Saturday, March 13, 2010

Pin Cushion Swap

I've found a wee project that will force me to extract the digit and actually do some stitching.

The project is not too daunting ... and should be rather fun.

I've joined a whole group of crafty types for a pin cushion swap dreamed up by Kate, over at Fox's Lane.

A lovely idea .... but I fear Kate might be trampled in the rush.

Seems that truckload of folk have jumped at the chance of making a pincushion .... and then swapping it with someone else. Kate is coordinating logistics between all the swappers and swappees. Phew, that's some spreadsheet she's going to need. If you like the idea, you have until Monday to sign up.

I'll be delving into my stash to find fabric and perhaps a vintage button or two, but I need to see who my swap buddy is going to be and perhaps check out their blog to see just what they'd like.

Thanks for a great idea Kate!


I whipped up my pin cushion last night. As soon as I get a moment I'll take a pic and post it on my blog.

It was a lovely project, started and completed after dinner. Quick and easy and fun - gotta love that! I've very happy with the result. I'll wrap it in some pretty paper and then it will snail mail its way to its new owner.

Come back soon to see what I made.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Saucey Sunday

The Labour Day long weekend is traditionally a time for sauce making.
So it was all hands on deck as we prepared for the annual ritual.
We bought our tomatoes at the Queen Vic Market from John at Tomato City.
He looked after us with some fine flavoursome tomatoes.

Making passata is really very easy.
Roughly chop the tomatoes - no need to plunge them into boiling water to get rid of their skins ... just throw them in the pot - skins and seeds and all - let them cook down slowly. This takes about an hour. I don't add any herbs or other flavouring at this point. I like to bottle the pure tomato flavour, then add garlic, onions, cloves and herbs when I use the bottle of sauce for specific recipes.

While the tomatoes are cooking ... sterilise the bottles and lids.
We do ours in the dishwasher, but you can also wash them in hot soapy water and then dry them in a slow oven while you boil up the lids on the stove.
While all this is happening - open a bottle of wine, or put on a pot of coffee and sample the platter of fresh figs, ashed goat's cheese and prosciutto ....

When the sauce is cooked down - let it cool a little then ladle it into the mouli and hand grind the mixture. Then the magic happens - the seeds and skin are separated and you're left with pure tomato passata.

Ladle into the hot bottles and add a basil leaf or two.

Then cap .... and place the bottles in a water bath - in a Fowler's Vacola or a large saucepan on the stove. Cover the bottles with water and bring to the boil. Then boil for an hour.
This preserves the tomatoes and the process forms a vacuum, allowing the passata to be stored for years.

My bottles are bubbling away as I write.

I also made meatballs earlier this afternoon and cooked them in the freshly made sauce and served them on a on a mound of spaghetti for dinner. Some shaved parmesan added the finishing touch.


The bottles are cooling on the kitchen bench - beautifully sealed.

Into the pantry they go - ready to be added to recipes across the year.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cherry ice cream

I've made cherry ice cream
HOME MADE cherry ice cream
With half yoghurt and half cream and morello cherries we picked at Ellisfield farm.

Using my ice cream maker I combined the slurry of cherries with the cream and yoghurt and churned for 20 mins

Then into a container and into the freezer for a couple of hours.
The hot pink colour was amazing.

We served the ice cream in white bowls topped with Persian fairy floss.

What can I say ...
We gobbled the lot without taking a pic!
(it was yum)
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