Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Soup Time.

 This year's crop of Butternut squash has been very successful. There are still over 40 of them to pick.
 I am currently making lots of things with them in.
 Roasting brings out the best flavour. Soup can be made from lightly roasted butternut but on this occasion I boiled it.
 My recipe.
Finely chop then sauté 1 large onion, in a little oil, over a low heat..
Add 1 knob of finely chopped or grated root ginger.
 Add 2 tsps of ground tumeric  and 2 tsps of ground cumin.
 Add 1/2 tsp of garlic flakes .
 Now add 2 kgs of peeled chopped butternut squash, and just cover with vegetable stock or hot water.
 Boil till butternut is soft. Cool slightly and blitz with a blender stick. Reheat. Serve in heated bowls with sour cream, parsley and a crusty roll.( add cracked pepper & salt if liked )
Very tasty. Adjust  herbs and spices & seasoning to your liking.

Yesterday was a beautiful clear day so I walked up and over the Quarry park track, puffing ever so slightly on the steep part. I had photo opportunity stops as well. ( I should make time to do it every day , but usually take a quicker option. )
 In the butterfly garden Colette dahlias were attracting lots of Monarchs.
 I waited till this one opened it's wings. Note the round tag on it's  right wing.

 The Mt in the distance with one of our kiwifruit blocks directly below.( mid left ) 
 This is the sensory garden designed for wheel chair access and has plants at hand level for blind folk to smell and touch.

 At one point in the Quarry is a clear view down through the trees to our house. Notice the red leaves on the Viburnum tree behind it. ( all the kiwifruit blocks are obscured from this angle . )
 On Saturday we spent time  spreading 1 year old pea straw over the  house vege garden,
 to break down more and suppress the weeds, over Winter.
I hope you  have a productive week everyone.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fruit & Sewing & Knitting.

 When we had surplus apples from our tree we started dehydrating them . We liked them so much and found them a very portable convenient snack that I have done some more.
 I am closely watching the persimmon tree. The wasps have already found it and are hollowing out unripe fruit. I will start picking some to ripen inside or they might win.
 At 5pm on Wednesday last I came to the very last Kiwifruit vine I had to do a final thin of rejects from. Yahoo!
 The kiwis are looking great and it is only a couple of weeks till picking time.

 Notice in the top left corner the holes in the leaves from the hail storm we had last November.The vines grew enough new leaves to carry the crop and we have had so much rain that helped too.

The rib stretched out to show the lovely wool.
 I have now finished knitting this vest for Grandson.

 I have also sewn him a potty warmer ( stop laughing! )
 His Mum got the idea from  this site.

 Finally I have joined the craze of the moment doing English Paper piecing.
 I needed a new hand sewing project to take to club and am making a table runner to start with. More about this as I progress. 75 % of the ladies in our P & Q group are EPPing at the moment.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Do You Ever Wonder......

 Do you ever wonder where time went? Where Life went?
 Well I have one way of revisiting some of it. 
 By re reading my own blog. I have been writing it for the past 10 years.
 Yes, I began way back in April 2006.
 It's certainly not everything that happened but some of the parts I decided to share here.
 I did a little back reading of my own posts and unsurprisingly found that quilting and orcharding come up quite often.
Some Commentors ( other blog writers ) have been with me for the whole journey and I thank you for that. Many are now my bloggy friends.

990 posts is also quite a lot! 

Many topics are Seasonal ( that is the same for most of us ) but particularly for us growing things.
 Topics I have covered often include quilts and wall hangings, bags and exhibitions. Exhibitons of quilts and embroidery and art. 
It also includes embroidered felt balls and now knitting.
 Books read , movies seen, holidays and walks taken.
 Photographs - lots of photographs I love them.
 Recipes and cooking, coffee but not alcohol
 perfume and taste .
 Flowers and vegetables and nuts.
For me as a blogger I enjoy other BLOGS with great photos, great words and great ideas.

