Mid Winter Happenings

05 July 2018
Each morning we wake to frosty grass and chilly temperatures. My morning walking ritual has not been as frequent and the urge to stay in bed cozy under the doona is strong. We are in the middle of winter.

On the flipside, the sun shines brightly most days and I have a special afternoon sun soaking spot to relax in (kids allowing!!). We took our girls to see snow for the first time a couple of weeks ago and they were enthralled. The visual seasonal contrasts is nice to appreciate. And the weather is just perfect for warming, comforting foods. Also, different seasonal foods leads to experimentation in the kitchen.

Kale and carrot slaw.

I've been harvesting a little kale from my backyard plants. This week I made a slaw where you massage the kale with vinegar, oil and salt and let it sit. This softens the greens for eating raw. The slaw went into some Mexican bowls which included slow cooked beef chilli, fermented green tomatoes, fermented chillies, rice, tin corn, black beans, avocado and sour cream. Such a simple but tasty meal and it lends it self to all kinds of variations depending on what you have on hand.

Mexican bowls.

More olives.

I've been eyeing off some ripe olives on a few trees for the last month on my morning walking route. This week I decided to harvest and preserve them. I wasn't sure if anyone used them so I was waiting to see but they had started dropping and the birds were enjoying them so I figured they were fair game. I'm happy to have some fully ripe olives to go with the half and half ones I preserved last month.

Apple and cinnamon pikelets.

My daughters are self labelled 'eating machines' so there is always a lot of cooking going on to keep them fed. Pikelets are my go to snack option when I need something quick without turning on the oven. I had some stewed apple in the fridge that we enjoy with our morning porridge so I thought I'd add that in to give a flavour hit. Around here we add in all kinds of things - dried fruit, stewed/preserved fruit, overripe bananas and spices. They are also a good way to use up sourdough starter if needed.

Crusty bread just right for warming soups or morning toast and a cup of tea.

Speaking of sourdough - there is baking being done every few days. I'm playing around with my proving times to get a good result in the chillier temps. Winter baking is a much slower process. I'm also often chasing the sun around the house with my bowls of dough.

Bowls of dough seeking the sun.

Seeking some lunchtime sun myself and sharing with the locals.

What's happening around your place? Are you enjoying summer sunshine or rugging up against the winter chills?
Either way, I hope you are enjoying some nourishing foods and seasonal delights.


  1. Good morning Laura,
    here in Adelaide the weather has been quite cold so the mornings are frosty but we have had some sunny days.
    We have been eating soups, stews, and roast dinners. I have to make sourdough bread twice a week to keep up with demand.
    I tried making sourdough fruit bread on Tuesday using 700g bread flour and 300g wholemeal spelt flour. I added about 350g of dried fruit (a mix of sultanas, raisins, apple, apricots and dates), 100g of walnuts, some mixed spice, orange zest and honey. The dough
    was left to prove overnight and I shaped it into loaves the next morning. My normal loaves are ready for baking after 2 hours proving time but these fruit loaves took 4 hours. It was a particularly cold day and I too was looking for sunshine. I agree that baking in the middle of winter is a much slower process. The wait however was more than worth it. The smell of the bread baking was amazing and the end result was 3 loaves of delicious fruit bread. We had some warm, just buttered with a cup of tea. Who needs creamy, sugar loaded baked goods when you can have home made sourdough?
    Our kale plants are now big enough for a few leaves to be picked. I will be trying out your kale slaw idea as it sounds delicious.
    Thanks for the great ideas and inspiration Laura. I wasn't going to make bread until the weekend but the sourdough loaf in your photo looks so incredible I am off to feed my starter right now.
    Cheers, Maria from Adelaide SA.

  2. I love massaged kale-it makes it so much better and easier to eat! Snow really is quite magical to children, I remember being absolutely enthralled by it.

  3. We are heading to Canberra in a few weeks time, Laura. Brrr! It's cold up here in Brisbane but not as cold as down in the capital. We are eating stew and soups and other nourishing Wintertime foods. I love the way our eating patterns follow the seasons. Meg:)


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