Friday, March 24, 2017


Hello lovelies,

Last week as my mum sat on my chair and edited my commas, and tenses, and hyphens, she told me that she always wants to delete the part of my blog where I discuss the writing of the blog. She thinks it's a means to getting into the writing of the blog but unnecessary to the actual blog itself. So with that in mind I'm not going to start with a discussion about my process, instead I'm going to start somewhere else entirely.

I'm going to start with the word empty.

For our past few gym sessions, we've made a point of sitting down at the start when we first arrive, to set the intention of the class. On Monday we let go of the fear and today we used the word empty. We emptied out everything that we brought in with us and started afresh.

I emptied out the apples being eaten by the birds, the school dramas, the washing in the machine since yesterday, the period pain, the phone calls I have to make, the emails I have to return, my messy mind, Pepper's tummy ache, my to-do list and all sorts of other rambly etceteras and made an effort to be present in my body.

To make this blog I'm going to take the word empty in another direction. I'm going to empty out all the photos I have in my camera from the past week and write a little bit about each.

Let's go.

A few days ago we made sauerkraut. And I took a few photos inside. Which I never do because we live in the forest and it is often too dark in here. I love growing cabbages, and I love eating sauerkraut, and recently after listening to Richard Fidler's interview with Giulia Enders about The powerful impact of gut health on our bodies and brains and Lynne Malcolm and Olivia Willis's report on the intricate relationship between the gut micro biome and the brain - The second brain - on All In The Mind, I've started viewing it as medicine too.

I've been watching all those dangly beans fade from green to brown and waiting for their pods to rattle so I can pick them and fill jars with them, and winter soups and stews full of them, and later on come spring time, plant them all over again.

I've been watching as parts of our garden fade and die off.

Parts of our garden reach their autumnal peak.

And some parts of our garden lie empty and ready to be filled.

I knitted leisurely rows of Emily's birthday Bulldogs socks until I found out that the AFL men's competition starts again tonight. TONIGHT!! Better get a wriggle on, hey.

I watched Bren spend every spare second outside working with wood.

We made fruit leather using my old recipe from here.

We squished and bottled jars of tomato sauce.

We made semi dried tomatoes in the oven using my old recipe from here.

And we made apple compote and dried apple rings using my old recipe from here.

And I've left the best to last. Over the past week Bren has started making bowls on his pole lathe from wood that he's found around our farm.

I should rephrase that: over the past week Bren has been thinking, speaking, watching YouTube clips, reading, dreaming and obsessing about wooden, pole-lathe-turned bowls. The making has been somewhat limited due to the weather and the busy season. But holy moly you guys, BOWLS!!!

I am beyond excited at these beautiful creations and the potential ahead. I am so very inspired watching his process, his need to learn and itch to create. And truthfully I'm a bit jealous of his obsession. I'm feeling so stuck creatively and would so love a dose of that excitement that comes with learning a new craft.

So I guess having started this post with the word empty, it's quite fitting to finish it with a photo of a bowl. A vessel waiting to be filled - with apples, with little love notes, with the treasures I find when I empty the pockets for the wash, I guess time will tell. And in fact I quite love them empty because it means you can see the beautiful grain and chisel marks inside.

And with that I'm out of photos, which must mean it's the end of the blog.

But first tell me about you - are you a sauerkrauter? A preserver? A lover of hot or cold weather? Fiction or non fiction? Happy or sad movies?

Me? - yes, yes, hot, fiction, sad with happy endings.

Happy weekend you guys.

Love Kate xx


  1. Thank you for your lovely post. You always give a pleasant start to my Friday mornings. I am a jam and chutney maker here in the UK. We grow most of our own veg in the summer. I have never been brave enough to try making sauerkraut but will give it try this year. We tend to freeze our excess beans ....I haven't tried bottling them before but would be interested to learn. My mum used to bottle all sorts of things. I remember all the jars of bright fruits standing in the pantry through the cold dark winter. I love to follow your blog Kate and I always admire your socks. I am enjoying making my first pair of toe-ups....I have been knitting cuff downs for years. It is always good to learn something new. Have a happy week x x x

    1. Oh I meant that we dry the podded beans out and then store them dry in jars. Although I have fermented beans before and they were lovely too. x

  2. Me? No, yes, cold, non fiction and both sad and happy ....

    I loved the sound of you chopping that cabbage on Instagram - the sound of alovely sharp knife!

