40 Facts About Me and Roasted Fruit

Roasted Stone Fruit

Something a little different today!  Let me explain, Jocelyn Hefner from  The Inner Interior wrote a wonderful, insightful blog post at the beginning of March sharing 40 facts about herself.  The aim was for her readers to get to know her better and deeper connections formed.   Since then, Tina from Colourliving and Mel from Armoire, Pegs and Casserole have joined in.  Tina asked me last week if I’d also be interested in sharing 40 facts about myself.  I agreed and here’s the list, of course I couldn’t do a post that didn’t involve food so you’ll find out what the pictures are about when you get to fact 40!

roasted fruit

1.    I have a strong faith in God.

2.   I have two girls five years apart.

3.   I wanted to wait until I really wanted another child before deciding to have a second one.

4.   My parents are from Belfast from different religions.

5.   I’m a first generation Australian.

6.   My Father has prostate cancer and has been having radiation.

7.   This has been a very difficult time for me and my family.

8.   My Mother travelled for six weeks on a ship by herself to come to Australia over 50 years ago.

9.   Many of my family members, including myself and my husband worked for Kodak.

10.  That’s where I met my husband.

11.   Next year is our 25th wedding anniversary.

12.   I have done alot of short courses.

13.   I worked at Safeway after school in year 11 & 12.

14.   I was accepted at University but didn’t go because I didn’t know what I really wanted to do.

15.  I am a fast reader.

16.  My oldest daughter has an astonishing singing voice for choir.

17.  My youngest daughter is the most insightful and considered person I know.

18.  I am very close to both my daughters.

19.  My Irish Grandmother cooked a traditional lunch including soup on Christmas day even if 40°C!

20.  Cooking and crafts run in my family.

21.   I spent my 21st birthday on a train from London to Holyhead to catch a ferry to Dublin.

22.   I have an Australian and British passport.

23.   I am an asthmatic.

24.   I love our new townhouse and feel lucky every day that we were the successful bidders.

25.   I have never know true joy like the joy my dog Charlie gives me.

26.   I have just started running every morning and can currently run 500 metres which I plan to build upon.

27.   I am very lucky at winning things.

28.   Generally if people ask me for money on the street I will give them some.

29.   I don’t like gambling.

30.  Once I was on the boat that shot a cannon to herald the start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

31.    I’m not a morning person.

32.   I sometimes struggle with social media, the time spent on it and what it all means.

33.   I like eating cold toast with butter and vegemite.

34.   I spread vegemite on thickly.

35.   Coloured television had been available in Australia for three years before my family got one.

36.   As children, my mother told us alot of stories about her upbringing in Belfast.

37.   I could write a book based on these stories.

38.   I am very proud of my Irish heritage.

39.   My first concert was to see the rock band Cheap Trick.

40.   I love fruit based desserts.


Oh my goodness, did I really make it to 40!  I hope you feel you know me a little better after reading my list.  If any of you feel like joining in that would be wonderful and I look forward to reading your lists.  Thank you Jocelyn for kicking this off, Tina and Mel for encouraging me to give it a go.  Here’s a recipe for one of my favourite fruit based desserts, Roasted Fruit.

roasted fruit dessert

Roasted Fruit

You can use any fruit to make this dish.  Peaches, apricots, nectarines, strawberries, plums, apples, blackberries, raspberries, pears.

Preheat your oven to 180°C.  Cut an assortment of your choice of fruit in half or quarters depending on how big they are and place in a roasting dish.

Sprinkle with vanilla sugar (sugar that’s been placed in a jar and had a vanilla bean scraped into it and the bean then buried in the sugar) and slosh some brandy or I used calvados over the fruit.

Roast until the fruit is soft but still holds it’s shape.  Spoon into a bowl and pour the juice from the bottom of the pan over the fruit.  Serve with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt, mascarpone or cream.

I served it with caramelised yoghurt:  Spoon some yoghurt in to a bowl, sprinkle with brown sugar and leave it for five minutes, then swirl the melted sugar through the yoghurt with a spoon.


