Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I didn't pick up fallen walnuts over the long weekend so yesterday it took a lot of bending to collect these. 2275 Leanne! ( that's 3416 so far this season. ) There are more to come, even though that big tree has had 2 quite big limb removals this last year. The nuts  have to be dried in the sun for several days before storing / shelling. ( so they are quite time/ work intensive food but worth the effort. )They are good eaten raw or lightly roasted. They are good in baking and as dessert topping and ground up.Once shelled we store all of them in the freezer so they don't go rancid. ( Many of the walnuts on sale are already rancid by the time they get to the shops.)

 We have been picking up feijoas at the rate of one of these green bins every second day. So the tractor repair man and anyone else who arrives here goes away with bags of feijoas. We can cope with only so many. Our freezer is at capacity. During the storm last week one of the trees split in half. I think the remaining half will survive after the half on the ground is chainsawed away.

 Some more little blocks got finished. The coloured squares are only 1.5" cut, so quite tiny to work with. More are in the pipeline.
Work also progressed on the felt balls.I was able to ask one of the future recipients if there was anything special I should put on a ball. She said a rugby that's next. Both balls I am making are for boy babies.

 We also went, as we have the last few years, to the Rotary Club Used Book Sale.
We both came home with 12 books each and I got 10 quilting magazines and 5 gardening magazines for $3.  ( all mags we selling for 5 for a dollar )We spent a total of $80 - that is a lot of reading and enjoyment for us.As usual the sale was well patronised.
We also visited the Garden Centre as I have been beavering away in the garden and had some gaps to fill. I have planted 2 new purple Hebes, some hyacinth bulbs, some  grape hyacinth bulbs, some Anemones and ranunculus. Yesterday I dug out the whole  corner of a flower bed that had been taken over by a fern that has roots like fibre matting. I also found the greedy big Rimu tree has sent roots upwards to rob the goodies from that flower bed.
 Last night my back knew it had had a work out with the digging plus the walnut bending but it is fine again today.
 I picked these from the garden. I love the strange smell of Chrysanthemums. While at the garden centre I got 3 beauties for $20.  2 dark red and a pompom pink. They are all around the house at the moment but will go into the garden when the flowers fade. That's how I came by the plants for the ones in the photo too. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Fortunate One.

Earlier today we ( and most of NZ ) had quite a storm. High winds and rain going sideways.( this lawn is now littered with leaves and small branches. ) About 68 mls fell this morning.( after 37 during the night )
 I was the fortunate one. I got to stay inside. R had to venture out as he had an appointment to give blood and do a few errands. It is very difficult to take photos of storms as it stills the movement.
 Luckily here the water gets away quickly - here by way of a down pipe off the roof.
 So I got to do inside things. I made focaccia bread to go with soup. I sewed some small 7.5 " blocks, like this blue one
 From these which I have been cutting out over the last few days. 
 I decided I liked them sorted into colour families rather than all just random.

 I also started winding an  inner for felt embroidered ball # 24.
 I mainly use the quilt batting trimmings from down the sides of my quilts.
I start the ball by taping 2 bottle tops together with a rattle inside then wind and wind ( like a ball of wool ) till I have a round inner the right size for one of these.
 This is ball # 23 that I have almost finished . I do this in the evenings while watching TV. I keep a notebook in which I record every one of the 23 balls I have made so far. What is on them and who I gave them to.
 Now late afternoon the storm has passed. This wet will have held up all the early kiwifruit picking.( most packhouses in the area had started picking )  A lot of drying out will be needed as orchards will be wet and the fruit and leaves very wet.
 Sunshine now please!

Monday, April 14, 2014


 After trying many different approaches to my fraying appliqué fabric I used what is called double appliqué. That is sewing reinforcing to the back ( with right sides together,) then turning the whole thing through a slit on the back ( of the reinforcing.) Turning it was not easy but a stiletto and a tooth pick helped. This was the result. The best leaf of the 3.
 Flower block 7 is now completed.
As there has been a sudden surge in young friends ( 3 ) announcing that they are pregnant I need to turn my attentions to making baby gifts. I am back working on my felt embroidered balls, which for me is a breeze after that appliqué  and designing some baby quilts.
Raewyn with the grapes I mashed with a potato masher to break them up and just bought them to the boil so they wouldn't ferment.  Bottled it will keep for a few days in the fridge. They have such a high sugar content it forms crystals in the bottom of the container. One lot we have tried freezing.


 This is our persimmon tree. It has quite a good crop. Great, cause I love persimmons.

 They are just changing colour as they begin to ripen. As I was taking this close up photo I noticed 2 fruit right inside the tree that were being devoured by wasps.

 We estimated there was about 50 waps in each fruit, so I got R to carefully return and resort to a spray can of fly spray and get them all! ( I know as soon as they had hollowed out these 2 fruit they would start on some more. ) I have already picked some at the pale partly ripe stage to make sure I get some. I hope some will ripen further on the tree.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

April is Rushing By.

We were determined not to let the wasps get at all the grapes . This is the 3rd and last batch we juiced.

 We still have an embarrassment of feijoas some of which I am cooking and freezing. We eat them daily raw.
 The tomatoes are slowing but still need picking.
 I picked some of my persimmons just showing colour because last year they mostly disappeared before they were tree ripe ( possums, birds and wasps all feasting ) The tree has a good crop so I should get to pick more.One of my absolute favourites!
Leanne my walnut tally is only 606 so far.
 The firewood shed has been cleaned and filling it is R's next job. He has dry logs all ready.
 Nicky this is how my Capsicum dip ended. The recipe is very simple  - the amounts may vary without spoiling the end result.

 6 large red roasted capsicum.
 1 1/2 cups cashew nuts
 Virgin Olive oil
 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped 
2 tblsps of balsamic vinegar
 ( salt pepper or sugar to taste )

Firstly roast the capsicum; cool, then remove skins.
 Dry roast nuts in a pan. Put both into a food processors and blitz. Leave it a bit chunky for texture. Drizzle in the balsamic and if you think it needs thinning slowly add oil. Add condiments till you like the taste.
 On this occasion mine needed hardly any oil. and I decided to leave the garlic out. Tastes divine!
 Cover and keep in the fridge or freeze it. Serve with home made lavash, crackers or vege sticks. Or use as a spread.

 My 7 so far appliqué flower blocks.

Number 7 is giving me trouble. The spotty fabric I am using for the leaves  is a bit linen like and is fraying madly. I don't have this trouble with the batiks, so must take more care next time to select by fabric type not just look.
 The smaller leaf is on. The other half done and there is a 3rd to go on the opposite side. Extreme patience is required by me.