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A Spinning Wheel, Orchids and a Peppered Steak Pie

I couldn’t believe it when Bear announced last week that he had bought me a spinning wheel AND loom!!!

Ever since I was little girl I thought it would be wonderful to spin wool and weave it into beautiful rugs and blankets, or knit it into gorgeous sweaters or cozy socks and mittens. But I never, ever thought I’d have the chance to try it.

My friend Ann has spun wool for years, so she’s going to teach me how to use the spinning wheel (yay!). Neither of us have used a loom though, so that should provide much hilarity as we attempt to figure it out. šŸ™‚ I’ll keep you posted on our efforts!

We picked up the spinning wheel and loom from a delightful Aussie couple who sell all sorts of marvy things at the fabulous New Farm Park Markets in Brisbane.

In addition to golden honey and delicious honeycomb, they also sell gorgeous orchids that they grow on their farm.

I was thrilled when they offered to give me a tour.

I admit I was only expecting a few rows of the exotic blooms, so my jaw dropped when I saw an entire greenhouse full of them.


Can you imagine working in this environment every day? How inspiring to be surrounded by such beauty.

I couldn’t get over the range of orchid colors, from deep burgundy to lime green.

The sea of blossoms looked similar until I bent down and saw the unique details: delicately striped petals, freckled hearts, some looking like they could take flight while others were like tiny exotic tea cups.


The generosity of this couple was incredible. Not only did they give us the spinning wheel and loom we had purchased, but they filled our arms with containers of honeycomb, a bag of wool, stacks of spinning and weaving books, and a gorgeous bouquet of orchids that has been brightening up my kitchen all week.

Such dear people.


With such beauty to inspire me, I got to work and made one of our favorite comfort food recipes: Peppered Steak Pie.

I love heaps of black pepper with my beef pie, but if you don’t fancy pepper, it’s still yummy without it. The beef is slow-cooked ahead of time, so it’s tender as can be and packed with garlicky goodness.


What comfort food are you hankering for this week?

Peppered Steak Pie


2-3 beefsteaks
8-10 peppercorns
1 onion, peeled and diced
3-4 potatoes, diced
3 carrots, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
salt to taste
3 Tbsp corn starch
ground black pepper to taste
Pie dough for double crust pie


  1. Place all ingredients except corn starch in slow cooker and cover with water.
  2. Cook on high 4-6 hours until meat is tender.
  3. Drain meat and veggies, reserving liquid. Remove peppercorns.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Cover meat and veggies then place broth in saucepan. Mix corn starch with 1/4 cup cold water, stirring until a smooth paste. Pour into broth, stirring constantly until incorporated. Add ground black pepper to taste (I use 1/2 to 1 tsp).
  6. Place saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, and let boil 1-2 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and pour over meat/veggie mixture. Stir until coated.
  7. Place half pie dough into bottom of pie pan and press into place.
  8. Pour meat/veggie mixture into pie crust. Top with remaining dough, trim to fit, seal edges. (Use trimmings to make shapes to decorate top of pie.)
  9. Cut 2-3 slits in crust to let steam escape.
  10. Place pie in oven and bake 30-40 minutes until filling is bubbling and crust is nicely browned.
  11. Serve warm.
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Adventures in Spinning » Rambling Tart - […] while ago Bear surprised me with my very own spinning wheel and loom. I was thrilled! Spinning and weaving is something I’ve wanted to do since I was a little […]

Andrea and John - Those orchids are amazing! I’m intrigued about the spinning wheel and loom – will be an experiment, yes?

Krista - Thank you, Hogga! šŸ™‚ I wish had some of that pie left! I’m in no mood to cook today. šŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Tuula!! šŸ™‚ I keep dreaming of a basket full of handspun wool and get so excited. šŸ™‚

Krista - LOL! I really wasn’t joking, Charu. šŸ™‚ I AM going to use it, just have to put it off until my visa paperwork is done. šŸ™‚ I hope to start spinning first, then figure out the loom. I’d like to make a rug and maybe a woven belt thingy. šŸ™‚ I’ll keep you posted! šŸ™‚

Hogga - Soooo pretty! I could really go for some of that pie right now too!

TuulaR - Oh wow Krista, gorgeous photos as always šŸ™‚ … and can’t wait to see what you produce with your spinning wheel, so much fun!

Charu Suri - What beautiful pictures Krista!! And the loom and orchids…katy is right…it’s something out of a fairy tale. When you told me you were getting a loom I thought you were joking! Now I cannot wait to see what you’ll make with it. You ARE going to use it, right? šŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Katy darlin! Can’t wait to share all this with you next year. šŸ™‚ Meringues at your Grandma’s sound so perfect. šŸ™‚

Krista - I know what you mean, Joanne!!! I still can’t believe I have one. šŸ™‚

Krista - Isn’t it so stunning, Andi?! You would’ve loved it. šŸ™‚

katyabroad - How gorgeous! The orchids, the pie, the spinning wheel… it’s like something from a fairytale šŸ™‚ You certainly know how to build a beautiful life šŸ™‚ I just went to my Grandma’s and ate some of her legendary meringues, that was pretty good comfort food!

Krista - Oh thank you, Bethany. šŸ™‚ I figure if I’m making a pie I might as well make it pretty to boot! šŸ™‚ I’m not great yet, but doing heaps better. šŸ™‚ And Bear is coming along well too – pain isn’t so bad now. XO

Krista - Thank you so much, Mandy! šŸ™‚ I love these gorgeous sunny days when being at home is such a pleasure. šŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, Astra! šŸ™‚ I’m very excited. šŸ™‚

Krista - I think it will be peaceful, Faith, a lovely way to let all the stress of life ease away. šŸ™‚

Joanne @ Eats Well WIth Others - SO cool about the spinning wheel!!! I thought those only existed in fairy tales šŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you make!!

Andi Perullo - I would have never left that orchid farm!!!!! Just gorgeous! Love the ones you picked out.

Bethany Bassett - You sure make some beautiful food, Krista! The flowers are gorgeous too; I think Italian winter needs to take a few tips from Australian winter. šŸ™‚ By the way, are you feeling any better now? And is Bear okay? Thinking of you this evening!

Mandy - Wow – spinning on a loom sounds incredible – such a unique experience! It makes me think of The Sleeping Beauty and the spindle on the spinning wheel! Those orchids are so vivid and that pie looks delicious – such a beautiful post!!



AstraLibris - Oh my, such gorgeousness!! I am SO happy for you! I love spinning wool…

Faith - Spinning on a loom sounds like so much fun! I can imagine how peaceful it is with the repetition of the loom. Hope you enjoy it, Krista, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about it! The flowers and the pie are both lovely. šŸ™‚

Krista - Thank you, dear Val – I will do my best! XO

Krista - Oh, you are so lovely to say that, Darlene. šŸ™‚ I feel SO rich that he is in mine!! We’ve both gained a bit this winter – alas – but we’re back on track now and hopefully those extra bits will disappear soon. šŸ™‚

bellini - So much beauty surrounds you Krista. Enjoy it all and drink it in.

darlene - It seems to me that Bear struck it rich when you came into his life šŸ™‚ Is he gaining weight with all your wonderful cooking???? lol

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