Monday, 20 May 2019

 Hallo there, there a few recent pics from around the house and garden...look who turned 3 yrs of age last week...our Charlie and his Mum excelled herself with this beautiful cake complete with fire engine topper that a friend had made her(I'm learning all sorts of new baking terms from Bree and her cakes!) We had a feast at Nando's, we're all chilli heads here I think!

I finished a baby blanket this week-end, I used 2 strands of 4 -ply acrylic, it's so very soft and made up a broken basket stitch pattern in the middle of the night when all our best ideas come to us!

Snapped these glorious roses while taking the photo of the blanket, for such neglected rose bushes they produce prolifically and make a lovely gift for any-one feeling blue.

Major excitement when I spotted this almost ripe orange on my potted Cara Cara tree....the frangipani  trees had been sheltering it from view but they are losing their leaves now and wow! I also have lemons and limes ripening  but this is my first ever orange!

Our Paul has been going out with his mate, Jason, in Jase's, catching squid and trapping crayfish in deeper's Jason this morning(it is so cold atm) with catch of the day...I just cooked one of them and shelled it, there is a surprising amount of meat them. We'll eat it warm with salad and brown bread and butter I think keep it simple is best here...

The guys also smoke fish and here is one of Jason's pies made with smoked fish and crayfish in a thick tasty very good...not unlike our Tassie Scallop pies really....

So the days pass by like sands through the ...oh oops! sorry for the plagiarism (not).

Love from Sue

Cake of the Week from Bree too

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

New Jacket and Hats

lots of knitting going as usual...will let the pictures do the talking...firstly my 8 ply(acrylic) jacket, cost less than $10 to make using this pattern

Cable hats with 8ply wool and this pattern  I always look on-line for free patterns before I make anything these days...ravelry is my favourite place...

How socks start Life...loving this tiny circular needle from Chiaogoo, bought on line from Skein Sisters, I've also started a baby blanket and am using a long circular needles as it takes the weight off my shoulders , the work rests in my lap and I only use my hands...

I've just read a wonderful book about Julia Child which led me to watching some YouTube clips of 'The French Chef', I am pleased to say my knife skills have greatly improved as well as my appreciation for all this amazing woman achieved in her long life.

6C here at dawn and I'm off to Dad's this morning with two serves of Shepherd's Pie and extra vegies...I out-did myself yesterday and doubled the amount of mincemeat needed by padding it out with grated carrot and zucchini and lots of chopped mushrooms too...we always have grated cheese on the top for extra yumminess :) I made Irish Stew at the weekend for the first time in years, lamb seems so expensive these days. Winter food is just my absolute favourite!

Hope all is well in your world ,
Love from Sue

Friday, 5 April 2019

Tasmanian Scallop Pies

"Now I'm sad." says Uncle Tom when he finishes a particularly good meal and that's just how Joe and feel after eating our home-made curried scallop pies. I'm getting the recipe written down here before I forget how I made these scrumptious pies.

As usual my presentation wouldn't win a wooden spoon but inside...oh my giddy aunt!

We ate 3 scallop pies in the 2 weeks we were in Tasmania, this recipe tastes just like we had there.

4 small pies or just make 1 big one, I based this recipe on this one

2-3 squares of ready rolled puff pastry...I patched my tins to make sure nothing escaped
300-400 frozen scallops

2 egg yolks and the juice of half a lemon whisked together

2 T each of butter and flour
1 cup of stock, I used chicken
1 heaped teaspoon of Keen's curry powder
parsley, salt and pepper
3 T cream or sour cream

Start by lining your pie tins

 Melt the butter in a saucepan and blend in the flour, cook a couple of minutes then add the curry powder and cook another minute.
Add the stock and whisk until it's creamy and lump free, season well

Set aside to cool a little while you quickly sear the scallops in olive oil or butter, only a minute each side. Take off the heat

Now beat the egg/lemon mix and the cream into sauce and fold in the scallops

Fill up your pies, get the lids on and into a hot oven at 220C for around 20-25 minutes

Make jam pasties with any left-over pastry and cook them too!

Joe took the lid off his pie(is it a Canadian thing or was it to cool it down a bit?)

Here's one of the pies we had in Tassie, at the Richmond bakery, their scallops were much bigger than ours, I'll have to try and get some fresh ones next time...

We are looking forward to tomorrow's lunch now :D
I'm sad because I have lots of dishes to wash so I'd better get that done then I can sit and watch the women's soccer Matilda's vs USA that was played this morning!

Love Sue

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Knitting and a Bus

I seem to have been knitting these squares forever, at least 2 years, it's 100% wool and very heavy, very random too, knit 6 varied squares, join them end to end and add them to the side it suits best. This is the first time I've knit a border too, size 5mm needles and 12 stitches;start sewing it to the edge once it's nearly long enough as you will have to stretch it slightly to keep it tight...I also finished a pair of 8ply socks for Wendy, my gets quite cold in Albany in Winter...

  This is a free pattern and I made these last year but hadn't given them away, the pattern is from Joyful Toys and is called Peter Rabbit, it uses very little wool...

Joe's chemo is going well and his brother is on the same treatment in's to stop the basal cell carcinomas associated with Gorlin Syndrome that they both have. Enough with all this cutting them out, Joe looks like a patchwork himself these days and it's very painful.

Elizabeth has finally been in position to buy a smallish bus which she plans to gut and turn into a camper and then hit the 'frog and toad' with her 2 younger boys....she's had enough sorrow recently to last a lifetime so let's hope this is a turning point in her life...she will never be homeless again anyway!

Lots of work ahead but it's so good to have a goal isn't it?

Dad has gone on a holiday too...he's gone down to Albany to my brother and SIL's home for a few days. He'll come back on the bus which takes about 6 hours, quite an adventure for an 85 yr old.

