The Lynwood Cafe

31 Jan 2009

The last stop on my drive back to Sydney was the tiny village of Collector. I last visited Collector about 15 years ago, when in desperation to find some petrol I pulled in off the Hume Highway. Well the petrol station is still there but abandoned and apart from the Bushranger Hotel, there isn't much else in Collector except the Lynwood Cafe.

When I arrived, I was greeted by the sounds of barking and found 2 dogs, a sheepdog and an old chocolate lab, tethered to some of the fruit trees in the back garden. I thought they belonged to the owners but later discovered they belonged to some of the patrons. The cafe is rustic, tiny and popular and I can see why. The food was delicious - I had crumbed sage veal with a rocket and fennel salad followed by a chocolate, polenta brownie. As I arrived for lunch rather than afternoon tea I didn't try any of their famous scones. I did see a plate carrying 3 gigantic scones, whipped cream and homemade jam (which can be bought at the cafe or online) and vowed I would return!

I roamed around the grounds taking a few photos of the cafe and was introduced to the dogs by their young charges. I learned the sheepdog was a bit nervous which is why he barked and he had a tendency to nip the kids bottoms mistaking them for chickens. The old chocolate Labrador was called Nue, and apologies if I've misspelled his name.

They insisted I take a photo and thankfully approved of my efforts. It took a couple of goes before Nue would smile for the camera though.


2016 Edit - Lynwood Cafe has closed for business.


29 Jan 2009

I've been to Collector before but I've never visited Gunning. When I found out the 2 places were only 24 kilometres apart I decided to return to Sydney via the scenic route taking in both Gunning and Collector. None of the sites I visited mentioned the road to Collector was unsealed for about 20 kilometres. The car handled the road pretty well though she was looking a bit dusty by the time we arrived in Collector.

Gunning is a pretty typical country town with a few cafes, a book store, an antique shop, a courthouse and a Chinese restaurant.

I particularly liked Bailey's Garage and shot a few film images whilst I was there.

As I didn't fancy a lamb burger for lunch at the local cafe I got back into my car and drove to the Lynwood Cafe.

I met one other car on the drive to Collector. I passed by amazing bleached fields of grasses blown by the wind which I stopped to photograph.

I can't wait to see how the film version turned out.

Next post - the Lynwood cafe.



27 Jan 2009

When I was in Canberra I spied this bike and trailer parked behind the National Gallery. I heard on the radio that a classic bike rally was being held in Canberra as part of the Australia Day Long Weekend festivities so the bike started to make more sense.

I drove back to Sydney via Gunning and Collector. It's been a hot, dry old summer and the earth is bleached golden brown. As I turned off the Federal Highway I started seeing lots of elderly bikes being ridden by elderly drivers en route to where??? 

I drove through a tiny place called Gundaroo on my way to Gunning. When I drove through the main street and found it lined with bikes and particularly Adlers, I discovered the bikes were heading to Gundaroo. It looked like such a cute place so I stopped to take some photos. 

A chatty young local lad told me all about the rally and that its epicentre was the local pub and that prizes were handed out for the loudest bikes and the biggest bikes and that I should go up and take a look....

Instead I picked up my camera and went for a stroll. I took my film camera along with me for the ride and took some photos. I've only used half a roll of film so far but when it's finished and developed I'll post the film images alongside their digital equivalents for comparison.

After Gundaroo it was back in the car and on my way to Gunning. More photos to come,


Pavlova Day

25 Jan 2009

Happy Australia Day every-one. As Canberra is the national capital, there is no shortage of Australian flags on display. I shot this beauty at the National Portrait Gallery.

In honour of Australia Day, I decided to bake something with an Australian flavour. Traditionally this is a day for eating lamb so I was looking for something that would go with lamb. I thought about making some lamingtons but I couldn't bear the thought of the chocolate coated and coconut covered fingers that entails so I decided to make a pavlova instead.

Legend has it that Bert Sachse, a chef in Perth, created the pavlova in honour of Anna Pavlova who was touring Australia at the time. Somehow the kiwis claim that they invented the dish but no matter - it's an antipodean classic of soft centred meringue topped with whipped cream and fruit though I substituted fromage frais for the whipped cream. 

Traditionally it's topped with strawberries and passion fruit to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue. Great minds think alike and one of my favourite food bloggers Bea, at La Tartine Gourmande also featured a pavlova on her blog this week.

I haven't had pavlova in a long time and I was a bit worried I might find it a bit too sweet for my taste. Now I'm glad I made 2 mini pavlovas because the first one tasted so good I wolfed it down in one sitting! Roast lamb for dinner followed by pavlova. Yum!



I decided to take a little road trip to Canberra to see the Degas exhibition. I'd hoped by going on a Friday I could avoid the crowds but it wasn't to be.

I'm so tiny that if I'm not at the front of the crowds I don't get to see anything, so I headed straight to the end of the exhibition and made my way backwards.

I was in and out of the exhibition so quickly I decided to visit the newly opened National Portrait Gallery. It's so new that workmen in hardhats are still roaming the premises. It's a beautifully light and airy building which one day should/will look out onto landscaped gardens. I really enjoyed the exhibition that's on display. I wasn't quite done with the NGA and returned to walk through the sculpture garden.

The galleries are close to Old Parliament house so I stopped by on my way to my accommodation. I discovered the gardens at Old Parliament House and roamed through them accompanied by the sounds of singing magpies. The gardens fell into disrepair when the politicians moved into New Parliament House and were recreated from a 1926 sketch. They're formal gardens featuring masses of roses and the scent of the roses was delightful.

I decided it was time to find my bed for the night at University House. I'd looked up the directions at home but hadn't printed them out. Any-one who has ever visited Canberra will tell you that it has the worst signposting of any city in Australia. After going around in circles for a while I admitted defeat and asked for directions to University House.