    This is basically how I blog - take photos of what's going on then just add words. So many lovely pics out of your camera!

    1. Haha you picked it. Bren spent more time sharpening the kitchen knives that morning than he did cutting up the cabbage with them. A sharp knife makes all the difference. x

  3. We moved to our own little country block in January and I'm just starting to experience the joy of produce from my garden. I started with basil, parsley and mint planted in an old bathtub and they are bursting out of the ground. Last week I celebrated my 40th bday with a visit to a local nursery and potted up a sweet little nook beside my old wooden shed with flowers and rosemary. Today I planted some coriander and snow pea seeds. I would love to try making sauerkraut. Hot if I can stay cool and cold if I can stay warm :)

    1. Hot if I can stay cool and cold if I can stay warm - perfect!!

  4. I'm very glad that you didn't leave your blog empty this week.
    Well done on being able to empty your head at the gym, not an easy thing to do.
    In answer to your questions
    Sort of - kimchi, do jams and relish/sauce count as preserving? Cold, both and happy or sad with a happy ending.
    Cheers Kate

    1. Of course jams, relishes and sauces count, YUM!
      Happy weekend lovely Kate xx

  5. Oh, how I love your blog! And I love how you start them by talking about your process. It gives me a little flash of your life as you begin writing, and I imagine where you must be. And I especially love that you started this one writing about the process of your mum critiquing that you write about process... and then promising not to start by writing about process.... and then, well, writing about it anyway!

  6. Hand turned bowls as well as basket I simply love. Those bowls look great. Perhaps you could try weaving baskets Kate, so useful and decorative. I remember making a shopping basket at school for my mum. I loved every minute of it and it lasted for donkeys years. I love all the things you ask about at the end of your blog. I don't do many of them anymore but still carry them in my head. Unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it my head is never empty.

    1. I do love the thought of making some baskets. I did a course many years ago but can't remember any of it any more. I might have a go at one of those raffia coiled ones though, they were always very meditative. x

  7. Do you know I share your fruit leather recipe with anyone who asks me how I make mine & that every year since I first read your oven dried tomato post I've made jar full. It's one of the first things I do when the cherry tomatoes start to come in. They are my favourite!
    As for your questions-
    No. But I've also never tried it so maybe?
    Both but mainly fiction.
    Happy movies because sad movies make me anxious. Except Markus & Me. I sob every time in that movie but still like watching it.

    1. I love that you dry and dehydrate along with me each season, makes me smile. x

  8. Empty holds potential.
    Love sauerkraut! I don't preserve food, but do enjoy it, thanks to friends. Warm weather, please, not hot though. Fiction. Movies about all kinds of love, happy or sad.

  9. I love the way the bounty of your summer season is coming to fruition as early shoots are first appearing here in the UK. The bowls are wonderful but I am drawn towards wooden items, particularly hand crafted ones. The questions?? Never tried it but maybe should, yes, hot, depends on mood, happy.

  10. Such a believer that most of our health starts in our digestive system. For the past several years have been making my own kraut, sourdough bread and kombucha. You don't realize how simple it is to add these into your routine. Sauerkraut is the easiest to start with as it's just cabbage and salt. You can even get your kid to do the pounding ;).

  11. Hi Kate, Cassie in New York, I love the bowls your husband made, would he be interested in selling one? Please let me know if I am being pushy or rude, it's just that my father loves handmade items and is fascinated with Australia. This would make a perfect Christmas present for him. My father is 75, has one foot and cuts trees for a living. He loves wood of all kinds and often will climb a 60 - 80 foot tree just because it's there. Please let me know either way, I appreciate you taking the time to read this. Good vibes to you and yours!

