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Friday Food: Feta and Vegetable Loaf

BH&G was on fire last month and this is the second recipe I made a few Sundays ago. I love that you can use whatever vegetables, or cheese, that you have on hand. You can ferret in the fridge or buy whatever you like. MrsDrWho likes corn, teeny tiny tomatoes and bacon so I went with them, plus a little baby spinach. I didn't use the marinated feta cheese that sponsored the recipe as it was almost $9, I used local plain smooth feta and it was perfectly fine.

You do need a medium to large loaf tin. I used my small loaf tin and a 20cm cake tin as well. That's about it really, it's a good recipe and so easy to make. I think MrsDrWho also froze slices for later on. I must ask her how that went.

'Fast Ed' recommends using the very best extra virgin olive oil you can, so no using the very bad experienced olive oil in the back of the cupboard!!!

I cooked the bacon after the vegetables, but if I had remembered I would have sauteed it with the onion and garlic.

 

Feta and Vegetable Loaf    serves 6-8

  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 40-50ml olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 120g semi-sundried tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g sour cream
  • 175ml very best olive oil
  • 120g feta cheese, marinated or plain

Preheat the oven to 180*C and grease and line a medium loaf tin, 215mmx115mmx55mm apparently.

Sauté onion and garlic in 40-50ml of olive oil over a low to medium heat. When they are softened, add the baby spinach and tomatoes, stir to coat and then turn the heat off and allow the leaves to wilt.

Saute

Remove from the heat, season, and allow to cool.

Mixing and bacon
Make the batter by combining the flour, eggs, sour cream, salt and olive oil. Beat till smooth.

Batter up
Stir in the cooled vegetables and the crumbled feta cheese.

Batter, vegetables, feta
Spoon into a lined loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Loaf into tin
Allow to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before you cut it.

Feta and Vegetable Loaf


Lady(Hazel)Hawke

I have noticed recently the acknowledgement and respect paid to the women associated with, or in, politics: Margaret Whitlam, Dame Enid Lyons and lately, Hazel Hawke on her death. All these women were knowledgeable and important in their own right:

  • Margaret, being PM Edward Gough Whitlam's wife, was also a social worker, a published author, an advocate for women's rights, a champion swimmer, on the Boards of Australia Opera and Sydney Dance Company and she even wrote a column for the Women's Day. She raised their four children while Gough was away in Canberra. She was also a great ambassador for the country and just a really interesting and intelligent woman.
  • Dame Enid, the wife of the only Tasmanian Prime Minister of Australia Joe Lyons, after his death in 1939 raised their eleven children and became the first woman elected to The House of Representatives (The Lower House in Canberra) and the first woman Cabinet Minister.
  • Hazel was mother and father to the Hawke's children while Bob was President of the ACTU (Unions), then in Parliament and finally Prime Minister. She was an author, a supporter of Reconciliation, a fine pianist and worked in the areas of Children's TV, heritage and the environment. About ten years ago she revealed she was suffering from dementia and went on to set up Alzheimers Australia. She continued to be a spokesperson for the disease until she had to withdraw from public life as her illness progressed.

I'm really interested in the women who partnered these men. They were such strong and self sufficient women and their husbands could not have achieved success without their support. I've read Margaret's biography, and a few books about Joe and Enid and now I'm looking forward to reading Hazel's reflections on her life.

Today I had another appointment at The Hospital in the newly renovated Clinic. Look how beautiful the glass partitions are in the waiting area. It is the rule that 10% of the money on Government buildings must be spent on art. I can't always agree with that because sometimes at school we had to spend money on art installations instead of better facilities.

Arty windows

When I came home I made a start on May's dress. It was not very successful. If you put a zip in the side seam of the bodice toile, and then try to put it on, there's just no way you can without breaking the bottom of the zip. The waistband, which is quite high, more or less fitted. The large gap at the top of the side seam was pretty much the amount of FBA I should have done. Then it will fit nicely. Damn. There's not going to be a May dress and I am OK with that. 12 Dresses is a goal, not a requirement. I like the way there is some gathering where the bodice attaches to the waistband. It actually looks really nice. My KMart doona cover material is making an appearance again!! I wonder if you can tell that Gilly was helping me, playing with her cup in a bag?? I've taken to calling her Diddle Dumpling, I'm not sure why.

