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Takut : Takut Sekali

This sounds far more mysterious and scary than the original - Be afraid : Be very afraid. I think I have worked out how to do clicky links, and what follows will be a link horror – or delight, depending on my patience and ability!!! I will go wild, linking like a chain!! I can’t believe how easy it is to make the clicky links, and thanks to the Knitting Coven people I was able to find out what to do. Here, I could link to them and show you, but I am trying to do recipes instead!!!

Here is the Recipe Index for July:

Chicken in Filo Pastry -2 July

Too much Chocolate is never enough cake-3 July

Grown up Macaroni Cheese 5 July

Easy Sticky Chicken Wings 6 July

Berry Cheesecake Semifreddo 7 July

Very Lemony Tarts 10 July

Choc Fruit Slice 11 July

Celebration Dog Biscuits 14 July

Dirt Bike Cake 15 July

Rice-y Spicy Burgers 17 July

Warm Caramel Sauce 18 July

Apricot Cake 20 July

Upside Down Apple Cake 21 July

Muffins 23 July

Chicken Curry Soup 25 July

Cheery Baked Red Apples 27

Little Italian Ricotta Cakes 28

Knitting : On the sock front, I am almost to the heel part. I have developed a big callous on my right index finger as well and the split in my left. I am the knitting wounded. I want to wear my socks and this is an added impetus.  I want to buy shorter needles. I noticed you can buy a set of bamboo double pointed 2.25 mm needles but I worry that I will break them. My steel needles have bent to conform to my grip already. I noticed one was not straight and thought I might have sat on it, but then I realised they were all ever so slightly curved. 20 cm is too long for sock needles, I want 15 cm ones. I shall have to search on the Net to find some.

I am still having a Florence Nightingale decline, a shallow one, not a steep one. I think I will take to my bed again this afternoon. There is nothing on TV tonight, though I was forced to watch Deep Impact again last night. I turned the channel and there it was. I am forced to watch Chariots of Fire and The Long Kiss Goodnight as well. I can’t tape them in case something happens and the film’s ending changes, I have to sit, bleary eyed, and watch them till the bitter end.

Now, it is moment of truth time as I publish this post and see if all the links work: Don’t hold your breath…….


Footloose, footloose, everybody cut footloose!!

Sock #1 is complete but there were 2 false starts to sock #2. I want them to match, and the colour and pattern in the wool made it hard to determine the right place to start casting on. Next time I make socks I will unravel the ball until I come to a more easily identifiable point in the wool. I am happy with the third try, I am too impatient to start again. I want to finish my socks and wear them. I wore one : I was all Cooke and Moore and the One Legged Tarzan sketch. The sock is just right, a tad form fitting, but it will stretch through wear, not shrink. I can’t believe how fine it feels, how delicate yet strong. I admired my foot for quite a while!!!

In town I bought a bead set – Nobleness!! It is full of green beads, shiny, round, long, so many that I was forced to buy it even though I am hopeless at making jewellery. I will persevere because there are enough beads to make a whole lot of matching earrings and bracelets. I like the whole matching concept, which only falls apart when I lose an earring. I do this regularly despite my special earring holder : polystyrene foam covered in calico and stuck with glass headed pins to hang the earrings.

The shops are full of more green clothes and so I will be putting some more on lay-by soon!!

Debbie_bliss_book I borrowed a knitting book from the Library. I want to make a friend’s baby a cardigan. Canvassing the opinion of several mothers has led me to believe that a cardigan is better for babies. I found a lovely Debbie Bliss book and I think I will make a cardigan. The baby is about 6 months old, but if I make it for a 1 year old she will get more wear from it. I want to knit it in green, but everyone doesn’t like green. I don’t want pink for a girl, or red or wishy-washy yellow. Maybe I should go for a variegated wool??

I should make up a recipe for today, but I have a headache and I am extra tired and I need to rest up so I can enjoy Dr Who tonight…….


Holey Smoke, Batman!!!!

Our walk this morning saw us all caught in a mini storm. The rain was hard and the wind lashing and when a few dead small limbs fell on the path the Labradors headed for home. They are sooky lalas.

