Monday, June 30, 2008

Lemon Honey.

The sun and blue sky are back today, but last week during a shocking spell of wet, cold and wind I thought my new little lemon tree was going to split with the weight of the lemons swinging on it. Luckily it didn't, but to let it get ahead we picked some of it's crop and also some from the old established tree which is laden. Okay, so we have had lemon pudding and although it is probably not good for us I have always loved LEMON HONEY ( curd to some of you ). I like anything sweet but tart or sour, so lemon things are some of my favourites. So my first job this morning was making some. Here is my recipe .

Lemon Honey.
In the top of a double boiler melt 220 gms of butter. Add zest of 4 large lemons then the juice from them plus any more to make up 1/2 a cup.
Add 500 gms of sugar and stir occasionally till sugar dissolves.
Add 4 eggs lightly beaten, stir in. Continue to cook , stirring now and then till mixture thickens. This could take quite a while. Cool slightly and pour into sterilised jars.
* NOTE. If you happen to have any extra egg yokes these can be added or if you have several used instead of whole eggs. ( some recipes use only yokes ). The taste will vary depending on your lemons. A smaller quantity can be worked out from these ingredients if you had only 2 lemons.

Yesterday I picked this basket of green goodies ( avocados, sapotes and Bay leaves ), while walking around our property surveying mess and damage done by last weeks stormy weather.
The last photo is for you Meg. Amongst treasures I have kept are a Winning Post Chocolate box and the ( 3 bears) sizes of Evening in Paris perfume bottles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pattern for Beanie.

I've accomplished a few things in the last day or so. After much fannying about I updated my blog to the Classic version so I could use the new Blog List which shows when blogs were last updated . That might save me some time. I haven't completed entering all your blogs yet but will get there soon.
The photo shows the width of the ribbing for a prem baby beanie against the ruler ( 7.5 inches or 19 cms ) and also a pair of wee small booties. The instructions are very simple - here's the pattern.

Prem Baby Beanie.
Using 3 ply wool ( takes less than one 25gm ball ) cast on 85 stitches on size 2.25mm ( old 13 )needles.
K1 P1 rib for 4cms.
Change to size 3mm ( old 11 ).Stocking stitch for 6 cms. ( 10 cms from beginning ), ending with a purl ( wrong side ) row.
Next row: knit 2 together all along the row. Next row :purl. Next row: knit. Next row: purl.
Next row knit 2 together all along the row. Break wool long enough ( 35cms ) to thread through the remaining stitches and draw up firmly. Fasten gathered stitches and use the remaining end to sew up the seam. (the end from casting on can also be used to sew up.)
That's it. Will fit babe with about a 19cm head.
If you wish to make it slightly larger either begin with larger needles or start with more stitches. The basic shape will be the same.
Use Pure Wool for warmth!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

16 Blocks Completed.

I spread the 16 blocks I've completed out on the floor to see how they look together.Generally it doesn't seem to matter which go by which, it still looks okay. No doubt I will experiment more before I sew them together, but that won't be till I have finished them all. ( going for queen bedsize ) So I am currently back cutting more strips.
In the second photo 4 blocks are laid near each other so the secondary patterns they make are obvious to see.
Now the 3rd photo is something that hasn't appeared on this blog before - knitting! I learnt to knit when I was 6 so have years of experience, but I just haven't had the need to knit in the last few years. So why now? Well it "fitted the bill," of very portable, a bit mindless, but would keep me busy, while sitting around for hours waiting at the hospital while DH had his operation. Actually I took 3 projects with me that day, some hand quilting, some of the above blocks to pin and the knitting bag, but never got past the knitting.. I am now on the 3rd prem size beanie ( very simple ), so will hand them in at the maternity hospital next time I make some little SANDS quilts to donate.
DH is making very good progress, he's better ( as in less pain and swelling ) every day. He only stayed in hospital( a fabulous new one ) till the following afternoon. Consequently I have had plenty to do, doing his jobs as well as mine and cooking him tasty things to eat - at no stage did he lose his appetite. We chose this time of the year for us as we don't have to be busy with the orchard. Gudrun we missed feeling an earthquake on Friday morning, as the new hospital must be so well built it doesn't move. DH was mad at missing it as he loves natural phenomena . I did feel another on Friday evening when I was home on my own so glad it was only a small one.!
Yesterday I began mowing up the 1000s of leaves but got rained on so only did half. Today is fine but there is a chill wind, so it must be Winter.
( note to new Spainish commentor - how do I put a translator on my blog ? - I might try if I knew how. I enjoyed your blog! ) Anyone else out there help with that???

