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September 2005
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November 2005

Not up the Creek....

Endless_branching_out_and_labradors_too Branching Out is complete – it just needs to be blocked and have the ends sewn in. It looks lovely and feels luxurious. You can just see the Labradors in the top left hand corner.  Creek has been given the boot – it is up the Creek without a paddle.  Instead I am making Midwest Moonlight – or as I like to call it : Night-time in the North!!! I am in love with this pattern and this scarf. The pattern is easy but looks much more spectacular. It is knitted, of course, in the soft and scrumptious wool given to me by my Secret Pal!!

ACMA and I have been watching Season 1 of Stargate. We found an episode we had never seen : neither of us, ever!! What a find!!! We are hoping there may be a few more!! ACMA made the tastiest roast lamb dinner ( with no T*m Cr***e, than goodness) I had a whole parsnip to myself and it was caramelised and soft – no woody centre at all.

Harki is feeling so much better. We have to play all the time and this morning she woke me up in high excitement :  she was bouncy and happy and had special alert ears!! She was shivering  with anticipation when I said we would go for a ride in the car and a walk. Peri has been Sleeping for Britain. She likes to sleep under her Labrador Polar Fleece blanket, even when it is warm. Last night she was so hot she was panting, but would she come out from under Nighttime_in_the_north_1 the blanket? NO!! I had to unwrap her and then she insisted on lying on top of it anyway. This is the same Labrador who insists on catching all the cool air from Mr Cooly to my detriment!!! When we went for a walk today, they both ran down the track and had a swim : Harki only had a dip, but Peri had a genuine swim.

Tomorrow the Knitting Coven meets and this might be my last knitting  for a fortnight as I have a quilt and a skirt and a top to make by the 12th November.

Peri_snug_as_a_bug_in_a_rug_2 I have also spent 11 precious minutes being on hold to the Council. I was inquiring about the Heritage Forest and if there were any educational resources or guides available. Since they couldn’t manage to direct me to the Parks and Rec Dept, and I kept ending up at the front desk all the time, I don’t hold out much hope for a guide!!!!! I will have to go in, in person  and try to get some answers….

This morning Tim Cox interviewed Janie Dickenson ; the outgoing Mayor, and Ivan Dean; the Mayor-Elect and  MLC. While Janie was full of grace and refused to cast any aspersions,  Ivan had no such qualms and proceeded to say very snarky things about Janie’s Mayoral time.  He is one of the Old Guard, he got their preferences and he will get their support in the Chambers, unlike Janie who was, according to the Old Guard, the wrong gender and the wrong age.

Oh no. Now there is an optometrist or an audiologist who is a teacher wannabe saying that he knows all about reading and teachers know nothing. I don't go into his office and try to tell him how to do his job. Why do people think that they always know better than teachers? Teachers have training, it's not as if you just spring, fully formed, into the classroom. I think that because everyone has been to school, they think they know how to do it. They are saying that no-one ever teaches phonics. Rubbish. Phonics is such a big part of teaching children to read, not the only part, but a big part. I think the main problem is that these so-called experts confuse the Department with the teachers!! They are making me cross and I can't listen to them anymore. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!


Everything's coming up Roses

Tori_the_labradors_peace_rose It is nearly 4 years since ToriToo the Labrador went to Dog Heaven, but today her rose is blooming!! It is a beautiful Peace rose, given to me by a friend. When I look out the front window I can see Vundy and Tori’s Roses. It makes me happy!!!

ACMA spent Teachers’ Day at the school sports Carnival, awash with mud and slush. I think she is glad it is over!!  Today I think about how I miss being able to teach. Then I have to have a 2 ½ hour nap in the afternoon!! I am planning to rest up and go to ACMA’s class and give them a little talk on the horror of War for Remembrance Day.  I don’t scare them, we just talk about how awful war is, and how lucky we are to live here. I have to avoid anything other than the topic and be scrupulously unbiased!!!

These last few days have certainly brought up some interesting topics: teachers, Rosa Parks, Nat King Cole, democracy, elections, and Pretend drops in Peri’s ears.  The Labradors have to have the same My_dr_who_factfileas each other. They can count if one gets more treats than the other. Harki is first, and Peri second, and Peri does get all bouncy and beserkerish if she misses out on something!!!

