Autumn lunch at the farm


Last Saturday we hosted a full house at the Farm Kitchen. And as always seems to happen - thank goodness - all of our guests came with enthusiasm, a spirit of adventure (which was needed on the rather ‘safari-like’ farm tour Tim took them all on) and an easy-going attitude which meant that the whole group got along beautifully.

We are not a restaurant, but we do offer a farm experience and a simple meal of local produce cooked and served by myself and Tim. And when the mounting pile of dishes allows, one of us sits down to share the meal at our the big table. Luckily, pretty much every guest we’ve ever had here understands and appreciates this.

Here are a few photos and recipes from the day that was. I wanted to snap the main course too but we were so busy plating up and serving out that the camera didn’t stand a chance of coming out.

We started the day with NV (Non-Vintage) Sparkling by Charles Sturt University winery here in Orange. This was served with a few boards of homemade fennel lavosh (recipe below), our venison salami, plum chutney and cheddar.

Then Tim took everyone out, right out the back of the farm to visit the deer, watch the stags roar (we are in the middle of the rut or mating season) and slip and slide their way back up the hills. The group came back hungry, muddy and gladly, in high spirits.

Our meal began with an entree of venison carpaccio with fresh figs (white Adriatic and Genoa black from Beau and Katie Baddock's Nashdale orchard - available now at the Agrestic Grocer), hazlenuts and verjus served with old school garlic bread. And for mains we had char-grilled venison backstrap with a crunchy coleslaw of red cabbage, fennel, pomegranate, walnuts and tarragon and gratin potatoes. Desert was a white chocolate and amaretti flan (recipe in the book) served with warm peaches, biscotti (recipe below) and shots of iced white port from Mudgee.

Thank you so much to all the lovely lovely people who keep coming to have lunch with us at the farm. Next date on the calendar is a collaborative event with our friends at the Agrestic Grocer, a Moveable Feast held on Saturday, April 5th, the first weekend of F.O.O.D Week and bookings are now open! And thereafter we are on again on Saturday June 14 and the second saturday of each following month. Please email me for more information on any of these events.

Fennel and linseed lavosh

This recipe is a real favourite of mine and has been adapted from one given by Annabel Langbein in her fantastic book The Free Range Cook.

3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup wholemeal flour
4 tbsp linseeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds (toasted)
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 165C and line a tray with baking paper. Mix the flours, seeds and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and oils. Mix well until you have a nice soft dough. Divide this into five balls. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out each ball as thinly as you can. Cut into uneven squares and bake, in batches for 10 minutes each (or until just beginning to turn golden).

Hazlenut and cranberry biscotti

This is always my go-to biscuit recipe for the Farm Kitchen. The biscuits are fantastic with most desserts and of course, perfect for dunking into sweet wine or coffee.

2 cups plain flour

1tsp baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup hazlenuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar together in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients. Bring together into a ball and tip this onto a lightly floured work bench. Divide the dough into two pieces and form into logs. Place these on a lined baking tray and bake for half an hour or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool a little. Reduce oven temperature to 160C, then slice each log across the diagonal into pieces about 1 1/2cm thick. Lay these on the baking tray and return to the oven for another 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container.


  1. Sophie, it looks gorgeous, and I hope one day I will be able to have the time to take part in one of your lovely farm lunches. It reminds me so much of my childhood where growing up on a property in the Riverina, we always had visitors (many from overseas) calling in- lots of farm tours, us kids riding horses and cracking whips (!!) and Mum cooking meals using our own meat and produce. Not quite as glam as yours, but it was fun meeting people and they always enjoyed the day because it was so different to what they were used to. Well done- I think these events also give the non farming community a better understanding to life on the land and the up's and down's that follow!!!

    1. Hi Kylie,

      Thanks so much. I'd love to see you here for lunch sometimes and so glad to hear that you agree with us about the value of showing our city friends what happens on the farm! Sophiex

  2. Your farm kitchen experience looks fantastic!! I hope I can make it to one of them soon! Thank you for posting some recipes too! I love your blog, it makes me miss my country home town and farm!!
    Ellie, x

    1. Thanks Ellie! We'd love to see you here soon too! Sophiex

  3. I love the table setting and the apples as name tag holders. Warm and cozy. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. Hi Kathy, Thanks so much. Hope all is well with you, sophie

  4. I want to be at your table Sophie! Just gorgeous. Beautiful flowers, styling and recipes as usual. The dish with the peaches looks amazing x

    1. Thank you Jane! Hope all is well with you. Sophiex

  5. Sophie, for a long time I have wanted to come visit your farm… and posts like this just make my mouth water! I retired recently from full time work so Peter and I have the opportunity to travel more. I hope to come visit you someday soon xox

  6. Hi Sophie - can you tell us where to find the recipe of the dish in the last photo, please? It looks delicious!


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