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August 2009
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October 2009

Heart of Cold

I have been feeling poorly with a cold or some such thing, and I have taken to my bed for the last three days more or less. The poor Labradors missed their walk on Wednesday and Lorelai Gilmore was pretty close to eating me up this morning because I slept way past her preferred breakfast time. She likes to bring me muddy sticks and old rediscovered bones to cheer me up. Harki naps and Peri alternates between her sisters' activities. Here is a picture I took earlier:

Here's one I prepared earlier

This was taken about a fortnight ago. There's Harki looking at the camera, and Lorelai Gilmore looking at the camera, and Peri with her eyes closed, wishing.......

I bought some lovely sock wool from Ailsa's Knitabulous shop. It is called 'Tennis Ball' and the colours are spot on.

Anyone for tennis

MrsDrWho is back safely from Singapore and she and The Demon Spawn chose a special present to bring back for me: I love it. It is a handbag, it is green and it has a dog. Couldn't be much better!! Oh and it can be washed, so all of Gilly's muddy paw prints and nose sniffs can be washed off if needs be!!

WoofWoof

The bag is resting on MrsDrWho's PopTartigan which is all finished bar the button bands. It fits her, which is a bonus too. As soon as I feel better I will knit up the bands and sew on the buttons.

Denise at Jejune's Place, she of the Knitty.com Beanie Pattern, had a contest and I won!! It's a copy of her next to last book, Word Searches for Dummies. I found that I had some word search skills, like the one where you find the starting letter and then circle it, looking for the second and then third letters of the elusive word!!! Thanks Denise!!!

I am a dummy

No doubt I shall be up and about properly soon, though I did walk The Labradors yesterday and I will again tomorrow, I can't bear for them to be walkless for too long. For now, I'm off to bed with my hot water bottle, some not very effective cold and 'flu drugs because I can't have the good ones, a cup of tea and a book. I am at the stage where I want a hot water bottle and the window wide open to let the cold air in!!!


Skippy, Skippy, Skippy The Ham Burgeroo!!!!

Relax, don't panic, there's no Skippy in these Hamburgers!!!

Coles Value Recipe #5: Homemade Hamburger.


Ingredients

  • Middle Bacon x 2 rasher=190gms
  • ½ brown onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 560g 3 star mince
  • 2 tablespoons/30ml finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 teaspoons/10ml Dijon mustard
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • Coles round rolls - 6pk
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • Bega Natural Cheese Slices
  • 8 cos lettuce leaves
  • Pantry:
  • 2 tablespoons/30ml olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5ml Worcestershire sauce

Method

  1. Cook bacon until crisp and place on paper towel.
  2. Heat tbsp of oil in heavy small sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, salt and pepper and sauté until tender. Stir in minced garlic. Set aside. Mix cooled onions and garlic with mince, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Add egg. Divide mixture into 4 and place in 4-inch ring moulds.
  3. Preheat pan or barbecue for medium-high heat. Brush bread roll with butter. Grill, cut side down, cover and set aside. Grill patties until brown then turn, cook until medium-rare, or to your liking.
  4. To serve, place lettuce on bun then patties and cheese & bacon on top

Burger

Ingredients: I expect most people would have most of the ingredients already in their kitchen, so this is a great recipe. I used some Ashgrove Cheese because cheese slices just don't cut it anymore for me!!

Method: Very straight forward. A couple of suggestions;  make your hamburger patties and then put them in the fridge overnight, or just for 20-30 minutes, before you cook them. It helps them stay together, and let the burgers rest for half the amount of  cooking time. I wrapped mine in foil and let them sit while I finished the rest of the preparation.

Taste & Presentation: The burgers tasted very delicious and looked pretty good too!!! 

Cost Effectiveness: Once again, the actual burgers came in under the $10 budget, but one burger does not a meal make. I think they need a big salad and maybe potatoes or chips to make them a proper meal. This seems to be an ongoing issue thus far with the recipes, not enough food for a proper meal.

I give this 8/10.


Alice in Woolderland

There has been much 'in-ness' of wool and other such things.

Woolly in-ness

Sixteen balls of Audrey from The BlackSpot of Doomlight(tm) and then a lovely individual ball!!! This is going to be the Calluna Cardigan, though the Americans insist a cardigan is a sweater, which I think I shall call Oh Frabjous Day, Calluna Callay.

