Last week when we went to Farmworld at Lardner Park (which is like a big field days mixed with a lifestyle expo) we stumbled across a little unit called an Ozpig. Being passionate about cooking on fire, loving cast iron cookware and a sucker for sitting beside real fire for warmth and comfort this little beauty seemed too good to pass up. Basically it’s a small pot belly stove that can be used for heating and ambiance as well as being a campers (and people without kitchens!) dream for being able to cook on a safe fire off the ground. You only need a very small fire to generate heat which means it is ideal for us to get rid of all the scrap timber we are accumulating with the reno.
This photo is of my Ozpig fired up to the hilt. The camp oven on right has a loin of pork cooking in juniper berry, apple cider, apple and rosemary concoction. The Red unit has shredded cabbage which I have just thrown on to cook quickly before serving. The saucepan on left has the potatoes cooking. Don’t worry, it looks a bit wonky but it is very secure and in no danger of falling or going anywhere. Very impressed by the quality and integrity of the unit.The meal I served was beautiful, loin of pork which I had butterflied, I removed the fat to cook separately as crackling crunched over the top. A rub of juniper berries and rosemary was applied with some seasoning and oil to the loin of pork.
I sliced an onion and put the pork with the onion into the camp oven to brown before adding the cooking liquid of apple cider, my home made stock, some chopped apples, a few more juniper berries and rosemary sprigs.
On went the lid and I cooked it on high fire for about 30 minutes then stirred it through and transferred the camp oven to a side cooking plate so it would simmer. Boy it was smelling soooo good!
Therapeutic Sour Dough
I’ve been struggling a bit lately with trying to keep up with everything – work, the reno, not being able to sell the property that we need to sell to fund the reno, feeling a bit like we are living in a bomb site, knowing just how much work we have to do to make a difference, managing cello learning etc, etc, etc. I felt a bit like I hadn’t done anything I really loved doing (apart from cello but that’s hard work because I am learning) for ages. I mean something that I am confident with that I can just do and enjoy from the bottom of my cotton socks. The garden is one thing, but for people who enjoy craft you probably get it. My craft is bread and cheese making and I hadn’t done any for ages. A whole range of excuses came into play, no kitchen, kids have left home-no one will eat it, blah, blah, blah. ENOUGH! A couple of weeks ago I started a sour dough culture which has progressed really well so today I made the first loaf of ‘real’ bread that I’ve made in a very long time. No machine, no dried yeast, no additives. Flour, water and salt. Let me tell you I had a ball!
Starter I began 3-4 weeks ago.
1 cup of starter into a bowl, add 2 cups of flour, handful of rye flour, 360ml ish warm water, 14 g salt. Mix all together, then. Let the therapy begin!
Once mixed, onto the table for some kneading. Once kneaded I formed a boule and let it
rest/rise in a covered mixing bowl. Bit nervous about if it was going to work, so I put the bowl scraper in as a marker and went shopping. This is when I left,
This is when I returned. YAY, it was working. I was really happy indeed.
Divided the dough in half,
Shaped half to prove in a tin that fits in the large camp oven
Shaped the other half to have a shot at making a loaf in my ‘toy oven’. Didn’t expect this to work at all but as you can see, I needn’t have worried. I’m a happy girl!
The camp oven loaf and the toy oven loaf. Both good but the ‘toy oven’ wins by a mile. My son and his partner came for tea to enjoy the feast, not too much bread left now! It was beautiful to mop up the apple and juniper gravy from the roast with.
Floorboards are looking good. Finally over the doldrums I hope!