wrap them very well.

*have a dog handy to lap up any dropped eggs

*make a potato and goats cheese frittata with the eggs….

*if you only use edible plants you could hard boil the eggs to eat them. though who gets hungry at a blue egg….

i have this post on my Easter and blowing eggs from last year.

 

so, what are your Easter traditions?

have you natural dyed eggs or anything before?

x

ps is it as odd for you as it is for me to be here writing and sharing once more? many reasons behind my blog holiday and i have written eggsplicitly about it all. it just isn’t where im at today. call it writers block.

Chillagoe Queensland

 

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we seek a new adventure in the West country 200km  from Cairns, some warm and dry and open bush. dry out our lungs and explore the limestone caves in the Chillagoe Mungana national park. 

 A retrospective post.

Remembering Chillagoe region, inland, tablelands, North Queensland; August 2013

castles of stone

caves, crevices, dust, marble bones

choking dust

bleak heat

dreamtime vista

turquoise mineral spring bathing sancturary

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there are long bumpy stretches of dirt road which we have to take at 10-20km an hour as we are heavily loaded with extra timber, 100lt water and 80 ltr of fuel, never mind the brain splitting rattling of our 4 tonne home… it’s torturous for me as driver on this hot hot day, and i rage internally {and a little externally} and finally retreat to the bed with sunglasses on as Jesse takes over the wheel. it is my least favorite endurance of this adventurous life. hot travel with no swimming respite in sight, cranky tired hot and bothered children… {be forewarned, i am going to bang on alot about how hot this trip was!}IMG_2422

gathering firewood roadside on the trip in. I am stunned by the dry midday heat, the starkness of sky and and bleached colors after weeks in the lush coastal regions. it is familiar from my childhood in WA and a little part of me also relishes the crackle of crisped leaves and bark underfoot and the open bush and ant trails. epic sky and thin shade kissed by eucalypt breeze

we fill the floor space with perfect dry hardwood for campfires, it’s awkward sweaty hauling but we focus on the enjoyment of fire gazing and cooking. Jesse finds some perfect straight Mulga for making rhythm sticks.

and then we are arriving into tiny Chillagoe township looking for the Eco Lodge as we hear it boasts a small observatory and resident astronomer {part of our attraction to come to this open sky country} a population of about 250. with fluctuating tourism nodded to by the 4 campgrounds. there is a more private camp ground on a property right on the creek near the airport, but the caretaker is ill.

we are simply  heat shocked and wondering what the hell we are doing here!

im ecstatic to here there’s a swimming hole near town.

turns out to be a lovely shady deep spring fed hole. phew. everyone is refreshed quickly and it all seems worthwhile and copeable. is that a word? the rocks are amazing!

IMG_2414 IMG_2413the swimming hole becomes our base for half of each day we spend in the area. i sit by the water and understand how the indigenous mob survived out here, in the shade by water is the only place to be in a lot of Australia on the hot days. if there’s water…

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we visit some caves and do some short walks. we skip the guided tours in to the deeper caves. {i’m quietly glad the children give me the excuse for this as it frightens me just a little} finding ourselves alone in some huge caverns, sitting on besmoothed stones and watching captured sunlight glittering the dust moats is surprising and awe-some. singing and didging and echoing in the tumbled caves, it’s good to be together in a cave. a new experience.

the rock formations and the self guided caves are striking enough to fulfill our rocky quest.

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i awake on the second day better adapted to the climate and find gradually heating with the rising sun easier than driving into the hot midday from the coast.

we monkey around at the old train station near the campground in the twilight. there are great mobs of wallabies. this was a rare campground stay. we usually find independant camping or stay on properties. we want to experience the astronomy session in the evening however, and it’s simply so appealing to have access to water. we claim the little patch of grass out the front of the Eco lodge. Cedar declares the sprinkler his truck wash.

the session at the observatory is inspirational and full of facts and numbers and anecdotes. i saw Saturn and it’s rings! and two of it’s twenty something moons! it really does look like those funny colour drawings from school books! it sparks many wonder-full conversations about life, other life, gallaxies, stars, moons, space travel, wonderment, constellations, feeling small, feeling big, feeling like a speck, how time and space move and are measured….

