Saturday 5 December 2015

Zucchini and Ham Fritters

Hallo Every-one,

I've just made another batch of these tasty fritters as they are a great way to use up extra ham you may have at Christmas. Home gardeners often have a glut of zucchini by the end of summer so this will use up some of that. They're sturdy enough to be a nice option for picnics and lunch-boxes too and you can add some corn kernels for a change and leave out the ham altogether if you wish.

You'll need~~~

about two cups of grated zucchini, well squeezed in a cloth to remove extra water (I used over half a large zucchini today)
2 large eggs
large handful each of chopped ham and grated cheese
1/3 cup plain flour ( wholemeal for us)
2 tablespoons of sour cream/plain yogurt/cottage cheese to help bind everything together
seasonings...I used 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes, you could stick with salt and pepper or add dried herbs or dried garlic

Place the grated zucchini in your mixing bowl

Add everything else

Mix well

Shallow fry until golden brown on both sides, they will feel firm when cooked right through

Eat and enjoy....they are lovely hot or cold

My recipe made 11 x 3 inch wide patties today. You could serve them with a salad and some home-made chutney or with some nicely steamed vegetables.

Hope you enjoy!

How are your Christmas preparations going now? We're hopefully going to have a coolish day and a simpler fare this year, I've done all my cards that needed to be posted overseas and around Australia, most presents are organised and some wrapped, some food is prepared and some shopping done.

Saturday 28 November 2015

Hanging Hand Towel Pattern

Hallo is a pattern I have modified to make a knitted cotton hand towel that you can attach to the oven door handle or a towel rail.

I've used Bendigo Woollen Mills' 8 ply cotton, it is a rather thin 8-ply and 4mm/UK size 8 needles. 25 to 30 gms was all it took. If you don't have 8 ply cotton you can use 2 strands of 4 ply together.

Cast on 9 stitches
Knit 5 rows
Row 6 K4, yarn fwd, K2tog, knit to end.

Knit a further 22 rows.

Increasing starts now~
K2, yarn forward, knit to end.
Repeat this row until you have the desired width for your hand-towel...I went to 46 sts, you may wish to make it wider.

Main body and to keep the hole at the edge~

K2, yarn forward, K2tog, knit to end
Repeat this row until you have the desired length.

K2, *yarn fwd, K2tog, K1* to end.
Knit 2 rows and cast off.

Sew on a button and it's done

My gorgeous buttons come from Sharyn at Buttons B Busy on Facebook

Shoulder detail

Close-up of top

Hope you enjoy making one or two, they would make a simple last minute gift perhaps? Stripes would be fun or use a variegated yarn. If you don't have 8ply cotton then you could use 2 strands of 4ply held together.

Love from Sue

Wednesday 14 October 2015

A Little Preserving

I been really enjoying making jams, marmalade and chutney again recently, putting away small jars for Christmas gifts and to share with my family.

We had lots of small limes this winter but they are so small and so full of pips that they are no good for juicing so I looked for an Indian lime pickle recipe to try. I came across this beautiful blog and chopped my limes ready for the salt. After three weeks they had released a lot of juice and become quite tender...there is no water added, can you see the level of the juice? There are 20 small limes in here in quarters...

I knew the recipe would be too hot for us so I reduced the chilli to one green one and measured out my spices...

so before I forget what I did....after 17 days of sitting in the salt as shown in a previous post the limes were tender so I assembled the spices etc. I knew the above recipe would be too hot even for me so I used a heaped dessertspoon of red chilli powder, one large green fresh chilli and 3 cloves of garlic, crushed. Subbed in a teaspoon each of cumin seeds, mustard seeds and smoky paprika and 1/2 t turmeric3 tender lime leaves.
Fried off the whole seeds, crushed garlic and chilli, then the dry spices with a splash of water to prevent it sticking. Tip in the whole jar of limes and juice and the leaves and stir to coat well. turn off the heat and then bottle once cold. It was almost too hot to taste but I'll try it again after a week or two in the 'fridge.

It made about 1 and 1/2 jars as the limes had reduced a lot in size. Look at that gorgeous colour!

Cooking time is very short and the recipe produced just over one Bonne Maman jam jar. I left it to sit in the fridge for 2-3 weeks before trying is very hot but delicious...

My next venture was the Blood Orange and Port recipe from my new book, Small Batch Preserving. I used sherry instead of port as that's what I also made just over one jar. I didn't cook the first batch for long enough as I was frightened of it burning so all the pieces of peel floated to the top. This jar is much better and suitable to gift. It's a beautiful colour from the two blood oranges, one lemon and 1/2 cup of sherry...

We had lots of lovely lemons from Mum's neighbour, Steve, so I preserved a few jars of them, just quartered and rubbed in salt and left to cure, tip the jars once a day to cover the fruit. Once ready you rinse off the salt and the pulp and chop the rind to add to salads, couscous and anything else you would like a lemony flavour...

