Tuesday, April 30, 2024

A little town, baking, old doilies and a gift...

A few weekends ago, hubby and I took a long drive south-west to the lovely old gold-mining town of Ravenswood. There was a time when we visited regularly, but since we bought this home in 2018 we've only been there a couple of times. 

It's a very quiet town, almost deserted on a Sunday morning, with old weathered buildings, and some  exquisite iron-lacework on the display around their wide shady verandahs - something which always catches my eye when we're in outback towns.

This is the main street....

Further along the street...the corner shop/post office/petrol station all-in-one (love the old petrol bowsers and the red telephone box)...

Molly-dog always comes along on our Sunday drives and gets very excited when hubby picks up her halter to secure her in the car. She's seen a lot of the Australian outback, coast and countryside in the eight months we have had her and is an excellent traveller.

These old Fords would have stories to tell...

Gold was discovered in Ravenswood in 1868, and the following year there was a gold rush. Today this tiny town has over 400 workers at the Ravenswood mine, which is the largest goldmine in our state of Queensland. 

You can see the mine easily from the town, but I took this photo as we drove away because the local lookout is temporarily closed.

The reason we love this place is the peace and quiet. It's been a dream of ours for many, many years to one day move to a small country town and settle there in retirement. The Lord may have other ideas, and that's okay, but for now we relish the long Sunday drives and the mental and physical refreshment we gain by being right out in nature with our dog, a flask of tea, some sandwiches, homemade biscuits (cookies) or cake. 

Just wanted to share this with you today, as I think we all seek quiet places at times, don't you? 

Gift pattern...
Nine years ago I designed this sweet little stitchery for one of my clubs, and the message still resonates today, so I thought you might like to stitch it yourself. It's only small and can be made quickly, or maybe you'll stitch as I do - with a slow and gentle rhythm? 

Use the link below to download my free pattern.

I tried two new recipes in the kitchen recently - a delicious sweet shortcrust pastry, and some lovely sultana & sour cream biscuits (cookies). Having never had much success with shortcrust pastry in the past, I was so excited that this one worked and tasted amazing. 

We had a kilo of Royal Gala apples which needed using up so along with some blackberries I baked an apple and blackberry pie. 

Royal Gala apples don't break down like Granny Smiths when cooked, they keep their shape with a bit of bite, exactly how hubby and I enjoy them. 

With the leftover pastry I thought of Nana, and made myself a childhood favourite - jam tart baked on a bone china plate. Truly, I smiled all afternoon as I nibbled bits and pieces, because it's more than a comfort food. It's a memory which overflows with joy. 

I may have mentioned this before, but my husband much prefers a slice or biscuits (cookies) to cake, so I'm trying some new recipes from old Women's Weekly cookbooks. This week I made Sultana Biscuits, though I have renamed them Sultana Sour Cream biscuit because sour cream is a main ingredient and replaces a large percentage of the butter we'd normally add when making biscuits. Oh, these were delicious!! Rolling them in coconut before baking adds to the flavour. Yum! They will be a regular on my baking list from now on.

I'll share the recipes with you in the next blog post if you like?

In the sewing room I'm making more jar covers, some with embroidery, some with crochet edging...

...and now I'm playing around with repurposing damaged vintage doilies to create even more. I simply cut out a usable section of the doily and needle-turn it to the centre of a suitable matching fabric. I will finish these ones tomorrow, and perhaps add lace edging as well.  

Time now to sign off and do the late afternoon chores - take the washing off the line, make my husband's lunch for work tomorrow, fold the washing, feed the pets, water the garden and do a general tidy up of my sewing room. 

It is such a privilege to have a home, to have people to care for, to have the skills to make, create and grow things, and to walk each day with the Lord. 

I hope and pray you are cherishing what you have, dear ones...and that you know how much YOU are cherished by our loving Father in heaven.

(I'll be back on Thursday with the next free pattern in this year's Joy in the Ordinary BOM)


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Lin said...

Beautiful old buildings Jennifer and I do love a bit of rust! A lovley trip out and your baking looks delicious. xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jenny!

Carol said...

Thank you Jennifer for your thoughts and the pattern. I enjoy looking at your baking. It makes my tastebuds water.

Allie said...

Oh my what a lovely little town - I love to explore them as well, and see the historic buildings that have weathered so well, and I too dream of living in one! But - having spent some time living in a small town - you really have to be ok with everyone knowing your business ALL the time. There's a certain comfort in being anonymous in a larger city, lol.
LOVE all the pics of your baking. Yummy! And I do love that design with the bench, thank you! Love ya, girl!

Wilna said...

I've been wondering what happened to Harry dog? Did I miss something?

Julie said...

Gosh that fretwork on those buildings is just amazing dear Jennifer. I too love old towns, deserted, quiet places. We live on a busy rural road & last week there was a road closure due to work being undertaken. I could sit in the silence for a very long time & just breathe.
Love the new jar covers - you have given me an idea for a friend who has just lost a beloved pet .. this might be perfect to just say "I am thinking of you". Wishing you a peace filled week ahead my dear friend x0x

Tammy said...

What a gorgeous old town to explore. I love old small towns too. I'm a small-town girl. Your baking looks so good that I am sure I just gained 10 pounds looking at it all. And I do love those jar covers you have been very busy making..

Annabel said...

I love a drive and I love a little country town. Give me the country any day! Your pie looks stunning and my Nan always made jam tarts and I have always made them. Usually with the left over pastry. They are so good. Once again proving that the simple things are often the best of all. Also they are a reminder of times in Nans kitchen. xxx

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for the tour of Ravenswood ! Love the iron lace work on the buildings. Your photos really capture the feel of this remote village. I wonder if non Australian tourists ever visit these small rural villages ? Thanks for a great day out today on the blog :)
Thanks for the pattern :)
Sultana sour cream sounds great. Would love to read the recipe. Substituting butter for sour cream is a game changer
Butter is 81 grams fat per 100 grams - or about 80% fat. Sour cream is only 20 grams fat per 100 grams - about 20%
Sounds great ! Now the proof is in the pudding :)
Warming up here to sunny 26 today for two days !
hugs, take care,

Remembrances said...

What a beautiful old town! We have a few of those here in Arizona, but yours reminds me of a stroll I took down the French Quarter the first time I went to New Orleans. Of course it was much more crowded than your peaceful little town! Thank for another lovely embroidery design! I love your patterns and designs, as well as your recipes, so yes, I would love to see the recipes for your yummy looking goodies!

Phi. 4:13

Di said...

I do so love old country towns. If only the walls could talk

Anonymous said...

I just love it! Thank you for sharing. AND yes, of course to your recipe. Blessings. Patty
(p.s. I might need to get a hat now.)

Patty said...

Your cooking always looks so delicious and has that made from love feeling. Makes me yearn for quality over quantity. I also like the embroidered jar covers. Thank you for sharing.

Mary-Louise Parker said...

What a lovely Blog!, I almost missed this one! So interesting! Yes my husband and I would like to move beside the sea! But it's so expensive! And Only God knows the future! We are very happy in our home of almost 31 years! Clearing out out bit by it! We have just finished painting our bedroom, pale yellow and pink! Only 2 little touches of pink but it's lively. Bought a bookcase for£15 off gumtree! Mark will varnish it, and iam looking to put up a new painting or photo in our wall. Then I am going to having a writers corner under my velux window. I am having major problems with my herniated discs and my back locking, so I had to sit and garden, as when I bend the discs pop out, I see someone on 23 Rd May and would value prayer. But I am thank fuli can walk and still Praise the Lord. XXMary-Lou