Tag Archives: road trip

An adventurous Easter: sourdough hot cross buns

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On this road trip, we’ve noticed the different types of place names that you can find in Australia. Words from England, Scotland, other places in Europe, and from the Aboriginal languages.

We have our share of Inverary, Baden Powell, New England, Kingston, even Neuhaus. Words from the old world. Then, we have words from our first people, strange and beautiful sounds. Araluen, Adaminaby, Cootamundra, Tumbarumba, Wagga Wagga, Wee Waa, Jindabyne, Gundagai.

A trip into regional Australia becomes a jumble of these names and sounds. A pair of city slickers finding new sights and sounds, new air to breathe.

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We have seen a lake and a river (any large body of water inland of our dry continent is a mesmerising sight); so many cows and sheep, and glimpses of the Snowy Mountains. We have also seen old train stations with cast iron lace, rusty sheds, ruined timber bridges. And that’s only the first few days.

I knew we would be on the road, so I made hot cross buns early this year, and using sourdough starter called Patrick, no less! I’ve nurtured wee Patrick since Christmas, but have only started baking with him.

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Gubana: Italian Easter bread for an Australian road trip

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We are on a road trip!

Tonight, we are in the inland town of Gundagai. First stop in what is shaping up to be a trip through historic inland towns and villages.

I haven’t driven our car for weeks, and for at least a couple of months before that, since I prefer to walk or take public transport to get around our patch of inner Sydney. It took a while to get used to the manual gears, the road, other cars, but then I settled back into familiarity with our good little car, and we were away, to quieter and greener places.

When I was not driving, I nibbled on a slice of gubana.

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Gubana. A special Easter cake/bread I stumbled across almost by accident. I made the recipe, and found the flavours intriguing, lingering, in a way that says old fashioned good things. Bread-like, not quite as rich as brioche or challah, crammed full of walnuts, pine nuts, raisins, chocolate, hazelnuts, and more. The bread is almost like panettone, and filling is so flavoursome, with a lingering sweetness that comes from dried fruit rather than sugar.

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Ode to le weekend: coconut mango bundt-lettes

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Week-end. Sleepy eyed morning, sun-bathed cafe.

Being a dilettante, flaneur, lady of leisure.

A wake-up-in-the-morning-and-jump-in-the-car day trip to Mittagong and Bowral. Where we ooh over antiques (a Indo-Persian chain mail helmet? Yes please), eat an intriguing tart (shiraz-poached pears and proschiutto, suspended in a barely-set, brie-enriched custard), and have a cheerful coffee:

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(The coffee was in the Bradman Museum, aka Cricket International Hall of Fame. Yes, Mr Gander is a cricket fan. Yes, we bought a souvenir cricket ball. Yes, I still want that Indo-Persian chain mail helmet.)

A tropical thunderstorm on the drive back! While we wound our way down to that pretty little dam on the Nepean River, across a bridge that fits one car at a time, and up the other side.

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That evening, making a promise to bake a layer birthday cake, while maybe mildly under the influence of the prettiest Pimms cocktail I’ve ever seen. Spending Sunday making and eating a coconut-mango cake (recipe below), before remembering the Pimms-enriched promise about a birthday cake. Dang.

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