Catherine x

Johnny Ripe

apple and blackberry pie

The first I learnt about Johnny Ripe on the Mornington Peninsula was from my daughter who’d stayed at a friends holiday house last summer.  They’d visited and bought some apple pies and Hayley said they were delicious.  My interest was piqued and one Sunday we drove to Balnarring Beach to walk Charlie, I suggested going there for lunch.  Once we worked out directions we arrived and were met by this fabulous farm gate bakery, next to Red Hill Lavender Farm.  It was full of freshly baked pies that looked delicious, just like Grandma use to make.  They also make cakes, take home meals, savoury pies, tarts, tomato sauce, chutney and lots more.  It’s not surprising the apple pies are so good seeing the apples are picked from their 70 year old orchard.  The rhubarb, limes and other fresh ingredients are also sourced from their farm.  The owner/operators take great pride in sourcing the best ingredients and using their skills as Chefs to turn them into something delectable.

Johnny ripe

apple pie, chutney and tomato sauce for sale

take away menu


Johnny Ripe is a produce store and cafe dining room open Friday to Sunday.  The cafe serves an all day menu Friday, Saturday and Sunday and a dinner menu Saturday evening, the menu is a reflection of the season and what’s available.  My cousin Carol and I dined in the cafe when we visited last Friday, it’s a rustic style room with a stone fireplace in the middle with friendly, helpful staff.  I ordered the Chicken and Vegetable Pie and Salad, Carol the Smoked Salmon and Avocado on Quinoa Bread which was fresh, flavoursome and had the wow factor as it was brought to the table.

orchard apples and hydrangeas

Johnny Ripe

lunch at Johnny Ripe

Smoked Salmon & Avocado on Quinoa Bread

Johnny Ripe has become a place for locals to gather to stock up with scrumptious, comforting food for the weekend.  It’s located at 284 Main Creek Road, Main Ridge, if you’d like to visit and I highly recommend you do.  Don’t forget they’re only open Friday to Sunday and the earlier you get there the better as the apple pies do sell out.

apple and blackberry pie

Catherine x

Why I Started Farmhouse Home

I wanted to share with you today a little about why I started my blog Farmhouse Home.  I’ve always been a creative person and my soul has always needed to be fed by one creative project or other since I was a child. Whether it be sewing, art, craft, ceramics, pottery or cooking, I loved it all.  The one that’s always stood out the most though is cooking, even when I was young I loved looking at recipe books and experimenting with different recipes.  I was very lucky, my mother gave me full reign of the kitchen and let me make as much mess as was required of a budding young cook.

green peaceful scene

After I had children, I saw that as a turning point from office work to doing something more in line with my passion.  I’ve since studied commercial cookery, many short courses including french cooking, cupcakes, chocolate making and a six month event management course at William Angliss to name a few.  It was while studying event management that I came up with the idea for Farmhouse Home.  We were on a winery tour of the Yarra Valley and one of the wineries had a rustic store selling gourmet food and wine, I said to a couple of the girls “I’d like to have a store like this one day”, they were very encouraging and said they could see me doing that.  I then tried to register the name Farmhouse but it was taken and Nick my husband thought Farmhouse Home had a ring to it.  Whilst I don’t have a farmhouse or a physical store I decided to bring what I felt and saw in that winery store that day to this blog.  I love the country farm aesthetic, warmth, sense of hospitality and comfort it evokes, it’s how I endeavour to make you feel after you’ve visited and read one of my posts.

Apricot Tart

a farm gate

I blog once a week, typically on a Monday and look forward to having your company, thoughts, feelings and input here.  If you have a recipe you’d like to share you can email it to me via the Contact link above, I’d love to share it on my Farmhouse Home Facebook page.  To read more about me and subscribe to my newsletter for free seasonal recipes and updates click on the link to my About page.  Next week I’ll have a story about one of the hottest farm gate bakeries and now restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula, they make delectable Apple Pies with apples from their 70 year old orchard among other scrumptious treats.

Apricot Tart

Catherine xx