Calluna Callay I saw the cardigan on The Ravelry and in the new Interweave Knits but when I tried to purchase a download it said I had to live in America. So I emailed Knitpicks and explained what had happened and the kind lady sent me an address to use. And when I went to buy the pattern it was only 77 cents, or 92 cents AUD. A bargain!! And very good service.

Then I bought some Jo Sharp DK being destashed from Judy, an Apple Islander who is blogless, but an excellent parcel stuffer!!!

Donni tempted me to her Etsy shop with her gorgeous Laceweight green, so beautiful and I just like to squoosh the ball!!!

Jan kindly searched out some beautiful Grignasco Bambi for me, just because!! It is so lovely and we discussed excellent stitch definition!! I am not sure what I will make, but it makes me very happy.

I bought some more Cascade Eco+ for my Sherlock Hemlock blanket. Fancy finding the exact same colour being destashed on The Ravelry. And Louise helped me when I couldn't make the Paypal work: thank you!!

I have a couple of new books. MrsDrWho gave me Charmed Knits, the Harry Potter knitting book but I didn't take a photo, so you'll have to look in the side bar where I have my books. She has pointed out a few things she likes: teeny tiny jumpers!! MrsDrWho is still having her feet nibbled by fish in Singapore and she asked if there was anything I'd like. I said maybe a ball of wool?? She said she had already looked where she is staying, but there is none worthy. How kind of her!!!!!

The Book Depository sent me a 10% off voucher so I bought Custom Knits for about $30, mainly for the Slinky Ribs:

Custom Knits

Shan, Duncan The Black Labrador's mother, organised a Reusable Tote Swap, and my swap partner was Laurie, and Laurie was mine. I was a late posting mine last week because I had a day in bed, but Laurie rose to the challenge!! Look what I found at the PO today!!

Tote Swap
Laurie strove the find green tote bags for me, and she did a really great job!! I love them all, even the ungreen one!!! And hidden inside was a cute little zippy bag wich can hook onto something and I think will be very useful on our walks, some gorgeous sock wool which might be socks or a little shawl/scarf, and finally some beautiful green stitch markers that she made herself- for me to knit into my garment as embellishments I fear!!! Thank you so much Laurie for a wonderful parcel. I appreciate your special green efforts!!!

Now, how about a photo of $250???

Worth her weight in gold

The Nurses kindly ordered me a whole box of tablets for Harki!! Hooray, because the second best tablets are not very effective, and I even gave her two instead of one and a half. Still, it is cheaper than buying them twenty every fortnight and these will last for six weeks. Harki: worth her weight in gold and very confused by why Peri rolls in things boogelly:

Harki clean Peri not 

And why Lorelai Gilmore is so impolite:

Harki Good Gilly Not 

This is how Lorelai Gilmore usually greets me at the gate, but I won't look at her, or come in, until she sits down.

Home home you're home home home 

I gave myself a lump on the head this afternoon taking photos on the verandah. I leaned down and right into the top of the clothes airer. The almost metre high, white and very visible clothes airer. I had to send The Labradors inside and rub my forehead and feel sorry for myself.

Did anyone see the Skippy Documentary last night?? I have been humming the tune ever since. I remember very clearly watching Skippy (Skippy, Skippy the Bush Kangarooooooooo) but not in colour till after 1974.

The Dad's Army Cardigan is coming along nicely. There are lots of little bunny tails ready to have bunnies embroidered around them on the back, and  I knitted the sleeve cuff longer and in the round so that it could be turned back and no seam would show!! I am knitting all the pieces up to the underarm more or less and then changing to blue for the sky. Awwwww!!

Bunnies' Tails

I really appreciate everyone's enthusiastic comments about the patterns and sewing in the last post. It encourages me to really make an effort to SEW something. Soon.

So, time to reheat the curry I made last night and settle down to the ABC for the rest of the evening.


The Year Of Living Dangerdressly*

This year I am determined, I am quite decided, that I will sew myself a dress I really like, that fits well and I can just pop on. That reminds me of The Goodies. You know the episode where they were trapped and grew very old inside the block of concrete and were reminiscing about women, and umbrellas:

  • Tim: "Goodness! I've almost forgotten what an umbrella looks like."
  • Graeme: "You know, I've almost forgotten what a woman looks like."
  • Tim: "Women, yes — and umbrellas. Hey!"
  • Graeme: Many's the evening you'd dance the night away with an attractive young umbrella."
  • Tim: "And, if it rained on your way home, you'd pop up your woman."
  • Graeme: "They'd keep you dry all night!"
  • Tim: "I used to have a big black woman with a cane handle ...."

