Monday, 15 January 2018

On the Road to Rosewood

Rosewood is a little rural town to the west of the city where I live.  The drive out there took us along city streets, busy highways and past urban sprawl. Beyond that, and much closer to town, the country "opened up" and the wide open land, with its grassy paddocks and tall gums, stretched to the horizon under the Summer's clear blue sky.

Open country outside Rosewood.

This historic township derives its name from the beautiful trees, that grew and were harvested for timber, in an extensive forest known as the Rosewood Scrub. That scrub was progressively cleared to make way for farming land from the 1860s. A railway line then opened up the area more. Today, Rosewood station is the "end of the line" for the electric trains that run from Brisbane west towards Toowoomba. Coal mining began in the late 1870s and the township grew. This mining became one of the town's main industries. The impact of mining, in the huge cuts to the landscape, is evident along the road to Rosewood. 

The impact of mining on the landscape outside of town.

A train from the city rolls into town.

Just over the railway line and running right through town is the main street. (John Street) Many characteristic old timber buildings with timber posts and awnings remain from yesteryear. Like many Australian country towns, Rosewood has more than one pub! This photo is of the Rosewood Hotel:

The original Rosewood Hotel burnt down in 1914. 
It is said a ghost/s took up residence when it was rebuilt 😉.

We took a stroll along the main street and discovered the Cobb & Co. Heritage Park:

 Penny Farthing seats.

A replica Cobb & Co coach.
(It was impossible to photograph without reflections! 
This link takes you to a clearer image that you can click on to enlarge.)

A Queensland Bottle Tree and the old police lock-up!

Over on Matthew Street, is Rosewood's magnificent St. Brigid's Catholic Church. This beautiful old timber church, listed on Queensland's Heritage Register, was opened in 1910. It is Queensland's largest timber church. We did not venture in but I so wish we had to see the craftsmanship, the pressed metal ceiling and the frescoes inside this special church.  

St. Brigid's Catholic Church.

A beautiful stained glass window.

One side of this historic church.

There are other heritage buildings and old timber homes in Rosewood that we didn't have time to see on this trip.  A great reason to return one day! 

An old fencepost in a paddock outside Rosewood.

Many little towns like Rosewood are dotted between the west-of-Brisbane cities of Ipswich  and Toowoomba. I think I'd like to spend a day exploring a few more of them for it's nice to leave the city behind for a while!



Monday, 8 January 2018

Rustic Savoury Tart

Sometimes, I come across real "gems" in the cookbooks I borrow from my local library. This simple and delicious savoury tart is one such happy find. I've copied out the recipe to add to my collection so I can make it again and again. Yes, it was that good!


The recipe for this rustic tart was contributed by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa to join those from other talented bakers in The Great Australian Baking Book edited by Greenwood, Harper and Hobday. There are so many gorgeous baked goods in the photos of this book. I'm sure I caught drifts of the tantalising smell of baked goodness wafting from the pages!

A great cookbook from my local library. 

The shell of this scrumptious tart is formed with pizza dough and the filling is a meat-free mix of  fresh ricotta,  roasted pumpkin, spinach and, in my tart, leeks. The recipe includes instructions for the pizza dough but I just used my usual pizza dough recipe. Instead of the caramelised onion of the original recipe, I harvested and sauteed leeks from my garden  - because leeks I have in abundance and onions I have none. I halved the quantities for my little family and that made enough for leftovers the next day. Here's how this tart came together in my kitchen:

Make single quantity of your usual pizza dough.

Combine fresh ricotta,  roast pumpkin, sauteed spinach and leeks  & grated parmesan.
Mix through an egg & season with salt and pepper.

Spread mixture over your pizza base.
Leave a generous border of dough around the edge.

Fold the edges of the pizza dough up to form a ruffled edge.

Bake until golden brown. 
Allow to cool slightly before cutting.

A piece of this delicious tart, served with salad, makes for a lovely meal. Leftovers can be eaten the next day, if there are any that is.

A slice of scrumptious savoury tart.

Slices of this tart would make perfect picnic fare too. Just imagine tucking into a pumpkin-y piece, with your legs stretched out on an old blanket in the shade of a tall gum on a riverbank. Wouldn't get much better than that, would it?


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

In the Garden While We Were Away

Some years, as we drive the familiar roads home from holiday, the haze out towards the mountain range and the brown, dry grass along roads and footpaths, signals the lack of rain since we've been gone. I know the garden will be parched and dry when we arrive home and that there won't be much to harvest. Happily this year, the grass along the roadsides and on verges is lush and green and so is my garden. 💚

After a couple of weeks of storms and rain, the veggies have all thrived. The cherry tomatoes and the cucumbers are just waiting to be tossed into salads. Although the leaves of the celery are the favoured fare of  bright green grasshoppers (clearly they heard no-one was home so decided to move in) the stalks are just fine.  Little golden beets, planted in a grow bag, are beginning to form and so are the butter beans. A rampant pumpkin vine has filled in the top corner around the bird bath. Such abundant growth!

 The top of a tiny golden beet.

Little butter beans.

A fresh & crunchy cucumber.

Un-munched celery stalks.

A cluster of little cherry tomatoes.

Lots of lettuce for salads.

Our enthusiastic pumpkin vine.

It was wonderful coming home to fresh veg in the garden ready to be picked and eaten. Such a contrast to those years when we've arrived home after little or no rain. The liquid gold from the sky makes such a difference in the garden!

What's growing in your garden at the moment?