In my last post I showed you the huge pawpaw that our neighbour Nong had grown. Well there was more yesterday, over a kilo and as much as we like it fresh I wanted to make another Indian style chutney and found this lovely recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly magazine. I halved this recipe and just half of one of my habenero chillies(lethal!) and made these 3 jars today...

It's not too hot and has a lovely sweetness to it.
Then I printed a few paper labels to glue on from this gorgeous blogger.

 It's very satisfying to make your own preserves and certainly saves money too especially if you grow your own fruit and I love the bright yellow and orange colours in the pantry.

Last Friday was the 6th birthday of the wonderful Down to Earth Forums. We had a virtual tea party where we set our our best china etc and drank a cuppa while contemplating what a huge impact it has had on the lives of it's is my photo...Nana Gardner's tea set, mugs from the British Museum, knick-knacks from the op-shops, seedling in odd containers and a hand knitted throw rug. Poor old Twitch has had conjunctivitis in one eye so has been having cream in that eye each day, he is a trooper!

So that's all from me for now, happy to say Mum and Dad are home from their's Mum...somewhere in the tropics!

Bye bye for now

Friday 2 October 2015

Small Table Make-over

I do spend far too time reading design blogs and beautiful home blogs etc but living in this doll's house rental and having little taste limits me lol

Yesterday I went over to the op-shop looking for candles and containers for pot plants and spotted this sad little table for $ is sturdy pine but needed work on the top...

I didn't want to paint or varnish it so decided to glue fabric on instead...this print has sweet bunnies on it and was a gift from my friend Claire in Queensland.

I unscrewed the legs..

Drew a large circle with the aid of a ruler, about 10cms larger than the table top...

 I used PVA craft glue to stick the fabric just to the top surface at first, I smoothed it out carefully and left it to dry while I watered the pot plants...

Next I glued the sides down, pulling it evenly around and then I glued the excess fabric to the under-side of the top. While the glue dried I washed the legs thoroughly and then screwed them back on.... can see that I work in bare feet, Helen tells me it is called Earthing...


The last thing I did was to mix 50/50 PVA glue and water and brush it over the fabric to help protect it a little and also to ensure it was completely glued on...

It takes up very little room but will be useful when we have visitors and it looks so cute! Go me!

Also yesterday neighbours spotted a snake in the front gardens so every-one was most excited all afternoon, re-counting the tale and telling of another snake that came out of the drain several years ago. Oh! And the one that was under Jean's bed all night...apparently Jean was a good egg about snakes and was quite un-concerned!

The view from our front door, the snake was in the garden under Nong's paw-paw tree. We all shared a 6 kgs paw-paw this week...what a whopper and so lovely and sweet...home-grown lime juice squeezed on is my favourite way to eat it...

That's all for now, we're looking forward to the Football Grand Finals tomorrow, go Eagles.
Hope you have a lovely weekend too

Thursday 1 October 2015

A Diamond Wedding Anniversary

Today is Mum and Dad's 60th wedding anniversary, we wish them beautiful day and are so grateful for the wonderful couple they are and the loving family they have created.

From this blessed union have come two children(Ian and I), 6 grandchildren and 6 great-children.

The wedding took place at St Mary's Priory in Lancaster where Dad's parents had married about 28 years before.

L-R Nana Kelsall, bridesmaid, Uncle Tom, bridesmaid, Uncle Ken, Dad, Mum, Uncle Alan, Auntie Jessie, Uncle Bob and Nana and Grandad Gardner...

They went to London for their honeymoon...

Congratulations to you both, enjoy your special day

Thursday 17 September 2015

Pretties In The Garden

Low 20s today and very sunny so the flowers are out in force. I've done a little weeding and pruning and snail squashing and have some photos of my 'pretties'!

gorgeous kalanchoe , new this year, called Tinker Bell

Bluebells from some bulbs Dad gave me years ago

No idea what these are or how they got into this pot but they are very happy

mini rose has so much new shiny growth

Roma tomato is growing well too

beautiful, fragrant freesias come up from bulbs every year

buttery yellow freesia

one of the last Indian limes

this could be elephant ears, a gift from the grandchildren years ago too

one of Nadia's succulents

a Docker's Pansy, named for the colour of our local football team!

my cherubs, a gift when I retired

hurray! my dill seeds have sprouted

shady front porch

Fire n Snow poppies that have self-seeded  every-where

one perfect daisy
these "stuffed shirts" made me laugh at the local op-shop.

All is well here, we're having a family lunch on Saturday at Elizabeth's to celebrate the up-coming 60th Wedding Anniversary of Mum and Dad's, it will be lovely to get every-one together to share a meal as it's been a while since we did that.

Hope all is well at your place too,
Love from Sue