Next weekend is the big Deloraine Craft Fair. It is fantastic, but you can’t go every year – well I can’t. If you do, you become fixated on only the naff: the crocheted Doll toilet roll holders, endless stalls of whatever the current fad is. I am going next year. Absence makes the heart grow fonder…

Yesterday I bought a new Dr Who Fact file. It is so lovely. There were only 2, so I put it on my account!! I shall be showing special excerpts all this coming week!!! My Secret Pal sent me a link for excellent Dr Who patterns and I especially like the logos. Maybe I need a logo scarf? Or a throw?? I am not sure. I could have a green jumper with logos around the hem?? I really want to knit them. I expect no-one will want to be seen with me!!! I have 118 rows to go to complete Branching Out. It has so few stitches that I think the most time is involved in changing around for the right and wrong sides rows and marking off the row counting sheet. As I have had a very large nap I hope to finish it tonight!!!

Today there is a beautiful recipe from my Secret Pal using Earl Grey Tea!!!!!

Wherever you are, it is your own friends who make your world.

— William James

Chocolate Earl Grey Truffles

2/3 Cup heavy cream

2 Tbsp. soft unsalted butter

2 tsp. Victorian Earl Grey dry tea leaves

6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Bring cream and butter to a quick boil, add dry tea and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, finely shred chocolate and transfer to a bowl. Reheat cream mix until just warm and strain through fine sieve. Whisk until smooth over a warm water bath (place bowl with chocolate over a pan with hot water) and reserve covered for at least 2 hours in a cool place. Spoon level teaspoons full of chocolate mixture on a cold cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll each piece into a ball and dust with cocoa powder. Keep hands clean and dry as you roll the chocolate mix in cocoa. Keep in an airtight container in a cool place.


Teach your children well....

Australian_school_librarian_of_the_year We had afternoon tea, ie, I had a cup of tea made with a tea bag. I asked for lemon slices though to mitigate the crime. Jessie looked great : Darwin agrees with her!! Here are the feet of the people : Guess me!!! But you can see the feet of the Australian School Librarian of the Year at the top.If you 'mouse' over the photos you can see the owners' names!!! In fact if Typepad hadn’t been down I would have beaten Marlena_di_dawn_and_jessie the paper!!!

Yesterday the power went off. I had just finished sewing the ribbons on the little mini-sleeve arm things for the ballet costume when the power went off. I had cooking to do – well melting and heating anyway:

  • Marissa_and_me

  • Custard

  • White chocolate and lemon truffles

  • Ganache

  • Mud cake

  • Nigella’s runny puddings.

When I rang the Hydro there was an hour’s delay before they would even consider thinking about the Too_much_girly_pink_is_never_enough restoration of power. I packed up my ingredients and trusty green digital scales and hot-footed it to ACMA’s house and melted and heated things there. Consequently there has been no knitting.

We went to Spotlight and saw some quite nice Christmas crafty beads, tiny decorations etc, and I spied a pattern for a top to sew to wear to D&O’s wedding. I would be making View B, the one with the real woman modelling it!! I have some lovely green material, courtesy of the Madcages’ overseas trip. I might line the bodice section front and back and have the sleeves in the fabric alone. I will need to make a skirt too, but that will only take an hour, though I will line it. The weather in a fortnight could be blisteringly hot or blizzardly cold!! I have plenty of shoes to wear and a lovely handbag too. That should be it.

Now, a thank you to Birchalls, and Zarina. I taught Zarina and now she works in Birchalls and she is such a lovely person. She asked, and Birchalls obliged, in donating their Harry Potter banners to me ( for ME read ACMA and her Harry Potter Club at school). No doubt she will furnish us with a picture – for heaven’s sake she wanted to go back to school to hang them up last night!!

