Summer holidays usually means grandkids to us. We're lucky enough to be close to them so they're often here during the holidays. Now that they're older - Jamie and Alex will be eight this year and Eve will be four, they don't present me with the full time care they once needed and usually now it's just talking to them about all manner of things and keeping the food coming. However being the person I am, I like to throw in skill building whenever I can.
Jamie has a grandma in Korea too, I hope she sees this photo. Hello Sun Ja! We're thinking of you and send much love from Australia. ♥️
Today Jamie made his first Irish soda bread. It's a simple recipe, it's fabulous for morning or afternoon tea and it can be on the table in under an hour. If unexpected visitors drop by, this is the ideal offering - along with butter and homemade jam.
IRISH SODA BREAD
500g plain flour - this can be white, spelt or wholemeal or a combination to make up 500 grams
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon bicarb soda/baking soda
430 - 450ml buttermilk - start with 430mls and add more if needed
- Place the flour, salt and soda in a large bowl and mix together until combined. Pour in 430mls buttermilk and using your clean hands, mix together until it's thoroughly combined.
- Don't overwork the dough - it's like scone dough and overworking it will result in tough soda bread.
- When the dough is combined, tip it onto a floured surface and fold the dough over on itself a couple of times, until the outside comes together and is starting to smooth out. Then form the dough into a ball and cut a cross right across the dough, making four quarters that remain together.
- Place onto a baking tray with baking paper and put in a hot oven at 200C/400F. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.
When it's cooked, let the bread stand for 10 minutes, then you can either slice it or break into chunks. This bread is best eaten on the day you make it but it can also be freshened up in the microwave the following day.
The rest of my time has been spent organising, repotting and fertilising my pot plants. I bought new hanging baskets last year and two of the baskets needed help. I changed out the plants, kept the ailing plants in the shelter of the bush house and I'll soon have all the hanging baskets up again. It makes such a difference to the feeling of being on the front verandah. The plants make it feel cooler.
We spend a lot of time out there in summer. We usually have morning tea on the verandah and I often spend time out there with Gracie. She loves running around the front yard and will then come back to the shade of the verandah, stretch out and cool off.
When the school holidays are over I'll concentrate on the garden again. I can easily manage everything in the bush house so I'll be sowing seeds and repotting. Continuing productive work seems to be the key to fulfilment and happiness for me now, just as it has been in the past. I need to feel useful and to do as much as I can in the house and yard.
But in the meantime, we'll have a house full this weekend with Alex and Eve arriving tomorrow afternoon, Jamie will join them Friday morning, Shane will be here after work on Friday and over the weekend, Shane will take all the kids to Australia Zoo. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too.
Before I go, I want to thank those of you who have sent such thoughtful and loving messages. It really does make a difference knowing that people are thinking of me and my family and that we have warm wishes coming from all parts of the world. We all appreciate your endearing and tender comments, thank you. ❤️