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Have you ever roasted a whole pumpkin in the coals?IMG_0009

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before you go to bed, make a nest in the coals and ashes and plop in a really great pumpkin; cover it with a good blanket of ash and coals and you’re all ready for bed; uncover your golden treasure in the morning! we used a Japanese variety here; the more ripe and good your pumpkin the better caramelized result you will have!

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Enjoy your roast pumpkin in many attitudes; here a savory delight but previously it’s been breakfast on pancakes with maple syrup and cream! decadence!

and here is a proof I’m not some super unrealistic lady who can’t do wrong. {just in case anyone wondered; as Jesse pointed out it’s easy to falsely represent myself here on an edited blog}  burnt food is one of my occasional talents! i am a bit dreamy{creative} at times and become absorbed in other activities, than watching the meal cook!! oops. still good. just cut off the charcoal…. I have been banned from using the toaster and cooking rice in a previous life…IMG_0024

Lily spent the first morning engaged in making a flower fairy palace from bark, sticks, marble chunks and flowers. unfortunately she built her house on the sand {the mat} and it had to go down with the packup tide. rebuilt in the bushes and a learning about how to choose a safe site to build…IMG_0022

our last night, we left the township of Chillagoe and visited a more secluded cave with relatively intact Indigenous paintings. The energy of this place was strong and beautiful. We spent the afternoon and gloaming in the cave watching the changing light and dreaming of life as a tribe in the caves, in this remarkable landscape.

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Discussing how and where and what and why was a rich experience. The children chose their rock beds and imagined where the fire was and how we would use the cave and how many people would share it and so on. I realised how little i know of the nomadic tribal culture in Australia, how disconnected i feel at times from the cultural history of this land I was born in. Sadness arising for what is lost now. the questions i’ll never know answers to.  noticing the discomfort i can experience when I am in company of people of culture because i don’t have many reference points. and ultimately I’m a white fella and there is a massive burden of racism and tragedy between us. at other times it just naturally is and I’m connecting with ease and humour. often the children break the ice and connecting through play is a gift.IMG_0090

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the open verandah effect of the cave creates an empowering view over vast land. a safe standpoint.IMG_0094 IMG_0109 IMG_0102 IMG_0113

i awoke to didgeridoo echoes across the land from the cave above at sunrise. when i return from my solo adventure to the cave i am met by singing and music. thankyou Jesse you bring melody to my life.IMG_0133

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there are many old marble quarries in the Chillagoe area. many massive blocks have been lifted out and left on the red dust like a giant’s play blocks. We stop at one of the quarries on the way back East. {some conspiracy about bleeding away private money…} we met an epic conspir-ollogist our here! wowzers.IMG_0156 IMG_0153 IMG_0175 IMG_0166

the bush is open with tall ironbarks and malga among the trees. their thin canopy offers little shade in the oven hot morning. with termite mounds being the bush furniture. the spindly crisp grasses remind me of country up near Katherine and Darwin.
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quirky old machine installations IMG_0181i certainly left with a puzzled feeling from Chillagoe, its been great to reflect on it from my midnight table here in Bellingen.

i hope you enjoyed the story and the photographs.

Roselinde

So far.. away…

on departure the morning mist cloaks the hillsidesIMG_0024

departing the fertile valleys of the mid north coast and headin south… it’s a beautiful perspective of the folds and crests of the land hearabouts from up sky..
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the big smoke… a fleeting stopover…IMG_1761

on the plane i listen with empathy to the crying babes

and turn back to my book with glee… it’s not me with puking kids, this time…

at the airport Sydney I am famished as the few mouthfuls of breakfast I distractedly inhaled have worn off, i seek the noodle bar my mama described to me and am so enjoying my broth and reading and then the $2 massage chairs…

i forget to check in for my next flight…

oops, lucky i got a self proclaimed ‘nice’ man at the counter who lets me on anyway…

{feeling abit country mouse at this point but enjoying myself…}IMG_1702

arriving into a babble of easy banter with my oldest young friend, we join her friends inner city for lounging, ethiopian eating and dancing! wow feeling so bold and dashing in my red wool coat and that new wool skirt i made… {details one day. maybe}

in between i had a stroll in the road and delighted in my find of this Pincushion Hakea a favorite from Western Australia. What a quirky flower and great name. Some aspects of the medicine of this flower is

to have an open mind and be open to new ideas and interested in the world. {can you see how the flower reaches out in every direction confidently?}