Lovely_green_print_material And there is a nice segue into Teachers’ Day. Today is Teachers’ Day ( and thanks Paul and Paula for what can only be a Uriah Heep style ingratiating full page ad in today’s paper) Thank your child’s teacher today. I know what a demanding and exacting job it is, and teachers make it look easy. They are gliding on top of the water and paddling furiously below to stay afloat. Thank the for all the unseen extras: the care they take, the listening they do, the planning, the marking, school camps, duty, never ever having a lunch hour, writing reports late into the night for weeks on end, parent teacher meetings, maybe 16 extra hours a week for 2 or 3 weeks while still maintaining an excellent learning environment, being a positive influence on your child, making a difference - I could go on endlessly ( what a surprise!!!) Harki is almost 100% well again. She wants to play all day again. Peri will come from a million miles away when you call her, to have a Secret Pal Biscuit!!! She has to have pretend drops in her ears when Harki has the genuine thing…….So cute!!!


R-E-S-P-E-C-T

In 1955 Rosa Parks decided to take a stand : sitting down. She was a 42 year old seamstress travelling to work on a segregated bus in Alabama. She sat at the front and refused to give up her seat to a white man. She was arrested for this. A one year bus boycott was organised by a young Martin Luther King and finally a court declared the segregation illegal. It was the start of the Civil Rights Movement in America. She wanted to be remembered as a person who wanted all people to be free. She died earlier this week, aged 92. What a brave and inspirational woman. We need many Rosa Parks here in Australia to stand up to the increasingly right wing and controlling government. You cannot underestimate the importance of every single person in a democracy. No matter what the odds, one person CAN make a difference.

Unlike the people counting the votes in the Launceston Council Election. Yesterday, in 13 hours, they could not reach any conclusions, even though all the other large Councils could, because – wait for it – one of their guillotines broke and it was humid. What is going on with them????? The Mayor has been elected, he is also a member of the Upper House – a state politician, as well. How can he do 2 jobs? He can’t . That’s the plain and simple truth. He should not have been allowed to stand.  I don’t think we will have a proper mayor : a full time mayor who is dedicated to our city. What a disappointment. Mind you, the Lower House ( of Assembly) sat for all of 41 days at an average of 8 hours a day. They worked for 8 weeks out of 52. That’s right, 8 weeks.  Unbelievable.

Secret_pal_dog_biscuits Harki is back to her usual self today, There was no walk as I was at ACMA’s for tea – marinated pork and smoked chicken salad!! so nice…. But we have had to play this morning with the Squeaky ball in a bag and she hasn’t been licking her paws at all. Peri was a good girl when we had morning tea with the GardyGardeners. I baked the Labradors some Secret Pal Biscuits in the shape of a bone, though I had no cornmeal so they had oatmeal instead. Apparently they are the tastiest most delicious biscuits ever. Droolable!!! I also made 68 (and one more very that was very sad) chocolate biscuits.

I have almost knitted a ball of yarn for Sue’s Branching Out scarf. There is not point taking a photo. It is the same as the last one, just a bit longer!!! I had to stop knitting yesterday as I made a mistake from being tired.

OK I went to post and the typepad site is down. Bah humbug. I won’t have time now, most probably as I am going out for afternoon tea in 35 minutes and I have dial-up and downloading photos takes a while…….

Most Excellent Chocolate Biscuits

  • 250 g butter

  • 150 g dark chocolate

  • 375 g brown sugar

  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

  • 375 g plain flour

  • 50 g cocoa

  • 150 g nuts, chopped

  • 100 g sultanas or raisins

  • 100 g white choc bits

  • 100 g milk choc bits

I usually just use the whole packet of choc bits. Add whatever nuts, dried fruit and chocolate combinations you prefer. Leave out the cocoa and use white chocolate to make Blondies!!!  It all makes them more excellent!! And they are so easy!!

Melt the butter, chocolate and sugar in the microwave gently, stir till smooth then mix in the eggs and vanilla. Sieve the flour and cocoa and add the other ingredients, mixing well. Combine with the wet ingredients. Cool slightly in the fridge.  Bake small dessert spoons of mixture at 180 C ( 160 ff) for about 12 minutes. Cool on tray and then on a rack. Be careful as they burn easily, keep an eye on the first trayful as a guide. Today this made about 70, so it is quite economical despite all the ingredients.


