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Raspberry Jam time again

Yes I am picking all the berries. Raspberries, strawberries and blackcurrants have all been made into Jam this week. It is a form of procrastination as I am meant to be packing to go away on holiday.

(for this quantity) sterilise four jam jars. Karen's Raspberry Jam recipe (minimum 800g raspberries) Raspberries (weigh them) same weight in sugar
Put Rasp and sugar in pan with juice from one lemon. Have pan on very low until the sugar has dissolved. Then bring to the boil and let boil for 5 minutes. Add 1 Teaspoon citric acid and stir well. Boil for another 4 minutes. Take off the heat immediately and give a good stir to cool down. Leave 2 minutes and give a good stir. Leave two minutes and give a good stir (do this two or three more times). What that does is ensures that the raspberries stay well distributed in the jar when it sets. Rather than have the raspberries all rise to the top and have set liquid on the bottom.
do not add more lemon or citric acid until you have over 1.5kg of f…

Mieke at four months

I had Mieke for the day on friday. It was lovely going out in the Pram with a little baby. Everyone oohing and aahhing and exclaiming about how quickly I got my figure back!! We went to Steff's to drop off some stuff and Mieke got a lovely buzy bee toy from her. These photos were from afternoon playtime. Full of smiles, looking at Morris and chatting to me while I folded the washing. I had some other photos but they were a bit rude to put up on the blog.

Wearable Arts

The school's end of the year art programme this year was wearable arts. We had a proper catwalk set up, funky music and each class complete their outfit according to a theme. Eli's class theme was "the Nutcracker Ballet". So he dressed as one of the toy soldiers. It was a fantastic show. Eli got to bring his costume home.

Recycle me

I knew that I wanted a white peasant shirt but when I went to buy a pattern in the shop it was $16!!!
So I cut an old shirt I had to make a pattern. Then I went to the op shop and bought a size 22 ladies shirt for $2. It had long sleeves and business collar but a nice cotton material and I needed a bit of width to make a peasant shirt. Here is the result of my $2 shirt. plus I know that I have a pattern that works for making other shirts. I quite like the fact that I have left the buttons and not sewn the front together. Am thinking of leaving the top as it is. I was going to put a big button or something but when I wore it today I decided that I liked it as is. Doing it this way is no less sewing that starting from scratch with a piece of material but it is satisfying, recycling totally and cheap.

Have you ever seen a real car that is a patchwork quilt??

Well now you have. We spent show weekend at Geraldine. It is the best place to be. A market day with the streets closed and shops everywhere. Bands playing on all the village greens, It was very hot though - 29 deg C. 





And the most fabulous hanging basket I have ever seen. All the shops had competitions as to who could do the best hanging basket. This was the man from the post shop. Amazing.

Recreating - thanks Alison

A while ago my cousin gave me a circular table cloth. It was lovely but she could not think what to do with it. Well it has taken me a while, but finally I worked out a solution. My mother had asked for another apron as I make slightly oversized ones. So thinking of Christmas I started working. All I had to do was cut the apron shape, iron it carefully and overstitch and add some ties. It is so smart as the scalloped edge remains the bottom of the apron, nice shape and lovely finish. It is crisp and clean and white and looks 1920's ish when on. I want to keep it!!!
So thanks for the challenge Alison. I hate throwing things out and am thrilled with the result.

The end of the Broad Beans

Today I pulled out all the broadbeans, the plants were starting to get rust on them. We had a pretty good run with them. I planted them in April and we have been eating them since September. The earliest ever.
Now there is one big batch left to freeze.
I obviously was not thinking a lot though as I did not leave any plants in for seeds for next year. I know how disappointed Aaron will be!!! (NOT). I love this variety as they do not go grey when cooked but stay a bright green colour. But I have found that Kings Seeds have this in their seed stock, so we are on for next year!!

Summer is here - Strawberries from the garden

This is the third picking of strawberries from the garden. The lovely hot weather has them ripening fast. A good bowl full every 2-3 days. This morning I got up at about 8.30am - went outside and picked strawberries - then came inside and made american pancakes. Topped it with Maple syrup and strawberries picked only 1/2 hour ago. What a fantastic fresh tasting breakfast.


American Pancake recipe

Feeds two in our house: 1 C Flour 1/2 t salt add 2 egg yolks and 1 C milk. Mix well and ensure there are no lumps.

Whip the two egg whites to stiff and fold into the above batter. Heat heavy fry pan or gridle. Put a nob of butter on and a soup ladle of mixture. Wait for bubbles to pop and then turn over. Remove onto serving plate, add a knob of butter and a drizzle of real maple syrup. Top with as many sliced Strawberries as you can pick from the garden.

Eat immediately.

What to do on a hot day

Lovely 26 deg C day. Eli is at a party and Jakob was out in the hammock, under the apricot tree, reading his first ever Famous Five book. Just to top it off he had a bundaberg apple ale - yum.


Retromummy.blogspot.com

If you have not already viewed this person's site - Retro Mummy - then this is the one for you. Funky knitting, hassles with kids, amazing material, great ideas - you name it. I have this site as a favourite. you should too.
She has a great competition going at the moment for some new fabrics by Rosalie - one of the ladies who took the course I did earlier this year.