Think that might come in handy this week for me?IMG_1755 IMG_1711

dinner, Ethiopian flavours astound me, smoky paprika or warm cumin or slightly vinegar pickle or sweet beet or queer fermented pancake bread… mmmm new things to experience

and 5 other lovely ladies to enjoy with…IMG_1760 IMG_1759

and then and then there was more at The SubstationIMG_1704

Dead Quarry Mountain Rats play high speed twanging tunes, handsome talented lads with flying fingers

{but i snobbishly think they could do with some articulation assistance…}

I cannot keep up and go out for a breather and a cuddle with the radiator

enjoying people watching and trying to digest the days stimulation!

until the highly quirky and amusing Perch Creek Family jug band step up and have me soon in stitchesIMG_1757

four siblings and a partner, all beautifully talented musicians and a couple sporting magnificent vocal range! harmonies to soar in this great hall and hilarious almost embaressing banter betwixt.

when did dorky become cool? i think i could really fit into this scene in Melbourne…

In another life I played double bass and when i see the instrument hopping and jiving in this folk/bluegrass/soul context i long to be there thumping out the bass line. it really wasn’t so much fun at the back of the orchestra…IMG_1718

this sign greets me in my dear friends kitchen. I say YES yes yes!IMG_1736

being idle in the sunroom for hours… luxury… my thoughts can come to a natural completion with no interruption! hoorah! i can think any think i can think…

and then such a long long invigorating seaside stroll with a myriad of greys and mauves and silver sheening water for companyIMG_1763 IMG_1770

and pressing my face into WA wildflowers growing happily in the garden

Geraldton wax my favorite since ever has taken me on a great healing journey {still on it actually}

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in another life i spent a year working on an artwork of this flower and a dear friend put it onto my skin. daily reminders of the medicine of this flower…

have you ever crushed some of the leaf and smelt the divine aroma?

and then check out these enormous pillars of Banksia. Im not sure which variety but so striking.

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and then later…

IMG_1753my daily victual awaits…

ahhhh so full of gratitude to all who have made this a possibility and to myself, yippee you’ve given yourself a mini sabbatical… xx

what would you do if you could run away from life for a few days?

Earthship in 3 days {NZ workshop 2013}

ready for glass instalment

Jesse has recently returned from the

New Zealand Earthship workshop with Mike Reynolds March 2013

a single U design, a common home is made with three U’s

~40 participants {i appreciate this aspect of people coming together with a common goal, to help each other and fantastic how much can be achieved!}

3 days to the above stage of completion!! a perfect studio or guesthouse or dwelling while you build bigger… this one will be a public demonstration model

~ 120 tyres {free}

~ 3000 cans {free}

~ 200 glass bottles {free}

cement/concrete {instead of mud render as needed a faster completion to accomadate the w/shop}

structural support materials

water tank

Maori welcome and Hangi as a completion celebration

IMG_2742 forming the front wall to the East temporary cardboard and chickenwire frames framing up the curved roof _HFA0243 TH018 _HFA0763 _HFA0681-2

once the Earthship is complete Jesse and Mike blessed the space with beautiful didges Jesse has made HungiInspiring hey? I am enjoying learning more about Earthships and how they are creating safe housing for many people around the world.

there is a build in QLD currently, the building has just withstood a cyclone! amazing! it has a hempcrete roof

for info on Earthships and workshops or builds in Australia contact Rachel Goldlust consultant for Earthship Biotecture in Australia

I have not yet found the details of the above photographs, so an anonymous thankyou for the images and if anyone has the names of the photographers please let me know!

HERE is a link to lots of beautiful Earthship photographs

 

What do you think?

Would you live in one?

Would you help us build one? {dreaming…}

 

in the background I can hear Lily begging Jesse to build an Earthship so she can live in a fantasy house/castle

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Here is a link to more photographs by the original photographer. I still cant identify who it is sorry.

Tasmanian Circus Festival 2013

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This community of inspirational folk

shared a wonderful accepting, encouraging and down right funny

time together at the circus festival

i love that the whacky and unusual is embraced and i see such

a diverse range of people feel at ease here and accepted and loved for their differences.

all day there are feats to amaze

some on stage and some casually in the central gathering area

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we are camped close to it all

dress up daily and laugh and laugh

even the morning yoga class has everyone laughing and therefore relaxing more

ahhh good medicine for us all…

Lily has another chance to have a flying trapeze lesson

and gets a catch! woohooo!

what an amazing opportunity!