I have three pattens and two more to come. They were on sale for $7 and one is from last year so really I like to look upon them as an investment. I have to gird my loins, well the opposite of my loins really, and do a proper FBA. I also have three new pattern for tops. The same goes for them too.

Pattern of behaviour 

Except for the one with the bows. I do not need any bows of emphasis. At all.

Today I went to the hospital for my doctor's appointment. I am always expecting the worst, but today it seems, for me, I am OK. I treated myself to a fruit fizz from the Scottish Take-away, apple and blackcurrant juice I think with sparkling water. I like to live dangerously.

When I walk The Labradors I think about a lot of things:

  • If we were invaded, the dam would be a very bad place to go because I am sure The Enemy would want  to blow it up.
  • What if I win Tattslotto and I have lost my ticket??  I have registered my numbers but would that be enough??
  • If I am arrested for a crime, I can't ever prove when I was at the service station getting petrol because I pay with cash. On all the CSIs and L&Os people establish an alibi with their receipts. I will have no hope.
  • People's teeth are so white on TV. Blindingly and unnaturally white. My teeth feel very inferior.
  • Birds. We are making friends with what we like to call the duckies, but live in fear of the plovers. Now I have read about the huge New Zealand raptor recently rediscovered and I worry birds may peck Gilly. Now our starlings have a salmonella disease. More to worry about because Peri and Gilly love to chase birdies.
  • Why can I only listen to the radio with the ear plug thing through my right ear??  It feels very wrong in my left ear and I can't process the information at all.

Thank goodness we only walk every second day.

I love this picture of Harki in the creek, she's so happy!!

Harki in the creek 

Peri, on the other hand, looks like she's in Coolangatta Gold!!! Or she's a seal, but not a Navy SEAL.

Peri in the creek 

Meanwhile Lorelai Gilmore is building up her collection of Big Sticks. Pretty sure she'd have been ready for The Einstein Factor with her special category of Big Sticks if they weren't cancelling it. The sticks must be bigger than she is, and they must also make a lot of mess when they are dragged in through the Dog Door.

Gilly Sticks To It 

The RendezShoe Socks of Dye Accidents are complete. MrsDrWho is, however, having her feet nibbled by fish. On purpose. So I don't expect she'll be wearing them just yet.

The RendezShoe Socks, my own pattern with 64 stitches from the cuff down, using 2.75mm dpns and Rendezvous Opal sock wool. And almost matching stripes and colours.

RendezShoe Socks

I have also been knitting a little something with the gorgeous Sublime Soya Cotton. It is so beautiful to knit with, very soft and uncotton like, and it makes my knitting look so even and uniform. It is just lovely.

Not Riciculous 

I have decided I am a knitphomaniac. I have so many things on the go that I really shouldn't start anything new. I mean really, REALLY shouldn't start anything new. So many things that I daren't name them all. But I am so tempted. I don't want knitting to become a chore though and starting new things makes me so happy!!!! My own kind of WOW!!!

I started the Dad's Army Cardigan (to match the Dad's Army Hat) while I was in the clinic today. I have determined I shall make the red bunnies with duplicate stitch as I am a poor strander of colours. I am making all the bobble tails as I go. The can be cut and tied off, the bobbles, not any actual bunny tails!!!

There has been/is/will be a minor acquisition of wool. I will wait till it has all arrived and then take a group picture. I remember school photo time where I would confiscate all the free combs so none of the children could 'do' their hair before their photo was taken.

The nice Book Depository deposited three new Doctor Who books in my letter box this morning so I am off to bed to read them now. Actually I read one in the queue at the Post Office this afternoon. It was a l-o-n-g queue. I only have two to go.

Everyone is in bed. The cricket is on the radio tonight and we don't have digital radio coverage here. I shall turn the sound down low and hope I am lulled to sleep by the crack of willow on leather!!! And now when I read that back it doesn't sound quite the way I meant it to!!!

*This post contains NO Mel Gibsons!!!!


D'ath Becomes Her

Just-in case, or Just-in time, No!!! It's actually Justin D'ath!!! Here's a little something I captured for someone. Oh and that's me, ever the technophobe, unable to operate my camera properly and telling The Esteemed Author what to do!!!