My amazing 5 year old cooked his first proper dinner

I was making Green Thai Curry for dinner and Eli decided he did not want that. He wanted stir fry dinnner with rice and special sauce. His instructions were. Mum you cook the rice.
We picked a pile of gorgeously fresh veges from the garden "Yes I actually managed to grow a brassica. It is a broccoliflower.
Eli chopped all his veges and had to sit around for me to get my dinner ready so he chopped my veges too. I have noticed that if he makes food he eats all the vege!!
Then he put a bit of oil in the pan and the sliced chicken. Cooked it. Added the veges and stirred until cooked. Put the rice in a bowl, then the vege and then the special sauce (soya sauce) and he and Jakob ate the lot. I did not have my dinner finished cooking for another 15 mins!!! Things are definitely looking up in the kitchen to the day when I will be able to roster the cooking. Yipee.
But I am just so proud of him.


Have you ever seen a smoothie machine powered by a Bicycle?

Well on the weekend at the Steiner School fair - We did. It was hilarious. Fantastic fruit smoothies though.

Recycling a chair

Last week Steff and I had a day fixing up chrome chairs. Look at her blog for her lovely stool. My chair took a bit longer. I now wished that I had put the green spot on all the chair back instead of just the back. Hey I guess we live and learn.


This is the work in progress and the mess I make when I am doing things.

Grey Heron Baby

Yesterday I came home from work to hear Morris barking like crazy. He had a baby Grey Heron backed into a corner by the chicken coup. A very stroppy bird too - pecked like crazy as i put it into a box. After calling the bird hospital and the vet we were advised to take it to our local park where Herons were nesting. So down we all trouped and put it at the base of a tree where there were Heron nests.
It was all knees and wings. Could flap and fly a bit but had problems standing for long. Obviously got caught in the wind and deposited at our place (being only three houses from the park).

How to use linen shirts that don't fit

I had a lovely linen shirt that was bias cut. Looked great on the front but on the back it looked awful. So cut it up. Found the end of a old skirt that i had already used for something. Put the two together and hey presto! a romper pants and sun top for Mieke. I am pleased with it even if I say so myself!!!

My latest ReCreation

Yes I have finally finished the quilt for me for the camper. I had been sick of doing boys quilts so this time it is a girly quilt (Aaron will just have to get over sleeping under pink!). I made a matching one for Mieke (not that she is going camping!!) so we will both look wonderfull.
It is again made from scouring the second hand shops and buying any PJ's I could get. It is easy to get a bag of them when the shops only have a bottom or a top, they tend to fill a bag for $4 or something cheap and easy like that.
It was a lovely day to photograph it today but a bit of a breeze came up so the boys held  corner each.

Mieke is so cute sleeping

Today the weather was so fantastic that I madly washed all the sheets from the beds. When Mieke needed a sleep I was not organised so she slept on our bed. A wee nest for her and a pillow as yes - yet another Schulz who has reflux. But all was well and she slept for an amazing 2 1/2 hours.


Stephen and Jess were also here for lunch today so I tried to give Mieke her first cooking lesson. Jess held her while I taught but the photo came out far too dark - Eli took it and there was too much back lighting. I will put the photo in anyway as I do need a record of her first ever cooking lesson (it was making bread in the breadmaker).

Picnic for the Christchurch Earthquake Concert

The Christchurch free concert is today. Started at 11am but we are leaving home at 2.30pm as the boys would not be able to do 9 hours at a concert. Hopefully there will be space!!
So the first picnic for the summer (we have had winter picnics) has been done.











We have frozen bottles of apple juice (as it is 22degC), chocolate covered strawberries (covered in Whittakers Mocha 70% cocoa chocolate), Fruit cake from Annabel Langbeins new book (The Free Range Cook), Smoked salmon, cream cheese and crackers (the salmon is from the Rangiora Fresh Fish Shop) and gorgeous chicken kebabs and rice salad. Yum, I can't wait.

time in Cromwell

Yes school holidays. But we took five days off in the middle and went to Cromwell. The cousins enjoyed the various picnics, walks on the central otago rail trail, playing games and watching Tv in the mornings.

Another hooked on revamping

I have realised that I have changed a skirt into a dress for Montana Rose, I took a photo of the skirt I bought at the second hand shop but no one of the finished article. Will update it later. Turned an old fashioned nightie into a string strap nightie for me and no photos!! terrible. I have been too inspired with the doing. Also while I was in Cromwell my sister and I spent a couple of nights revamping things. she turned a merino jersey with holes into a lovely bolero style top.

Omarama is the most relaxing place

In the school holidays we headed to Cromwell. On the way we spotted something new. Hot pools at Omarama. But these are no ordinary hot pools. They are Japanese style hot pools. No chlorine, new water put in after each hire. There are twelve individual pools and they are all secluded and have their own change room and shower.
It was grey and miserable and we soaked. It totally got rid of Eli's cold and we all felt so much better. We had a picnic lunch in the pool as it did not matter about crumbs etc as the pool would be emptied after our visit.
Having a real fire to heat it was fantastic. Totally recommend the place.

Announcing the arrival of our newest family member!

We are absolutely thrilled and ecstatic to announce to everyone the arrival of our newest family member.

Mum & bubs both doing really well, and Jakob and Eli couldn't be more pleased.




Mieke Ruby Schulz, 1 month prem.
5lb 11ozs