Sunday, February 28, 2010
I spent a bit of time delving into recipe books, searching out slow food and trawling crafty blogs looking for some inspiring projects to get stuck into over the cooler months.
I've got a couple of embroidery projects on the go .... more on those later .... but one project I completed last winter that I'm really delighted with is my crocheted handbag.
I picked up a pattern a couple of years ago at a craft fair and last year, when the family had a week in the snow, I got to work.
The bag was started and finished in that week. It's the first pattern I've completed on my own ..
I managed to increase and decrease as directed by the pattern ... and improvise when I didn't understand the instructions.
That's what craft is all about isn't it?
And because the body and handles of the bag are pure wool .... I felted the bag in the washing machine, when I got home.
I'll post a picture of the finished felted bag in another blog.
(Which means I need to find the pictures on my camera!)
In the meantime, enjoy these pics I took earlier!
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I loved the colour.
Instead of putting them in one vase, I found a collection of little bottles and vases in the pantry and arranged a bloom or two in each.
And they lasted for ages.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
But that's what the recipe called for.
And I should point out dear reader that yes, that is a chux - a clean one mind you - with the pips in it. Unlike Jane Austin, I didn't have any muslin to hand.
After soaking the fruit, it was the usual procedure of adding sugar and a little bit of lemon juice, simmering until setting point was reached (And I'm getting better at telling this too.)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Our seedlings came from our Italian neighbour Alfredo.
The little red gems glow on the bush.
James picked a heap of these beauties ....
Don't you love how he colour coordinated his outfit! Cute.
We've got a couple of different varieties - mini romas and tiny cherry tomatoes - and they all pack a flavour punch.
It's a juicy tomatoey explosion in your mouth.
A simple summer pleasure.
We're getting our garden back in shape after the renovation.
In spite of the tough conditions last year with the lack of rainfall and builder's debris all over them, most of the trees are doing well.
The apricot tree delivered an abundant crop in summer (quickly turned into jam) and our apple tree is fruiting for the first time.
What a perfect piece of fruit. No wonder Eve was tempted.
The seedlings have flourished and the vines have gone mad.
We've got sooo many pumpkins, gently nestling in the garden.
But I'm not sure what we're going to do with 12 huge pumpkins come autumn ...
But the fairies who also hide at the bottom of our garden seem delighted.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
After a wonderful summer that seemed to last forever (I remember that feeling), it was back to school.
After some trepidation and anxious moments about the new teacher (yes there were tears too) ... she's settled in just fine, declaring Mrs Anderson is the best
I'm still trying to get my head around the fact she's 10 next week.
Where did that decade go??
Last year was a disaster and I really didn't have high hopes for the crop this year.
So in spite of my pessimism, the tomatoes did their thing and the crop is abundant.
We served this as an entree a couple of weeks ago. Summer on a plate.
Over summer I got into jam making.
We picked a basket of apricots just before heading to the beach for a week.
I couldn't miss the opportunity to pack a load of bottles and a couple of kilos of sugar as well.
Apricot jam here we come.
My first night in the beach house was spent chopping, stirring and bottling.
The result was perfectly delicious.
And the choice for breakfast every morning was easy.
The next batch of jam was made from plums grown by a lady I work with. Unlike other homegrown plums I've had over the years, these were sweet, juicy and didn't leave your face contorted. I found a recipe for blood plum jam and set to work. The colour was amazing. And the taste ....
I've just been given some cumquats and hope to turn them into jam this weekend. My Dad loves cumquat jam. I'll save him a bottle. xxx
Our Christmas celebrations turned into something more like a festival.
And there was food and drink in abundance as were toasted family and friends for what seemed like weeks.
It was extra special this year hosting our annual Carols singalong back at home.
The renovations meant that there was room for all and the acoustics were superb.
And the conviviality continued ....
Christmas Day was a real celebration after a very tough year.
Mum and Dad and family from Queensland joined us for a wonderfully happy day.
And yes, there was more food and wine and plenty to be thankful for.
The glazed ham was a winner too.
Our annual snowy adventure was fun.
As a non skier I'm happy to cook and get crafty in front of the fire.
And this year I discovered the hot rockpools and day spa for some pampering while the family was on the slopes.
Immersing yourself in a steamy pool as the snow falls gently is one of the most beautiful things I've ever experienced. I'll be back!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
I'm delighted to be hitting the www again.
Surprisingly it only took a couple of goes to remember my passwords etc!
But at this hour, after downloading 1700 emails, it's a quick hi and bye.
See you real soon with lots of crafty goodness.
I've made jam too XXX
It's so nice to be tapping on the lap top again!