Sunday, October 30, 2011

Last Gift

Here is Amelia modelling the last birthday present I need to make for this year. It is an apron for my niece and I also have a cupcake book to go with it.
Here is a closer picture of the cupcakes. So cute!
The weekend was really good and really quite relaxing, I didnt get anything done in the garden except pulling some onions. Oh well there is always tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Whats in the Garden?

I read alot of different blogs and sigh over their abundance. Sometimes the vegie patch looks alot greener over the proverbially fence. I decided to look at what I do have, what I can pick now and what I have growing for sometime(hopefully) soon. The list actually makes me feel better about what I have been achieving in the garden, here it is;

Silverbeet, celery, onions (white & red), carrots, beetroot, strawberries, cherries, peaches, apples (not that this one has come to fruition yet, but its there and its growing), squash, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, grosse lisse tomatoes, capsicums (two different types), zucchinis, basil, garlic, chives, lettuce, shallots, mint and two little potato plants that have sprung up all on their own.

Whats in your growing in your garden?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Love Parcels!!

Two parcels arrived today, my plain broadcloth from Spotlight and two print fabrics from Craft Depot. They make my fingers just itch to get started!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Go at Ricotta

For my birthday I was given a Mad Millie cheese making kit. It has the gear and instructions for mascopone, ricotta and mozzerella. Today I made the ricotta and later this afternoon I am going to try the mozzerella. Here is my first go at ricotta.One of the most time consuming bits is the constant stirring until the milk reaches 90c.
Then its just putting in the dissolved citric acid and giving it a little stir.
Waiting til it cools and popping it into the draining basket. This ricotta will be used in a spinach and ricotta canneloni for tomorrow nights dinner. Dave is making me the pasta from scratch and the spinach is our silverbeet from the garden!

Making Butter

Yesterday I was making dinner early, a delicious chicken pasta dish from the $21 Challenge book that I borrowed from the library, and I was making it because my 600ml of cream was just about to go beyond the use before date but the recipe only called for 250mls so decided to make butter.I have never made it before, not even by accident. It was super easy and tastes quite different from the usual bought butter.
Basically all you do is beat your butter to very firm peaks and then turn the beater on to a low setting and beat some more.Once it starts yellowing up and clumping together keep beating and you will get the milk coming out of it. This is buttermilk and can be used in cooking too. Drain it off and beat it some more. Drain and give it a squeeze. I then added some salt and beat that in too.Then I just patted it into shape and stuck it in the fridge. It is very nice on fresh bread.And finally I shelled the very last of our peas yesterday. I think next year I will put them in a sunnier spot and plant full size ones. Yummy.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mum, Can We Do Craft???

Most of the time I really enjoy hearing those words and luckily Sunday was one of them! I was already in sewing mode so when Amelia asked me it was easy fabric bookmarks. She got to cut, iron and sew them, though i guided the second one and she just used the pedal. Easy peasy.
Cherries are coming along! Yummy!! So decadent!
First onion pulled yay!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Crafty Saturday

Here is Harry's Christmas present - Bunting for his room. I hope he likes it!
This is the material for Megan's birthday present - can't say any more as she reads this blog.
No matter how many plastic bags I don't accept we STILL keep getting them. We have been just throwing them into a cupboard but this was giving me the cranks so I whipped up this bag keeper. I saw them in a kitchenware shop this morning for sale at $15.95.These are Amelia's stars. Her and Grandma finished them off last weekend while I was away. I cut all the stars so that they could just sew and stuff them. I sewed the ribbon on today and then we put them up. I like them.

Check Your Receipts

I saved $42.90 today just by checking my receipts!

Went to a surf shop to get Wes some new shorts for summer, one "good" pair and a few wear anywhere pairs. If you have a teenager you will know that brand clothing is not cheap, hell it's not even good value for your money, it is an unadulterated rip off. That said I got the shorts 50% off so now they were only a slight rip off. I paid and checked my receipt and found they had charged me twice for a $40 pair, so I got that back in a flash. They were apologetic but I am glad I checked.

Second receipt was from Coles. I had to do my groceries and they had some 1L milk reduced to 95c, the first one went through ok but the second came up as $2.89. I didnt notice as I was still packing the stuff onto the checkout but I did check before I walked away. They refunded the $2.90 and gave me the milk for free - Cheering!!

It certainly pays to check. Last fortnight Dave spied our checkout operator putting our apples through at $4.29 per kg instead of $2.99, she just didn't know what type of apples they were and had had a guess! Makes you wonder how many times it happens when you DONT catch it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Labour Day = Lazy Day

Last day of the long weekend - boo hoo back to work tomorrow. Ah well I suppose you got to pay the bills! These are Harry's triangles for his bunting. I am loving the cricket material aptly named "Howzat". The repetition of cutting them out was very relaxing - even on an absolutely freezing night. Didn't have any room to grow button squash so I made this garden this afternoon. Its green squash in there as Dave thinks the yellow tastes yuck. I dont know that my palate is quite that discerning.

Here is my basil planted in olive oil tins. They are up the back where they can get the sun they need. I have tried to plant more herbs this year.

I planted cherry tomatoes, radishes, beetroot, more carrots and two types of capsicum - sweet and a purple variety for something different.
We had a pretty wild storm the other day and it battered my peas about. There are still plenty to be picked though and they are delicious.

My celery is just about ready to be picked. I didnt tie them up as I just dont think it makes that much difference. I know some people do to get that supermarket look, I just don't see the point.

I love my rainboe chard. I never get sick of looking at it and it is a vegetable that just gives and gives, like the humble zucchini will do in a couple of months. See my weeds? Bloody clover. Thats what rain and sun and rain and sun give you - great plants and great weeds!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Busy Busy Busy

Woo hoo! Three days off! I love the October labour day holiday! Always a Monday. Thank goodness I dont work in hospitality or I would have to work.

Got a few things planned for this weekend. Pull the last of the cauliflowers out and blanch them as well as blanching a bunch of silverbeet, plant more carrots, pick-blanch-freeze some peas and make some cheese.

I also have the material to make Harry's Christmas present and will look for a pattern for Megan's birthday present. On top of this we have to keep the house looking fairly nice as we will have a valuation Tues/Wednesday next week - oh joy!

Megan's shower was really good and I am sure the table was bowing under the weight of all her gifts, even though she told everyone not to bother. I have to say that she loved Evan's bunting and I will get her to send me a pic of it to put here. Mums quilt is gorgeous and I will get a photo of that too. And here they are!!!!! Looks like my washing is ready to hang - hopefully it will dry before the black clouds get here!