Place Of Rolling Hills
photography & words by Lean Timms
JULY 2015 | NESTING
'Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.'
― John Lubbock
The Dumaresq Valley. A place of rolling hills, thousand acre stations, wild brumbies and forever grassy plains. A place that breathes only rural, country air. This wild and remote space becomes a welcoming home for the weekend, and it graciously hosts our slow living souls. Although temporary, no detail or effort is spared. Once abandoned, this place, now comes to life. We build comfort. A rural retreat and a home away from home. As though this place is ours forever and we can stay for that long too.
The shearer’s quarters and ramshackle huts become a place of rest. Window sills and verandahs are detailed with cuttings of eucalypt and wattle and ruined tobacco barns are draped with dried mistletoe chandeliers.
In the evening, farm tables are laid with candles and clusters of citrus cuttings and the dining room transforms into a late nineteenth century oasis. Meals are prepared over fire coals from the wood fired oven in the kitchen and from the warming campfire outside. In the morning, breakfast is set in the paddock among the long, crisp, dew ridden grass. As winter blows in, hands are warmed with mugs of campfire made cardamom coffee and mulled Swedish glögg.
We could be anywhere, miles away from town. But the comfort and the company grounds us. Ancient gums and corrugated iron breathe a heavy Australian whisper and the bush, this bush, surrounds us. So we hideout here. And happily nestle in.
Prep time: 24 hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6 (700ml)
250ml (one bottle) red wine – shiraz or merlot works best here
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken into medium sized pieces
6 pieces whole cardamom, slightly crushed
5 cm piece of fresh ginger, cut into 1cm slices
peel from half an orange
18 blanched almonds
2 tbs raisins
Combine the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, half of the orange peel and the brandy in a sealed jar for 24 hours.
Once the spice mixture has infused for a day, combine the spice mixture from the jar, the sugar and the wine in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture gently until it is just simmering. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring gently so that the sugar dissolves. Be careful not to bring the mixture to the boil.
In each cup, place 2 blanched almonds and 2-3 raisins. Pour the glögg over the almonds and raisins and serve warm.