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Sunday 29 December 2019
2018, 2017, 2015, 2013). This year was the best. If you look back at past villages you can see that they have developed. I talked to a volunteer who said it takes 4 chefs working for 2 weeks to make it and some of the village is kept in cold storage for the next year. What an amazing piece of work. It was very quiet when we visited late in a new location in Collins Lane this year but a friend went to visit and said there were huge queues on another day.
The Gingerbread Village includes many Melbourne landmarks, with intricate detail even if not strictly accurate. Above is the crowds outside the Melbourne Town Hall with trams on roads and the Public Purse sculpture on a pedestrian section opposite it. Any Melbournian knows that the Public Purse is in Burke Street Mall a couple of blocks away. Likewise Flinders Street Station is opposite not beside Federation Square as in the top photo.
I was pretty excited about the theme of May Gibbs gumnut babies because I loved my Snugglepot and Cuddlepie books when I was a kid. I also was pleased to see the Australian theme as I had invited an Iranian colleague to come along.
Friday 27 December 2019
Yet we made a few visits. The first night I was tired after work, the next Sylvia was sick and it was raining but I had arranged for my dad to visit, and the third night the weather was beautiful and I took Sylvia who hung out with a friend.
gingerbread and Sylvia decorated some of it. My mum was away but my dad went to a bakery to buy a selection of sweet goodies. I was excited that grapes and cherries had come into season in Australia.
brown rice salad leftover from the peach potluck dinner party. It went well with the pizza I made for tea. I also made nut roast, panforte and cranberry nut rolls.
Saturday 21 December 2019
Sylvia also had a home made pink lemonade that she really loved.
The Cornish Arms
163A Sydney Road, Brunswick, 3056
Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
Friday 13 December 2019
Only a week until my summer holidays start and then I have should have more energy for bread baking. I just hope the weather is kind to us. It is forecast to be in the 30s for most of next week and 41 C on Friday. But I am grateful for our weather after meeting with Sydney colleagues this week who were so happy to be in Melbourne and away from the smoky atmosphere of Sydney with the terrible bushfires so close. Let's just hope we have more weather that is kind to bakers than weather that kind of bakes us!
More interesting bread baking on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
- Carrot, onion and poppy seed bread
- Charcoal sourdough bread
- Chocolate, cranberry and apricot sourdough bread
- Malted loaf with chocolate, figs and brazil nuts
- Overnight sourdough bread with mashed potato
- Savoury monkey bread
Roast potato and rosemary bread
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Makes 2 loaves
350 g potato chopped
300g of bubbly starter
3 tbsp oil, plus extra for roasting potatoes
1 tbsp chopped rosemary (about 3-4 sprigs)
1 kg of flour
A few hours before making the loaf, take sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it so it gets nice and bubbly.
While the sourdough bubbles away, prepare the potatoes. Peel them and chop into large dice. Bring to the boil in salted water for 10 minutes. Check potatoes. They should be keeping their shape but cooked through even if not quite soft. Toss in a roasting dish with a little oil and roast at 200 C for about 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the outside and soft inside. Cool.
About an hour before going to bed (or first thing in the morning) mix everything together. It is easiest to mix starter, water, salt, oil and rosemary first, then potatoes and then flour. Once the potato is in, stir very gently so you don't crush the potato. Use hands to mix if required. Set aside covered with a tea towel for half an hour. Knead in the bowl for about 15 seconds. Cover with greased clingwrap or a bowl cover and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.
Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured board. Shape into a loaves (or cut and shape into rolls - if doing rolls I let them rise in the casserole as they don't need much in the way of slashing but slashing loaves is hard in the casserole dish.) Place on a floured surface and cover with the lightly greased clingwrap or beeswax. (I used semolina to dust the surface here.) Set aside to rise for 30 minutes. While the loaves rise, preheat oven to 240 C. I use enamel casserole dishes and don't heat them but used to heat them when I used ceramic casseroles.
Slash the loaves and put in the heated casserole dishes with lids on (or on a tray or in a tin). Bake for 20 minutes with lid (or foil cover) on. Remove lid/foil and bake another 20 minutes. Bread is ready if it sounds hollow when tapped. If needed, return to oven for another 5-10 minutes to make sure the crust is crispy and sounds hollow. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.
On the Stereo:
Tigerlily: Natalie Merchant