Sunday, February 26, 2012

Trying to pretend that summer has been hot

We had a weekend away in Cust to pickup one caravan. This was the last weekend of summer and we were determind to spend it swimming at the river. It was cold. The whole time was spent with us exclaiming how warm we were!! NOT

Friday, February 24, 2012

Finally untangled

Lots of tv watching later the beautifully silky smooth angora is in knitable form. Thanks to a wool winder. My sewing machine was fixed faster than the untangling took but I have also been clearing out my craft area, a very t tough job.

Lovely food from the glasshouse

Gorgeous cheery tomatoes, crisp cucumber and spring onion. All to make souvalaki for tea. With the weird weather this year we would have had very little summer crops without our lovely glasshouse.

Winning with "Good" Magazine

I am a winner!!!!
I entered a competition with Good Magazine and I have won Annabel Langbein's newest book - Free Range in the City. I am so thrilled. They emailed me today.
I love the magazine for all it's green tips. How to recycle, reuse and lower you affect on the planet. Lots of good craft ideas too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to make a storage box that rolls away

From this...
Grotty this....
 I am so stoked with this bit of upcycling. It turned out better than I had hoped or dreamed. I took one old drawer from a divan bed. It had been sitting outside with blocks in it for about a year - I sold the blocks and was going to burn the draw. Then I got an idea!!!
The whole project took me 1 hour and 20 minutes (only because putting the casters on took a while).
I am now power tool mad. The more power tools the better!!! I used a saw that had a blade poking out of it (see I don't even know the technical terms) and trimmed the sticking out ends of the drawer. I then had to trim approx 15mm off the front of the draw and 10mm of the sides so that once the casters were on it would still fit under the bed. Re-glued the end bit of wood in as while cutting it showed it was loose. Then I sanded it down with the father-in-law's sander. Fantastic quick job. Rounded all the corners and ensured all the varnish was removed. Put the casters on the bottom (yes I followed instructions from my father many years ago and used a tiny drill bit to do a whole before putting the screws in. I remember him saying that helps to prevent the wood from splitting when putting in screws.) I was very nervous about the wood splitting at the back of the drawer as it was thinner than the front.
Using this.....
Took it inside and oiled it. Presto - fits under the bed, rolls smoothly in and out. I am very very proud of this. Still contemplating putting a handle on but I like the look of it without a handle (will see how that works practically).
To glorious this!!
Handywoman ME!!!!!

Blah Blah Blah

Yes this photo and the title sums up how I am feeling. I have tried to stay out of bed and do some H&S work but it is not happening!! Sore head, runny nose, sore ears, eyes crossed and full of Malaise. Back to bed for me ( I hadn't got as far as getting out of my nightie so all I have to do is flip the covers back).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homegrown cucumbers

For dinner tonight we had a medley of raw veges. I just could not bring myself to cook the gorgeous, super fresh, just picked veges. So we had cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices and carrot sticks. As well as just dug Jersey Benny potatoes and pork chops straight from our pig. What a lovely vitamin filling dinner.
The cucumber plant in the glasshouse is the only one that is seriously fruiting. The ones in the garden gave me fruit just after Xmas but then because of the colder summer they have not produced since. But they are producing female flowers. So I am diligently picking female flowers from the outside vines and going into the glasshouse and fertilising the male flowers. Look at the fantastic results!!!

Monday, February 13, 2012

A new self saucing pudding - rated 10/10

Tonight I was going to make Chocolate Self Saucing pudding but I have run out of Cocoa. So I decided to try to  make a caramel one. By the time I finished working it all out it was a sort of caramel, butterscotch, golden syrup.
The boys rated it 10/10 for look, smell and taste!!!

Updated and improved on 15/1/2014

Karen's Butterscotch saucy pudding

cream together 100g butter, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 c brown sugar. Add one egg and mix well.
Add - 1 c flour, 1 tsp B.Powder and a pinch of salt. Start mixing. When the mixture is crumbly add 1/2 c milk. Mix to smooth but stiff batter.

Put into large deep dish (3 litre or more capacity). No greasing needed.

Make sauce: 1 c brown sugar, 4 T golden syrup, 50g butter - melt in microwave or on stove top. Add 500mls boiling water and carefully stir in 1 Tablespoon cornflour, whisk until there are no lumps and pour sauce over the batter. Put into oven at 190 C for 30-40 min until sponge is cooked and sauce bubbling underneath.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
I link to these places

A tangle of yarn

I spent the last week unpicking a gorgeous angora jersey. Out of date pattern wise. I used the winder my Dad made me and put them into bundles tied nicely, as taught by my mother. I have done this many times with no problem. But this time when I washed them they all tangled together. How do they do that? There were no ends to tangle together. Very bizzare. Today I took my overlocker and sewing machine to be tension fixed, blades sharpened etc and I had been wondering what I was going to do without a sewing machine. Now I know what I am going to be doing, sigh!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Apricots Apricots

On our trip home from Pelorus Bridge we found an orchard doing P.Y.O Apricots for $2 kg. So we picked!! 10 jars of jam later and 10 jars of preserved apricots. YUM.
My sister over here also made apricot jam yesterday. She gazumped me!!!! I made mine in the afternoon and she did hers in the evening but she blogged it first.
Anna has put her recipe on her blog. Mine is the same quantity wise but method is a tiny bit different at the beginning. I heat the water and sugar on low until the sugar is fully dissolved and then put the apricots in. Halfway through cooking (about 15 min) I also put in the juice of 1 lemon for every kilo of fruit.
So go to her site and use the recipe but remember my hints!!!

The Molesworth Station

Our fantastic picnic spot

Waitangi Weekend saw us do the Molesworth Station. Amazing day! Fantastic weather! lots of swimming, deep canyon style rivers and braided South Island Rivers. Too busy looking at the scenery to take photos. Can't wait to do it again. One very dusty car in and out though. Then we went and stayed at our favourite DOC camp ground - Pelorus Bridge. Came home very tired from a lot of travelling but had a spectacular time.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....