I've tried some new recipes since we got home, this eggplant curry is particularly good, frugal and easy too and I made some basil and spring onion pesto with basil from the garden that had grown so much while we were in Tassie...I added a few roasted cashews jar is in the freezer to keep it very fresh...

and how's this for colourful...a white chocolate cake with white chocolate buttercream made by Bree, it had 2 little troll dolls on top later!

So that's all for this quick update, I hope all is well with you,
Love, Sue

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Tasmania and More

Hallo Every-one, Joe and I have just been to the state of Tasmania for a lovely holiday. We hired a car and after 4 nights in the capital, Hobart, we set off around the island to see as much as possible(I had in the mind the Griswolds heading to Wally World via The World's Biggest Banana etc). It is a relatively small state and it was almost like being in another country at times. The western areas are mountainous temperate rain forest and we enjoyed a steam train  ride through wilderness, here the engine is being turned manually

the King River Gorge through the train window...

We saw waterfalls, tree ferns and amazing fungi at Nelson Falls,

I visited the replica of Mawson's Hut at Antarctica on the Hobart waterfront(and cried, the 18 men were so very young and brave) and the beautiful replica sailing ship, Lady Nelson that brought early pioneers from England...

 Douglas Mawson's corner of the hut, the others were crammed into bunks around the edge

so very small for such a long sea journey

Beautiful deserted beaches on the east coast where it was dry farming land ...Marion Beach

had so much fabulous food and wine...seafood platter at Port Arthur...

We visited the  UnZoo and saw kangaroos, wallabies and most uniquely 2 Tasmanian Devils which are an endangered species these days...the female was eating a wallaby hind quarter...

Himself was snoozing in the sun...

This is a section of the Port Arthur Penal Colony, one of Australia's first settlements, well preserved but with a sad and violent history..

We saw mountains and historic houses, the oldest bridge and oldest hotel, markets and farms, ate scallop pies for the first time and walked miles every day. 

At the main museum in Hobart I learned more about the appalling genocide that went on in the this state in the 1800s when most of the native population were with slaughtered or imprisoned where they died in awful conditions. This was thought provoking to say the least.

I have so many more photos and stories but this will give you a hint of our are some links to some of the sites we visited...

We'd love to go again!!!

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Using Icing Colouring to Dye Wool

Hallo every-one, it seems I've been knitting non-stop for weeks, one thing was different though because I dyed my first a skein of 4ply merino wool with icing colouring! This is the technique, the dye is very thick and you only need a little, DIL Bree is making beautiful cakes with the dyes too*

When it came to applying the dyes, purple and royal blue it looked as if they'd just mixed together to become one dark blue mess so I didn't agitate the wool in the dye...this surprised me by leaving pretty parts un-dyed, and some parts with varying degrees of colour...

 drying the skein before rolling it into a ball, a 100gm skein is enough for a pair of short socks...

it was a bit of a struggle to wind the ball as towards the end it got tangled, I sat and persevered to make sure none was doesn't look enough but it was...

  ta-da! my new socks, I used Winwick Mum's Basic 4 ply Sock Pattern again, it's simple and knits up quite quickly...

This is Charlie's new jacket made with that lovely soft Jeans yarn and this pattern  , you will have to join  ravelry to see it but it's all free and wonderful over there...the buttons are wooden

  another pair of socks made with Spotlight's 'Not Just Socks' yarn, the pattern is on the ball band, again 100gms makes one pair of socks

Mum's collection of matchboxes from the days that they were complimentary and placed in a clean ashtray in restaurants and hotels, thank goodness those days have passed, some of these are from her overseas holidays...

Will finish off with yet another photo of this stunning hibiscus...
Love from Sue

* just some of Bree's gorgeous cakes using the Wilton's Food Colouring,
for more pics look for Bree's Cake Creations on FB

Image may contain: flower and plant

Image may contain: dessert and food

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

A Lovely Weekend

Well I think this says it all, the maximum temperature reached 42C on Sunday after a hot Saturday so we stayed indoors with the air conditioner just set on 'dry' and 24C which is very comfortable. I watered the garden and filled up the bird bath early in the day.

This pretty candle holder from the op-shop reflects the blazing sun...

For Christmas I made bunting with thread and dry gum leaves, if I'd had more time it would have been nice to write a wee note on each one...

while watering I spotted this big pod on my Bower Vine...friends have advised to put a paper bag over it to collect the seeds when the pod bursts as it will eject them far and wide...

I finished my first socks using the Not Just Socks yarn from Spotlight...the pattern is on the ball band and it uses one ball per pair of socks...normally sells for $13 so I watch out for it coming on sale and buy a few at a's quite fascinating both watching the colours develop and also the intricate construction of shaping the sock...

On Sunday I also made this 'back pack' from a curtain remnant and some cord...I needed help from Marie at the DTE page as I couldn't visualize how the cord worked...this pattern is similar if you want to have a go, they would make useful gifts too...

filled with a cushion...I would prefer to use this than a shoulder bag while walking around town...

I made a yummy lamb curry and rice for Joe and I but Dad needs something mild and soft so I made him a quick seafood meal, wild caught salmon and prawns, a potato cake and some soft broccoli...this is a bread plate as he needs to eat small meals now...he loves his seafood and would happily eat fish and chips for every meal!

That's my round-up of recent happenings here, today I am going to see Elizabeth and the boys and get the paperwork started for C to start secondary school next month. Just the cost of the uniform is mind boggling and I have no idea how many families can afford it at all. At this new school there is a Student Support set-up where you are sent if you turn up out of uniform. They will lend you a complete uniform until the end of the day when you go and change back into your own clothes...the humiliation of that makes me cringe.

Bye bye for now