Wine, good food, a warm and gracious host and fantastic company- this is how I would describe my weekend if I was limited to a single sentence. Luckily I can expound on that a little more and tell you all about my wonderful weekend learning how to make sourdough bread and crumpets, laughing and exploring the historic grounds of Yuin Station.
On Saturday morning I hopped in the ute and started the 1hr drive north east to the Murchison, where Yuin sits next to the Greenough river. I love driving by myself, and the fact I could blast my music with no regard to small ears and no worries about dancing, football or Saturday errands was a welcome change.
The homestead was lush with green gardens and had a warm kitchen filled with women ready for weekend of good company and learning a new skill.
We spent the morning learning how to keep our sourdough starter alive (mine is called Steve, and I managed to forget him when I came back home) and beginning the process of making a loaf of bread.
In the time between kneading we were given a tour of the homestead and the amazing gardens and then a retired goldmine next-door to the station.
I must say, the food was a highlight of the weekend. We feasted on sourdough crumpets and fig and almond loaf for morning tea, had never ending cups of tea and coffee and generally had a fantastic time!
Lunch was silky pumpkin soup with fresh coriander, dollops of cream and ploughman’s boards with smoked salmon and capers, fresh tomatoes, olives, pickles, prosciutto, quince paste and capsicum (need I go on), accompanied of course by fresh sourdough.
Our loaves were successfully shaped and proved, then baked in a variety of ways- from convection to pizza ovens.
Then it was onto pasta making, which was a laugh a minute. I have never made pasta and so learning how to operate a machine was fun, and required enough concentration to make things interesting.
Bouts of activity in the kitchen were interspersed with sitting at the table in the courtyard and laughing and enjoying the sun. After dark the wine was poured (white for me) and a few of us went to watch the tennis match being played under lights.
I am proud to say I picked up a tennis racket for the first time since I was 12, and even managed to hit the ball on occasion (though I did make an absolute fool of myself, I’d already finished a glass of wine so wasn’t all that fussed).
And then it was dinner….Emma had promised Yuin lamb and something green from the garden. If you follow her blog Outback Larder you will know she is a whizz in the kitchen, and I can tell you, never pass up a meal cooked by Emma! We were treated to lamb ragu, with fresh pasta, parsley and spinach- it was delicious! Emma had baked a chocolate tart and marmalade ice-cream for dessert.
Night was spent in the shearers quarters, snug as a bug in my warm swag. I woke early and watched the sun rise, then had a deliciously warm shower before trekking back to the homestead for breakfast and catch ups with the ladies. After raiding Emma’s garden (oranges and parsley for me) we each made our way to our cars are started the drive back home.
I saw a few emu’s and kangaroos and made a stop at the wreath flowers in Pindar before heading back to Mullewa to catch the last quarter of the boys football game.
What a privilege it was to spend such an enjoyable weekend with so many lovely ladies!