University House is housed in the grounds of the ANU (Australian National University) and is a beautifully preserved example of 1950's Australian architecture. I dropped my bags in my room and explored the common areas and the grounds cameras in hand, of course. 

The following day I walked through the nearby Film and Sound Archive. The exhibit was small but the art deco building in which it's housed is a real gem. It features loads of Australian animal motifs such as the platypus and the koala.


Lemon Passionfruit Shortbread Hearts

18 Jan 2009

I'm a little early for Valentine's Day I know but I only have 3 cookie cutters and the other 2 were even less suitable for these cookies.

I adapted a recipe from Stephanie Alexander's Cooks Companion adding a little flour to the mixture so it could be rolled out. The baked cookie is very delicate and 1 shattered as I was removing it from the baking tray.

I had the un-iced broken cookie for my breakfast and I can tell you that it was delicious!

Happy Valentine's Day,



14 Jan 2009

I've always loved flowers and I especially love hydrangeas. How clever of a flower to be able to change it's colour just like litmus paper. Our garden doesn't have any flower beds but it does boast camellia bushes, a hibiscus tree and a hedge of hydrangeas. There aren't any pink or white hydrangeas in the garden but there are many differing shades of blues.

Aren't they sweet?


Chocolate Chunk Cookies

11 Jan 2009

When I lived in Canada I collected quite a few recipes. I have recipes for pies, muffins, cinnamon rolls and nanaimo bars that I've never made. Some of the recipes I use all the time like the recipes for Chocolate Pecan Pie and Apple Cheesecake, whilst others I haven't made in years.

I went through my baking files from 2008 yesterday and backed them all up to dvd and I was shocked at how little there was to view. I'm going to have to get a bit more serious about baking or it will be 2025 before I have enough images to make a book on baking.

As my cookies were such a hit last week I thought I'd make some more cookies and decided to bake some old fashioned chocolate chunk cookies. It's been ages since I last made these and my hand written recipe says it's a Baker's Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe. I think Baker's may have been a brand of chocolate. It's been over a year since my last visit to a Canadian supermarket and I didn't ever make it to the baking aisle so correct me if I'm wrong.

I'll let you know how these rate against the white chocolate and cranberry cookies.


Edit - the cookies were a smash hit. 2 dozen gone in just one day!

White Chocolate Chunk and Cranberry Cookies

5 Jan 2009

When I was home in Brisbane I saw an article featuring Christmas cookies

I had most of the ingredients in the cupboard so during the weekend I decided to try out the cranberry cookies. I cut down the sugar and the chocolate in the recipe but next time I make the cookies, I'll be cutting down the sugar even more.

Most of my colleagues are returning to work tomorrow for the first time in 2009 so I've taken a batch of cookies into work to sweeten their first day back.

Edit - the cookies were a raging success and after 2 days there are none left! More cookie baking this weekend,


New Year's Resolutions 2009

2 Jan 2009

I don't usually make resolutions but I have set some goals for 2009 and for this Long Weekend.
  • take more time out to enjoy myself. I spent way too much time in 2008 huddled in front of my p.c. I tried to remember the last time I'd been to the movies or to see an exhibition since I returned from my holiday in September and couldn't.
  • defrost the freezer. There was a polar ice cap developing in there.
  • sort out the linen cupboard
  • clean out the kitchen shelves, cupboards and pot drawers
  • sort out my accounts
  • clean the extractor fan.
Now that they're written down, I'll have to do them.

My photography goals are separate and they're written down on the chalk board in my kitchen. When 1 goal is achieved that goal is erased from the chalkboard. One of my goals "to get better" is never erased. I do think my photography is improving and have to say I'm so glad that I decided to buy my Nikon d-300 this year. Whilst I still have to do some work on the files, it's nothing compared to the work I had to do on the files from the Nikon d70S.

One photographic goal to be achieved this year is to shoot more film. I've continued to shoot black and white film but I only shot 1 roll of colour film in 2008. I'm going to do better than that in 2009. When I have a bit more time I will pull out some favourite images from 2008 but at the moment I'm preparing my ad and some new pricelists for 2009 so that's keeping my busy as I have a Monday deadline.

I had a quiet New Year's Eve so on New Year's Day I set about achieving some of the goals I'd set for 2009 and set to work defrosting the freezer. Once that was done I was staggered to see how little real food there was in there. I seem to hoard nuts and herbs and little else. Once that was done I made my way to the Randwick Ritz to see a movie. There was a small crowd of very young children clutching the hands of parents and grandparents and I hoped they weren't planning to see Marley and Me.

I read the book by John Grogan a few years ago and was instantly reminded of Coco, our beloved kelpie/labrador cross who also went by the monicker of naughtybadwicked - all one word, because that's what she was. Pretty much everything Marley did, Coco did except she didn't drink from the loo and her furniture chewing was only confined to wooden furniture.

She was a top thief and regularly returned home with cartons of milk, newspapers, plants and toys that she'd "borrowed". She was also partial to swimming and the absence of a swimming pool at our place didn't deter her one bit. She just wandered over to the neighbours place and had a dip there when the mood took her followed by a lie-down on one of their beds. How long this had been going on we didn't know as our neighbours were too polite to complain.

I'm firmly a dog lover and when I was home in Brisbane I found one of Coco's old tags still hanging from the washing line so I took a photo.

In Coco's place these days is a cat and whilst I will never prefer cats to dogs, this cat is one character and has the family firmly wrapped around her not so little paws, photos to follow.

You'll be glad to know that I've now sorted through the accounts and have plans to see an exhibition at the State Library tomorrow so my goals for this Long Weekend are still on target. 

That was a long post so I'll close here,

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