Hello, everyone! I hope your Easter holiday was restful, fun and as spiritual as you’d like it to be. I spent the long weekend in the mountains at the Atheist Wife’s family farm with an assortment of aunts, uncles, friends, parents and grandparents. This was my second official Easter holiday with everyone and it was a ripper of a time.
It rained the whole weekend. Hard and fast, the water came down in buckets, making the field where we were set up a sodden track. Cars made ruts and tents (ours) flooded. With a little patience and a lot of towels, we stayed dry and happy. A busted air mattress threatened both our sleep and our good will, but even that wasn’t that bad. Ultimately, it’s another story about our early years and will be recounted next year I’m sure.
One of the best parts for me was a suspension of my usual pescetarianism. Breakfasts of sausage, bacon and eggs, dinners of roast beef and lamb, snacks of cheese filled sausage: I was in lapsed vegetarian heaven. My partner’s dad is a butcher by trade and an absolutely amazing cook (when he cooks). The lamb he made in the camp stove was unbelievably tender. Topped with a coconut jalapeno chili sauce (which I will be buying tomorrow), I about died of culinary joy. I also experienced my first Australian damper with butter and golden syrup. I almost died a second time.
But beside all the usual camping joys, for me it was amazing to just experience a family holiday with literally no noticeable tension. No one was at odds with each other, no one sniped at each other, no kept their opinions to themselves in a loud silence; it was amazing. My former family holidays were never like that.
The extent to which my partner and her family are accepting, loving people will never cease to amaze me. They are quite literally some of the best people I know and it is my dearest wish to be more like them. It is an honor to be with their daughter and I recognize that she is letting me be a part of her family. I’m not an outsider looking in. I’m stuck in the middle of all their wonderfulness and I have absolutely no desire to get out of it.
Much like the mud we got the cars stuck in on the farm, I’m “bogged.” Very happily bogged.
Now here. Have some damper. And don’t forget to substitute beer for water.
3 cups of self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
Sift flour and salt into a bowl, rub in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Make a well in the centre, add the combined milk and water, mix lightly with a knife until dough leaves sides of bowl.
Gently knead on a lightly floured surface and then shape into a round, put on a greased oven tray. Pat into a round 15-16 cm (6-6 1/2 inch) diameter.
With sharp knife, cut two slits across dough like a cross, approximately 1cm (1/2in) deep.
Brush top of dough with milk.
Sift a little extra flour over dough.
Bake in a hot oven for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
Reduce heat to moderate and bake another 20 minutes.
Best eaten the day it is made.