Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tiramisu - how to make it

Tiramisu is an easy dish to take to parties, you make it in advance,and sit it in the fridge for a day or so to set.  Here in my video I'll show you how to make it.

I finished the top of this Tiramisu with the cocoa and icing sugar mixed together then dusted over the top of the pudding through a small seive.

1 or 2 packets of Vittoria biscuits (depends on the size of your dish)
2 cups of fresh brewed coffee
Chocolate, grated, about 100g
1 large container made up custard, cold
2 pkts marscarpone
1 pottle cream, whipped
1T each of cocoa and icing sugar

Monday, May 26, 2014

End of May and the End of Autumn

This is my post for the Garden Share Collective for June.

Here in New Zealand the end of May is also the end of Autumn, with chilly wintry blasts coming through at an ever increasing rate.  In fact as I write this we are having a polar blast, with some sleet and threatening snow.

My vege garden is looking a bit bleak, I'm sure it always looks better when the sun shines!


We are still able to plant brassicas, and you can see that I have put some more Kale in. These are seedlings I raised myself on a window sill.  I have a lot more still to go in, but I'm not sure if our family will be able to eat it all if I go overboard on the numbers of plants.

I also put in some onion seed, and I am a bit dubious about how it might go.  At present it is hard to distinguish the onion seedlings from the grass that is coming up. But we shall see.


Harvesting has actually been very plentiful.  I have been collecting Feijoas off the ground under my plants, even today in this freeze.  Feijoas are the most amazing fruit, with a pear-like grainy flesh and a fragrant taste.  I love them.  When I lived in England I missed them so much that I went to the Harrods food hall and bought one, for STGPounds3 .  Sooo expensive, but a real taste of home.  I haven't seen them in other countries, not for sale or in people's gardens, but here in NZ they are very popular.  I have two varieties, for cross pollination.

We have also been eating, Rhubarb, Spring Onions, Leeks, Kale, Cauliflowers, a few last tomatoes in the glasshouse, and we have eaten the last of our Red Beet, and Butterbeans.


Pick up the glass from where our glasshouse lost several panes, and replace the glass, so that I can try to have some lettuces for winter planted in there.

Put up strings for the Broadbeans and Peas to support themselves on, as they are getting quite big.

Pinch out the growing tops of the Peas to encourage side shoots.

Put some more topsoil and manure into the empty garden bed.

Prune the Mixed Berry, so that I get lots of fruit next year.

Pull out the plants that are "done" this year, and that have been frosted already, like the Courgette

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sometimes the old ways are the best

This is the old-fashioned art of unpicking a jumper for it's wool.  I love to knit, and have the money to buy wool, but this was such a pretty heather green!  In it's previous life it was a HUGE mans guernsey.  I mean HUGE...a gigantic jersey.  I reckon I will be able to knit a jumper for each small child here in this house!  Or, at least one, with a hood.   The jumper came from our local rubbish shop in a "fill a bag fr $6",  has been well looked after, was not holey, or marked and just lends itself beauifully to being unpicked.
Start by undoing all the seams in the jumper, taking care not to cut the knitted work.  Then starting with each piece unravel it and wind it round the back of a chair.  Tie with four ties, and then wash.  Once the wool is dry, wind it into balls, using a child's hands to keep the skein open as you wind, and then you are ready to give the wool a new life as something more exciting!

This is tying a skein off.
Skeins drying on the Rayburn

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Amazing Sunset tonight

Tonight the Sunset looked like this, just fire in the sky!

I couldn't help taking several photos of it
It lit up the chooks as they went to bed

And silhouetted Mt Grey 

A plane vapour trail also made the sky interesting

On a side note, the pigs are getting big!
 The house was also bathed in the glow

And the Liquid Ambers look resplendent
All in all a very nice night

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Daffodil and Tulip Heaven

It's been a busy few weekends, planting over 200 daffodil bulbs and about 150 tulip bulbs.

I'm hoping for a big show in the spring, I just hope all this rain doesn't rot the bulbs before they have had a chance to give me their best efforts!

We have a couple of really special daffodils from an amazing outfit in Geraldine that my sister Karen took me to last year.  We viewed a cut flower from each type, and then chose what we would like to have sent to us the following autumn once they had harvested.

Just to see about 300 or more single daffs in rows was just beautiful, and I (as always) over estimated how enthusiastically I could plant them...Yes, I got sick of crawling round on my knees, but now it is done, finally!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Joining "The Garden Share Collective"

I have just joined this collective, which I stumbled across on my way round the internet.  Although I am not sure exactly what to do? I did get an info sheet, and I think I am expecting an email with tasks to try to achieve for the month, and then to blog about my successes/failures....but I wait with baited breath to see what happens! 

1. What I am planting
2. What I am harvesting
3.  My "To Do" list

It's great to share ideas, and I am hoping to learn lots about how other people approach their gardening and eating from their vege patches.

If you click on the link here you can see some of the monthly blogs that have already been published with the growing number of bloggers contributing.

I'll let you know how I get on

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A FlowerPot heater for the Glasshouse

Sometimes cruising round the internet is a good thing.  I am always interested in money saving ideas, and do-it-yourself ideas, and came across a discussion for cheaply heating a room in winter.  It's a very ingenious thing!

Having watched this video, and several others very like it, I have thought that this could be the answer to all my winter and spring problems in my glasshouse.  Especially in Spring, when the days are warm, but the nights are clear and cold, and morning frosts get right into the glasshouse damaging early tender seedlings of tomatoes etc.

I reckon, rather than using 3 x tealights, I could use a longer burning candle, so that I could light it in the evening when I went to bed, and it would keep burning all night.

I was especially interested to hear on one video how during the Blitz in London people used these in their Anderson shelters to keep warm, and even reckon they could boil the billy for tea on one!  I'm pretty keen to try that out, just because....

Monday, May 5, 2014

It looks industrious, but it's an unpicking - sadly

I have been knitting this amazing Cleckheaton bolero pattern.  I checked my tension (I am 26 rows and 20 stchs over 10cm, the pattern called for 30rows and 22 stchs over 10cm), I thought, a bit tighter won't matter too much.  I knitted the size 16-18 (you, know, because usually I am an 18).  And, wow, all I got was a huge jackety thing.  I started to knit the lace to go round it, but actually had to stop and take a long hard look.

I have measured it out, and I am going to have to knit mostly the Small size! really! 8-10.  Sounds good to me.

And I am cutting 14 stitches off the width of the sleeves, because even the small size started at 50 stitches...

It's been a real disaster really, and now unpicking starts *sigh*.

I did consider felting it in the drier, or putting it through the overlocker, but no....unpicking it is :-(  It's such a beautiful 100% merino, in such a lovely colour, I didn't want to ruin it.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hurunui Valley Wine Trail - perfect for an Autumn day

This morning was fresh, sunny and autumny, and we decided it would be a great day to check out the new bike/walk trail round the Waipara vineyards.

Well, we headed off about 10:30am, strolling, not rushing.  The colours of the golden vines in rows was lovely
We got a little lost after Greystone Wines, and when we came to a junction the sign pointing off in the different directions was just lying on the ground, so could have pointed anywhere!  at that point we set off back.  Greystone had opened their cellar door at 11am, so we tasted a few of their wines, thus fortified headed on foot under the motorway, and round on a sideshoot to Waipara Springs.  Lunch, a seafood platter was very welcome!

A final stroll back to the car, parked near the Waipara Domain, and it was 2pm, my how time flies when you are having fun.

Here's the link if you are wanting to give it a go!