31 Aug 2011

It's the Little Things

Armed with nought but a bowl of walnuts courtesy of the local fruit and veg shop, an old paver and a wee little hammer we set to work....

The early morning air still befriending Winter and the lawn shiny and fluorescent green from yesterday's rain..

The patience...the care...the gentle tap-tap-tapping. Once shown how to do something this girl simply must do everything by herself! Mmm....patience is wearing thin..."Mumma, I need anudder hammer....a BIG hammer!"

Again with the tap-tap-tapping...perhaps a little more sprightly than before...

And finally....

THE most creamy and delectable walnuts I've ever had! What a gorgeous way to while away the last morning of Winter. It really is the little things :)

30 Aug 2011

Lemon Butter

With a fruit bowl overflowing with these gnarly orbs and the skies turning all shades of grey today, I had the hankering to make lemon butter.

I've tried many a recipe for lemon butter and have been know to try to sweet talk those old dears manning the cake stall at fĂȘtes into divulging their secrets but this one has come up trumps.

Firstly it doesn't use cornflour like some and hence for a bull a gate kind of gal like me there is far less chance of lumpiness.

And secondly, it uses 4 egg yolks. Now I'm rather partial to a pavlova and since my Mumma Bear's recipe uses 4 egg whites I always have 4 rather lonesome looking egg yolks peering at me in the fridge like big yellow monster eyes for a few days til I reluctantly have to bin them...and yes, I'm one of those kooky people (read: bordering on lunacy!) who talks to inanimate objects, so a "sorry yolkies!" may be heard at such times in my kitchen.

I doubled the mixture to make three full jars because...well, I'm a glutton! But if you just follow it as it is you'll get 1 large jar or two almost full smaller ones...and no doubt a happier waistline.

Lemon Butter

4 egg yolks

2/3 cup castor sugar

60g butter (cubed)

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

100ml lemon juice

Whisk eggs and sugar until well combined but not frothy.

Tip into a saucepan with butter, zest and juice.

Stirring constantly, bring to simmer over medium high heat.

Take off heat as soon as bubbles appear. Don't allow it to boil as it will curdle....and you will cry!

Pour warm mixture into hot sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Slather great dollops in hot buttered toast...spoon into wee little pastry shells and top with cream...drizzle over a cream laden pav and sprinkle with fresh berries.....eat from the jar with a spoon (perhaps only pregnant women can get away with that one!). Enjoy!

29 Aug 2011

Living the Good Life

With Spring peek-a-boo-ing herself we headed to the park for a romp in the sunshine....and icecream!

Whiled away the rainy spells with some last minute work on another baby play mat for some dear friends' new little lady...

Continued the struggle to keep up with our heaving vegie patch and all those gorgeous greens...

Smiled at mon petit poppet's carefully collected, arranged and placed centrepiece for our evening meal together....

Devoured this bacon and egg pie with oodles of those greens and a simple vinaigrette...

Watched his and her hands work together.....

...to turn this freshly harvested rhubarb....

...into this gorgeous crumble and home made custard.... ate copious amounts of said crumble and custard!

Indulged in a spot of crafting ....

..to make some cards using leaves and feathers found on our magical farm holiday...

Continued work on these monsters...ahem, beauties and finally saw the light at the end!!

Pondered what our native bees friends were up to as they spent all day swarming outside their hive....a new queen?...a hive invasion?...an internal war?....simply a frolic in the last rays of Winter sunshine?!

What memories did you make on the weekend?

26 Aug 2011

My Creative Space

A whisker of time ago......mmmm, make that a great big Harley Riding bikie beard of time ago!...I was working on this little man quilt.

When I first spied this gorgeous fabric at my favourite little nook of crafty loveliness I knew I had to have it.

It conjured up images of my dog eared Huck Finn book that I read time and time again as a little kipper (and believe me, I didn't cause such a heinous crime as dog earring a book...it was a flea market purchase and it was quite apparant the previous owner had rather loutish book habits!)

So when a gorgeous friend announced the arrival of her second little gentlemen I couldn't help but make a wee quilt or play mat for him to explore his world on.

The centre is a panel of fabric and I used contrasting fabrics as borders and then some cream quilting cotton embroidered with mini mushies. Finally, I made binding from that cute train print to complete it.

My quilting left quite a lot to be desired as I must confess I was a little slack when making my quilt sandwich. I tried to pin it on the floor and needless to say there were leg cramps ahoy and not the best smoothing and flattening effort that ever was. A giant belly will do that to you! But I made it with love and therefore I can't be anything less that chuffed with it!

It is ever so inspiring to trawl through all these wondrous creations each week. Come join me!

18 Aug 2011

My Creative Space

As a teacher of wee little ones my most treasured role was teaching them to read. To hand these wide eyed beauties the keys to unlock the magical world of literacy was a gift for me and I never ceased to get misty eyed when the light bulb lit up above their sponge like brains and they would look at me with amazement and say, "I can read!"

Constantly asked by parents in the early days of their poppet's schooling what they could be doing to help motor their babes along in the domain of 'A,B,C's" I would simply answer..."Read to them....everyday!"

Mon petit poppet has had a love affair with books since the day dot and as a word lover I couldn't be more chuffed. Countless hours have been whittled away with a stack of books beside me and an eager beaver asking, "Wead it adain please Mumma?" I have refused to enter the land of flashcards and formal introduction of letters with my girl and have gone to great lengths to avoid "teaching" her rather just immersing her in all that is the wonder of our language. It probably doesn't hurt that I can talk the leg off a chair either!

As a result she adores letters and even at her tender age can identify and verbally spell her name and voraciously points out the letters of her name on signs, buses, in books, on cans of food....the list is never ending. So to encourage this love of letters I made her a little set of her own. I drew some letters on A4 paper as pattern pieces and cut them out of some vintage fabric and scraps with pinking shears, and with the right side facing out I backed them with calico and stitched them together leaving a hole for stuffing. Then I just ran them back through Jan to close up the hole. I must admit that stuffing them was akin to pulling teeth but when I handed them to her and she promptly hunted out the letter G, "Grandfather ...Mumma?" I almost burst with joy!

One day in the not too distant future I'll hear those excited words again, "I can read!"....but this time the little angel speaking them will be mine.

Have so missed playing along with all these ever inspiring souls.

16 Aug 2011

Slowing Down

A week of tranquility...of adventure....of such fun!

Collecting "still warm" eggs every morning ...and cooking them for second breakfast... yolks the colour of sunshine!

Copious cups of tea and home baked delights (photo courtesy of mon petit poppet...struggled to get the camera off her...perhaps a budding photographer in the making)

Putting on my brave face whilst feeding some feathered friends.....and happily realising they ain't quite as scary as I once thought...o.k....so the goose and gander still gave me the heeby jeebies but I'm getting there!

Tending to the chickens, ducks and geese, goats, llamas and horses....marvelling at the work of farmers....adding fuel to the quitely burning embers of my dream to pack up life as we know it and come and join them

A spot of grooming for Miss Harley...

Before donning our riding helmet, saddling up and taking her for a trot around the paddock...

my girl looking so grown up my heart ached :(

Watching Stuart the farrier perform deluxe pedicures on all our equine pals....

Trying our very own horseshoe on for size...

Peaceful (and rather slow!) walks in the rainforest practising our whip bird calls...fossicking about the rock pools and sending leaf boats down the waterfalls...

Watching this beautiful man with this beautiful girl and being thankful for all the magic they bring to my world....

Melting marshmallows til they were crispy on the outside and gooey in the middle....knitting....having day sleeps when our girl slept....watching the fire.....slowing down.....bliss!