It is that time of the month again when we are invited to join the lovely Su (aka Zimmerbitch) for an afternoon tea get-together and chat in the blogosphere. Pull up a chair wherever you are and join in some socially distant camaraderie. It is also my Friday song day so we are doubly lucky to have a song to go with our arvie tea.

I am organisationally challenged and this skill deficit extends to food preparation. So I am giving myself a pat on the back for preparing damper to add to Su’s sumptuous and scrumptious repast. “What is damper?” I hear you ask. It is a bush bread (or soda bread?) that you can cook in a camp fire. I decided to cook it in the oven because that was easier. I did a quick online search for a recipe and settled on a saltbush, macadamia and feta damper. I used the saltbush growing in my garden and improvised by adding some diced sun-dried tomatoes that were taking up space in the fridge. I also substituted GF flour for regular self-raising flour.

It was a joint effort. In true management fashion, I organised my TL to keep me on track. His job was to read the recipe instructions to me while I panicked. Verdict? Yummy but needs more saltbush. Ta da. You’re welcome.

Damper is traditionally served with billy tea, but as the cooking was all very stressful, I decided on wine instead. As you can see, I started the bottle without you. Can I offer you a glass?

Are you feeling merry now? Have you warmed up? Good, because it is also time for a song. I chose this song to mark my TL’s return to work next week. It is Benny Goodman and Peggy Lee performing Why Don’t You Do Right? It was a question I asked myself when my TL forgot to tell me to divide the damper into four individual portions before cooking so I had to adjust the cooking time. It seemed to work out okay and even if it didn’t, there is still wine.

Get your air clarinets ready and let’s sing.

Eat up, everyone.

Kind Regards.

PS. Thanks go to my TL for putting up with me. I always say that I married him for the sex. He tells everyone that he married me for my money. 🙂

33 thoughts on “Salt-Tea

  1. I had damper once and it was horrible. Now I want to try making yours (although I don’t have saltbush and am not quite sure what it is).

    Honestly Tracy, it looks fab. And comes with wine … I’m in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you would like it, Su. Saltbush as a seasoning is quite trendy now. It is a native Australian plant (there are similar in the US I think) and grows in poor, saline soils and sometimes used as fodder for stock during drought. However, over grazing has resulted in it being decimated. Here’s a link with more info. You can buy it online at bush tucker stores.
      We first planted saltbush in our “garden bed of death” 20 years ago. The plants have not done well. It is a bit too cold for it to be truly successful in Canberra.
      You could probably sub it with chives. Let me know what you think of it if you make it.


  2. Good on you for cooking Damper even if it wasn’t in a Dutch Oven over glowing coals with the billy boiling along side.
    In the kitchen in the oven with wine is a very suitable alternative Tracy 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh sounds intriguing Tracy. I have a baby saltbush planted a couple of months ago, didn’t know you could use it in cooking. I love the thought of damper, brings back all those travel memories cooking over camp fires and sharing a beer/wine at happy hour. And loved the accompaniment of Peggy lee as I read your post. I saw 1942 it was recorded, same year as I was born…🤭

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m flattered Tracy, thank you. Will check out my salt bush variety. But to be honest, I don’t think I will get round to any baking. To many other things and if I bake I eat….not good🤭

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Your readers must be right on the ball Tracy, as I expected at least someone would enquire about ‘arvie tea’. Such an Aussie way of expressing things. One of the best I ever heard was ‘he’s on a hattie’ from one of the cricket commentators.
    It was inspirational to use saltbush in your damper and feta too. Those old bushies (now I’m doing it) would have been amazed.


    1. Jane, as you’ve probably guessed, I like to bung on the Aussie colloquialisms for my international readers and for my own entertainment. 😁 However, ‘arvie tea’ is one i do use regularly! I must be showing my age.
      Saltbush is so trendy now. Not much chance of overdoing it though as my two plants are almost entirely covered by other plants now and are really struggling.


  5. Peggy Lee and Benny Goodman brought back many childhood memories. After listening to “Why don’t you do right” I listened to Peggy Lee’s Greatest Hits Album. All familiar but not getting much AirPlay. Thank you Tracy for sending down the path of this reverie.
    My suggestion is Diana Krall “How Deep is the Ocean” 8/15/1998 New Port Jazz Festival YouTube


      1. Diana is best know for her piano playing but lately she has been doing a great deal of singing. I wanted to find a selection that included her singing and playing. I too am a bit challenged by her jazz vocals. Diana has done a duets with Tony Bennett that are worth a listen. Diana’s spouse is Elvis Costello and they live in B. C.

        Liked by 1 person

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