Friday, June 22, 2012

Birthdays & Bonfires in the Barossa.

Following up to my previous post, I'm back home in the beautiful Barossa Ranges after another stint of working away. Within a six hour drive, I went from an afternoon of being sandblasted, in the middle of Woop Woop where the sun was shining and it was indeed short-sleeves weather, to an evening in the rolling hills of the Barossa where the first raindrops started falling on my car windscreen at Stockwell. Along the way, I finally managed to take another stack of photos of the Australian countryside that I am currently smitten by. The photo above is one of them, and thus today's blog post song is Elvis Presley's Mystery Train. Yours truly is a big Elvis fan. I'm not sure how many songs I get to listen to on each 450km trip to work, or back, but it's a lot. Elvis is often on the playlist.

My first day at home was the perfect example of a Barossa Ranges winter day; I awoke to the magnificent sound of rain falling on the roof, I could see the heavy mist through the lace curtains and there was a hint of crisp air in the bedroom despite the wood-fire going in the lounge-room of my cottage, down the hall. All was good in the world and as winter is my favourite season, and moreso now since I am often living in a region where there is little rain and certainly no mist, it was the most blissful feeling to be able to lay in bed and literally soak up the magnificence of the day. I pondered much and then eventually arose to start planning the day, and the weekend, for it is my youngest son's birthday this weekend. Oh how time does fly. He will be seventeen tomorrow, on Saturday June 23. Happy Birthday to my fabulous Son #2 (as I call him, regularly:)

I think a bonfire by the redgum stable may be in order. With marshmallows toasting on the antique fork that I used as a little girl at my grandparent's farm oh so many years ago. Bowls of home-made soup and a barbeque. Good home-style country cooking, which is what we Barossans do best. I am spending this afternoon in the kitchen making lots of delicious goodies and honestly can say that I do miss cooking. I do not need to cook when I work away nor do dishes. As a mother and wife for so many decades it feels strange to not do these tasks on a daily basis but it sure does make my time at home much more productive:) I never leave home to go back to work without having at least three meals in the freezer for the family to pull out when the need arises.

Once the cooking is finished, then it will be time to go for a look in the cellar for a bottle of red wine to indulge in tonight, in front of the fire, and a couple of special ones to enjoy tomorrow. I promise to try hard to steer away from anything grenache related but it won't be an easy task. Currently I am very much enjoying the Yalumba Bush Vine Grenache (one bottle less out of my half-case since opening that with last night's dinner of beef schnitzel) but I am thinking that a bottle of McLaren Vale Shiraz may be the perfect companion for tonight's beef cassoulet. So much wine, so little time. 

Winter really is a gorgeous time of year, for many reasons, but first and foremost I think it is hard to beat having a bottle of red with a slow-cooked meal unless perhaps one is indulging in a bottle of riesling with beer-battered flathead and home-made chips. Yes, these are the things that life is about. On that note, it's back to the pots and pans for me, and I do wish you could smell the aromas floating around my kitchen. You can take the woman out of the kitchen but you can't take the kitchen out of the woman........ Cooking rocks, just like Elvis!

Cheers for now,