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sourdough workshop with Sandra Frain

May 22, 2010

Phew! Time has flown by and there has hardly been a moment to stop, let alone blog. Below, some photos from the wonderful sourdough workshop held at a friend’s house in the Ecovillage a couple of weeks ago. It was so nice wandering down the greenway, through Berniece’s garden and in the backdoor of her lovely rammed earth house to attend the workshop.

Sandra Frain, our sourdough teacher, was just magic and created such a special atmosphere I had tingles in my spine. This is a woman who is full of joie de vivre, passionate about what she does and what she creates. We learnt about grain and the importance of fermenting grain to improve digestibility. We admired her sourdough cultures which were literally bubbling over with life (far left in the first picture), about wet loaves (which don’t need kneading) and dry loaves (which do). In this picture, the dry loaf is at the back and the wet loaf in front of it.

Kayo thoroughly enjoyed the workshop too, especially the kneading of her own piece of sourdough.

At the workshop, we also made butter from real cream, passing jars around the room and singing “Come butter come, come butter come. You’d better hurry up or you’re gonna be late. I’m gonna beat you to the garden gate”. And it was oh so yummy to eat freshly baked sourdough bread with real home made butter!

The next day, we had  a 30 minute journey over the mountain to visit friends in Murwillumbah. I decanted some cream off the top of our milk and put it in a jar. We spent the car journey passing the jar between us and singing the song and by the time we arrived at our friends, we had real butter to share with our friends.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. christina Houen permalink
    May 22, 2010 11:32 pm

    Wow, how lovely. I’d love to get my hands into that. It’s hard to keep up practices like that when you live separately from other like-minded people. You are very fortunate in living in a village surrounded by people who share skills and visions. Still, of course, these skills were learned and practised in traditional cultures because they were necessary. My mother, who suffered from a severe vitamin B deficiency after I was born (we lived in the outback, and she was 45 when I was born) cured herself by grinding the wheat my father grew and making bread from it.

    You and your friends are reviving these arts, and are leading the way back to some of these traditional skills.

  2. May 23, 2010 7:43 am

    I suspect that in the not too distant future, we’ll be heading back to those times where we have to share and learn these food skills. Supermarkets and processed/packaged foods are founded on fossil fuels and are not sustainable. I can’t say I’m making my own sourdough yet but Berniece’s “no knead” wet loaf rye is so yummy, I’m certainly heading in that direction! Next plan for the village is to buy a Schnitzer grain mill so we can grind our own fresh flour.

  3. Julia permalink
    May 23, 2010 9:16 am

    Hi Filippa, the wet loaf rye bread was absolutely delicious. Brought back the nicest childhood memories of rye bread and butter with sliced tomatoes still warm from the bushes in my Grandmother’s garden in Maylands WA.

  4. May 23, 2010 2:18 pm

    Hi Filippa!
    Good to see you know my friend Sandra! She just shared this link with me, and I open it up to see you! Funny!
    She is such a blessing isnt she! Sandra will host our next Steiner regional meeting at Periwinkle, on Sept 4th for the steiner early childhood teacher association, on story and biodynamics too. You are welcome to come along if you’d like to see more of Sandra in action!
    Its a small world too. I read your blog further down and then see John Palmer in action! He is a legend, hey! I’ve known him for years too. Such a small world. I knew he was down eco village way, but I have yet to be there. I would love to come by one day! I actually saw your invite to the organic farm group kitchen talk but was busy but am interested for sure. Let me know how you go!
    Happy days!

    • May 23, 2010 9:10 pm

      Hi Amber – what a lovely surprise and thanks for “popping in”! Come by the ecovillage for a visit anytime! I’m holding the Kitchen Table Talks for Organic Farmshare regularly (most Saturday afternoons and soon some Sundays too). See for dates etc. September 4th event sounds great – please keep my posted!

  5. May 23, 2010 2:35 pm

    This is inspiring and enticing, Filippa. Gives me pangs of longings to be part of a community in which these kinds of activities are shared together…with such wonderful and nourishing results.

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