Monday 24 June 2019

Curtis's Pumpkin Soup et al

The two big supermarkets here publish a free monthly recipe book using products they sell. I don't always pick it up but this month Coles had slow cooker recipes and a chorizo, pumpkin and white bean recipe by an Aussie chef named Curtis Stone.

My adaptation
1/3 cup chopped chorizo...and seriously any tasty meat or mushroom etc will work(sage leaves?)

large chopped onion and carrot
5-ish cups of chopped pumpkin
3 chopped garlic cloves
drained can of white beans
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
salt and pepper

saute the meat and remove from pan
saute onion and carrot, then garlic and pumpkin
add 1/3 cup of beans
cover with water or chicken stock
cook until tender, blend and season well
add the cream and the rest of the beans and heat through
To serve sprinkle with the fried chorizo or mushrooms
Bon appetite 

We bought a Sunbeam Pie Maker recently and have been enjoying some delicious home-made pies, simple make a thick 'stew' or pie filling and the pies cook in under 15 minutes without having the big oven on for ages.
My two elder grandson are flat-sharing these days...I packed up a couple of hot meals for starves on my watch...I spent a whole $10 at the op-shop on 2 Pyrex dishes/platters, the big pasta bowl you can just see here and 4 kitchen utensils. These pies are a chicken, potato and corn mix...

These meat and tatie pies were my all time favourite as a child in Lancaster and Morecambe, I had no idea they were a local treat...I thought the whole world must love them nearly as much as me! Elizabeth and David were most appreciative lol

I finished little Darcie's cardigans, the second one looks a bit lop-sided unfortunately...I hope she is too busy running around for (m)any people to notice! Those wooden buttons come from Spotlight and at $2 for 6 are very good value...she will love the little hearts...

Off now to drop Joe at the podiatrist's and take Dad to the shops
No rest for the wicked!

Thursday 13 June 2019

Feather and Fan Keyhole Scarf

Details of the scarf I made as promised. I've used that lovely Jeans yarn that I bought at Spolight but sadly they no longer sell it.

You'll need

size UK8 or 4mm needles
around 100gms 8ply wool(perhaps a little more)

Feather and Fan is worked over an 11 stitch repeat pattern plus whatever you'd like for a garter st border...I've added 4 sts at each side here and so cast on 41sts. ie 4 sts per border and 3 x pattern repeat.

Row 1 Knit to end
Row 2 K4, purl to last 4 sts and K4
Row 3 K4, (P2tog) twice, (M1, K1)3 times, M1, **(p2 tog) 4 times, M1 K1 3times, M1** repeat from ** to last 8 sts, (P2 tog) twice and K4
Row 4 K4, purl to last 4 sts, K4

I continued with the pattern until the work was around 20cms/8inches long then made the 'keyhole' by working on the first 15sts until that part was about 10cms long. Place them on a sts holder and work the next two parts to the same length~~ the middle 11sts and the last 15sts give a nice even width and also make it easy to keep to the pattern.
Once done you simpley work across the three sections to make them one again and continue in pattern until the work is about 36 cms in length or when the two ends are the same length once you have threaded the end through the keyhole(I placed the work on a spare length of wool and tried it on for size.)

There are lots of patterns available for this type of scarf, a beginner could make a simple garter sts scarf perhaps?

Hooroo for now,
Love, Sue

*M1 make 1 st...I knit into the wool in between 2 sts to form another  st or you could knit into front and then the back of the knit sts to increase that way

Just adding this pattern too after searching high and low for it, I made this cowl in 2015 with a 200gm ball of Bloom from Bendigo Woolen Mills, it can be worn twisted and doubled for extra cosiness

Purl Ridge Cowl

Wednesday 12 June 2019

Craving Oranges

Don't you just love the way your body tells you what it needs? Day 12 of this bug and all I want is juicy mandarin the greengrocer's I hefted each by hand looking for the heaviest and therefore juiciest fruit. All that Vitamin C must be good for me! Those apples are this season's...they are very crisp and firm, there was also a new type of apple with an very dark almost black skin, must try them soon too...

I've made a cable stitch 'beanie' for my nephew, Jack...he's a young fashion designer now with an eye details so I think he'll love working out how the cables are's a free ravelry pattern ...