Monday, June 09, 2008

Sew and Cook.

Many other "Quilty Bloggers, " have lovely sewing rooms. I don't, BUT as you can see in this photo sitting at my huge Corian kitchen bench with the wood fire going behind me I can happily sew blocks and watch the Focaccia bread I am cooking at the same time! Both the bench and the dining table I cut on are very solid and make good work surfaces. The only draw back is when I have visitors coming for a meal I have to return all my gear and machine to the big double doored cupboard where they stay when not in use.
A chill wind is sweeping up the country, but the sun is shining now ( its 11 degrees c )and it really isn't bad compared to the South Island where they have been having snow ( see Shirley's photos ). Leaves are everywhere I look. Deciduous trees = leaves so live with it.( they have all got to be mowed up or picked up at some stage! )
As DH is going into hospital to have a hernia repair ( this Friday 13th ! )and won't be able to do anything heavy for a while he has been busy putting strong wooden edges around the vegetable garden beside the new grass and also along the length of my long flower and shrub border. That is so good and will mean one less garden job to do now - no more keeping the edges neat with a spade. A small area had to be regrassed beside it so it all looks a little bare but will soon fill in. I planted some wee new blue pansies and yellow polyanthus but they look lost at the moment.
Other bright spots in the garden are my Dawn Chorus vireya rhododendron in the blue pot and around the side of the house the red Kangaroo Paws are flowering away happily and casting interesting shadows on the white wall late in the afternoons.
I have only just found ( from Meggie's blog ) the list of Quilters' Blogs ( Quilting Bloggers ) that already have long lists for me to explore ( oh boy one can spend hours doing this ! ) and am delighted to find some more Kiwi Quilters.
If I don't have to be outside it's lovely weather to be inside with a pot of hot homemade soup, some crusty bread and a quilt to sew. I'll enjoy it while I have the chance!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Arranging Quilt Blocks.

Thank you all for your comments. Gudrun it wasn't a Bernina Club ( but I know what they are ), It was my local Patchwork and Quilting Group in Tauranga that has about 110 lady members. Tauranga is the small city quite close to where I live and only about 13 kilometers away. Julieq I agree Jelly Rolls would be very suitable for this quilt.The first photo here shows how secondary patterns emerge when the blocks are laid together. Here only the block at the top left is completely sewn; the others are laid out so I can see how they look and move them around till I like them.( still in 4 smaller sections) There are 6 blocks here. ( each 15inches square ) I have more made but just laid out that many.
The second photo shows how a quarter of one block is constructed.This is the second time a diagonal cut is made.The 2 parts shown are a diagonal half of 2 different blocks. By swapping the part blocks around the colours and fabrics are mixed.
The 3rd photo is to show that Inky is quite recovered thank you friends. He is sitting up on our garden table referred to by us as the Trojan Horse as it has 4 wooden wheels and can by moved around the garden. He likes to sit and supervise if I am hanging washing on the line or gardening.
The Luculia tree smells wonderful at the moment and this morning had bumble bees, bees and butterflies all in its midst. ( couldn't get them to all pose together though ).Finally the last photo shows 2 fat native pigeons - Kereru observing me from the top of the Copper beech tree.