Friday, June 24, 2011

Reflections and focaccia

Reflections.
Thanks again for your comments this week on the loss of our chooks. Your kind words meant so much to me, I really appreciate each and every one of them :)

I think we may have a spell from keeping hens, at least for the winter and perhaps look at starting another flock again in spring. I'm just not feeling up to jumping back in straight away and the foxes are not going to go away now we are the number one stop on their food scavenging map. Reinforcements to the pen will also have to be made and at least this way there is no rush.

I also have to say thanks to my dear veggie group friend who provided us with Mr Green, I spotted her on our doorstep after school today- she had taken it upon herself to kind heartedly pop around with a carton of her own homegrown eggs..so very thoughtful!
An altered reality; the top half is the reflection and the bottom half is the reality. This image is upside-down from the original. Go on, spin your screen around  to check, just like I've been doing!

Filled Focaccia
A good bread to take along where a savoury snack is needed, or a plate to accompany other foods. Prepare the dough the night before and allow it to rise in the fridge overnight. Easy to assemble the following morning using whatever ingredients you have to hand for the filling. Yummy, too!

Start by making a batch of your favourite bread dough. I used a basic 500g flour, 2tsp yeast, 1tsp salt, 330mls warm water dough, with a good few dollops of olive oil included as well. Mix to a dough and knead briefly until mixture is smooth and elastic (or toss it all into the bread machine if you're hauling goats into their paddock again). Prove at room temperature until doubled in size or as mentioned above - placing it in the fridge overnight.

The next morning, or after it has doubled in size, divide the dough in two equal pieces and roll out one piece into a largish rectangle about 1cm thick. Spread with your favourite ingredients, whatever is growing in the garden or delicatessen delights to suit your tastes.

For this particular focaccia I used some homegrown garlic which had been finely minced and then mixed with some olive oil which was spread onto the base, crumbled fetta, finely chopped fresh rosemary and cheddar cheese. Plus a good grinding of black pepper.


Roll out the other piece of dough in the same fashion and position carefully on top, matching the shape of the bottom piece as best as you can. Set aside on a parchment lined tray to prove until nicely puffy and doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 220c. Make small indentations in the top of the dough with your knuckles, drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with more chopped rosemary and coarsly ground sea salt.

Bake the focaccia for around 30 minutes, reducing oven temp to 200c after 10 minutes. The bread will be done when it is golden brown all over and yes, hollow sounding ;)

Cool on a wire rack before cutting..but don't let it get completely cold - it's good to eat while it's still a little bit warm you know!

Lunch, snack or an accompaniment to soup, it's your choice!


9 comments:

  1. Beautiful Christine, and I love the stratified look! What lovely friends you have, I'm glad you still have some fresh eggs to use. Can completely understand you taking a break from owning chooks for a while. Believe it or not, Pete's sister lost her entire flock on the same day you did - made me wonder if it had something to do with the winter solstice and the foxes instinctively knowing it was time to stock up...

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  2. Hi Christine, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your chickens. It must have been a very sad day for you, and I'm sorry it's taken a tragedy like this to make me leave a comment.. I have been reading and enjoying your blog for ages now - I think you do a great job - maintaining your blog, and maintaining the lifestyle you're so passionate about. Losing animal friends can be really painful but the memories we have of them will always be with us...

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  3. New visitor here! So sorry about the chickens. Keeping them here is an act of faith as well as there are lots of predators.

    I've really enjoyed the posts I've been reading. It's all quite lovely.

    I've got comfrey growing like a weed around here and need to go harvest more. Thanks for the reminder with your salve post. :)

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  4. I'm definitely going to give this a try; perhaps tomorrow afternoon or evening.

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  5. Now that is a most worthy foccacia !
    It looks so easy when you show it like that - a meal all on its own too :)
    Thanks for the recipe !

    Gorgeous reflection, couldn't have gotten any more perfect !

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  6. What a wonderful friend you have there...

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  7. Stratified! I knew you would know what this was called, Celia. This is really very interesting about Pete's sister and her flock..so sorry for her. I wonder if there is a tie in with the solstice..

    Thanks, Faeryfay :)

    Oh, Lis, your words are very thoughtful, thankyou. You are right, the memories won't be going anywhere..

    Hi Kimberly, welcome! So sorry you had to come along at such a sad time. Best of luck with the comfrey salve..wonderful healing stuff it is.

    Wonderful, Becky..it is an easy one to make :)

    Thankyou, Killiecrankie, very kind words :)

    She's a good one, dixie. A true gem :)

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  8. This is the first time I've visited your site, Rhonda Jean sent me. As soon as I saw this I knew I just had to make it, I did leave out the goat part, looked but couldn't find any.

    My daughter just came to the door with a couple of pieces in her hand, uttering the words "it's good". I'm hoping there's enough left to go with my soup at dinnertime while they are at the movies.

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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