I went to the launch of his new book, Devil Danger. He kindly signed books and gave a great talk and read the first chapter. Princess 'Monica', a hometown girl made good, well, made princess by her marriage to Prince Nicklaus, is holidaying back home (here) when baby Crown Prince Tommy is almost kidnapped.  Sam Fox, boy action hero, is there to save the day, and maybe some devils too. It is very exciting and one of twelve books so far, so it's a great series to read. It is written mainly for boys, but girls will like it too.

The girls here have been posing for some very nice photos, except Gilly who has been duck diving in the paddle pool she made muddy by mixing in her dirty paws    ....

Peri, Harki, Gilly 

and she has a big stick too.

Gilly has a big stick 

The Vet can't access any of Harki's Hideously Expensive Drugs. They are relatively new and so not readily available. She has had to have Quite Hideously Expensive Drugs, which are not quite as effective. We hope her HEDs will be available by next weekend.

I thought I had almost finished the RendezShoe socks apart from grafting the toes when to my horror I noticed this:

Deja Shoe 

Oh no!! The Opal dye machine has stuck again and infused half a row with all the dye meant for three. The wool is actually lovely, soft and nice to knit. I will unravel to the pink stripe, cut 2 1/2 rows out and then join the purple back in. 

New shoes!!! Two pairs. On sale. The lime green were $40 instead of $120 and the teal sandals $22 instead of whatever Rivers likes to pretend they were selling them for.

Shoe by Four 

Tomorrow nothing is happening. No walks, no need to go out and pay bills, or shop- other than for pleasure. I think we shall sleep in, read in bed with a cup of tea. I have been reading some very good books recently. And then maybe finish The Pop Tartigan's yoke. I am that close!!!

Thank you to everyone who has been leaving excellent feedback and tips about the recipes. Next up is, wait for it: Hamburgers, which are actually very tasty.

The Typepad accidentally changed their replying to comments by email process and I contacted them and they have been Very Helpful and Friendly. They have 'fixed' it now, but my default email isn't my Typepad Email, so please bear with me for a little while till I either change my default email (like that will ever happen, I know my limitations) or get used to the new way.

To finish, another Labrador photo, because getting them all together in the same spot at the same time is a miracle!!! So much Love!!!

And I have forgotten twice to say that there is a fourth series of Doc Martin starting in the UK later this month. Huzzah!!! It will make its way here eventually I expect.

Labrador Love


You Know It's Stew When I Say, I Love You!

Here is Coles' Value Recipe #4: Beef Stew and Vegetables.


Ingredients

  • 700g chuck beef, cut into large bite-sized cubes
  • 2 brown onions, each cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cups beef or chicken Massel stock
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • Masterfoods rosemary leaves
  • Masterfoods thyme leaves
  • Pantry:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
     
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
     
  • 1¼ cups dry white wine
     

Method

  1. Heat oil in large heavy flame proof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper and, working in two batches to avoid overcrowding the dish, cook beef until browned. Place in a bowl.
  2. Add onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme to the casserole dish and cook for 3 minutes. Add the wine and tomatoes. Simmer for 8 minutes or until the wine has reduced by about half. Return beef to the pot. Add stock and bring to gentle simmer (beef should be just covered with the liquid). Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer gently for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add potatoes and carrot and cover. Simmer gently for 55 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked and the beef is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef and vegetables to a bowl. Boil the remaining liquid for 20 minutes, or until it is reduced by half. Return the beef and vegetables to the pot and simmer gently until heated through.
  4. Spoon the stew onto 4 serving plates.
  5. Serving suggestion: Serve with pumpkin mash or rice
Beef Stew

Ingredients: Everything was very easy to obtain and I was happy to use dried herbs, which seem more economical. I know they are more suited to stews and casseroles though. 

Method: This was a very straight forward recipe and it would be easy to cook this in your slow cooker during the day while you are at work. It is also even more delicious the next day and freezes well too. I did add the wine and it gave a flavour boost to the stew.

Taste & Presentation: This dish tasted absolutely wonderful. I loved it and I was sad there were only four serves!!! It doesn't look too gorgeous in the photo but in real life it was rich and fragrant.

Cost Effectiveness: This came in just over budget and more so if you add the wine, which I recommend. The chuck steak was almost $7 but luckily 1 kg of carrots was only 99 cents so I added a few more carrots. The serves were adequate though I am loath to add more mashed potato or rice. Instead, I would add more orange/red and green vegetables to the stew and then serve with rice or mashed potato. This is a great recipe and I would make it again tomorrow!!!

I give this 9/10.