Autumn Light and Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns

We’re thoroughly enjoying the last days of the Autumn holiday. The weather has been exquisite with warm, sunshiny days and cool, cozy nights.

grass in setting sunThe light in the afternoon is magical, glimmering softly through the trees.

sun setting through treesIt makes even plain old grass look positively wondrous. 🙂

sun setting through grassAnd I love this color, so rich and wonderful.

sun setting over fieldBear requested Hot Cross Buns for Easter – something I’ve never made before. I was a bit nervous, but after reading the recipe realized it wasn’t so difficult after all. They are simple spiced buns studded with raisins or currants and candied citrus peel. The crosses on top are made with a simple paste of flour and water, squeezed through a piping bag. They turned out beautifully and Bear pronounced them good. Phew. 🙂

hot cross bunsNow it’s time to get comfy for movies and some utter relaxation.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

Gorgeous Autumn Mornings and Cranberry Semolina Porridge

glowing spiderweb

I adore Autumn mornings on our Queensland goat farm.

They start misty and quiet, thick waves of fog rolling over the fields and into the bush.

Then the sun eases over the neighboring hills, turning the fog into golden clouds like a blanket of light.

farm at sunrise

Every spider web and blade of grass are highlighted as if with a golden pen, each tiny detail radiant in the growing light.

glowing spiderweb

As the sun climbs higher the soft grasses are turned into dancing fields of light, feathery and soft.

glowing grasses

I can’t get enough of it.

On such mornings, hot breakfasts are in order. This weekend we used up leftovers by making Spiced Currant Rice Porridge with Pear Caramel Sauce. Scrumptious.

This morning I made Creamy Semolina Porridge studded with cranberries. I’d never had semolina porridge before, but my friend Ann insisted that I would love it and she was right. It truly is comfort in a bowl, akin to the Cream of Wheat I had as a child in Canada. After only one bowl I am a loyal fan.

semolina porridge

What is your favorite kind of morning?

Cranberry Semolina Porridge
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 regular


1 cup semolina
3-4 cups milk
pinch of salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
brown sugar or caramel sauce


  1. Place semolina, salt, and cranberries into saucepan and add milk, stirring to desired consistency.
  2. Place on stove over medium-high heat and bring to boil, stirring regularly.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.
  4. Ladle into bowls and top with brown sugar or caramel sauce and cream.
  5. Serve warm.

Autumn Sunshine and a Savory Crustless Veggie Quiche

steaming tea

We’ve had sunshine for three whole days now. 🙂 Glorious, warm, golden, Autumn sunshine, the kind of sunshine that seeps into your bones and cozies you from the inside out.

I’m loving it. After weeks on end of rain and bluster, this quiet, glowing, warmth is exquisite.

I love it especially in the mornings as the sun peeps over the horizon, flooding my kitchen with a wash of gold.

It compels us to linger over breakfast, turning our faces to feel the heat of the sun after the chilliness of morning. We talk, we hold hands, we sip our cuppas making them last as long as possible.

Autumn breakfast

This month I ran out of my beloved Earl Grey tea, and instead of buying a new stash, I decided to be brave and try to conquer the boxes of green tea that somehow breed and multiply in my tea drawer without me ever buying a single bag!

Until recently I did not like green tea. I found it bitter and rather like drinking grass-flavored water. Shudder. But somehow my taste buds changed and now I quite fancy it. Especially with honey and a drizzle of milk or thick slice of lemon. And doesn’t it look magical steaming in the sunlight?

steaming tea

This week we’ve been noshing on a crust-less quiche absolutely stuffed with healthy veggies: zucchini, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and a bit of Manchego cheese to give it a bit of richness.

We liked it so much I’m going to stock up on zucchini at my earliest convenience so I can make it again. It goes beautifully with a bit of toasted and buttered brioche.

veggie quiche

What is your favorite breakfast on a sunny morning?

Crustless Veggie Quiche


2 medium onions, peeled and diced
3 zucchini, washed, quartered and sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
8-10 eggs, beaten
1 cup of milk or yogurt
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
2 cups smoked ham, chopped
1/2 cup Manchego cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
  3. Pour into greased casserole dish.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and quiche set.
  5. Serve warm or cold.

Homemade Bread, a Woodpile and Sunshine

homemade bread

How I love these glorious Australian Autumn days!

Every day starts off crisp and cool, but soon the sun is out, drenching everything in a warm, golden glow.

We’ve been working hard here at Citadel Kalahari: stacking hay, readying gardens for winter, and hauling lots of fallen deadwood to cut up for winter bonfires.

Aussie wood pile

I’ve been making lots of different breads to go with the hearty soups and stews that are perfect for these chilly Autumn nights.

I’ve made garlicky Turkish flatbread, tall loaves of 3-seeded wholegrain, and a round rustic loaf of spiced raisin cottage cheese. Mmm, they’re so lovely fresh from the oven and slathered with creamy butter.

The raisin bread is especially good sandwiched with sharp cheddar cheese and grilled. Delicious. 🙂

homemade bread

Our three baby Boer goats are doing beautifully. They’re already running around with the herd, and nibbling happily on hay and pellets.

Boer goats

How are you filling your days?

Autumn at Citadel Kalahari

Autumn leaves

It’s been a glorious Autumn here at Citadel Kalahari in Queensland.

Autumn leaves

Mornings start off cool and foggy but soon the sun breaks through and it is nothing but blue skies and glorious sunshine.

Our ducks, geese and chooks are molting, leaving feathers and fluff all over the yard.

white feather

The local markets have been loaded with capsicum and tomatoes lately, so I’ve been roasting them for soups, sandwiches and quiches.

The new baby kalahari goats – Flopsy and Lindt – are doing marvelously! They’re getting stout and strong and tall and make us laugh as they leap and cavort about the paddock.

baby kalahari red goats

Now I must get a loaf of bread in the oven.

What is the weather like where you are?