As I went to bed before 8-30 pm last night no sock knitting was done at all, but I have only to graft the toe and one sock is complete. I need to find the matching place to start the second sock now.

I have another hole in my left index finger, made when I push the stitches along against the point of another needle. I bought a gel salve that encourages healing and I have been slathered and bandaided. I thought it would make it hard to knit but it has been OK.

The Library lady sent me a present to say thank you for the cushions. I said I didn’t deserve one as it took me so long, but she ignored me. I have a brand new lime green plate, and a lime clutch bag, with a sequinned letter ‘C’. It has 3 interlocking metal circles and I think you are meant to slip the largest one onto your wrist and use it as a handle. I am not quite sure. You can tell I am au fait with the trendy and cool fashion of today!!!

I met Aunty Captain Mrs Archer after school for tea and a cake and then we had a little shop and I also scored some British newspapers from her dad. I like to read them, even though I am philosophically opposed to all that The British Isles entail – the monarchy and all that…..and so, to bed……..


Feelin' hot, hot, hot water bottle!!

I was determined to take my hot water bottle to bed encased in its new cover – and I did!! The Labradors are still frightened/blusteringly brave about the whole hot water bottle scenario. They like it in the bed to warm them gently from beneath, but loathe it in any other way, shape or form. I have decided that I detest knitting with thick wool. I don’t like big needles or big wool. I know it knits up quickly, I knitted up three balls in 18 hours and that included  10 hours of sleeping, and I know it is gratifying to have your knitting grow quickly, but I much prefer the tiny 14s (2.25mm) needles I am knitting my socks on. I have turned the heel and I am on the homeward run to the toe. I would like to finish the sock tonight, but I feel the need for more sleep coming on.

I have found that other friends have been treated badly at E***’s shop as well. In fact, quite a lot of the people I know are currently avoiding it. I am glad to know it is just not me. I am sure it is against free trading rules ( or whatever) to refuse to sell things in shops to people. I certainly feel discriminated against!! But I am over it now (almost).

Now – for something completely different – Jelly Babies. Not the kind that Dr Who eats, though you can buy them at the sweet shop, no, these are infinitely superior. They are luscious jelly of Turkish Delight quality ( not taste) and they are lightly dusted all over with icing sugar that cracks, ever so slightly, when you bite the Jelly Baby. I need some more. Tomorrow I shall buy some. They are  about $3 for 100 g but I would much rather have quality,. than quantity. I can’t eat chocolate so I like liquorice allsorts, lemon sherbets, peppermints and now, Jelly babies!!!

Little Italian Ricotta Cakes

  • 70 ml marsala, sherry or juice

  • 300 g ricotta cheese

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 ½ tbspn cornflour

  • 140 g caster sugar

Preheat oven to 160 C ( 140 ff) and prepare 6 ½ cup molds or a lined muffin tin. Mix the  ingredients thoroughly. Divide between the 6 containers and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool in the tins and then serve with fresh or poached fruit , cream and a dusting of icing sugar.


That's what I'd like to know - Who listens to the radio?

Yesterday six of the Knitting Coven converged on the ABC in Launceston. We entered its hallowed halls and waited nervously until Roisin McCann appeared, took us into a room with chairs and microphones, whopping big microphones, and then told us to act as if we were ‘live’ and it was all spontaneous! I sat on one of the green chairs : there were only 2. It was not as if all my illusions were shattered, but it could make the imagined world of the airwaves rather mundane and ordinary if you let it. I remember listening to Radio National when I was young, in Hobart. Every Saturday afternoon I would listen to The Science Show, The Goons, My Music or My Word, John West the Show man and probably a serial, like Hitchhiker’s Guide or Lord of the Rings. I whiled away many happy hours listening to the radio. Now, apart from the Labradors, it is my constant companion at home. The people you listen to become familiar, so if you see them across the street you would want to wave, call out and run across to chat to them!!!

I am the most divergent person, I have the most tangential though patterns – so, we all soon forgot about the microphones, made knitting needle noises when directed  and we were chatting away and then Roisin ‘arrived’ and there was a lot of talking and laughter, and then all of a sudden, it was over.  A photo was taken, gird your loins!, but it has not appeared anywhere so we may all be safe.

