Please see our Kilner and Fowlers Collections for all your preserving needs.
December 14, 2019

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Indoor plants green a gardener's world

Indoor plants - Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

While photographing watering cans from the shop in our neighbour Nicola Worley's north facing sun room, she laughs when I ask her how many house plants she has. We have known each other for 15 years and during that time her indoor and outdoor plant population has propagated. After a mental walk through the house, Nicola estimates there are about 50 plants in the sunroom, dining and living rooms, library, and bathroom. She and husband Ian have also planted hundreds of trees in their garden and on their sheep property. Nicola remembers buying her first indoor plant about 20 years ago when she and Ian moved into their first flat in Canberra while studying at university. "We had been living in share houses and it was the first time we'd had our own space. It was a miniature rose with red and orange flowers and I kept it on a windowsill. It never looked great and didn't do very well." It was moving to Nundle and making a family home that fuelled her plant addiction in earnest, starting with potted palms.
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December 08, 2019

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Sharing our online journey at Drought Support Networking Breakfast

Drought Support Networking Breakfast - Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores

With backgrounds in journalism and fine art Duncan and I moved to Nundle in our late twenties after visiting for 18 months and falling for its dramatic hills, historic buildings and village atmosphere.

We revived a timber and iron building in the main street, re-registering the name Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores and stocking traditional kitchen and garden wares inspired by original handwritten and typed ledgers.

Some of the brands that we stock are the same vintage as the building: Burgon and Ball, Sheffield, 1730; Kilner, 1842; Opinel, 1890; TALA Taylor and Law, 1899; Mason Cash, 1901; Fowlers, 1915; Falcon, 1920s.

Our business evolved for 11 years without being online. Our online journey began in 2011 after the birth of our youngest son. Creating an online store was a way for me to work from home.

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December 01, 2019

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Black Forest Brownie Cake for a Ladies Day Out

Black Forest Brownie Cake

For the Murrurundi Ladies Day Out I made Black Forest Brownie Cake to demonstrate how I style and photograph an image to share on our shop social media. It is a delicious cake and I had to laugh when our 10-year-old said it was his favourite cake because he preferred dense chocolate cake to airy chocolate cake. The recipe could come in handy during the summer months when we're all called on to "bring a plate" from time to time. Your friends will love you for bringing this along.

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November 10, 2019

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Exchange Stores in Downtown Homes

Exchange Stores in Downtown Homes

Walking our Border Collie Kelpie cross, Walt, under the alders in the paddock near our house, I admire the magnificence of the Great Dividing Range and I am reminded of the first time I visited Nundle and saw those striking mountains.

After an extraordinary drive from Tamworth, shadowing the serpentine curves of the Peel River, by the time I reached Nundle I was so in awe of the beauty of the landscape that I was thinking, “What is this place?”

Duncan and I have just passed our 20-year anniversary of living at Nundle and I still appreciate that humbling experience of living in a mountain landscape daily.

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November 10, 2019

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Bring Christmas spice scents into your kitchen

Pfeffernusse by Matthew Evans, Summer on Fat Pig Farm

If you're looking for a simple recipe to make and package for friends for homemade Christmas gifts, or to take to a gathering try making a batch of Pfeffernusse. While reading Matthew Evans 'Summer on Fat Pig Farm' I came across a recipe for Spiced biscuits, described as 'Almost like a Pfeffernusse'. This lead me on a search to find out what Pfeffernusse is and a morning of biscuit making. With ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves the mixing and baking really does bring Christmas spice scents into your kitchen. It is very satisfying rolling the smooth biscuit dough into small balls, and once cooked and cooled they had a lovely chewy texture and of course the delicious spice flavour. 

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November 08, 2019

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Sharing the #buyfromthebush love

#buyfromthebush #buyregional

Christmas has come early to the bush this year in the form of simple but effective social media campaigns, #buyfromthebush and #buyregional. This is an immediate leg up for country online retailers like ourselves, who by simply adding the hashtags #buyfromthebush and #buyregional to our social media posts, or registering on the NSW Government #buyregional online hub, are linked with potential urban customers who would like to support regional communities facing their third year of drought this Christmas.

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August 18, 2019

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Home butchering fills the freezer with lamb

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores home butchering

Duncan has added home butchering to his skill set. After helping friends Gibbo and the Worleys butchering home grown lamb, and picking up tips like wiping the carcass with lemon and herbs, he has been butchering our own lamb for about 12 months. At first he was limited to hanging the carcass in our shed (winter only), but after buying a tall fridge he now has the flexibility of hanging a carcass at a consistent temperature and can home butcher year-round. Our knife wholesalers, Tawonga, are a source of butchering tools, a New Zealand made saw, skinner, boner, and knife.

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August 17, 2019

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Walnut and Tarwarri Lemon Syrup Cake

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores Walnut and Tarwarri Lemon Syrup Cake

Back at the house Teree tells me to take some lemons from June's renowned prolific producing lemon tree. I remember a recipe for Walnut and Lemon Syrup Cake and give it a go, naming it Walnut and Tarwarri Lemon Syrup Cake. It involves boiling the lemons until soft for about an hour, before processing the lemons with eggs and syrup to create a batter to add to the walnut meal and bicarbonate of soda. The result is a light, gluten free, nutty textured cake, and a deliciously tangy lemon syrup with subtle undercurrents of cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. At the end of the week I tell Teree about the cake, "I'm going to miss that tree, the lemons are amazing," she says.

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August 12, 2019

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Gathering memories for Heritage Festival

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores artefacts

In preparation for a presentation I was giving for Tamworth Regional Heritage Festival, I interviewed the last McClelland to own our shop, Tony McClelland, aged 80. Tony’s earliest memory of the old store is when he was about eight, being with his grandfather Bill McClelland dressed for work in a suit. Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores was started by William McClelland and John Odgers in the 1890s, about 40 years after gold was discovered at Hanging Rock. The partnership exchanged gold for credit at the store to purchase goods. It was a general merchants selling all the basics that people needed. Goods like potatoes, sugar, salt, onions, dates, and flour were bought in bulk and repackaged in paper bags.

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June 22, 2019

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Welcoming our Rayburn wood stove to the family

Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores Rayburn wood stove

We have been enjoying the radiating warmth and cooking heat generated by our third-hand 1950s Rayburn No.3 wood stove. It came to us, via a tractor bucket and ute tray, from our shop neighbours Gary and Marie who had cooked on it for more than 20 years. They had sourced it from a shearers' kitchen at Bundarra, more than two hours' drive away. We had been on the lookout for a second-hand wood stove for many years, having been exposed to friends' houses (the increased comfort and off-the-grid cooking) with wood stoves, and several purchases, and installations. When our neighbours were looking to sell theirs, which was in excellent working order, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.
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