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extraordinary things happen in the circus!

and the extraordinary becomes possible for everyone

next time we will attend the training week beforehand

until then

we are all now looking forward to the circus festival in

Mullumbimby in September!

are you going?

we all make delightful new friendships at this festival

including another lovely blogging mama Lauren

and her daughters with whom Lily has since spent alot of happy time

on Sunday the girls make popcorn to sell in handmade paper bags

they make $8 to share and are very pleased!

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this is the first festival we have allowed Lily to move around freely with a friend

the atmosphere is gentle and fun, the venue is small and she can easily find her way safely back to camp

wow, growing up into a little more independance!

among other things i spend some time with a friends spinning wheel

one thing i miss while traveling so now i endeavor to learn how to drop spindle

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to conclude the festival there is the Circus Olympics

where anyone can participate in events like

most backflips in a row, hulahooping, juggling while playing simon says, human wheelbarrow racing while juggling,

unicycle rally, balancing a stick on your chin, handstand {winner at 3.5 minutes!!} etc etc

sorry i didn’t photograph this i couldn’t bear to leave to run for the camera!!

we have all come away inspired to master skills with our bodies

and the children are climbing onto our shoulders or balancing on anything or making impromptu shows for us!!

xxx

with love and laughter


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musical chairs…IMG_0366 IMG_0373

spaghetti circus on the see saw!IMG_0374 IMG_0377 IMG_0384 IMG_0398 IMG_0407

Cygnet Folk Festival 2013

Venues on the school grounds

Venues on the school grounds

Hmm so much to see...

Hmm so much to see…

Slate sky but stayed dry!

Slate sky but stayed dry!

Town Hall was a beautiful venue

Town Hall was a beautiful venue
Southern Swanhomeopathics and lotions and potions

a rainbow over Southern Swan, quiet haven amidst the festival
makers of homeopathics and beautiful lotions and potions {Spagni Oils}

Perch Creek Family Jug band, the only gig I had my camera at...

Perch Creek Family Jug band, the only gig I had my camera at…

Perch Creek

Perch Creek

one day I'll play bass again...

one day I’ll play bass again…

Perch Creek

Perch Creek

Perch Creek Family Jug band

Perch Creek Family Jug band, all siblings

wonderful shadow puppetry

wonderful shadow puppetry by Jenny Ellis, Cedar was in hysterics

I became an instant groupie

I became an instant groupie after I joined the Stiff Gins workshop singing in {Indigenous} language

Stiff Gins clowning around

Stiff Gins clowning around

Mr Lily

Mr Lily

Bavarian folk dancing

Bavarian folk dancing

where did she go?

Excuse me

Have you seen January?

I seem to have misplaced her

While i

Neglected the blog/boggle

Spent a lot of time in the moment

Travelled as far south as we could go

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Caught the sky from the bridge

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fished unsuccessfully

Fossicked for shellfish and feasted

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she sang

cockles and mussels alive alive oh…

Wondered about the history of the place

Now called Cockle Creek

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Abundance food and wildlife

Whispers of grand old trees

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And strong people watching

Wails of whales as they where massacred in the bay

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A sad sad history to learn about

From humorous informative rangers

Learnt about our magnificent giants of the sea

And how to rescue a beached one or many

{remember, call for help, keep warm,  don’t breath in their blowhole, pilot whales are the most commonly beached in Tasmania, put a stick in the ground infront of live ones, keep their tails to the sea until you are ready to release them all at the same time, shade them}

felt impressed that my girl has this appreciation for whales and dolphins, experience and knowledge for the rest of her life now

felt on the right path of life

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Took a classic portrait of men and bones

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had a whale of a time!

IMG_0326 three month old southern right whale lifesize sculpture!