Marilyn toile

The wool shop and some neighbours had a lot of feijoas, and so I made some Feijoa and Apple jam, I'm not a big jam maker, I made and Apple and Rose jelly once, but this turned out quite well. 1 kg of fruit and two apples made about a litre of jam, or four jars. Feijoa smell perfume-y and taste delicious. We used to know someone with a tree when I was little, but I haven't come across them for years.

Feijoas and jam

The weather today was perfect. I wore my Pear Summer dress and the sky was Summer blue with white clouds. It was 18* here, and 20* in the South.

The sky at day

It is Autumn, in fact tomorrow is the last day of Autumn and then we are in Winter. The really cold weather never starts until after the Winter Solstice: when the days get longer the cold gets stronger. Peri and Gilly love running through the crinkly leaves on their walk and we have plenty of leaves around the garden. I sweep up one day and there are more the next. This picture has The Labradors in Treat Anticipation mode. You can just see where Peri's fur hasn't all grown back from when she last donated blood. I am not sure why. It must be because she is older. I love this picture, even though I know it's the rice cake they love and desire and not me.

A treat, for us
I felt the need for vegetables tonight. I had a big sleep this afternoon and woke up craving vegetables. I had mashed sweet potato and ordinary potato with garlic, carrots and peas. The peas are frozen, but like the rest of the vegetables they are all local. The garlic is so local it's from next door!!

Dinner
I made a slightly successful plan of what the Spare Oom looks like now.I couldn't make the door be in the right spot.

Sewing oom The light in the the centre of the room, and not very conducive to sewing, but the power point is on the back wall where the desk is. I'm thinking of a wall of bookcases and/or squares on the left hand wall with no window. The couch under the other window if for Labradors. The table is a large piece of laminated chipboard on a very old table, a green laminex one with tubular metal legs. The room is 3m x 4m, quite large for a sewing room I think. It doesn't have to be anything else, and the couch folds out to be a very uncomfortable bed. It may need throwing out.

Tomorrow is Friday Food, and I made a savoury loaf for MrsDrWho's school lunches last week. I've been watching The Little Paris Kitchen and I'm really enjoying it. MrsDrWho may well be the recipient of some of her baking too- I have the book on Hold at The Library. MrsDrWho is writing Big School Reports so I am baking some Caramel Chip biscuits tomorrow to ease the writing process. It's already after 10pm. I've finished my book so no reading tonight: a cup of fruit tea and then straight to sleep for everyone.


Rich Man, Poorly Woman, Beggar Man, Thief.

It's been very quiet at our house over the last week or so. I spent the better part of three days and three nights in bed, being poorly. Luckily I have trained The Labradors to nap and so they kept me company. Usually if I sleep all day I can't sleep a wink at night, but with a weird headache and various other miscellaneous symptoms, I needed round the clock restorative sleep. Knowing that there was something Going Around alleviated my worries and so I just waited until I started to feel better.

I know I wasn't well because I didn't really feel like eating: that's always a telling sign at our house. When I was little we had sweet bowls with a wide flat rim and we'd have stewed fruit with custard or ice-cream -never both- for dessert. When we came to a pip or stone, we'd put it on the rim and when we finished we'd say the rhyme Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, counting to find out who we would marry when we grew up. Everyone, even my dad!!!

I spent most of today counting minutes, waiting in Pathology at the Hospital for my blood test. I left home at 9-30am. I arrived there at 9-37 and waiting until 10-20, whereupon I had to leave for my Psychologist's appointment. Then back to the hospital at noon-ish and I eventually arrived home at 1-45pm. Really, I'm glad I have time on my hands so I can wait in the Hospital. I'm not complaining, just a bit incredulous at the long wait. I did start reading my new Library book. It's part two of a series and I thought I'd read it before, but I hadn't. So I read like a madwoman. When I came home we all went to bed with a cup of tea and I read some more until my eyes were so tired they itched. It's a good book: The Gathering of the Lost. Oh and the Typepad linky typelist is working again so I can start adding the backlog of books to my list in the Green Column.

