Saturday 24 May 2008

Miniature granny squares

The doily wasn't going quite the way I wanted it to so I put it aside and started these tiny squares for a mini afghan. There is quite a challenge going on with these... some curl at the edges, some are bigger than others, some are nice and square and some are more round. However I'm nothing if not persistant (read stubborn), and I want to see this finished so I can have something to drape over the chaise which matches the patchwork cushion. So I will finish it, even if my eyes drop out of my head...

Tuesday 20 May 2008

Welcome to Tinyland

I love miniatures. I don't have a dolls house, mainly because I don't have room for it, but I do have a small (but growing) collection of miniature furniture and bits and bobs.

Welcome to Tinyland! Here is my white metal chaise, softened with a comfy patchwork cushion. A miniature pink cyclamen (my favourite!) sits on a little side table, and someone is getting up to mischief on the shelves of the dresser in the background....

Naughty kitty! Maybe that's why the birdcage is empty...!

I embroidered this little patchwork cushion. The main reason for getting this furniture was because I want to make little soft furnishings... cushions, throws, embroideries, etc.

So tonight I started on this. It's supposed to be a table centrepiece but is turning out a little bigger than I thought, so it's going to be more like a tablecloth. It's okay though... as I work I'm getting ideas for better, more intricate designs.

This is the tiny hook I'm using. I don't know the exact size, but the handle says "5 + 22". Here it is alongside a 4mm hook for scale.

After this I'm going to make some teeny tiny granny squares for an itty bitty afghan, and I have my eye on one of these Janet Granger embroidery kits. And some 1mm knitting needles. And a magnifying glass!

Wednesday 14 May 2008

Cashew and Potato Curry

I made this curry for tea last night and it was very very good. I was going to email the recipe to a bunch of people but then I thought, much easier to post it here and just direct everyone. I adapted the recipe a bit, as you do, so I'm writing the recipe as it was originally (I tore it from a magazine) with my adaptations there as well.


2 tbsp oil
2 brown onions, sliced - no onions for me!
2 tbsp ginger
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
1 tsp yellow mustard seeds - I used black
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder - no hot chilli for me either!
3 cups vegetable stock
500g potatoes, peeled, chopped
350g kumara (sweet potato), peeled, chopped - I didn't have any so just used more spuds
1 cup frozen peas - I found about 5 pods in the garden so used those
50g baby spinach leaves - I used Bright Lights, fresh from the garden, and don't worry - you won't taste it at all!

3/4 cup salted roasted cashew nuts - I used a packet of chopped peanuts
3/4 cup plain yoghurt - I used Greek
1/4 cup coriander leaves - I didn't have any so used 1 tbsp powdered coriander
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp curry powder

To make paste, process nuts in food processor for 2 minutes, or until mixture forms a paste. Add remaining ingredients and process until well combined. - Not having a food processor or mortar and pestle (shame!), I just mixed them in a bowl with a spoon.

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions, ginger, garlic and seeds. Cook for 2 minutes or until onions are soft. Add tumeric and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add stock and potatoes. Bring to boil. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes (until potato is tender).

Stir in peas, cashew paste and spinach. Simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes, until peas are tender and curry is hot.

That's it! I thought it was going to end up very liquidy, what with having 3 cups of stock, but once everything was all added it thickened up quite nicely. Oh - it makes a LOT too - we got 4 good sized servings out of it and you could probably get 6 medium ones.

Monday 12 May 2008

Crochet flowers

I finished these up recently. They are in the same colours as my Rose Tassels, but instead of a tassel these have a leaf or two and a pin back.

I did a couple in the rose design as well.

They are available at my Felt shop. I'm not listing them on Etsy at the moment but if anyone is interested, do let me know and I can remedy that.

For the next project, do I finish the socks I started, refine the fingerless gloves pattern I'm working on so the wrist isn't so flappy, or toss them aside and start something new...?

This weekend was quiet, mostly filled with housework, crochet and Buffy on dvd. Lui had his stitches out on Friday and it was the best visit we've had in ages... into the consulting room within 5 minutes, stitches whipped out, Lui's health pronounced good (even his neck is healing at the moment) and no charge! Whew.

Thursday 1 May 2008

Tomato relish recipe

Tomato relish cooking
Originally uploaded by ghostmyst

2 tart apples, peeled and cored
1 kg tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
200g sultanas, finely chopped
200g sugar
400ml vinegar
3 tsp mustard powder
3 tsp ginger
3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Combine all ingredients except sultanas in a large saucepan. Simmer till apples and tomatoes are tender.

2. Rub through coarse sieve or puree in blender (this is optional! I never bother with this step because I like my relish chunky). Return to saucepan.

3. Stir in sultanas and boil till desired consistency is reached. Thicken with flour/water paste if necessary. Bottle and seal.

This is, quite honestly, the best damn relish you will ever taste. I used all the tomatoes I grew this year (cherry, red, yellow, green) and they all taste great, although it does pay to separate the colours if you want your finished product not to be too muddy looking. Enjoy! And if you have a favourite relish recipe, please tell me about it!


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