Winter mornings

Chilly mornings on Mulberry Tree Farm bring a special magic to the garden. Jonquils and daffodils bloom, and the trees make majestic silhouettes in the mist.

And the past two morning have brought a new feature – an ice skating rink, for the birds! The birdbath has been frozen solid, much to the dismay of the wrens and lorikeets!

But the birds are enjoying the biscuit and bread crumbs we put out for them. Scone crumbs are a favourite, so I’m pleased my winter baking is proving to be a hit with the locals!




The Preservation Society

We love preserving things at Mulberry Tree Farm, especially when they taste good! Our homegrown quinces have been quietly curing in the larder, and Hubby decided to do what he does best with them – make quince paste!

And this time he discovered something else – after boiling with a lemon rind and whisking them in the blender, he came over with a teaspoon. “Taste this!” he beamed.

I’d never thought to try puréed quince, but it is a beautiful, complex and delicate flavour. And the best bit is, there’s no added sugar!

So Hubby set some aside for us to warm up for breakfast with a dash of yogurt … And it’s amazing.

And, by the way, so is his quince paste. We can’t wait to find some delectable cheese to sample it with!




Walk it, Baby!

Staying healthy is a priority for me, and one thing I love to do is walk! It seems to get the endorphins flowing, it encourages logical thinking and it’s not too hard on the knees!

And right near our farm is a fabulous dirt road that’s the perfect place to walk it out. There’s always a friendly neighbour driving past to wave to and we’ve seen plenty of ‘other’ neighbours including echidnas, kangaroos and the neighbours’ Hereford girls.

And with this as our view this evening, we think we’ll take the long way home!


All Change

This weekend at Mulberry Tree Farm saw the season change to Autumn.

It’s been a hot summer and we’re lucky that we still have feed for The Boys. Drought is a very real and scary prospect for farmers, and our thoughts are with all who are experiencing this.

The changing seasons are my favourite, and I’m looking forward to the leaves turning and bursting with colour.

We’ll be preparing the veggie patch for its autumn crop of broccoli, onions and radishes!

So farewell Summer. Thank you for our tomatoes and peaches and mulberries.

And for the beautiful sunsets!


Summer Lamb Roast

Last night was such a beautiful summer evening and we decided that dinner needed to be outside!

Hubby had been slow roasting a shoulder of lamb all day after being inspired by a Mediterranean recipe.

When I think of roasting, I think winter warmers with crispy potatoes and lashings of gravy. But Hubby has shown me a whole new way to eat roasts in warm weather!

Rather than veggies, we “summerfied” our meal with:

Easy zucchini and mint salad
– two grated zucchinis
– zest and juice of one lemon
– a handful of fresh chopped mint
– one chopped chilli
All placed in a salad bowl and mixed together by hand

And a fresh mint sauce to accompany the lamb
– a handful of mint
– a teaspoon of sugar
– a dash of boiling water to mix these together
– a quarter of a cup of Apple cider vinegar
Placed in a sauce jug

And, I must say, it was delicious! Summer evenings are wonderful when spent with lovely company and excellent food!


Teapot tea and scones

I love the ritual of morning tea, especially when I take the time to make teapot tea.

And this morning I went deluxe and made a batch of scones to accompany my pot of brewed leaves. I used the wonderful Stephanie Alexander’s scone recipe and, if I do say so myself, they turned out a treat!

The trick seems to be to use sour milk, which can easily be achieved by adding a squeeze of lemon to fresh milk. A while ago I had an over-supply of lemons so I froze the juice in ice-cube trays. I added the equivalent of two cubes, which had turned into the consistency of a lemon paste.

I also put my scone cutter to use, rather than cutting the dough with a knife which I have read makes all the difference to a successful scone.

And here is morning tea, serving up not only a well-deserved break, but also a good cuppa and a scone… or two!


Summer harvest!

After the Christmas festivities, Hubby’s been out in the veggie patch and found our shallots and garlics are ready! The aroma is amazing!

And the dear old mulberry tree is bursting with beautiful dark berries. The flavour is intensely delicious and my fingers are stained a beautiful dark purple… So is my tongue: evidence that I may have eaten more than I’ve picked!

With this fresh harvest, we’ve suddenly recovered from our Christmas Food overdose! We’re thinking yabbie tail pasta with shallots and garlic, and mulberries for dessert with a good dash of ice cream!



Christmas Baking

It’s been said that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and over the past few days, the heartbeat of Mulberry Tree Farm has produced some Christmas fare!

Butter shortbread and biscotti have been made ahead of the big day, and the sweet baking smells seem to hang in the air just long enough to make it impossible to taste test a biccie… Or two!

Luckily I’ve baked a couple of batches!




Couch Potato

After a busy and fun weekend, a bit of time-out is on for this afternoon. I’m sitting down with a cup of tea, a biscuit and a good book!

Rather than sit inside, I’ve set up an outdoor lounge, salvaged from the barn, on the verandah complete with cushion and throw rug. As well as adding comfort, they hide the chipped paint!

Lying about outside seems to be a far more fit and active option than being indoors. Whether it’s the fresh air or simply delusion, it just feels healthier!

And placing a gorgeous potted hydrangea next to the lounge brings the garden just that bit closer.

I think I’ve found a new favourite place to chill out! Better grab another biscuit…!