Mr Tennis, Rafa's dad, and I have been discussing what kind of consciousness dogs possess. We believe they do possess a consciousness, but perhaps not a meta consciousness. Peri is good at problem-solving. She was on one side of the fence and Gilly on the other. Peri wanted to be with Gilly. She tried sticking her whole body through the wire, but that didn't work. Then off they ran together,

The grass is greener 1
up to the top where the fence ended where they were happily reunited. They ran back to tell me how clever they were. They look very excited.

The grass is greener 2
I finished the little Ovaltine vest. I loved knitting it. I have a few loose stitches at the corners of the straps. I think I may be able to ease the looseness out across a few stitches. I like the way a photo seems to make the X and O cables stand out.

Ovaltine
It puts them in focus, kind of the same way I find saying something out loud makes it real. I'm always in a contemplative mood after I see my psychologist. Today I am being grateful, and it's easy to be grateful for Labradors when they greet you at the gate when you come home.

Grateful

I am sewing. It's a milestone (and no-one ever says kilometrestone, do they?) birthday for MrsDrWho, in fact a slew of friends are having a milestone birthday. So I've made a plan, I'm checking it twice and I am making her some interesting gifts!!!

Sewing thing
In another milestone I have opened the Spare Room door. I am forced to call it the Spare Oom, after Narnia. I am making an effort to eventually go into the Spare Oom and make it my Sewing and Craft Oom, instead of just a Spare Oom that we never go into. I am picturing some of those bookcases that are made of squares for storage. It is a bit exciting. I'll need a heater and a fan too. There's already a couch for Peri and Gilly.

Moore's Law says that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years (or eighteen months). Moore saw this trend over fifty years, but how does this affect me?? The price of SD cards for my digital camera has plummeted over the years. In 2003 a 32MB card cost about $100, but now a 4GB card only costs $8. I actually only want to buy a 2GB card, because I am afraid to have 1524 photos on just one card, but 4GB is the smallest I can seem to find now. Using my mathematical trickery, I worked out that the 4GB card would have cost $12,800 way back in 2003. If I could borrow that Delorean and take a thousad back to 2003, I'd be as rich as Croesus!!!

The GardyGardeners come tomorrow and I'm making Pigs in Blankets and I think some pikelets with lemon curd and cream. It's The Labradors' favourite time of the week and they may even get a tiny piece of scone for themselves. Life is good.


Friday Food: Rhubarb and Apple Pie

I saw this on BH&G last week, and baked it on Sunday. It really can be in the oven in 20 minutes and in the dessert bowl 25 minutes after that. It is from the June BH&G magazine.

If you don't have rhubarb then perhaps plums or berries would be good, or even all apple. I think the tart rhubarb is a good partner for the apple though.

It took 10 minutes for all the fruit juices to reduce, but the fruit wasn't overcooked. You really do pour the hot fruit into the pastry, which is more like a short dough.

I think you could use more than 2/3 of the pastry for the base, I felt there was too much pastry on top when it was cooked.

I can highly recommend this recipe, I served it with custard, but ice-cream and cream would be lovely too.

Oh my word, the Granny Smith green is a bit bright!!!

 

Rhubarb and Apple Pie  serves 8-10

  • 5 stalks of rhubarb
  • 3 apples, peeled and sliced. I used Granny Smiths, a cooking apple
  • 120g brown sugar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • 130g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 225g plain flour
  • 30g cornflour
  • 1 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tsn cinnamon
  • 1 tbspn brown sugar extra ( 4 tspn)

Preheat the oven to 170*C and grease and line just the base of a 22cm spring-form tin.

Grease and line base of tin
Trim and wash the rhubarb and slice diagonally into 2.5cm or inch pieces. Dispose of the rhubarb leaves carefully in the rubbish bin, not the compost, as they are poisonous when ingested. I sliced my apples first and so I dropped them into a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice to keep them from browning. I drained them well before adding to the pan.

