Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mum,are we going to the show?


Every year from the age of about 5 I guess...I would ask my parents( my mum mainly) if we were going to the Royal Melbourne Show. The answer would always be "we'll see", which I hated as I wanted a definite YES!

The show back then for me as a kid was about obtaining a Barbie showbag and a Bertie Beetle showbag of course,a kewpie doll on a stick and stuffing your face with Fairy Floss.
My childhood was revisited when my mum and I went to the show this year together. We couldn't have asked for a more perfect sunny day.

Looking at the gorgeous animals, the people walking around with balloons and showbags,big kids and little kids screaming from the "Pirate Ship" ride.. ..I was still excited.
This year however something that really made me excited was going to the Craft and Cookery events. My mum loves sewing and anything that involves a needle so she loved the Crafe Hall.

 I watched the 2012  Fruit Cake being judged, a well groomed lady stood with gloves on, carefully slicing up a fruit cake and chewing slowly while she either nodded approvingly or said into her microphone, " this one was cooked too long".

My mum and I had a coffee and we tried the  Award winning fruit cake(pic below) with a fruit cake recipe card (above) and we both looked at each other and said "we can do this"...The award winning fruit cake was yum though.

There was a Food Hall where I tried "Espresso ice cream" it was really yum and Karen Martini was right beside me buying ice cream.
I am not going to lie the Show bag Hall still had me giggling and 'Oohing and aahing' like a kid...
The whole ambience of being able to travel back in time by  being at the show was so much fun.
I did buy showbags which was the  Bertie beetle show bags which  are still the same price $5... and I brought pink, fluffy and every so sweet  Fairy Floss on a stick (below)and then we found this cute little stall that sold cheap cookie cutters so I was in my element there.

Mum brought me a Kewpie doll on a stick as whenever I went as a kid my Dad would get my sisters and I one. Although back in the 80s my kewpie never had glitter on her head.. ...I was very content with my new kewpie Doll.

Being at the show got me thinking of fruit cake and making my own so I will be testing out a few recipes and posting my fav next blog.

I have been getting into Baking bread recently and two items that were a hit at my place were "Garlic and Rosemary Focaccia and Olive bread rolls".  The thing with baking bread is patience you can't rush this...You need to wait for the yeast to prove (activate) and knead the dough and then let it rest and then bake it and you have the most amazing smelling house..... Well a bakery really.

Focaccia is my favourite type of Italian bread.It’s really easy to make I have gone with the traditional Garlic and Rosemary but you can add tomato and basil or whatever topping you desire.



• 1kg strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
 625ml water, at room temperature
 3 x 7g sachets dried yeast
2 tablespoons raw sugar
 sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
 1 bulb garlic
a few sprigs of  fresh  rosemary


• Tip your flour  into a large bowl
• Pile it nice and high, then make a well in the middle to hold all the other ingredients
• Pour half the water into the well then tip in 3 sachets of yeast

To make your dough

• Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of sea salt to the well
• Use a fork to gradually bring in the flour from the outside
• Once you get a stodgy, porridge consistency in the well, add the rest of the water and gradually incorporate the flour to make a smooth dough

To knead your dough

• Dust a clean work surface and your hands with flour, then knead the dough, pushing and pulling it for about 5 minutes until it’s silky, springy and elastic
• Make the dough into a flat round shape and pop into a floured bowl
• Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size

To make your bread

• Knock the air out of your bread using your fist then lightly flour your surface and knead it again until smooth
• Grease a baking tin (approximately 25cm by 30cm) well with olive oil and dust it lightly with flour (I use a deep baking tray).
• Roll or stretch the dough out until it’s the right size for the baking tin and put it in the tin

• Break the garlic bulb apart or you can mince it , leaving the skins on, then squash each one with the back of a knife
• Strip the leaves off your sprigs of rosemary
• Drizzle the garlic cloves and rosemary leaves with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and mix

• Scatter the garlic and rosemary over the dough then use your fingers to push the flavours in and make little dimples on the surface
• Drizzle the dough with olive oil, cover with a tea towel then place the tray somewhere warm and leave for 1 hour, or until doubled in size
• Preheat your oven to 220ºC

• Poke the bread all over with your fingers again to give it great texture
• Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper
• Bake in the hot oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden with a crunchy surface

I will be tesitng out fruit cake recipes as well as baking Christmas Gingerbread and I am also trying out a  tea inspired recipe I have in my head so until next time get into that kitchen and bake away!!