On common ground


Alice, Tom and I recently spent an afternoon with the Statham family of Rosnay Organic. These guys grow beautiful organic figs, olives and wine grapes and have worked hard to create themselves a gentle, clean lifestyle that leaves about as low a carbon footprint as you could get. The straw bale house (they built themselves) is the kind of place you never want to leave (ever). But we all had little people to feed so reluctantly I extracted Alice from the trampoline and Tom from the cubby house (there may have been a throw down involved in that latter part), and we drove home to have pasta with Rosnay olive paste for dinner (see below). Today I think I'll start researching straw bale houses.

Sam and Simone Statham and their three children live on a 140-hectare Community Title cooperative just out of Canowindra. As Sam explains, this is a strata-style set-up, so each family farms independently but they share things like water distribution, buffer zones and roads. The farm was originally established by Sam's parents Florence and Richard and their wine, fruit and value added produce are all recognised as some of the region’s best. We are particularly keen on the figs in syrup which are fantastic just on their own with a little yogurt or dolloped onto a cheese plate. You can purchase their produce either online or from these distributors.

Yogurt panna cotta with figs in syrup
This soft, cool pudding is perfect with Rosnay’s sweet figs and as an added bonus they take about ten minutes to make and are virtually fool-proof. Great for when you have friends over as everything is done well in advance.
1 tbsp gelatine powder
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp orange zest, finely grated
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
2 cups pouring cream
1 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain yogurt
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 jar of Rosnay figs in syrup

Mix the milk and gelatine together and set aside for a few minutes. Pour the cream into a saucepan with the zest, ginger and sugar and bring to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir through the milk and gelatine mixture. Let this cool slightly before stirring through the yogurt. Divide the mixture evenly among six lightly greased 1/2 cup capacity moulds (or tea cups). Place these in the fridge for 4-6 hours until set. Run a knife around the edge of each mould and turn each panna cotta out onto a serving plate, spoon a fig on the side of each and drizzle over the syrup before serving.

Olive and ricotta pasta
This isn't really a recipe, just a serving suggestion. Cook your favourite pasta until al dente, drain (reserving a little of the cooking liquid) then toss with a couple of tablespoons of Rosnay olive paste. Add a little of the cooking water if the pasta is feeling a bit dry. Serve onto warm plates and top each pile of pasta with a good helping of ricotta, we used Jannei Goat's milk ricotta and then sprinkled that with a few lemon thyme leaves.


  1. Sounds like a lovely day...beautiful photos.

  2. Wow, what an inspiring approach to life!

  3. Just discovered your beautiful blog. Love the local focus, and that panna cotta sounds delicious.


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