Easter Basket Case

Autumn brings with it an air of change. The closet cries out for warmer, shadowy and more demure attention. The currawongs corral their cronies enmasse about the burgeoning supply of late harvest berries. And the garden yearns, desperately, for that hasty sowing of brassicas, peas, broad beans and onions before the cooler air temperatures set in for the winter season. Perhaps the most awaited moment on my families colour changing calendar, however, is the coming of the end of the first school term.

Normally the Easter School Holiday period would see us racing down the highway, car boot packed to the gift-giving gunnels with all manner of home made goodies to lavish upon family members and friends alike, for our annual, countryside catch ups. Opting for a quieter, more home based Easter this year, my two busy bunnikins instead put some of their extra educative hours to altruistic use so as to connect with their greatly missed school buddies and familial chums from an acceptable, social distance apart. In true interdisciplinary style – ticking all manner of pedagogical, 3R’s plus the works, boxes – K1 and K2 set about facing many of the “low supply” odds to create a trio of treats that would put a smile on even the most isolated of Easter Bunny dials: Weed Woven Easter Baskets; Sourdough Hot Cross Buns; and a Busy Bunnies Easter Activity sheet.

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Invigorated by a good dose of long awaited rainfall, many an urban weed and hedging plant can be seen brimming with last-ditch-effort, pre-winter growth: simply perfect timing for some basket hamper construction. Inspired by a recent segment on Gardening Australia about basketry, K1 and K2 put their pent-up paws to weaving work by first shaping some Potato Vine and Chinese Elm shoots into a ring.

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With great patience and at times, steely concentration, some fading Diannella Longifolia was then weaved between cross-hatched cuttings of Cotoneaster to create a very simple, tension-tray esque carrier.

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Eschewing the barren and yeastless supermarket shelves, over a series of microbe brewing days, my budding young scientists set about making their own sourdough culture, with the ultimate aim of upholding the family tradition of baking a wholesome and deliciously fresh batch of Hot Cross Buns – plus a few side projects such as sourdough crumpets and sourdough self saucing pudding, to avoid wasting any of that coveted rye flour ferment – for Easter.

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After five days of waiting, watching and whiffing, the golden-egg-quality micro-organism melange was ready for use. Cobbling together what dried fruit was left at our local whole foods store (currants, dried peach and pear…to name a few) and a motley mix of flours, my rabid crew then put their burrowed-up energy to good, bread-making use, with plenty of…

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…kneading…

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…rolling…

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and patient waiting…until the much anticipated feast could begin…with plenty set aside for those Easter basket deliveries.

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In keeping with the theme, and as a finishing touch to the gift giving sentiment, my two little kits pulled out their craft making kits to put together a series of fun holiday activities to be mailed to those countryside companions…who at over 300km away…fall a little outside our hot-cross-bunny delivery range.

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As for Easter Sunday itself, powered by a once-a-year, Poached Eggs Florentine breakfast, the day was filled with plenty of cryptic-decoding, chocolate hunt challenges and a bevy of banter about the card playing table.

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So in a sane and well balanced nut shell, we had an eggcellent weekend!!

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