Friday, November 27, 2009

Dishclothing

Unable to resist the Dishcloth Brigade any longer, I have now knitted two dishcloths. The first one was not blog-worthy due probably to my inability to read a knitting pattern. It mostly looked like a sailboat design, but the mast was definitely wonky! Anyway, it still works perfectly well in the kitchen.

This pattern seems about perfect though - some texture will help it to work well cleaning benches, and the pattern was easy and repetitive for a basic knitter like myself, perfect for knitting in front of TV.

We normally use Enjo cleaning cloths and I think they are brilliant. However they are too expensive to have a stack and so we tend not to wash them as often as we should. Now we will rotate the Enjo cloths with the dishcloths, which work almost as well in cleaning and releasing grime.

Pattern here at this lovely blog.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broadbeans, and Other Vegetables

[In which I lament the loss of a dream]

The Dream: I visit my vegetable garden, as I do each afternoon, filling a large basket with fresh produce, and carry my overflowing basket happily to the kitchen, where I concoct delicious dinners with vegetables in a rainbow of colours. My girls rise and call me blessed (well, they eat small amounts of previously unfamiliar vegetables, anyway) and I shower my neighbours and friends with our surplus produce.

The Reality:

Broadbean Harvest
Eight plants grown from seed.
So few beans that they can fit into Steve's hand.
True, we picked about 4 more beans a week later, but that was it.
And after shelling they looked even more pitiful in number.

Thankfully they were delicious! I never ate broadbeans before and I thoroughly enjoyed them.
Steve and I ate them bruschetta-style, boiled and mashed with olive oil, garlic, parmesan and on toasted bread. We did not waste them on the girls, who continue to be fussy!
I will definitely eat broadbeans again.

But would I grow them again?
All that work for so little to show!

Perhaps they didn't receive enough sunshine. From the same bed we have eaten spinach, tatsoy, a little broccoli, lots of coriander, snowpeas and parsley. So it has not been a complete disaster. And for our first season and attempt at food gardening it was not really so bad ... I guess. And we did have the fun of watching them grow ... ever so slowly!

Our summer vegetables are looking much more promising, I'll show them to you soon!
(if whatever it is eating the radishes doesn't demolish the lot!)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sydney Harbour


On Thursday Steve and I went on a harbour cruise on beautiful Sydney Harbour.

This was a wonderful gift from some of my family for my 40th birthday in September.

We headed out of Circular Quay

past the Opera House

and explored the eastern suburbs beaches and waterfronts before heading a little way out of the Heads ...

... and then turning towards Middle Harbour on the northern side of the harbour.


The weather was perfect for the length of the cruise, and it was lovely to sit and relax, looking at the beautiful surroundings, the interesting homes and boats ... it was hard to believe that somewhere at the time my parents were picking up our girls from school and taking them home to mind ... we felt like we were on a holiday, which was just what we needed.


I especially loved the lighthouses ...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Perfect 10


Laura had a big weekend.
Friday - some friends over for afternoon tea

Saturday - a horse riding lesson with Emily and 2 cousins for a birthday treat, followed by a birthday party with my family in the afternoon (with a horse cake)


Sunday - her actual birthday - church, (on the way we stopped to visit a horse near church and Daddy produced carrot from his pocket to feed her!) then a quiet afternoon playing with new (horse) Lego and watching her new High School Musical 3 DVD (while wearing a new horse t-shirt) - what more could a 10-year old girl want?

Coriander


We have cleared out our original vegetable bed of plants that have gone to seed.

I bought a huge bunch of coriander inside and plonked it in a glass vase.


An instant and spectacular display -


- complete with ladybirds!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Christmas Crafting

Christmassy things are starting to appear around the place ...

These decorations contain a chocolate coin. I made 20 of them for a committee dinner next week. Each guest will receive a hand-decorated notebook, also, (and a chocolate santa).

A thrifty but effective favour for a Christmas table, and not too fattening, either!
Coins: about 10c each
Notebooks: 5 for $1.00
The cardstock, scrapbook paper, rhinestones and ribbon I had already in my stash.

The snowflake and label stamps are by Stampin' Up!

Oleanders



Picked up off the footpath on the way home from school,
and now gracing our windowsill in an old Italian soft drink bottle



... simple yet beautiful oleanders.