Welcome to Jacican

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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.


In Australia hot cross buns first appear in the store just after Christmas. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, that’s a long time to keep them good for eating (nearly 4 months this year). The cross on the bun is to symbolise the crucifixion and the spices inside the bun are to remind Christians of the “spices put on the body of Jesus”.

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At this point in time I should let you all known that I’m not particularly religious, although growing up I celebrated the holidays by eating Hot Cross buns and hunting for Easter eggs on Sunday. Local to Mirboo North we have our own ‘Hot Cross Bun’ making lady – Betsy.

Betsy, along with her husband Greg and children run Oak and Swan, a traditional sour dough bakery. Betsy, originally from Leongatha, makes many different breads using her own five year old sour dough starter following a holistic organic approach. I have noted down Betsy’s Hot Cross Bun recipe to share with you.


1kg Flour – good quality, high extraction flour. Betsy mills her own from flour from organic grains grown in the Victorian Mallee Region

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300 grams sour dough starter

400 grams full cream milk – warm

100 grams butter – melted

10 grams salt

10 grams mixed spice

10 grams sugar

2 eggs – whisked

10 grams lemon zest

150 grams currents

150 grams sultanas

150 grams mescals

Extra flour, water and a little sugar



  1. Start the day before and soak your currents, sultanas and mescals by coving with boiling water.
  2. Mix everything together, including the dried fruit and its soaking water
  3. If your mix is a little dry, you may add a little more water
  4. Bulk prove your dough for 6 hours at room temperate, for a slow and even proving.
  5. Knock back the dough. Divide and shape into your rolls. You should have enough dough for 2 dozen rolls.
  6. Place on the tray they are going to bake on and prove again until the rolls have risen. This will take about 1 to 2 hours
  7. Mix together the extra flour water and extra sugar to a paste. Pipe the crosses on to the rolls. One year Betsy made Hot Cross Buns without the cross, which became difficult to sell, as they are not “Hot Cross buns” without the cross.
  8. Bake in a 220C oven for 20 minutes. You will need to check after the 20 minutes to see if they are cooked. If not, a little longer will be needed.Swan and oak 2017 009Betsy placing her hot cross buns in the wood fired oven

  9. Once out of the oven, quickly brush over a light sugar glaze.

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Eat fresh out of the oven, I know I did, ripped in half and plenty of butter.

If you would like me to get in any of Betsy traditional sour dough for you to buy and take home, you can order from Jacican by 7am any Thursday morning for pick up the following Saturday.


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Oak & Swan tradional Allen Scott wood fired oven

I was in need of a new ironing board and so, lo and behold, I met Julie Joyce at the Mirboo North Expo.

Jacican visits the Mirboo North Expo

Julie produces a range of hand-made, custom ironing board covers and, as a hobby, also reconditions old, unloved ironing boards that she mostly finds put out in the hard rubbish collection. Julie just happened to have a 1970s retro orange board that she was willing to give me—and we all know how I love retro orange.

All her ironing board covers are strong, practical and perfect fits for bench boards, steam-press boards, Robinhoods, Frazers, Hills (now we are talking ironing board talk and I'm totally lost) and many more models. She is happy to custom make one. We all need an ironing board that matches the colour scheme of the ironing room, don't we? I know I do. Julie also makes re-useable mesh fruit & veg shopping bags, T-rope garden ties, handy bags, hats, art smocks...the list goes on.

As a passionate up-cycler of old clothes, linen and fabric, Julie now and then runs "Stitch It, Don't Ditch It" workshops, sharing her trade secrets on how to re-invent the old and create the new.

Operating under the brand Lik Lik Munki, you can find Julie's wares for sale at the Artisan Store, Mirboo North or online at her ebay store Lik Lik Munki.

I'm going to do some ironing now.

PS. No ironing boards were harmed during ironing and I did offer to pay for the board.

Potted Duck

At Jacican, when I say local produce, I mean local produce.

And nothing can get more local than wild Gippsland game. Using local sourced and hunted game meats, I will cook you a dinner to remember highlighting local seafood, poultry, and meats. Distinctive and unique meals are created using the range of fruits and vegetables as well as native herbs and spiced found in the Jacican vegetable garden. Potted Duck is about as local as you can get.

This is more of a method than an exact recipe. I am using local native herbs and spices to flavor my duck. Traditionally you would use Star Anise, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks and black peppercorns. I have started to grow a native herb garden in the backyard to serve as a source of my own herbs and spice, but also as a windbreak for the south side of the yard.

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