winter garden



We're incredibly lucky with such a mild climate that we can keep growing things alive and harvesting around here throughout winter and without cold frames or greenhouses.

(Although a greenhouse is on my 'Adam to do' list which he just found about about last week. "What to do list?" he asked. "Your list," I said. "What list??" he asked. "The one in my notebook." "Oh right," he said, "a to do list you've written for me. Maybe you should give that to me sometime."

It's quite long. I was picking my moment.)







Anyway, we've got stuff growing. We're eating pumpkins and turnips and rocket and waiting for broadbeans and beets and peas. 

And I made soda bread for the first time today! What a revelation! It was 12pm and visitors were coming for lunch at 12.30 and obviously there was no time for an ordinary yeasted loaf. I grabbed The River Cottage Bread book to get their flatbread recipe and saw their soda bread recipe which took 30 mins total prep and bake time. No exaggeration.  



I added golden syrup to the recipe and used half wholemeal flour and we're smitten. Lovely for lunch with wintery gardeny stuff.





I was interested that it used baking powder and not bicarb soda (although of course that's a main ingredient in baking powder) but I'd like to try it again with bicarb instead. I used raw jersey milk too, and would try buttermilk (as they suggest) next time. 

I'll make it again and blog it after. (The recipe I used today is down in the house through two locked doors and a cold dark run across the paving, it'll have to wait!)

Are you a soda bread fan? Do you have a favourite recipe?

Those Irish, they were onto something… Dark beer and soda bread together, that'd have to be a winning combination. Dark beer, soda bread and a rich beef stew? Heaven on a table?


20 Comments on “winter garden

farmer Liz
June 11, 2013 at 7:54 am

I haven’t tried soda bread, I will be interested in your recipe. I would have assumed it would use baking soda and something sour, like fermented buttermilk or kefir. It looks delicious anyway!

June 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

a greenhouse and a shadehouse are two items on the list for my farming man to make too…. (I’ve not shown him the whole list as I’m not sure how his heart would take it…. and he doesn’t sit still long enough to read all the way to the end!)…. good luck with the broadbeans! (your garden beds look fantastic)

June 11, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Your garden is looking wonderful. Your broad beans are much more advanced than mine and you seem to have mountains of rhubarb. Never made soda bread but will look into making it myself. Nothing like a quick fix.

June 12, 2013 at 3:38 am

Love the photos with the ocean in the background! You need a chair and an apple tree to sit under and just enjoy the view! Your garden looks wonderful! We’re hitting 111F tomorrow, yikes!

Your bread would be lighter if you had made “buttermilk” out of your raw milk. Place a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of your glass measuring cup; add enough milk to equal 1 cup; stir and the milk will curdle, making a buttermilk substitute (hey, Martha Stewart uses it in all her recipes!). That’s how I make buttermilk for everything! Your bread, biscuits, and pancakes will be much lighter and rise higher!

xxxx from the Arizona desert!

June 12, 2013 at 6:18 am

Your garden is beautiful!!
It’s a work of art.

June 12, 2013 at 11:40 am

Julie and Fiona, is the thin milk left over from making butter “buttermilk”? Could you use that?

June 13, 2013 at 12:05 am

Trying this next time! Thanks Julie!!

June 13, 2013 at 12:07 am

Ania, it is buttermilk, but it’s not cultured buttermilk which is the more common type. Honestly, I tend to give the leftover milk from butter making to the chooks, and I make cultured buttermilk with vinegar (because I’ve never gotten around to buying a buttermilk culture!) It’s a very different flavour. And good old vinegar works fine. Am definitely trying it in soda bread next time!

June 13, 2013 at 12:08 am

I was really surprised it didn’t have baking soda in it too! It did give you the option to use buttermilk or yoghurt, of which of which I had neither handy and was in a rush!

June 13, 2013 at 12:09 am

Yes, mountains of rhubarb hopefully becoming compote for Gerringong market this weekend! And yes, I am the queen of the quick fix!

June 13, 2013 at 12:10 am

That’s very kind, and a lovely sentiment. I love my garden, thank you.

June 13, 2013 at 12:10 am

Thanks Ronnie!

The Hungry Mum
June 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

what a gorgeous looking bread! I’ve never had much luck with making my own bread but I do have buttermilk in the fridge so can’t wait to see the recipe 🙂

June 18, 2013 at 6:17 pm

We just had an issue with wanting to make ‘quick bread’ on the weekend. My DH made the most spectacular rosemary and (small amount of) cheese flatbreads that acted as the ‘plate’ for some homemade labneh, mushrooms, tomatoes, red onion and two poached eggs perched on top. DELICIOUS! I always get hungry reading your blog and then thinking about all the food we’ve made in a similar vein. 🙂

June 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

That sounds SUPER delicious!!

Daisy P
June 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

My Irish mate makes this all the time. I haven’t tried it yet. Do you think it would work in the bread maker?

June 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I dont think you need to, no kneading! I havent quite got around to trying it again yet, tomorrow night Im hoping!!

Daisy P
June 22, 2013 at 8:27 pm

No kneading? That explains a lot! lol

Let us know how you get on.

Bee Girl (AKA Melissa)
June 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

Heaven on a table? Sounds perfect to me 😉

July 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I find my family will eat my homemade bread whether its a good batch or not. I’d love to try this soda bread be because sometimes you need bread, quick smart!


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