A few of us withdrew to the Café next door and indulged in tea, coffee and more chat for an hour or so.  Later in the afternoon Aunty Captain Mrs Archer and I did simultaneous phone talking while listening to the radio. It was good, despite all my thoughts, it was good. There were a few malapropisms, and I had my best answering the phone at school voice on, but it was good!! Harki heard me talking about the fact that the Labradors might hear me talking. She sat by the radio. Peri deigned to raise her head a little, but then went back to sleep on the couch again.

Opal_sock_wool More on the knitting front : I have my lovely aqua Opal sock wool and I have knitted about 10 cm (3 inches) on teeny tiny 2.25 mm needles. I have also bought the 12 ply olive wool for the hot water bottle cover. I bought a short circular bamboo needle too, and I have knitted all the wool and it is a very snuggly accessory. I had to buy another ball though, to do the last 20 cm of the neck.

After the lovely Dianne of Cleckheaton steered me to E***’s to buy a pattern book, I wended ( what is the past tense of wend?) my lonely way to the aforementioned shop, only to find the owner reluctant to sell me a book unless I bought wool from her. No strings were mentioned at any stage. The only wool purporting to be green was a muddy dull colour, and there was a kind of tape or ribbon. Tape or ribbon???!! What was the woman thinking – this is not wool!!!!!  When I was buying the extra ball of wool at the other shop the lady there said she had ordered the very same pattern book, and I could buy it, or I could buy wool, in fact I could choose any option. I shall be buying wool and a book there.

I am still pale and tired. I am hoping to feel a little better tomorrow??  I need a recipe to cheer me up, a happy recipe!!

Cheery Baked Red Apples

  • 4 Pink Lady apples

  • 80 g butter

  • ½ tspn cinnamon

  • 100 g brown sugar

  • finely grated rind of a lemon

  • 2-3 tspn lemon juice

  • 50 g dried fruit – raisins, apricots, etc

Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and core the apples, you may need to slice a little off the base to let them sit straight. I also used a knife to make an equator around each apple!! Mix all the other ingredients with a fork and fill the centres of the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the apples are slightly collapsed.  Serve with cream, ice-cream and/or custard. Sprinkle with a little icing sugar too!!! This has cheered me up no end!!!


I've got plenty of nothin' .....

The day is dark and stormy, and we have been inside where there have been rowdy running and jumping games. All the bedclothes were nearly on the floor!! I accidentally bought a new book, Debbie Bliss’s  How to Knit. I know how to knit, but it was only $10 and it has some different and unusual patterns in the stitch library part.

Rose-Maree, this is a good idea for my knitting journal – “Perhaps you could add a 'Purpose' heading; maybe you have made an item for yourself, gift for friend, a challenging pattern etc. something like that!I will have to make a proforma of sorts and print it out and stick it in the front to remind myself of what I want to remember!!!

Chicken Curry Soup

  • 200g noodles

  • 2 tbspn red or green curry paste

  • 750 ml chicken stock

  • 500 g coconut cream/milk or a mixture of both

  • 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts

  • mixed sliced Asian greens

Cook noodles and drain. Fry curry paste in a little oil for a few minutes and then add the liquids.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the greens and chicken and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Add the noodles and serve sprinkled with spring onions. Quick, easy and warming.


A bird in the hand.....

Yesterday was a day of total sloth. I was so slothful I would have been a four-toed sloth, not the common or garden three-toed one. I lounged on the lounge, I slept on the bed in the afternoon and then again in the night.  I feel slightly less tired. I spend at least 5 minutes looking at my gums in the mirror over the whole day, and they look pale, but not white, so I must have some red blood cells!!!

Today I took the Labradors for a walk at the dam and no-one went missing, no Picnic at Hanging Rock today. I went to ACMA’s and we bought a new brown finch to replace the one that died ( called Angel) on Friday and took it to school and put it in the cage with Buffy. New Angel was all cheery and friendly and wanted to sit right next to Buffy. Buffy was disdainful, but let her – yes, they are both females. Buffy won’t be lonely now, though she may have some adjusting to do.

