Monday, 28 April 2008

Roses, beads and a Funnelhead update

Here is the project I was working on last time... a crocheted rose dangly ornament! Well, it can be used as many things... I'm using one as a curtain tie and it also looks good as a handbag ornament or hanging off a door handle or drawer knob. Anywhere you need a little bit of rosy cheer!

I made them in two colours: dusky rose and lovely aqua. I can't decide which is my favourite.

The only part I didn't enjoy so much was stringing the beads. Fiddly! Even for a picky-fingers like me who usually enjoys fiddling around with tiny things. But I think it was worth it.

This is the next lot of work in progress. You'll have to wait till next time to find out more about that!

And guess what, poor Lui is Mr Funnelhead again. He came in on Sunday with a big cut on his tum which had to be stitched up. That meant an overnight stay at the vet, and they were going to remove the lesion on his neck at the same time. However upon shaving the fur off, it turned out to be bigger than the vet had realised and he decided to leave it be. He didn't even take a little bit for a biopsy, unfortunately. Poor Mr Lui is very happy to be at home eating jellimeat again, and resigned with good grace to wearing his funnel for the next few days. At least until he stops trying to eat his stitches.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

A little bit of progress

This is just a quick little update. Thanks for checking in on me! I'm gradually moving out of the kitchen and back to the workspace. While I still have two bowls of tomatoes left to make the last relish with (recipe coming soon, I promise!), I've also set myself a couple of creative projects to finish. Nothing is quite finished yet, but they looked so sparkly and pretty under the daylight lamp that I had to take some pictures.

Beautiful blue glass beads. I am quite in love with aqua right now!

Beads, beads, beads... don't you want to reach your finger in and give them a stir?

Can you guess what I'm making? I'll tell you next time!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Pineapple Relish recipe

pineapple relish
Originally uploaded by ghostmyst

600g fresh pineapple
2 limes
6-8 cloves garlic
1 tbsp black pepper corns (optional - I left this one out!)
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oregano
200g brown sugar
1 tbsp salt

Peel pineapple and chop into cubes. Wash and chop limes (with the peel on). Chop garlic.

Put pepper, fennel, cumin and mustard seeds into dry saucepan. Cook on med heat until they pop. Remove, grind with mortar & pestle.

Put everything into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil on a low heat. Boil for 15 minutes or till desired consistancy is reached.

Bottle and seal, keeps 4-6 months.

Monday, 7 April 2008

Cold days in a warm kitchen

This is my favourite new toy... a Breville breadmaker, bought in the Easter sales. I've been baking bread like mad since I got it. I've had some tasty successes, and one or two doughy messes (it definitely pays to use the right kind of flour). Here it is, making yummy corn bread.

Homemade bread (this is sunflower and pumpkin seed bread) makes the best sandwiches - especially when you fill them with fresh homegrown tomatoes and salad greens and homemade tomato relish!

You can even bake cakes and teabreads with it. This is a sweet Madeira cake (best served with cream and fresh berries).

My other new toy is a slow cooker. I've been googling for recipes to use with that and am quite amazed at the range available - all kinds of hearty casseroles, potato bakes, desserts, chutneys - you can even bake bread in one! Today I'm cooking lasagne.

It's autumn here in the southern hemisphere. Daylight savings time ended in NZ this weekend. The summer flowering plants in the garden are finishing up and putting themselves to bed for the winter.

I planted all my spring bulbs. I have miniature daffodils, irises, ranunculus, and crocus. I didn't plant any tulips but after seeing all the pretty pictures starting to pop up on northern hemisphere blogs, I might have to make a quick dash to the garden centre and get some after all...

All my bulbs are in pots so I can move them in and out of pretty containers as they flower.

I'm also propagating my strawberrries: the lovely sweet pink-flowering Pink Temptation. You peg the runners into little pots and in a couple of months they put down roots. And then: six new little strawberry plants.

And just think of all the jam I could make with those...

PS. All these photos (and more) are at my Flickr page.


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