And also our lovely Luca's ninth birthday. After igniting a fair sized box of fireworks in our friends Katie and Cai's garden, I spontaneously decided to make a batch of damper dough for the kids to bake on the fire in the brazier.
The simple mix of self raising flour, milk (or water) and a bit of salt was mixed in a bowl, kneaded to a light dough, and wrapped in foil for a while until the fire subsided to embers.
Cai's son Louis was sent on a mission to find sticks in the garden the thickness of his little finger and about 50cm long. He returned with some bamboo gardening stakes which were just perfect. Cai sawed off the ragged ends and washed the dirt off them before I worked a small ball of dough a bit larger than a golf ball onto the end of each one for the kids to slowly roast over the embers.
The kids took their damper and rotated them constantly and slowly over nice hot spots above the embers for about 15 minutes until the damper expanded to about double the size and was a lightly toasted colour on the outside. For the kids 15 minutes was an eternity, constant cries of 'mine's ready' were countered by me reassuring them that it would be worth the wait.
After being removed from the sticks, the dampers were broken open, buttered and topped with jam, Marmite, whatever. They loved them.
For the recipe look at Aussie Damper Bread on a Stick.