Harki-Parki-Parker-Posey goes to the Vet (Peri stays at home)

Harki_and_the_smart_juice_bottle Harki has been to the Vet and had an injection and also some drops in her ears. She already feels happier and brighter. She has to go back in a week if she isn’t substantially better. Peri stayed inside with a bone and didn’t cry or whine at all. Mind you she was exceedingly glad to see Harki (and me) when we came home. They has a drink of Smart Juice ( apple, raspberry, cranberry, grape juice with wheatgerm, green tea and ginseng) It was past its use by date but they quite like it. I put some treats in the bottle and put the lid on and Harki has a nice time playing with it!!!  Harki has also lost more weight, now her mass is 35.9 kg. That is enough now, she can be on maintenance and stay between 35 and 36 kg!!!!

I realised last night that it is my friend’s birthday on the 30th October and I had been meaning to knit her a Branching Out scarf  in  dark chocolate Zhivago. I hadn’t even started. So last night I cast on and I am up to the 8th repeat of the pattern.  I shall have to knit this to the exclusion of everything else to have it finished in time!!

I picked up Emma King’s 25 Bags to Knit from the Library. It isn’t quite as exciting as I hoped, but I have it for 3 weeks to consider anything I might like to make.

After school I am going to the Waverley Lake with ACMA as she is planning an excursion with a Branching_out_the_dawning_of_the_scarf scientific investigation of water. We will write some questions and think of some extra activities that the children can do. They can collect water from other sources : school, home, the local river etc and they will be able to analyse and compare.  You have to go on excursions as the parents pay money at the beginning of the year, but you need to make them relevant. I don’t think you can justify popping off somewhere just because. A trip needs to reflect or introduce something being studied in the class.

Then , I will make some of the dog biscuits from the recipe my Secret Pal sent me!! I shall also check my Powerball ticket!! How sad am I??? I checked the date and it has already happened!!!! If I win a bazillion dollars I’ll let you know!!!!


Cigarettes and queue-skey and a wild, wild woman!!

Today I was cross. This morning I was in two supermarket queues and they were both long and interminably held up by people buying – look away now if you smoke – horrid boogelly cigarettes. These people jumped the queue to buy cigarettes. I left. I left both places. Once the Labradors were waiting in the car. Once I just couldn't stand up or stand it any longer. I went to the Local shop ( League of Gentlemen Shop!) and paid extra, but was served straight away.  After a cup of tea and two toasted ham, cheese and chilli sandwiches I felt better.

Yesterday I went to the Madcages for a BBQ. Very nice it was too and then after, the women sat in the ‘good’ room and we had a lovely long chat all afternoon till the early evening!!! I took some Lemon Muffins and I made a lemon syrup to pour over them.  We had gourmet sausages, marinated chicken and chicken on skewers!! And layered garden salad. This is another great salad and it is best made the day before you need it : this saves time and allows the flavours to permeate through the whole thing. I have included the recipe below.

The weather has heated up. It is sultry and humid and 25C ( 82ish F?) That is warm for only about half way through Spring. We have been for a walk this morning and now the Labradors are snoozing. Harki is not well. I am making an appointment for her this afternoon, hopefully for tomorrow, to see the Doctor. She My_new_woolcraft_bookis itchy and not her usual playful self. She has been licking her paws and scratching her legs and belly. She has played for a little while with Mr Frisbee, but not a lot. Poor Harki.

My new pattern book came from the  Ebay today. It is a Patons Woolcraft book. I don’t know the date but it has both the old and new money prices on the front.  I recognise some of the patterns and all of the stitch Library!! Project : Voldemort is complete!! Huzzah!!  It needs a little wash and  an airing in the fresh air and it is all done!!! Thank you to Rachael and My Secret Pal for their suggestions for sock ideas. I am still meditating upon the possibilities. I must knit more of Arisaig before I lose the plot entirely there!!! I also have to start my Secret Knitting Coven Santa Friend Pal thing as well!!!

There is only one photo today, and that averages out at 3 each for the last 3 posts. Pictures are like buses, first there are none and then 3 come at once. This morning I watched The Closer. I like it a lot. I really like Kyra Sedgewick’s character and I know so  many of the other – Hey, it’s that guy! actors who people the show that it is doubly amusing. Soon lots of shows will finish for the year and we might be lucky enough to get some good Summer shows. I know Numb3rs starts this week. How I love that show already and I haven’t even seen it : but a show about Maths!!! What’s not to love? Maths, my favourite thing!! Yes, I know I have about a bazillion favourite things, I’m no Maria, but nevertheless, a show about Maths!!!!!!! Very Cool.

