Photo’s finally

27/12/2008

A quick post with photos of the finished objects which were completed, wrapped, under tree, and then unwrapped!

The blanket;

and scarf

shirt for Mr T

and Mr T in his special Christmas Kaftan!

ooh and whose this?

Its Honey!!!

snort – I’m soo pretentious!

So I received a comment from my friend Amy requesting tutorial style posts for my cooking…. god she knows how to make a girl feel good!  Amy and I used to work together and she would often come into work on a Monday lamenting a batch of muffins not as good as they could have been or some such thing, of course me being the big know it all would give sage advice and Amy would utter words of amazement.  Little did she know I only knew how to fix failures because I had made so many over so many years!  I still do really…

But here is a Xmas recipe which is simply unable to fail, mainly because it is more assembling than cooking.  For me no Xmas is complete without Trifle.  A strange name for a strange pudding, but by golly, strangely tasty.

Over the years I’ve fluffed around with pretentious versions but nothing ever beats the basic kiwi trifle.  Most versions employ alcohol of some version either sherry or liquer, mine however generally stay sober (my xmas cake usually has enough raw alcohol to be a fire hazard which I find fair compensation)  There are official recipes but I follow loosely the way my mother made it, she was a teetotaller which is probably why I prefer the non-alcohol version.  My boxing day breakfast of choice for so many childhood years was leftover trifle, I still follow this tradition…

My trifle is primarily sponge soaked with fruit syrup, jelly and custard and layered with fruit in between.

These are your ingredients;

trifle-001ooh what’s that green bottle doing there!  It must be cooks fuel…

Start off by making a packet jelly up, and if inclined make some packet custard or just by the ready made stuff from the chiller section.

Then get your shop bought unfilled slightly stale sponge cake, slice and fill with jam, any berry or plum jam will be fine.  To be honest the jam stage is entirely optional and not something my mum did.

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Slice the sponge cake into fingers and layer around the bottom of your serving dish.

Sprinkle with tinned fruit of your choice and the syrup from the can.

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Pour the jelly over and then custard, repeat the layers until you have the quantity you want.

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Change the fruit between layers if you like.  And, that’s it!  Refrigerate overnight and top with whipped cream before serving.  Garnish how you like.

trifle-007There you have it!  The trashiest loveliest trifle in the world!

I’d better go, I still have to glaze the ham, marinate the lamb, get the dressings and dips organised for tomorrow!

Merry Xmas everyone!

Santa is so nearly here!!

The tree has been up for a couple of weeks

knit-rangers-011the pavlova is made

knit-rangers-014I’m having issues uploading the photo of the finished pav – but it is one large pav, cooked and ready for xmas day.

Tomorrow is my big prep day – I have to work in the morning and afterwards will need stop by the supermarket for fresh cherries, strawberries and green beans, then home to do the bulk of food prep.  I finally yesterday sorted out my to-do list of when I will be doing things.

On weaving news, I finished the scarf and in my haste I’ve wrapped it!  Again!!  There will be catch up photos after xmas for woven items.  But I have to say – I am sooooooo pleased with the scarf.  You know how sometimes you start doing something and think it is going to be absolutely spectacular and then it turns out crap?  Well the scarf went the complete opposite!  I thought the warping was going to be particularly bad, but it actually went so well and wove like a dream – finished one scarf in 2 nights, have left the warp on there to do another, but after xmas!

OK well that’s enough waffling on from me.  Happy Xmas you lovely people!

Pikelet/Pancake

21/12/2008

I have to confess, it’s noon on Sunday and we are still lounging around the bed reading the papers, only just onto the second coffee of the morning, with hunger pangs finally forcing me to move. My bathroom window looks out onto the neighbour’s (who I’ve never met) back yard, her washing is flapping around on the line already nearly dry from being out for hours, the garden looks freshly weeded and spruce from activity.  I call her the Rupunzel neighbour (only in my head, never out loud, my sanity is daily questioned around the house without that being known) because I’m constantly peering out my window checking out the progress of her tomatoes, envying her lush silverbeet plants, wondering what she must do with the obvious glut of produce, if only I could summon up the courage to yell out over the fence one day…  In the meantime her washing flaps at me accusing me of sloth and laziness for sleeping in and using a dryer for my washing.  In my defence I’m certain she doesn’t work full time, the odd day I’ve been home during working hours she is around, and I guess when you are home all the time weekend sleep ins don’t hold the same value.  I hate working…

For once Mr T and I agreed on pancakes for breakfast.  I love making pancakes they are so quick to put together, cook calmly unlike bacon and eggs which spit, hiss and require short-order organisation and commitment.    Quite a different kind of morning experience more suitable for when the teenagers are around.