  12. Hi Kate, Avid reader of your blog here...never write a comment (I always answer in my head). Loving the bowls. We are just thinking about planting in our garden, as yours is going to sleep. Is it very shallow of me to just admire the aesthetics and want to go and make some bunting?
    Answers: Tried it once, didn't like it. Not often enough or very well. Hot. Happy or sad - don't do scary though. xx

  13. I'm just a lover of those exquisite bowls and consuming passion.

  14. Loved this Kate, loved every bit x

  15. Have a watch of The Great Pottery Throw Down (series 1 is on youtube) It's a lovely celebration of potters and pottery. A competition of sorts but the competitors are all supportive of one another. It might help move you forward creatively. It's made me want to buy my own wheel!
    Thanks as always for your lovely words and photos xx

  16. Beautiful photos and I'm loving the hand made bowls....beautiful. Just wondering if you are able to put a search bar on your blog (I did it on mine and it was pretty easy to select it). I was wanting to search up your other tomato recipes after reading about your semi dried tomatoes they looked great.

  17. This was an amazing recap of what your life has been recently, thank you for sharing. The bowls are lovely, I can see why you would want them to stay empty. Hopefully you'll find the spark for a new project soon!

  18. Those bowls and all your preserved goodies are perfection *heart eyes*

    I know what you mean about seeking a consuming passion. Hopefully something will come along and ignite your interest soon.

  19. I love the picture of your Bren's hands and the bowls. Something about it just melts my heart. I am new to preserving, but I love to make apple butter or apple sauce. I am love autumn, because it is both warm and chilly. I love springtime for the same reason. Fiction. Angst and Happy or at least satisfying endings.

  20. I have three cabbages in my veg box this week, but I have never made saurkraut, maybe it's time! The bowls are so beautiful

  21. How come I can never comment on a blog on the day the blog was written? AND. Then I have to look at the computer date to know what the date (and day) is. I'm losing it. Anyhow. I love Ben's bowls. I would obsess about that if I were there. What will he oil them with? Do they have stable bases? If so, we could use them as food bowls for all manner of things. That is very exciting.
    Empty is a very useful word.
    I love fermenting and preserving, cold weather, sad movies with sad, or at least bewildering, endings. It makes me think a lot about the characters. Having said that I haven't watched a movie - a full movie - for maybe 3 years. The last one, an absolute gem, Nebraska. It was funny and sad. Much like life I guess.
    Love to you Kate. xx

  22. Fabulous bowls! I adore wooden bowls, lucky you! We just planted potatoes here, Red Pontiacs and Kennebecs.
    No, yes, both, both, happy

  23. Beautiful, beautiful bowls.
    Kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled green beans, green tomatoes (hmm, I really should put all of those things up on my own blog). I'm a lover of cold weather but if there's the prospect of going for a swim, I love hot weather. Fiction is my go to, apart from cookbooks. I'm a pan-genre kind of woman but I love things to be funny.
    Thanks Kate, I love your blog in whatever form you choose to write it.

  24. Look at that Band-Aid on your thumb. I have a blister from digging in the garden. I was so happily digging and planting, with podcasts in my ears, that I didn't even notice the giant blister until it popped and a flap of skin rolled back to reveal a salty sting. A sign of truly being in the moment. But it's been so wet - three weeks of solid rain - and finally a day of sun and I rushed to the hardware and bought up all of its 99c punnets and planted them out. Some will fade quickly as they're summer annuals but they've a bit of life in them - as does our summer. The rest are all winter punnets, which will save seeing seed rot in my still muddy veggie beds. Happy days indeed.

  25. I have just found your blog this very moment......I don't know what took me so long as I have been selling your book in my store (Coming Up Roses based in Balmoral Brisbane) for over 2 years. I'm so enthralled with your life, your beautiful photography and the beauty of your world. Thank you for blogging consistently too. I'm very much looking forward to starting tomorrow from 2009. Another fan, Hayley.


Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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