Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weekend Down South

Last weekend we had a long weekend which included the labour day public holiday. Instead of leaving on the Friday night after work like most, we decided to drive down on Saturday, to enjoy the journey and stay two nights in Nyamup (320km from Perth). It was the most goregous day, a beautifully warm day with the sunrays warming Perth and surroundings. On our drive down we stopped just past Mandurah when we saw a "have a break" type of stop especially for drivers run be the SES (all volunteers). There was rows of free coffee, tea and even milo plus other drinks were available for purchase as well as a sausage sizzle was on offer. I really enjoyed our stop there, just sitting down having a chat with my hubby and enjoying a warm drink before we continued our drive. I felt so grateful for all the wonderful work those volunteers were doing and it was definitely successful with lots of people stopping to have a little break from driving.

As we continued our drive down we stopped at the Real River Company, a cider factory in Donnybrook. Manuel had always wanted to stop by but the last time it was closed. However this time we were in luck. We first of went for a little walk on the property; lots of gorgeous rows of course apples but also other fruit, there was an old mine to look at and a smaller lake. The property was simply stunning especially on this summer day where the weather was not too warm and not too cold. The owner gave us the ciders for tasting, an absolutely delicious ginger apple cider, the custard cider, apple port and even some rosemary and lavender syrup. It was a real pleasure to meet someone that is just so passionate about what he does and I really enjoyed listening to him. All the products are made without any preservatives so that give it a big tick from me.

In the late afternoon we arrived in Nyamup, originally a timber village, where only the workers lived with there families back in the days. We stayed at cottage number 21, a wooden cottage that had been beautifully restored. Dark wooden floors, enough bedrooms to sleep 10 people, a fireplace, tv and DVD player and one of my favourite places the verandah where emus would wonder by hoping to be fed with some delicacies... One of the most amazing things that I treasured throughout our stay there was sitting on the verandah and all we would hear were the sounds of the Australian bush, no cars, no industrial noices, just the bush, just nature. We went on a bush walk just enjoying nature, walking through the bush, on trails, walking over thin bridges. It was unusual but I stilled enjoyed it that there was simply no mobile reception and the only phone was in the managers office.

During the day it got nice and warm in the house and at night it would cool down a lot. One morning we woke up from the sounds of our car alarm and later we found some Kangaroo poo next to the car, so we assume our Hyundai I30 must have panicked when he met his first Kangaroo.

While we were down under I also tried out a new recipe; I just love trying new and healthier recipes: this one was for Chocolate cupcakes all gluten free. In order to try this you will need the following
  • 150g almond meal
  • 21g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used raw cacao to get all the goodness from the beans)
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 2 eggs, I used free range
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 60ml coconut oil
  • 60ml milk of your choice (dairy, rice, nut)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
First heat the oven to 160 degrees. Next combine almond meal, cocoa and baking powder. Next add the eggs, oil, milk and homey and mix in order to form a smooth batter. Finally spoon the mixture into cupcake tins and fill about 3/4 or to your liking and bake for 25 minutes. Trust me you will love them!

On our way back up to Perth we stopped by a few locals selling apricots and peaches for $3 for 2 kilos. They smell so delicious and you know where they actually came from and that they haven't been shipped for days. So tomorrow I will add some to my breakfast for sure; it will be delicious and I am already looking forward to it!

I am so grateful that we got this chance for a break, I love to spend time just with my hubby and it was magical to enjoy the surroundings of the bush in our gorgeous wooden cottage. 

During our

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