Rhubarb and apple

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Sprinkle half the brown sugar over the base, add the fruit and then sprinkle over the rest of the brown sugar, lemon juice, zest and cinnamon. DO NOT STIR for 2 minutes. You should see the juices of the fruit in the pan. Turn the fruit over gently and then simmer for 5 minutes ( mine took 10) until the juices are reduced.

Cooking the fruit
While the fruit is cooking, make the dough. Whisk the butter and caster sugar together. It took me less than 1 minute with a fork as the butter really was at room temperature. Whisk in the egg.

Cream and add an egg
Fold in the sifted dry ingredients: plain flour, cornflour, baking powder and cinnamon. Bring together with your hands to form a ball.

Pie pastry in the tin
Take a little more than 2/3 of the dough and press into the base and slightly up the sides of the tin. It is best if it is fairly even, but since it is covered with fruit no-one will know if it is wonky. Pour in the fruit. Top with tiny balls of dough you've pinched, in two concentric circles around the circumference of the tin. Finish by sprinkling the topping with a tablespoon of extra brown sugar.

Make and bake

Bake for 25-30 minutes. I always turn the tin half way through.

 

A piece of pie or rwo
Serve immediately piping hot, or a little later on, warm. Delicious any way.

Rhubarb and apple pie


Alas, Poor Yorick! I Nude Him, Horatio.

Why anyone would want to participate in a nude Winter's Solstice swim I know not, but I do feel it is very harsh for The Police to ban the event. I've seen people wearing only slightly more than that in the street and at the beach and there can be less than nothing on TV. If members of The Public don't want to see the Art of Dark Mofo, they could just not look.

Autumn is definitely here today, no Summer dress today, and I wore my hand-knitted socks, scarf, mittens and hat to walk The Labradors. We saw Rafa and Sandy. Sandy had not encountered mittens before and he pulled one off my hand and ran away with it. The temptation of a seaweed rice cracker was too much and he brought it back, dribbly, but intact.

It's drizzly and gloomy and I have started taking Vitamin D again. Just heard from the BOM on the radio that it was down to 6*C today. It was cold. We had Sun yesterday. Peri was sunbathing and having her belly rubbed. She'd be banned by The Police if they spotted her having a swim.

Peri loves sun bathing
Miss Lorelai Gilmore has been making mud again. The ground has been soaked by some good rain, and there is a lot of digging to be done. And a lot of faux black boots to be worn. Inside. If we are not careful.

Gilly's self gumboots
This afternoon, while I was knitting and watching first Lewis and then DCI Banks, they were curled up together being ever so cute on the couch.

Sleepy pups
I am knitting Ovaltine (or Milo) What a wonderful pattern and I don't know why I haven't knitted it before. I am doing the Hugs and Kisses XOXO cable option. It is ever so sweet!!! I've run out of wool, so it will need to wait till tomorrow to be finished.

Half cup of Ovaltine
I sewed a bunny for baby Zoe. I sewed it a while ago, but forgot to take a photo and so I had to unwrap it. It was wrapped in Labrador Christmas paper that said 'Imagine this is Easter paper', so I expect I can wrap it properly now.

A Bunny
In clothes news, there may have been a sale and I may have, on purpose, put four more pairs of green jeans on lay-by. Four new greens. But they were on sale and instead of $210, they were only $140, a whole third off. Too good to pass up.

Oops I did it again
In an 'I should have thought of that before' moment I realised that no matter how I cut this material,

Yes, well, I should have thought of that
there are always going to be interestingly placed circles on the bodice of a dress. Luckily, both Marilyn and Naomi have the option for a patterned skirt and a plain coloured bodice. I think I'll be going with that option.

Patterns

I made some leek and chicken soup for tea and it was delicious. The poor Labradors missed out on the chicken, but they did have some yummy raw carrot and celery with their kangaroo and rice and some hot water from the kettle made it kind of soup-like.

Tomorrow I am baking a Malteser Cake for MrsDrWho's morning tea turn. It is totally covered with Maltesers, but I think that is too overboard even for me, and covering the top may be enough. Apparently the correct size of tin is crucial, so of course I shall just be using a tin I already own!!! I like to live in interesting cooking times....