Also very cool is Suzi - Happy Birthday Suzi for yesterday!! (The Labradors send licks and wags!!)

Layered Garden Salad

from AWW Best Recipes from the Weekly

  • ½ an iceberg lettuce

  • 250 g ( 2 cups) frozen peas

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced

  • 250 g mushrooms, finely sliced

  • 125 g tasty cheese, grated

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise

  • 2 tbspn sour cream

  • 2 tspn French mustard

  • 1 tbspn lemon juice

  • 2 spring onions, chopped

  • punnet of cherry tomatoes, sliced

  • 2 rashers of bacon, chopped

  • 2 tbspn parsley, chopped

You can used whatever salad ingredients you like, the Madcages had frozen corn, but you can add capsicum, red onion, whatever you have .

Shred the lettuce and place in the base of a salad bowl. Sprinkle the frozen peas (uncooked) over the lettuce the top with the mushrooms, eggs and grated cheese.

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, sour cream, lemon juice and spring onions and pour over the salad, spreading an even layer.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.  Fry the bacon till crisp and drain. Top the salad with the tomatoes, bacon and parsley just before serving.


Camera Obscura : or why I can't see my camera for looking

So here is where there should be photos of  all the people from the celebratory birthday BBQ. And there would be if I hadn’t left my jolly camera at home. I thought I had taken it and looked in the car twice and my bag innumerable times. I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on.  Bah Humbug.  BBQ in the rain, of course!! We just all went inside and ate and chatted there, though there was a brief withdrawing to the outside area again to view the excellent bubble-blowing machine. It blew big bubbles, no trouble, all over the courtyard. Very cool, though Aunty Suzanne isn’t allowed to take it inside as it leaves a watery residue everywhere. She made a great salad, one I made about 15 years ago. I had forgotten how nice it was : unusual, but tasty. Recipe follows if I can remember!!!

The Labradors have been for a walk to the dam where Peri was carrying something unidentifiable apart from its unspeakability. She is a good girl now though, because she dropped it and left it and ran ahead with Harki.  Once she would have just pocketed it and run for the hills!!  I sawed the rawhide bone in half with my tree saw and they had half each as a sop, so to speak, to the weather being too wet for playing outside.

Lemon_muffins I made a delicious Mud Cake and a batch of Lemon muffins with lemon curd inside. ACMA, there are a dozen languishing at your house just dying to be consumed. I have a picture of them, of course.

On the Knitting front, you can listen to the voice of the Yarn Harlot in a short 6 minute interview. I have been working on Project : Voldemort to the exclusion of everything else. I might pick up Creek later on, though I have a new set of sock needles, lovely extra sharp double-pointed 2.25mm so I can start the second Wizard sock and begin a new pair with my green Opal. I am not sure of the name. Oh, OK, I could look on the label???? It is Opal Prisma though I am not sure what pattern Opal_prisma_about_to_be_a_pair_of_socks_1  I should knit. Well, I will do my normal top down fits me perfectly pattern, but what texture or lace?? It is a conundrum. Will a pattern take away from the effect of the yarn?? I will have to decide soon as I want to start, like, now!!!

So I am sitting and knitting and watching tape 151, catching up on the Agatha Christie docu-drama from a fortnight ago. I have tapes 152 through 159 to catch up on plus some Food, How To and 2 episodes of KnittyGritty. I can’t leave the house for about a week. I actually don’t feel too bad today. I’m not sure if this augurs well or not. Is it a false dawn, or will I still feel well tomorrow?? A restful afternoon and many cups of tea will no doubt help. Today I am drinking English Breakfast (Twinings loose leaf) and also Peppermint (Twinings teabags).

Banana, Bacon and Apple Salad

  • 6 rashers of bacon, chopped

  • 2 apples, chopped

  • 3 firm, ripe bananas, chopped

  • 1 tspn grated lemon zest

  • juice of ½ a lemon

  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped

  • 3 spring onions, chopped

  • 2 tbspn parsley, chopped ( OK everything is chopped!!)