Then we watched the final 2 episodes of North & South, the last episode twice as we listened to the commentary the second time. The we watched the deleted scenes and the surprisingly good interview with Richard Armitage. I am leery of seeing actors interviewed as themselves as it destroys my illusions, and they are all I have!!!! N&S has made it to the same dizzy heights of splendour as P&P. There is no higher praise!!!

So, knitting, I’ve done a bit, but then again, too little to mention……what with all the R&R I haven’t had time. I intend to rectify this during the week.

I also managed to make a list of other blogs I like to read. There are a lot more I read incidentally, but  I had to make a start. I am surprised I could do it at all. No hope on making names clicky on the horizon, but you never know......


Listen, do you want to know a secret?

There is a secret to which I am not privy. It is the secret of making a person’s name, as I like to say, ‘clicky’. How do you do it? It is beyond me.  I mention this because Sharon

( note the unclickiness of the name – it links to ‘Nothing’ as Mrs Griswald would say)

asked about my Knitting Journal, and if I would be showing it to people.

I will, be it on their own heads!! I have not figured put what I should put every time. It started out by accident and then I realised what I had : a record of everything I made.

Instead of just a piece of paper that I threw away every time, I could have  a little memory of each thing. I have tried to have;

·        a label from the wool

·        a sample

·        I think I should have a swatch too whether I need one or not

·        the pattern

·        my ticking off chart of rows

·        a photo

·        dates for starting and finishing

·        and any comments

Have I missed anything out? There is no form to fill in or proper format, and it is full of scribblings and maths – and the ages of all the Star Wars characters in each of the films!!!! and other miscellaneous information. I only like to write properly on the right hand page I have decided, that leaves the left hand side one for workings out, thinking about things , diagrams etc. I think I will also have to put a list on the front with the names of the things I have finished. I want to have a whole shelf of exercise books, with the spines labelled. I feel the deep and abiding need to have this now, even though the first book isn’t full!! I think next week I will buy a few more exercise books and cover them in anticipation.

Tea last night was delicious, chicken parcels, roast vegetables, peas, and then the upside-down apple cake which  I made with toffee instead of brown sugar. You make a toffee with 220 g caster sugar and 125 ml of  water and just as it turn a golden caramel colour you add 60 g of butter and then pour it into the base of a lined springform tin. Then you arrange the fruit and add the cake mixture as normal. It makes the cake extra delicious, it is more time consuming, making the cake more delicious to consume!!

We watched the Harry Potter Midnight Magic special from Scotland where an Australian girl has won the prize of interviewing J K Rowling and then she  read from the book. She is not a very good reader aloud!!! Then we began to watch Stargate Atlantis but there was an interruption 1/3 of the way through with the second London bombing attempts and they just never showed the end, the went straight to Letterman. I know that this is not important in comparison the real world, but it is galling to me. They just treat viewers of sci-fi and fantasy TV with contempt. It is lucky you can buy the DVD sets now. I will have to wait till the twelfth of Never . I was comforted by North & South. We watched the first episode, then the first episode again with the commentary , and then episode 2. I could so write in depth analyses of literature!! I spent so much time reading for hidden meaning, comparing and contrasting and looking for the author’s themes and motivation that it is second nature.

I am tired today, slightly pale and we have not been for a walk. I am thinking of doing a Florence Nightingale and taking to my bed for the rest of the day………….

Here is the easy Muffin recipe I mentioned a few days ago..

Muffins

·        300 g plain flour

·        4 tspn baking powder

·        150 g melted butter

·        125 ml milk

·        2 eggs

    

     150g sugar, caster or light brown

·        1 tspn vanilla extract

Sift the dry ingredients and make a well in the centre. Combine the wet ingredients and fold through thew dry. Don’t mix too well, it should be rough!! Fill muffin papers and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200C ( 180 ff). It makes 10-12 muffins.

You can add anything you like : fruit, chocolate, nuts, spices and bananas, caramels , it is a great all purpose recipe that always works. 