 To celebrate I've added a new gadget in my side bar.  ( Featured Post  - it's an old one from 2008. I know Molly will remember us all writing them. She has the list on her blog.  )

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Feijoas and Walnuts.

 Thanks for your comments. 

 I ended my previous post saying I was off to make a feijoa cake which I did. The recipe I used is available here. www.bite.co.nz
 It turned out well. Basically a batter cake with topping  ( lightly cooked feijoas and chopped glacé ginger ) poured over the batter before cooking. To improve it I cut out  the sugar in the feijoa mix ( they were sweet enough )and if I make it again I would add double the glacé  ginger and mix half of it through the batter. ( maybe the topping doesn't need to be pre cooked ? ) ( maybe pickled stem ginger might be an option ) 
 When feijoa trees are dropping at this rate,
 making one cake doesn't use many at all.
 Still my favourite way......pick up from the ground, cut in half, spoon into mouth. That easy! 
A young friend maybe you Pam, said, forget the knife just  break them apart if desperate. Yes, I eat them cooked but for me raw is BEST! For my Aussie friends I am talking about pineapple guavas.

 I have done my first small pick up ( or off ) of walnuts for the season.
 This is the best of 3 trees we have. R has mowed the grass quite short to make my picking up job easier.
 Some of branches are low to the ground so I am able to collect the ready ones straight from the tree.
 Walnuts are a very  healthy food.(  I am sure feijoas are too! )
 Please keep your fresh walnuts in the freezer so they don't go rancid. Most walnuts available in supermarkets are already rancid. After I collect the nuts they are sun dried for a week before being stored or shelled.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Grandson's Hats.

 Last time I showed this navy blues hat. It was then followed by the next size in aubergine colour.
 It was delivered to Grandson last weekend when we visited.
 Here he is in his front pack wearing his sun hat as it was a lovely hot day. But colder days are coming so the warm wool beanies will be needed.
 He is growing fast and is as adorable as ever . Here he is at bath time.

 At the moment I have stopped knitting for him and  have made some charity hats. A young friend is going to Nepal in a couple of weeks and needs beanies for children at an Orphanage she is going to volunteer at. Any size or colour is acceptable - so I am using up those scraps.
 Just before Easter we had quite a storm which started the feijoas falling - some before they were ready or big enough. They are okay but not as sweet yet as they can be. I have found a recipe for a feijoa and ginger cake which I am off to make now. I will tell you if it's any good.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hat and Fruit.

 I finished this beanie for grandson today and have the next size up started.He is growing out of the smaller sizes I knitted.
 R has been doing things in the kitchen today and yesterday. He picked then cut this 
 We were both holding our breath as the first one we cut a few weeks ago wasn't ready. BUT 
 Phew it'a a beauty!
Our grapes are ready and the wasps know it so R juiced this lot.
Not for wine just to drink or freeze.
I have also secretly been working on Felt  embroidered ball # 26 which is to be for Grandson. I am not showing those photos yet but soon.

 We watched a good game of rugby this morning . In the morning cause it was evening in South America where it was being played. The Chiefs  ( Waikato / BOP team ) narrowly beat the Jaguares in Buenos Aries 30 - 26.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's Better in the Garden.

This morning it was better in the garden than in the house because 2 blokes came to install  an HRV System and they had ladders and tools and bits and pieces everywhere. They also turned the power off so that was limiting.
 It's a bit like plumbing but for air.
 Making holes through the wall.

 It took them less than 3 hours to put vents to 4 rooms and vents to and from the lounge which will be the heat source. They also changed the bathroom fan which vented into the ceiling cavity to a new quieter one that vents to outside.
 I will report back on how it works. Mostly it is for Winter heating, not Summer cooling.

 So while I was outside I took photos.
 This dahlia has  velvet petals and Black foliage.

 The first Autumn Crocus are out ( or are they colchicums ? )

 I am still trying for the perfect shot of Monarch Butterflies on the zinnias. Why do they like them so much?