Friday Food: Iced Vovo Tart

I feel very proud of my Iced Vovo Tart. It wasn't that difficult, I was able to source all the ingredients very easily, and it was really a question of following the steps and waiting for things to set.

I didn't have the right tin and so I cut some card and made a box to fill half the larger tray and used foil to keep it all together.

I think it is best to remove the jammy section of the Iced Vovos, it didn't really crush up well. I used Granitas for the plain sweet biscuits as they do crush up well.

If your marshmallow mixture sets too much, and mine did, beat it in your mixer for a minute or two and then continue..

The recipe asks for leaf gelatine, which I was able to buy here- McKenzies brand, but you can use powdered gelatine. You need the correct amount to set 2/3 cup liquid for the jelly.

None of the steps in themselves are difficult, but it did take me all day. I cheated by putting the tart in the freezer to start off to cooling and then transferred it to the fridge.

I bought a piping set at the supermarket with a star shaped nozzle and used that to pipe the cream. I had a few trial runs and then threw caution to the wind.

This post is quite long and I have been a tad tired, so please excuse any typos!!!

Oops, I fogot to say this is from the Good Taste Magazine's January issue.

Iced Vovo Tart   serves 8-10

Base

  • 100g Iced Vovo biscuits (8)
  • 150g plain sweet biscuits (12)
  • 130 g butter, melted

Marshmallow Layer

  • 150g pink marshmallows
  • 20ml milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 200ml thickened cream
  • 1 tspn vanilla extract or paste. I used one vanilla bean

Raspberry Jelly

  • 2 McKenzies Gelatine leaves
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 80ml water
  • 1 tbspn caster sugar (20ml)

Topping

  • 400ml thickened cream
  • pink food colouring
  • coconut flakes- I used desiccated

 

You also need a 35 x 11cm loose base fluted tin. I used my 22 x 35cm tray, divided in half.

The tin
Base

Process or crush the biscuits in a bag with a heavy kitchen implement.

Biscuits
Combine with the butter.

Biscuits and butter
Press into the tin, up the sides as well. Use a glass to press into every nook and cranny. Then refrigerate for an hour.

Refrigerate
Marshmallow Layer

Put the marshmallows, milk and pink food colouring in a pan over a low heat and stir for about 3 minutes until the marshmallows are melted and smooth. I used natural food colouring and it took quite a lot of a 'few drops' to make a nice pink colour. Cool, longer than you think. At least 10 minutes.

Melting
Whip the cream and vanilla till firm peaks appear, then fold a little of the cream into the marshmallow mixture. Then a little more. Finally add this to the cream and fold in gently but well. By folding a little cream into the marshmallow mixture first, you lighten it and make it easier to fold into the cream.

Mixing marshmallows
Spread into the base, smooth the top and refrigerate for 2 hours. Mine didn't take that long, only an hour, so do check.

Layering and refrigeration
Raspberry Jelly

Soak two leaves of gelatine in cold water for 6 minutes. Put the raspberries, water and sugar in a pan over a medium heat, stirring for 1 minute until the sugar dissolves. Continue to stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Gelatine and berries
Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves, add to the raspberries and stir till dissolved.

Gelatine and sieve
Push the raspberry mixture through a fine sieve to remove the pips, remember to check the underneath of the sieve too. Cool in a bowl for about 25 minutes and then pour over the marshmallow layer. Refrigerate for a further 2 hours till set.

Jelly layer
Topping

Whip the remaining 400ml of thickened cream with some pink food colouring, a shade you like, until firm. I fill the piping bag after I have attached the nozzle by standing it in a cup and spooning in the cream till it is half full.

Cream for piping
Pipe one row of little rosettes and then another to match along one long side, and then repeat along the other. Sprinkle some coconut over the centre jelly strip and the pink rosettes.

Piping the rosettes

Refrigerate till ready to serve. I found the base to be a tad crumbly, but the slight tartness of the jelly ameliorates the sweetness of the marshmallow layer.

