Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Franklin Quilt

Some very clever Franklin folk made this:

It shows 24 of Franklin's historic buildings along the main road, each unique and instantly recognisable. The finished work was presented to the Franklin Progress Association and now hangs in the front room of the Palais Theatre. You can view it on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when the Franklin Collective is open - and pick up some great local produce at the same time.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The battle for the fruit trees

This year's battle with the possums has begun. Two of my apple trees have not yet started growing again after the savage "pruning" they received last year from these cute but pesky critters, who ate every last leaf. Our silver birches were all broken off at the top and now sport a plastic band in the hope of making it harder to climb them. So far so good on that front... The plums, cherries and peach planted last year had only a few blossoms but lovely healthy leaf growth so far. If only the possums would eat something else. Apparently they don't like pear trees, the only ones spared in last year's feast. The pear blossoms are so pretty, and the bees love them - see if you can spot them in two of the pictures below. This year I planted two new trees, a medlar and a quince.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Home grown

We've enjoyed gifts of produce from several friends' gardens before, including raspberries, silverbeet, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, but this was a first - home grown mushrooms! Absolutely beautiful they were too.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

In heaven there is no beer

In heaven there is no beer
That's why we drink it here
And when we're gone from here
Our friends will be drinking all the beer*
Our annual Oktoberfest is over. It's become something of a tradition for us, first in Sydney and now here in our "beer hall" (shed) in Tasmania. The real deal in Munich actually happens in September, but weekends in late September in Tasmania are reserved for football apparently. It's Grand Final season you see. So we hold ours in October.

This year we were excited to procure pretzels baked by a local Franklin woman, Sip Visser of Grey Hen Bakery. They were absolutely delicious. We had pork and beef bratwurst (proper German sausages, not what is passed off as bratwurst in most butchers) from Silverhill in Cygnet. Sauerkraut using a recipe told to me by a Bavarian butcher in Sydney. Cucumber salad, fried potatoes, mustards, GlΓΌhwein, my favourite apricot streusel cake that uses quark in the pastry (can't wait to be sourcing that from Elgaar Farm in Tasmania again once they re-open) and of course plenty of (imported) German beer. Oktoberfest music, dress ups and decorations. Our fellow Teutophile friends came down from Sydney for the weekend and kindly stayed to help clear up afterwards. The weather was beautiful, sunny and mild - unlike last time we held it, when snow flakes drifted onto the barbecue as the sausages cooked and we spent the afternoon huddled around the fire barrel. I'm sure our Tassie Oktoberfest would horrify many Germans, but we love it. It's a wonderful way to catch up with friends while enjoying many of my favourite foods.

*For a lovely old German version of this song, see here. Prost!