Friday, December 30, 2011

Slowing down....

With Christmas over and done with it's now time to rest...I'm looking forward to a New Years eve gathering with family then it's time to slow down the pace before the school year starts again.  With one starting high school, another starting prep and a new baby arriving early in the year there is going to be a lot of changes happening around here in 2012.
 My Christmas sewing has kept me quite relaxed over the past couple of weeks. . .
I didn't quite get everything finished that I wanted to but I was happy with what I achieved.  Little Pincushions were sewed and gifted....
Soap was cured and fitted into these snug little soap on a rope bags I had been crocheting of an evening...Lavender Bath Soap and 
Tea tree oil Garden Soap
Suitable also for some gifted jewelry.
Then there were the DOLLS . . .
  It was this time last year that Queensland was hit with a devastating flooding, many families lost their homes, their possessions and sadly their loved ones.The lovely Mrs Moo who has creatively inspired me on many many occasions was responsible for hosting the Queensland Flood Dolly Appeal and these lovely little dollies have been on my mind since then, I just didn't realise I had the patience to make them.  Dolly Donations  is an amazing website that donates homemade dolls to less fortunate children all over the world.  You may have noticed the special little dark skinned dolly in the group, I am hoping Sarah may be able to use this for an upcoming dolly drive.

My vegetable garden continues to supply us with a good picking each week but sadly it will need to be turned over soon and I don't quite know if I'll have the energy to continue it over the next couple of months.I'm sure I can round up a few little people willing to get their hands dirty.    : )

 I hope your enjoying the slower pace that usually follows Christmas
I'll be back again sometime soon . . . Happy New Year

Friday, December 23, 2011

Just in Time...

I sewed and I sewed and I sewed and I sewed, and I sewed and I sewed and I sewed, and then I dreamt about sewing....Now I'm taking some time off  to spend with my loved ones who haven't seen much of me this past week....
I'll be back after Christmas with an insight into my newly found love of making Dolly's and more show and tell handmade gifts.

Sending warmest wishes to you all. Thank you for your support, friendship and inspiration over the past twelve months, it's been an incredible blogging journey for me.
 Have a safe holiday and 
Very Merry Christmas  

Monday, December 12, 2011

What a Challenge!

Christmas Elving is in full swing around here at the moment, every spare second of my time has been taken up with my 
I wish I had another 12 days of Christmas left on the calendar. . .
 I'll leave you with a few sneaky peaks and hopefully have some finished products to show you next week... 
Shopping or Elving?
The Clock is Ticking . . .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I pickled the Cucs!

In my last post some of you suggested that I pickle my excess cucumbers, so that's just what I did, with a few other fresh ingredients from the garden.
Pickled Cucumbers
also known as Bread & Butter Cucumbers,  they are so delicious you'll want to have them on the table with every meal. 
I used 6 medium size cucumbers
2 onions
1/2 red capsicum
1/3 cup salt
4 cups cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup of sugar
1 teasp ground turmeric
2 teasp mustard seeds
2 teasp chopped dill
2 teasp celery seeds
Slice the cucumbers, onion and capsicum and mix together in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt.  Cover and let stand for about 4 hours.  
In a large saucepan combine the rest of the ingredients.
No celery seeds in my cupboard so I used the next best thing, the celery flowers straight from the veggie garden...(they would have been seeds one day had I had left them to mature!!)
Bring to the boil then add the well drained cucumber mixture. Bring back to the boil then remove from heat. With a slotted spoon ladle the pickles into wide mouthed sterilized jars.  Seal and water bath. 
Enjoy. . . or give to the neighbours for Christmas. . .

Friday, December 2, 2011

On the Vine

Pumpkins, Yes they are Pumpkin Delicata Mini Sweet.  I had to check my Diggers order to see just exactly what they were, Aren't they cute!  I don't think they grow much bigger, I was looking for a compact vine, and that it is, and just loaded with these sweet little pumpkins.

A Rockmelon, another compact vine this one is a Rockmelon Minnesota Midget.   Looking forward to these ripening...   
The last of my Beans, pods too old to be eaten now, I'm planning on drying these, some for winter casseroles and some for replanting next spring.
Not a vine, but oh so Pretty, Garlic flowers next to my bean vine... And can you see the height of that corn in the background
My first season ever growing corn, and I'm extremely pleased with how they are going...
Any tips on when to harvest Corn?
Capsicums, Capsicums
and more capsicums...
Cucumbers  The description 'Double Yield' and  growing like mad
Too quickly actually
I can't eat them quick enough, and they mature overnight, It's nice to have extras to give away to visiting family and friends.
Many Varieties
Ready to ripen
Pick and Eat
And a Choko vine, running madly alongside the childrens sandpit...
Pretty in flower
and bearing the first Choko of the season...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Devon Sandwiches

Did you ever get Devon Sandwiches in your lunchbox when you were growing up?
You may also know this meat product as Luncheon  or Veal German. 
It's a real family favourite around here, it's cheap, it's tasty and it lasts forever....God knows what it's made with though, you always hear all these awful stories about what goes in it, not to mention all the preservatives.
Here's a nice homemade version of Devon, it's a much healthier alternative, it's quite simple and it's fun to make.  
If your not a fan of the commercially made product then you must try this sometime, I'm sure you'll be impressed.  
Homemade Devon Sausage
1/2 cup chopped onion
 1 x tab chopped capsicum
2 x tab butter
2 x eggs, beaten
1/3 cup tomato juice 
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teasp salt
1/4 teasp dry mustard
750gm minced beef
250gm minced pork
Cook the onion and capsicum in butter until soft but not brown.  Combine with all the other ingredients in a food processor until well mixed and mushy.
Set out a sheet of tin foil and roll the mixture into a sausage, secure the ends. 
Bake at 180 degrees for approx 1 1/2 hours.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.  
When cooled, store in the fridge, slice as needed.  Can be eaten like a meatloaf with a fresh crisp salad or steamed veggies or enjoyed at it's best on a freshly made sandwich.  Like any standard cooked meat, it will only keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but it does freeze well.  Sliced or left whole.
Also a handy little sausage to take all wrapped up to a picnic...
Devon Cheese & Tomato toasties...
My all time favourite, Devon and Tomato sauce.....
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