Contact has been made - Dr Who:The Invisible Enemy

Dull and dreary today but we are hoping the rain comes soon. It is not cold, but a bit depressing!!!

Today I have covered my Knitting Journal with contact and stuck in samples of the wool I have used for most things, and some of the patterns. I usually write all the rows etc down for myself – I like a ticking off chart, it’s the teacher in me. Last night I found a picture of a pattern I liked on the Cleckheaton site, but I couldn’t find it, so I emailed to ask. This morning, bright and early, I had an email from Diane, not only telling me the pattern book, but also the stockist nearest to me!! How good is that??? It is from the Studio Mohair book 941. There is no green in the colour range, but it is an 8 ply, so I will easily find something else.It is the cross over cardigan, but without the frill. Believe me, I don't need a frill drawing attention to me!!!

Ballet_wrap Crossover_cardigan

Wrap_cardigan

I will have to make a special pocket in the back of my Knitting Journal for the Bendigo Woollen Mill samples so I don’t lose them. I have collected them together, so I need a place to keep them. I need a better knitting basket/bag too. My lovely basket is about 25 years old with a rounded, ¾ sphere shape and a flat base. Needles and scissors and little things fall through the gaps. Maybe I should line it? Lining baskets used to be a big craft thing. I have a hot glue gun, but I could just sew the lining through the gaps in the top!! I think I might do that this afternoon, I have a lot of green material to choose from!!!

Tonight I am going to Aunty Captain Mrs Archer’s for tea, I am making Upside-down Apple Cake and we are watching North & South from the ABC with Daniella Denby-Ashe and Richard(sigh) Armitage, then the first episode of the new series of Spooks, and last night’s episode of Stargate Atlantis.


"Captain, she's gonna blow!"

Today I have knitted myself a Techno-cosy for my mobile!!! It is, of course, dark lime green. I had barely enough wool, and because my mobile is old, and ergo the size and shape of Mel Gibson’s from Lethal Weapon, I had to fiddle the pattern quite a lot. I don’t like casting on at the end of a row, I much prefer to cast on in purl in the following one. I have tiny amounts of wool to sew up with, and then it is finished!!! I also knitted the fold-over flap a bit longer and put a vertical buttonhole, instead of using the sticky backed Velcro. I have a lot of green buttons, but none the right size or colour of course. That is one of the rules of buttons: if you have a lot of buttons, whatever kind of button you need will not be there. Or, if you need a certain number, there will always be one less.

Today we went for a walk along the Tailrace again, and I was half asleep the entire way. The Labradors were very well behaved. Peri wanted to take her football, she carried it to the car and then out of the car, but we had only gone 20 metres when she spat it out, and I had to carry it all the way there and back!!!

I went to have my taxes done as well. There were no car parking places in town at all. I left 10 minutes early and it took 15 to find a place to park. I was late, but so was she!! Now I just have to wait for my return and pay bills with it. Mainly the rates, I think. The council rates are going up by about 30-40%. This means that my rates will be about $2000. That is hideously expensive. I shall have to sell the Labradors for medical experiments

Today we heard that James Doohan – Scotty from Star Trek TOS died, he was 85. I was struck by the thought that in my life time ( however long or short it is!!) I will see a time when none of the people from TOS are left. This is a momentous thought and I will have to ponder it awhile….

Today has been warm, sunny and the days are drawing out, Spring is on the way..so a nice easy cake to make

Upside-down Apple Cake

Cake

  • 125 g butter

  • 265 g light brown sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 300 g plain flour

  • 2 tspn baking powder

  • 1 tspn cinnamon

  • 125 ml milk

Topping

  • 220 g brown sugar

  • slices or wedges of apples, peeled.

Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) and grease and line a 24 cm tin. Sprinkle the sugar into the base and top with apples. If there is going to be a wait, dip the apples into water with a squeeze of lemon juice, as this stops them going brown. 

Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs then fold in the dry ingredients and the milk in two lots. Spoon over the apples and bake for about 40 minutes. Rest in tin for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate. Serve warm with cream, custard or ice-cream in any combination.