Enjoyed the sea air and the shelter from it

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i Got cold but

Jesse finally took the plunge

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while Lily had a nature drawing sessionIMG_0341 IMG_0348

I lounged in triggerplant bliss

My head amongst a million pink helpers

the medicine of rejuvenation and restoration

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Met young old friends

And had a date up a giant tree

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Lily had a lock on

Then we

Grudgingly left

Coaxed on by a berry  good carrot

Drove north

While I processed a myriad of thoughts emotions and responses

And gave thanks for a time of respite

Amidst the chaos of full days

Mostly joyful

With berry/cherry stained lips

Noticed the tiredness.depression link

And went to bed

xxx

 

keep cool for after school {bircher muesli}

 

 

Bircher Muesli Recipe and story

when i was a small girl

we lived in the West Australian wheatbelt

summer days frequently kissing blue skies and 40~celcius

after school the seemingly endless burnt orange gravel drive

shimmered and baked me

chasing after bigger faster sisters on bicycles

anxious in the hot vast expanse of golden crisped paddocks

i don’t remember a single tree on that km stretch to the house paddock

was there shade along the way?

and then i was there

pushing through the small side gate

often teary often late

there was our sturdy brick home with deep shaded verandahs

and my calm mama waiting in the cool dim kitchen with

hugs cheerfulness and

bircher muesli

sweet tart chilled textured cooling surprising delicious

was it so tasty because it was made with genuine swiss hands

and the apple grated with an authentic swiss bircher grater {so i call it}

what secret ingredient did you infuse this refreshing meal with mama?

mine never meets the reputation of my memory

so here i am now

on a meltingly hot day

waiting for my little to come dancing into home again after a long week

and i make bircher muesli

and think of cool kitchens and dark, even cooler pantries

{where i used to sneak crunches of dried pasta or other goods and lat on the cold floor

or draw on the back of door chalkboard}

now i think of

mama love

growing up

sour apples and yoghurt

i am blessed to be using yoghurt from the cows milk provided by yonder dexters

which forms a coveted cream top

thankyou to C for making it

there is an abundance of Bircher Muesli recipes out there in the world

i wouldn’t say mine is traditional as my bircher grater is still in storage and i chopped the apple instead…

you know i’m kidding right?

so I won’t do more than list the ingredients i used this particular time

2 handfuls organic unstabilised rolled oats

2 oranges squeezed over oats fresh from orchard

2 cups natural yoghurt from neighbours cows

1 handful dessicated coconut

2 tablespoons unhulled tahini

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 small handful raisins

1 handful chopped almonds

1 tspn cinnamon powder

1 green apple from farmers market

1 green pear

1 banana from big market

1 handful blueberries

1 handful wild rasberries picked by a neighbour

mix and refridgerate

be inventive be flexible use what you have

the idea is softened oats yoghurt and fruit

i tend to soak the dry goods in the orange juice for a while before i add the yoghurt and fruit section

some people soak the oats overnight in the fruit juice til morn

for me that becomes a super digestible breakfast but kind of slimy and sticky, what do you think?

i forgot to add chia seeds, that might be nice

my mama used to put in stone fruits and grapes in later summer

and i hear tell she used some condensed milk to sweeten it…

is that true? did i forget any other special ingredient mamala?

how do you make this dish?

what would you add?

what was waiting for you when you got home on hot days?

what do you make for your kidlets now?

**peace be with you and your bellies**

Hinata Japanese cultural festival

On Saturday the 8th I explored the beautiful Hinata festival held in the gorgeous bushland setting of the Bibra Lake Steiner school in WA.

There where traditional and modern handmade goodies, delicious food, including a burger with grilled pressed rice instead of bread, excellent gluten free option, indigo and plant dyeing workshops, kids craft, music and more and more..

 

I had such a great time I didnt take a single photograph! yes kicked myself afterwards…

but i did photograph some of the gorgeous things i purchased there…

so enjoy looking at these and imagining what the festival was like,

and if you live in Perth get to the Japanese Hinata festival next year!!

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the detail on the pocket of my new denim shift…

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playful original watercolour for Lily’s room when we get a house with walls again…

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roving/wool tops dyed with, indigo, sour sop, eucalypt and another i forgot

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five layer muslin hankies or flannels

I have coveted these in the house of my friends who invited me, ha now I have my own!

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buttons covered in vintage Kimono fabric

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whimsical artwork by Nuoko

a beautiful day and fantastic handmade specials

I read a great quote which was along the lines of

If you have money buy, something unique and handmade

 

I love to support artisans and be supported as an artisan

happy making!