A Dream Comes True…

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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] G[/dropcap]rowing up on a farm, I couldn’t wait to leave. As soon as I had saved up some money, I set off to see the big wide world. Backpack in hand.

First stop was San Francisco. Then Paris. And on it went.

It was so exhilarating. And scary. Meeting new people. Exploring new places and of course tasting new cuisines.

But you know what really surprised me?

The more places I visited, the more I appreciated how much I loved Australia. As the saying goes ‘there’s no place like home’.

And so way back then a seed of an idea started to form. One day I would have a little farm of my own. There would be olives and chickens and of course a kick-arse veggie garden.

That was back in the mid 1990s. And ever since then the dream has stayed with me.

It’s been with me through different careers as a wine maker, chocolate biscuit designer and now food blogger and author. It’s been with me as I’ve lived in many different places from the Barossa Valley to California to Southern France to Sydney and the Snowy Mountains.

Lets just say this dream has been a long time in the making.

So I can hardly believe that this weekend we’re finally moving to our little farm. It’s pretty tiny. Just 5 acres of beautiful Australian bush land. But that’s all we’ll need.

Yay for dreams that come true! No matter how long it takes.

The Stonesoup Tiny Farm Moving House SALE!

3D old coverTo celebrate finally fulfilling my dream of buying a tiny farm (and help clear out my garage to make the moving process easier) I’m having a sale on my first print book.

‘And the Love is Free’ is a collection of stories and my Mum’s reliable no-fuss family recipes.

Since the book was first self published, I haven’t ever had a sale like this.

But since we’re moving and I’m keen to set a good example for my Irishman in cleaning out our garage, I’ve decided to have a one-time-only 50% OFF sale.

The sale is strictly for 72 hours or less if we sell out before then.

And I won’t be doing another print run so once they’re gone, they’re gone.

To make sure you don’t miss out use the link below:

And to give you a taste, here’s one of the recipes in the book inspired by my Mum.

chinese chicken

June’s Chinese Chicken

June was my Mum and this was her only foray into Chinese cooking. She used to make it with chicken wings and serve it as a starter for her dinner parties in the 70s. I’ve simplified it since then and turned it into more of a main course by using chicken drumsticks.

The real gem here, though, is the bok choy. By wrapping it in foil and baking it in the oven it steams to a lovely texture without adding any extra washing up. Win! Win!

enough for 2
6-8 chicken drumsticks
1/2 cup soy sauce
2-3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 bunch bok choy or other Asian greens or broccolini

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).

2. Combine soy, honey & ginger. Place chicken in a baking dish and cover with the sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

3. Remove foil and turn the chicken. Return to the oven. Wrap bok choy in foil and place on a lower shelf in the oven.

4. Bake for another 20 minutes or until chicken is well browned and the bok choy has wilted.


vegetarian / vegan – try Chinese mushrooms. Cook field mushrooms instead of the chicken. You might like to add some cashews as you serve to increase the protein. I’m also thinking tofu or tempeh would be lovely with all the flavours from the sauce. And if you don’t eat honey a little brown sugar or maple syrup would work.

more substantial – serve with steamed rice or cauliflower ‘rice’ (raw grated cauliflower).

different cuts of chicken – feel free to use chicken thighs instead or a whole chicken chopped into pieces on the bone. Both of these options will take about the same time to cook. Boneless chicken breasts or thigh fillets will also work, reduce the cooking time to 20-30 minutes.

different protein – You could use fish fillets (will take about 15 minutes or a little longer). Lamb shanks, pork ribs or beef osso buco will take about 3-4 hours cooked at 160C (350F).

hot! – add in some fresh or dried chilli.

With love,
Jules x
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  • Glad you could make your dream come true! I know what you mean about wanting to get back home. I couldn’t wait to go off to college and get a nice-paying job. Now that I have it, I know I had a better deal when living a nice simple life on an acreage. I hate city life so doing my best to get back again. Funny how we go full circle like that!

  • I love this book! Jules it has been an inspiration in many many many ways. So full of memories, yummy food, talent and love.

    to anyone thinking about it ~ BUY IT!

  • Go Jules! There’s nothing like having a few acres to play with and 5 is heaps, believe me. If you’re not already familiar with Permaculture, now might be the time to look at it – just perfect for what you want to do. Organic, sustainable, strong community builder and so on. I don’t know where you are relocating to but permaculture organisations are widespread.
    Good luck with the venture …. and don’t try to do everything at once. I love your books and your methods, cheers, Karen F

  • Just wanted to yell out a big congrats, Jules! I’ve turned to your books time and time again and love that I can confidently refer people to your website and recipes. The most recent was a friend who has lost 40 kilos with a gastric balloon and now it’s time to have it removed. As an over-worked, over-paid professional, she was terrified of going back to her old takeaway ways and putting it all back on again. She just phoned me to say she and her husband have survived (and enjoyed!) a full five days of cooking from your free book for signing up and she’s excited to do more. So I’m very, very pleased to see you and your family rewarded with a dream come true. May it be all you dream it to be!

    • Wonderful Jacqueline!

      Thanks so much for getting in touch and for helping to spread the word about Stonesoup! I really appreciate it!


  • Just today I saw a food idea of yours on Facebook…baking frittatas in a springform plan. I thought it would be a great, quick way to create a good, nutritious meal for my family. Don’t know where to post this exactly, but I wanted to get this message to you. BIG MISTAKE using a springform pan for baking frittatas. The liquid oozes out of the pan, which I placed on a cookie sheet, thank heavens, but still so much ran out and down to the oven floor. I had a huge mess and had to open doors and windows to get rid of the smoke. Just thought you should know. Don’t know if I’ll keep receiving your blog.

    • Thanks for the feedback Jan!

      Sorry for causing smoke in the kitchen…

      But I haven’t ever had a problem with leakage so wondering if your pan needs updating?

      Thanks for letting me know anyway :)

  • Hi Jules!

    I’m so happy for you! Having a little plot of land has always been a dream of mine as well. Although this is primarily a food blog, would you consider putting up a post about your farm with some pictures? Perhaps some updates on the farm’s progress from time to time as well? I would love to see your garden and chickens. Anyways, enjoy your dream come true! :)

    • Thanks Daniel!

      And am planning on sharing some farm snaps for sure… Especially when I get my new veggie garden in the mix.

      Hope your dream comes true when you’re ready :)

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