The cooking time of pancakes also lends itself to ponder-ation…  I started pondering about pancakes in fact.  When I was young (don’t you love sentences that start with that!) pancakes meant crepes, either filled with jam and cream at the local tea rooms or served with ice cream as a desert in the local hotel restaurant.  It was the emergence of a cafe scene which popularised American style pancakes, which bore some resemblance to an afternoon tea item know here as pikelets.  Confused?  So were a lot of people older than me!

I embraced American pancakes so much that crepes and pikelets were never even thought about anymore, until this year at least.  2008 was the year of griddle cooking diversity in my house!  Two things spurred me onto reclaiming the pikelet – the purchase of the best ever girdle/griddle thingy and my beloved new old Edmonds Classic cookbook.

This particular issue of the cookbook has little stories about the history of their favourite recipes and peoples own stories.  This is the definitive word on Pikelets from Edmonds “To the British, the term ‘pikelet’ indicates a small crumpet made with yeast.  In NZ and Australia, the term has come to mean a small drop scone made without yeast.  The origin seems to be from the Welsh ‘bara pyglyd’ (pronounced puglud), meaning ‘pitchy bread’  These were little dark breads, scones or pancakes made from buckwheat flour and eaten for tea.”

There you have it.  The only thing I know is that the ingredients for pikelets and American pancakes are pretty much the same, but assembled differently, pancakes get to have flavours and additions like chocolate chips, pikelets are generally served cool and pancakes hot.

This mornings pancakes were to be plain templates for Mr T’s and mine different preferences of eating, he likes to spread them with jam and butter whereas I like them to be smothered in maple syrup or lemon curd.

I whipped the egg whites seperately and folded them into the final batter, this gives them a nice souffle height, but to be honest I also think it makes them a bit drier. dec-bloggy-015

I only did it this way to use my super whipper!  I love this old rotary beater, it is there ready to use without any assemblyand quickly rinses off without any fuss at all.

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I’ve had modern hand beaters before and none of them are as good as these old ones, why did they change the design?

Although here is a modern hand whisk I love, it’s my Nigella whisk, so blimmin useful I totally recommend you get one now!

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These are some pikelets I made on Monday for supper at my guild meeting

dec-bloggy-011ooh I should have photoshoped the dirty stove out…

These are todays pancakes;

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Both different and yet similar…. (ooh that’s deep)

and the finished product ready to nom-ing with lovely sweet toppings…

dec-bloggy-018coffee for me and tea for MrT – how appropriate!

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, I’m off to buy some linen, deliver the completed stocking to the grandaughter and then off to knit with the almighty knit rangers.

Not bad for a sloth…

love ya’s

MONDAY NOT FUNDAY

15/12/2008

Friday nights dinner was so much fun, I stuck to my happy juice of bubble and got quite deliriously happy without being off my titties totally! Food was deeeevine. Outfit looked good, I felt good, all good really!
I wasn’t hungover per se, just very tired over the weekend, so I did some crafting but not lots. I made one shirt, one t-shirt and 90% of the stocking. I just have buttons to do for shirt and sew on the name for the stocking to be done.
Unfortunately there was a lot of housework to be done and that got in the way of some serious crafting!
That’s all for this quick news flash from work! Oops – mondays, so hard to get in the mood for work.

mise en place

11/12/2008

My favourite bit of crafting lately has been the preparation. I’ve been getting in the cutting out groove

Lined up here are 2 shirts, 1 t-shirt, the xmas stocking, a tank top for me, what you don’t see is a jacket which I’ve since made whereas these babies are still waiting.

Here is the jacket

I bought this lovely fabric off trade me for about $40 instead of probably $200 which this kind of fabric would usually cost for 2m…
Here is a closer look at the fabric

Isn’t it just lovely??
I’ve finished it off tonight with hand stitching around the hems and neck edge. I tell ya, this jacket sure ate some metal, I blunted my scissors on cutting it out and broke about three needles on the machine! Oh well. It was worth it, I hope. I’ll be wearing it tommorow night, over the plummy satin tank top which I also finished and a pair of black pants, at my work Xmas dinner.

I’m looking forward to a night out! I’m going to try and get that happy balance of getting happily drunk but not so drunk I’ll be too hungover to craft on the weekend! Wish me luck!

quick post

08/12/2008

It’s Tuesday!! Which means yesterday was Monday… which means last night was guild night. We are entering a group project into something.. I’m not sure what actually, but I’m making a hat. I was going to use a hat I’d made earlier this year and embellish it  but over the weekend I went to Designer textiles which is just heaven on earth for all sorts of fabric, facings etc, and managed to find Buckram which I haven’t seen for years. So last night I wet blocked the Buckram onto a hat block for the basic shape and over the next couple of weeks will be covering and embellishing the new hat. Pictures will follow my friends, I love a bit of millinery but there isn’t much call for it and it is an expensive hobby.

This is the first stage and the following stages will be challenging due to the interesting shape

ok, I’d better get back to work now… shhhh… having a quick naughty break… hush..