Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie ...

My Australia Day began luxuriously ... with a sleep in.
What a glorious start to the day.
Then it was into the kitchen.
Eliza's new year resolution is to make every recipe in the Junior Masterchef cookbook - a promise she is taking very seriously.
Today she tackled an Aussie classic - bacon and egg pie.

She made the pastry from scratch and carefully cracked the eggs so the yolks didn't break. The recipe is one from Stephanie Alexander, so she's learning from the best.

And the result was scrumptious.

Lunch was quickly followed by afternoon tea.

Eliza was at it again. Fancy some chocolate fudge cake with chocolate icing and hundreds and thousands?

What can I say ... It's fabulous having a 10 year old who loves to cook.
In the afternoon I finally put my Christmas decorations away, had a snooze and fixed some leftovers for dinner.
Happy Australia Day.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Sew simple

I love the simplicity of cross stitch.
And I thought I'd try something new with a small, manageable project.

I took a tea towel and using some canvas webbing (there's probably a proper name for this material, but I can't remember what the lady in the embroidery shop called it ... but it means you can cross stitch on just about any fabric).
Anyway, I digress.
I followed an easy pattern and cross stitched some red cherries.

They look rather festive don't you think?

I've placed the cherries randomly on the tea towel, varying the pattern each time.
And I couldn't resist this ant ...
Maybe I'll cross stitch a slice of cherry pie nearby.

The idea is when you've finished the cross stitch, wet the webbing to soften it and then pull out the canvas threads - leaving the tea towel with the cherries and the ant in tact.
Well , that's the theory.
I'll let you know how I go.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Home Grown

Our little garden in the inner city is working overtime this summer. We've just picked a basket of white nectarines off our tree which produced exactly zero last year.
I love white nectarines .... and these are a juicy and sweet and fleshy and luscious.
I love the way the juice runs down your arm and drips off your elbow. I've learnt from experience to eat them straight from the tree in the garden, or over the sink.
Last year summer was blisteringly hot and dry. So far, we've had a cool summer and lots of rain so the fruit is about a 4-6 weeks behind.
And there's lots more to come.
We've got a tree full of apricots not yet ripe, the olive trees are laden, our tomatoes are green but looking good, the lime and orange trees have set their fruit and we've got an abundance of apples and crab apples.
I need to check out what to so with crab apples (and what they actually taste like).
We planted the tree a couple of years ago - mostly for the spring blossom, but this year the tree is heavy with fruit so I need to think about what to do with it. I've heard of crab apple jelly ... so I'll see what recipes I can find in my collection or on good old google. What do you serve crab apple jelly with?
So as summer stretches before us, we're looking forward eating our fruit ... and preserving and bottling and making jellies and jams and curds. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I love a list

I love a list.
I've got them everywhere.
I make lists every day.
I make them about everything.
Work lists, job lists for home, shopping lists, gift lists ...
It helps me feel organised in my busy, busy day.
Sometimes I even get things done on my list.
What that happens, it's a happy day indeed.
I love ticking things off my list.
It makes me feel better if I tick things off AND cross things out on my list.

When we were on the houseboat and James and I had the time and energy to have a conversation, we started making lists - people we want to catch up with, things to do on the house, family plans ....
It was nice to have the time to look ahead.
It was lovely to have time to talk.

Then I read that Tinnie Girl had put her own list together and it got me thinking about a list of things for me ... just for me ...
So I dived right in and created a list for me.

In no particular order:

  • I want to do more baking and bottling
  • Reconnect with my friends
  • Organise a weekend away
  • Worry less
  • Get back into walking
  • Lose those pesky kilos I put on last year
  • Feel less rushed
  • Plan a holiday
  • Buy a better camera
  • Take some sewing classes
  • Make stuff
  • Finish my awesome granny stripe rug
  • Get my back, neck and shoulder attended to
  • Feel less rushed
  • Leave the office at a reasonable hour
  • Do my tax
  • Be a good mother
  • Be a good wife
  • Be a good sister
  • Be a good daughter
  • Be a good daughter in law
  • Be a good sister in law
  • Have fun
  • Feel grateful about life
  • Plan a dinnerparty with friends
  • Find a cleaner
  • Breathe
  • See more of our neighbours Pina and Alfredo
  • Cook that saddle of venison in the freezer
  • Listen more
  • Judge less
  • Do some guerilla knitting and install it in my local park
  • Create my own calendar for 2012
  • Book a massage, book several
  • Take a chance
  • Organise the studio
  • Do more sewing
  • Finish projects
  • Start new ones
  • Take a moment
  • Feel less rushed
How's that for starters ...?

P.S. I should probably drink more water too : )

Friday, January 7, 2011

River Rats

We're just back from a wonderful holiday in a houseboat on the mighty Murray River.
I'm not really a boat person, but the thought of an enforced rest, on the water, in a well equipped houseboat was too good to resist.
And it was all that we imagined.
The house boat had every mod con ... including a spa on the top deck.
We moored in a picturesque spot and easily slipped into the gentle pace of life on the river.
Cooking, reading, chatting, swimming ... with an afternoon snooze most days.
I even had time for some embroidery.
And the weather was amazing ... while elsewhere in Australia was suffering with floods and torrential rain, we were blessed with blue skies and hot sunny days.

We holidayed with James' brother, his wife and their two boys - who are very much into boats.
They waterskiied every day and Eliza got into the swing of things very quickly.

And the Murray itself was beautiful.

I never tired of looking at the view and the changing moods of the river.

A relaxing and memorable holiday. We loved it.

But .... it's back to reality now with work tomorrow and the piles of holiday washing!

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Christmas - PHEW!

We made it
And it was a happy day for everyone.
I've posted a collage of Christmas at our house. We kept it simple this year, with no tree because of Ruby who has a tendency to chew, chew, chew ...
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and spent it with people you love.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Frantic and frenzied ...

Dear readers, Life has been crazy busy for weeks!

My blog has been in hibernation for a month. My work has been go, go, go at a very stressful time of year. I'm crawling (just) to the end of the year. I finish up tomorrow for 2 wonderful weeks.

Apparently it's Christmas (this Saturday ,I'm told) and apparently we're having 22 people to lunch and dinner on Christmas Day. So I need to get a few things organised .... and then ..... and then .... it's 9 blissful days doing nothing on a houseboat.

Hope you all have a happy, safe and peaceful Christmas with people you LOVE.
Here's to a year of fabulousness in 2011. I just know it's going to be great.
And here's to the glory of an Aussie summer.
Let's hope we get some sunshine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sew long

It's been sooo long since I've done anything remotely crafty so I made the most of a few hours on the weekend to crack onto a new project (I mean, why finish off projects when there are so many new ones to begin!!)
I raided my fabric stash and added some new fat quarters to make a summer picnic blanket.
I love the pinks, greens and yellows. Such pretty summer colours Don't you love the green and white spot?

I got the pattern from the queen of craft Pip Lincoln at Meet Me At Mikes.
I love her philosophy that when you craft it doesn't have to be perfect.
I'm quite a fan of the 'wonk' ... and the end result is delightfully wonkily imperfect.
Will post some pics of the finished picnic blanket soon. Can't wait for our first summer picnic or a dreamy afternoon sleep when you need a little light cover.Posted by Picasa