Stop! Travel Time!

wanderlust

Ok lovelies, this one will be short and sweet. I will be away for three weeks traipsing around Berlin, Italy and London with hubs. So i’m taking a quick moment to send you all my love and best wishes! If you’re in Australia, I hope that you enjoy the Winter break and come back to work relaxed and refreshed. If you have any recommendations for places to eat while i’m in Europe, please comment below. I would love to try out your ideas! Make sure that you follow me on instagram @bakerbowie to see what i’m up to!

What are you up to this holidays my lovelies?

Friday Favourites: Family Time and Pecans Part 1

IMG_9036

As we hurtle headlong into the final weeks of Term 2, i’m going to use this Friday Favourite to slow things down and share with you the lovely day I spent with hubs, picking pecans and generally relaxing.

Enjoy!

Up in Kurrajong past Windsor, the land is different. Everything is greener and you can, wait for it,

feel the serenity!

But in all seriousness, there is something quite lovely about this part of the world. We always seem to go to the family farm in Kurrajong during Autumn, as the air is turning crisp. This is the best time to harvest pecans as many will have naturally dropped from the tree and all you have to do is wander through the orchard with a basket, collecting the nuts. Its quiet, its peaceful, its such a lovely break from the bustle and business of the city and reporting season (teachers, am I right?). In fact, a trip to the farm is so refreshing that I have been known to frolic among the trees…

IMG_9040I like to think that even as I edge towards 30, i’m still young at heart.

IMG_9011

There’s not much else at the farm other than the pecan trees so I guess i’m using the term ‘farm’ pretty loosely. The orchard is lined with trees that have been pretty much left to their own devices after planting. Pappi drives around on the tractor a bit to flatten the grass and i’m pretty sure he does some basic maintenance like burning dead wood etc. The trees closer to the creek are much bigger and yield more nuts than those on the other side of the orchard. The pecans also seem a little fatter and the shells are much easier to crack from these nuts. There are no pesticides or chemicals used here so I think that unwittingly its all organic!

IMG_9006The nuts grow in little green pods which, when they are almost ripe, split and turn brown. This allows the pecan to drop to the ground when it is fully ripe. You can pick the pecans out of the pods when they are still on the tree but you will have to leave them in a dish for a month or so to properly ripen before you eat them.

IMG_8997This is a sneaky little sucker that is trying to hide from me. You can see the green pod that houses the nut inside. I’m not quite sure why the pecan has so many layers protecting the nut.
They are tricky tricky tricky!
But they are definitely worth the hassle.

So now I have a bunch of pecans that i’m using for a whole raft of new and delicious recipes. There is more to come about this lovely trip to the pecan farm but i’ll save that for next week. For the moment, I hope that you all enjoy your weekend! And if you have any recommendations for what I should be baking with this bounty, please comment below.

Apartment Love: Atmospheric Candles

They say it takes at least six months to feel really at home in a new place. There is definitely an immediate adjusting period when you wake up and have idea where you are and no idea where anything is, but I think that hubs and I settled pretty quickly into our marital home. While there is a room (or two) still full of boxes left to unpack, we got the important rooms i.e. bedroom, kitchen and living room pretty much set up within a couple of months, despite having to buy or thrift pretty much all our furniture. One of the things that I think makes it difficult to settle into a new home is that ‘not-really-lived-in-yet’ atmosphere that comes with unfamiliarity. There might not be anything huge that you can do to counter this but I do have one little tip which is…

Scented Candles.

Bam.

IMG_9471

Apartment Love: The Balcony Garden Part One

My mum is an avid gardener. I think that not only her thumbs, but all her fingers are green. I never thought i’d inherited that gene from her until hubs and I moved into our home and I saw the potential of our lovely large balcony. While it faces west which, in Australia is not ideal due to the super harsh afternoon sun, I felt compelled to fill this space with green. I vowed that this year, I was going to learn how to garden. So this will be a little series of posts that document my growing balcony garden with triumphs and the (hopefully not too many) failures.

IMG_8430

Step 1 was to go to bunnings and buy a bunch of tiny terracotta pots to fill with seedlings of Violas, Lettuce and a large pot for a Mint bush. You might remember my utter joy at planting this mint from my post about mojitos from the end of summer. I also bought a big bag of potting mix, some cute pink gardening gloves and a cheap plastic trowel.