  • ¾  cup mayonnaise

  • ½ cup plain yoghurt

  • ½ cup nuts – pecans, we had cashews

Fry the bacon till crisp and drain on paper towel. Combine with all the other ingredients and mix well, if gently.  That’s it. It is delicious. Vary the ingredients to suit your taste or the season.


If a picture paints a thousand words : I've written 6000!!!

Cute_book_from_the_fair_circa_1972 80s_styles_i_will_never_wear_but_i_love_ Today we went for a short walk, only half way up the hill at the dam. This morning I caught up on some emailing .

Aunty Captain Mrs Archer bought me two knitting books at a School Fair. I love them both, though I am unlikely to knit from the very 80s Jenny Kee, there are things in the other book I will definitely make!! Even a wrap around cardigan!!!

Cathy’s new puppy Milly is a tiny Darling. She is feisty and very Milly determined and so cute. She knows her name and can come!!! I bought her a present so I bought Harki a Frisbee and Peri a bone. Harki is in love with her Frisbee. Vundy the German Shepherd loved them too. Peri is not eating her bone of dinosaurian proportions. It may be a fossil, at the very least she might bury it later And_action_harki_and_her_new_frisbee on……

My Secret Pal sent me a Powerball ticket!! I am saving up my wishes at her behest!!! I am yet to win anything more than $20, from which I deduct the approximately $6 it costs for my ticket each week – so that’s $14!! Better than nothing!!! The ticket came in a beautiful card with a Frog, I hope there is no frogging to be done tonight. I did start the heel of Cathy’s sock and she gave me some sock yarn. I think I will make her something from it for next winter : Mittens???

I have been working on Project: Voldemort and I am 60-65% finished now. I love Mr Monk!!! So after visiting Milly, and then grocery shopping, I wasn’t home till after 7pm.  I am eating Chicken Rogan Josh, rice and vegetables at 8-22pm. Made it Peri_with_a_dinosaur_bone myself too, not a frozen or takeaway meal!!!!! Now I can settle down to Robin Hood : Fact or Fiction, stick a tape in for Alias as it is on waaay too late, and go to bed!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, I am an official Opinion Leader, I was polled!!

Someday_my_prince_will_come_no_really_i_


Things which I like (with apologies to Morecombe and Wise)

The Knitting Coven : Witch I like!!!

We were all knitting different things, so in random  blogging order:

Suzi was knitting a beanie and I saw her Alien Scarf in person ( scarf-son?)!! She will love the Autumn Knitty Surprise – a felted skull scarf!!!

Cathy wasn’t knitting, she was cross-stitching, beautiful roses.

Sharon was wearing her Grrr V-neck vest, which is divine!! And knitting a top from the Zhivago book.

Katt helped Suzi and I make some stitch markers. I am a bit pathetic but I should get better with practice. I need some split ring things though. She finished her lovely green child’s jumper too.

Oh and Margaret was knitting the lovely cat bed from the S’n’B book and I failed to remember what else everyone was doing. I should write things down.

Here are the links to the 2 magazines, one as yet virtual – Yarn , and the other most likely , as it is virtually impossible to buy lots of the knitting magazines – Knitscene.

My_new_green_clothes I had a lot of clothes on lay-by and I picked them up yesterday !! I pranced about in my new clothes at home until overcome with exhaustion. ( That took all of 5 minutes!!) There are 5 tops and a pair of trousers. I can add them to my clothes spreadsheet – yes I have a spreadsheet of my clothes where I divide them into Type ( tops: short sleeved, long sleeved, plain, print etc) and then Colour ( Light Green, Lime, Aqua, Turquoise, Olive, Mint etc) It makes me happy!!! The Labradors make me happy. We are still playing with their Secret Pal Squeaky Toys, which have neither lost their squeaks, nor been devoured. The picture today is what I see when I look out the back door and have to throw Harki's toy up to her. It is a way away, so I have Harki_in_the_garden_1 cropped the boogelly bits out.

Morecombe and Wise always said - Here is something what I like. Glenda Jackson was in one of their plays and had to say the gramatically incorrect 'what I like!!!'

