The Power of 2

This week we’ve felt the pinch of doing it alone.

Diversity of income streams is part of our resilient lifestyle design. This helps to alleviate some pressure on decision making in our property development, allows us some latitude with experimenting and crop failure in the garden and we are able to wear the farm set-up costs easier.

Yet it does come with a cost. Anna is constantly pulled in two directions, preferring to get soil between the fingers and care for the plants rather than staring at the screen all day. The remote work also means periodic trips back to Sydney.

We are lucky to live in a time and place that makes this lifestyle achievable – with good Internet connectivity and easy access to cheap air travel (we’ll leave carbon guilt and externalised costs for another post). However, when one of us is away from the property and the other has to keep the lights on (enough to keep everyone and thing alive), it is bloody tough going.

We realised pretty soon into this caper that its not necessarily the extra pair of hands to help on a task but the moral support that is essential to get you through tough periods or help counter the other’s ebbing moods.

We call it the unimaginatively named: ‘Power of 2‘. Whether its weeding or watering, or sowing or simply cleaning up the excessive amount of crockery used to preserve something, it is all so much easier with someone to chat to and vent to and laugh with.

We are in awe of those who do it alone. We certainly couldn’t do it without each other. ..

 

Fruit Crumble

This recipe hails from our most thumbed cookbook: River Cottage Everyday. Hugh’s crumble can work on just about any cooking fruit (apples, quince, rhubarb compote etc). Enjoy it with ice cream for dessert or with yoghurt for brekky..serves 8.

Ingredients

For crumble

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • a pinch of salt 200g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 150g sugar (brown is nice)
  • 75g oatmeal
  • 75g ground almonds

For the Apple Walnut version

  • 1 kg cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
  • 100g walnuts (can pre-toast in oven at 180 for 5 min, then chopped roughly)
  • 50-100g sugar (or could try honey)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Method 

Step 1: Sift flour and salt into bowl. Add butter and rub with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbles (this can also be achieved by pulsing these 3 ingredients in a food processor).

Step 2: Stir in sugar, oatmeal and ground almonds. Squeeze a few handfuls of the crumble into larger lumps to provide that textural difference.

Step 3: Place your cut fruit in a bowl and sprinkle with as much sugar/honey as you like. Add nuts and spices of choosing mix and then place into an oven proof dish.

Scatter crumble on top and bake for 40-45min at 180, until browned on top.