I'm also smitten with these 'knotted' scarves and another type called a 'keyhole' scarf

Celtic Knot Scarf

I've made this lovely keyhole scarf's that no longer available Jeans yarn from Spotlight...
I'll post the instructions separately soon...

We've had an incredible amount of rain recently, Elizabeth's bus is leaking and weeds are sprouting everywhere. Speaking of weeds, David turns 10yrs old on did that happen?

Vera is settled into a lovely nursing home with her own room and ensuite bathroom, I haven't been to visit yet as I don't know if I'm contagious or not...I cancelled my blood-work appt yesterday just in case. The 'flu virus is killing people so it's best to stay indoors if you can.

Last night we had lamb chops for the first time in years as they are rather expensive. These were delicious and so very tender...Joe carefully cut off all the fat but I just hoovered up everything but the bone lol I fried off onion and capsicum and 1/2 t curry powder and cooked rice and raisins and fried some tomatoes separately too. Tonight we'll have Italian style sausages and pasta and there's left-over Indian chicken for lunch from the freezer.

So that's us for now,
Hope you're well and happy too
Love from Sue

Wednesday 5 June 2019

Feeling Better, Feeling the Love

what a difference a day makes indeed, I feel almost human again now. Would you believe that my lovely Dad, who has a cold himself, turned up this morning with 3 Lemsip pouches to make me feel better;I don't use things like that but was mighty touched by his love!
Sadly Vera phoned to say she is too frail to come home and will go to hospice at some point...I will miss her dearly.

Yesterday I had the brainwave to make Rhonda's new Chilli Jam recipe forgetting how strong the fumes are...I had to open every window and use both fans and air-conditioner AND a scarf over my lower face to avoid inhaling the fume! (shakes head)...I like this recipe as it uses red peppers which are cheap and plentiful at the moment...

  For lunch today I was craving eggs so mixed up a crustless flan thingy using less than half a cooked chicken breast, finely chopped red capsicum, 5 eggs and some sour cream...a little too brown as I was watching the French Open tennis at the same time...

I am a lazy gardener and throw my eggshells directly onto the garden beds where they dry out and get crunched looks like some enterprising crow has placed most of them in the bird bath to make them softer to eat...I had to laugh!...

For tea tonight I've made spag bol, India vs South Africa are playing in the World Cricket Cup...Nilanthi are your family following the fortunes of the Sri Lanken team?

Bye bye for now,

Tuesday 4 June 2019

Best Laid Plans?

Well my plan to post far more often came unstuck right away as plans often do...while visiting my neighbour Vera who has COPD the nurse came and said she needed to go to the doctor right away for medications. So I phoned and arranged to take her in at 2.30pm. V is so very frail now so needed a wheelchair etc but we got in quickly and were home again soon with her meds. I'm learning how to turn oxygen tanks on and off these days too and she seemed fine(ish) when I left her but later that night the ambulance was called to take her back to hospital. So sad.

Thursday was quiet so nothing to post at all' oh yes there is...I saw both Cody and Jacob and got a kiss and hug from both of them <3. On Friday I took Dad shopping, he'd arranged to take his neighbour, another Vera, with us but when we got to her house she'd gone on her own in a taxi, old age is hard work you know?

As I was knitting on Friday afternoon with the front door open I realised that some-one was smoking cigarettes nearby but didn't get up to close the door until the 3rd fag was lit...I had no idea but after starting with bronchitis in the early hours of Saturday morning I know realise it was the smoke and not a cold as we'd thought. I used an inhaler to break up the phlegm in my chest but I was exhausted and spent most of 3 days lying on the settee trying to get warm.
This morning I looked on-line to see if my suspicions were correct and this article sums it up perfectly...

Visual Guide to Bronchitis 

I rarely catch colds these days but am prone to bronchitis when I do; this is a first to have it from an environmental source so I wanted to record it here. My first bout was aged 3months probably made worse by both parents smoking indoors as people just didn't know better in the 1950s . I feel a million times better today thank goodness but will have to take more care to avoid smoke etc from now on.

Most of the family have already had influenza vaccines last month as a particularly dangerous form of flu is out and about...4,000 Australians are expected to die of complications this Winter, that's hard to comprehend.

Never take your health for granted is all I can say...hope you all have a wonderful week

Oh and keep ready cooked food in the freezer for just such occasions!
Love Sue