Here is the recipe for the frozen dessert we talked about yesterday at the Knitting Coven, and Cathy has posted her Rhubarb Cake too!!

Very Chocolatey Frozen Dessert Cake

Base

  • 200g milk chocolate

  • 300-400 g Maltesers

Fudge Sauce

  • 4 tbspn cocoa powder

  • 160 ml thickened cream

  • 400g white marshmallows, chopped

Filling*

  • 500ml vanilla ice-cream

  • 500ml chocolate ice-cream

  • Extra whipped cream

  • Extra crushed Maltesers

*You can vary the type of ice-cream you use to suit your taste, and even the type of confectionery too : Honeycomb, Cherry Ripe etc.

Line a 20 cm springform tin with cling wrap and then the bas with a circle of baking paper. To make the base, cover it with one layer of Maltesers. Make it fairly firm. Save leftover Maltesers for the topping. Melt the chocolate gently and then drizzle over the base in a spiral from the centre out. Chill.

Remove the vanilla ice-cream from the freezer to soften while you make the fudge sauce. Put all the ingredients into a pan over a low heat and stir for about 5 minutes until melted and smooth. Cool slightly then beat till very smooth.  Spread an even layer of ice-cream over the base and then pour ¾ of the sauce over it.  Freeze for 1 hour.

Remove the chocolate ice-cream from the freezer and allow it to soften and then arrange scoops over the top.  Dollop cream in between in any spaces, sprinkle over some crushed Maltesers and then drizzle over the remaining sauce.

This will keep, well wrapped, in the freezer for 3 months.


Pride and Prejudice : Sigh!!!

The Knitting Coven met today, and I have a heap of homework to answer and sort out, but I’ll leave that till tomorrow!!

On Sunday I saw Pride & Prejudice: The Movie. I have a review!!! Thank you to the ABC again for the ticket!!!

I went, perhaps, with more than a little prejudice, but priding myself on an open mind, I was ready enjoy the film. And enjoy it I did!! I laughed, I cringed ( at Mr Collins mostly), I hid behind my hands and I cried too.

The film did a jolly good job of telling the story in about 2 hours. There was great characterisation : I felt I knew something about each person. There were new and interesting takes on the traditional view of characters : Mr Bingley was a nervous 'nerd', Mrs Bennett and Mr Darcy were both painted in a more sympathetic light, and Lydia, perhaps, in a less!! There was a definite chemistry between Darcy and Elizabeth, both acting very convincingly their youthful age : impetuous, perfectionist and proud.  Judy Dench was fantastic, as we expected her to be.

This seemed to be P&P:Unplugged. There was an air of dust and dirt over everything, it was not all neat and tidy: men were unshaven and women's hair sometimes dishevelled. I was fascinated by Donald Sutherland's amazingly narrow teeth, and his accent did lapse every now and then. But perhaps my only criticism is that I didn't feel there was a proper 'ending'. I wanted to see Lizzie and Darcy together at the end : fading to black on their image. I wanted this!! I needed this!!!

There was a lot of exposition, but I think this is to cater for a large group of film goers who will be unaware of the P&P story. Lots of things were explained, that need not have been - it was all the Loch Ness Monster in the 'Quagmire' episode of the X-Files. British and Australian's would have left the ending open - we would not have truly known if the monster was real or not, but in the good old U S of A they had to show the monster slowly swimming away as the credits rolled.

Mr ( Colin Firth) Darcy might have had his lake scene, but Mr ( Matthew McFadyen) Darcy certainly met the challenge with his 'striding through the foggy dawn' outfit near the end.

So, out of 5? I'd give it 4 1/2 stars ( the mini-series is a 5!!) I loved the film, I'm such a romantic at heart!!!

Starry_skirt Then yesterday I decided at about 6 pm to make a skirt, so here it is: I wore it today, It seems just the right length. I reorganised the pattern to satisfy me and I am quite pleased!!! I think I will sew a few more over the next week or so. The weather is warming up and I am feeling the heat already.

I still had a headache and felt a bit boogelly, so there was no going out at all yesterday, and no walk for the Labradors. Instead there was lounging and sleeping and reading. I wanted to be able to enjoy the Knitting Coven!!!

So, tomorrow there will be links and recipes and  ‘things’!!!