Iced vovo tart
A slice of vovo


Lady Caroline La(m)b

Thank goodness The Ribbet has a Red Eye fix, or in my case a White Eye fix, because The Labradors' photo made them look mad, bad and dangerous to know. After their tea they decided to play rowdy games in the quite hard rain and in the dark. The Game also necessitated running inside, around the house, and then back out again.

Night time babies

After Byron threw Lady Caroline Lamb over, he married, and his daughter Ada was the woman who worked with Babbage on his computer. I wonder if I knew that and had forgotten? I think I did.

Earlier this week on our walk I was patting Peri and Gilly when I realised there were too many legs: Sandy had appeared out of nowhere. He is so strong, and the hill so slippery and gravelly, his dad lets him off the lead and we usually hear him thundering like a horse towards us. The wet ground must have absorbed the sound.

A vast behind Sandy, Peri, Gilly
I've finished The Walk Mittens. I am not sure I need buttons and loops. I'll see. I made a little pop-top for the right thumb. It works well enough. I have torn both my thumb nails about half a centimetre down from the top at the edge. It must have been the cold snap and not wearing rubber gloves enough. I am nursing them along with nail glue and tiny squares of tea bag material. I've noticed that when I click on Popular Posts on Bloglovin' they are mostly fashion, and nail polish. I am not a nail polish person, I am too gung ho and chip it after five minutes, but most of the popular world is nail polish obsessed it seems.

The Walk Mittens

Sadly, it hasn't been cold enough to wear my mittens, but I have been knitting away on the back of Dreamy Vision (Aislinn) I am going to attempt short row shoulders. I love the way it is looking, nice and long and such a nice green. I'll be ready to start a sleeve tomorrow. I knit a sleeve and a back to check how much wool I will need. The pattern says about 1859m, but so far I've only used 400m for the back so I may need less.

Dreamy vision back
Today I wore my sleeveless Pear dress to Leukaemia Support Group. It did rain and turn dark and cold later on, but I'm pleased to be getting so much mileage out of my dresses. And speaking of dresses, my Sew Serendipity patterns arrived from the US is eleven days. That's right, eleven days. Excellent service, and great communication. I am very happy.

Patterns
In other complimentary news, Nestles has thoughtfully put a little hemispherical dip in the lid of their condensed milk so that when you slip your thumb under the ring pull, there is extra room and it is so much easier to open. And McKenzies has released Gelatine Leaves, with instructions in Australian and a clear indication of how many leaves to use for the amount of liquid you have.

I used the leaves to make The Iced Vovo Tart. It's going to be my Friday Food this week. There is no actual baking, but it does take all day to make, so you need a wet day at home and some dedication. I went to The Dutches' for tea on Sunday night and saw the wonderfully cute Bay Zoe. She's gorgeous and doesn't have her nasal gastric tube anymore and eats and is starting to talk. I am so happy for all The Dutches.

Iced vovo tart
I sewed a Bunny bag for The Dutches for a very late Easter present.

The Bunny Bag
I can't add any books to my Books I am Reading list because Typepad and Amazon are having issues again, but I picked up new Library books and there could be a day in bed reading later in the week.

In other happy news my sewing machine is back. MrsReno's dad kindly cleaned it and said that the plates were tight. I am not sure what that means, but I am so glad to have it back. MrsReno's dad has gone back home but when he comes back to visit I shall cook him something delicious to say thank you. He said he was very pleased to fix my machine because he is pleased people still like to sew!! How cool and kind is that???

MrsDrWho and I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness last week. We went on Friday at 6-30pm and there would only have been twenty people there. We saw it in 3D, because, well why not??!! It was great, it was full of lovely nods to the original series and explosions and Starship battles and angst and running and sacrifice. Pretty fabulous all round. I think they have done an excellent job with their casting and I could slightly swoon over Chris Pine's James T Kirk and Karl Urban's Bones. Oh my!!! I know some people pooh-pooh reboots, but I lived through the long Sci-Fi and Fantasy drought of the 80s and early 90s and so I am just ever so grateful that someone has gone to the trouble of making a new film that I can enjoy. It was over two hours long and by my usual rating system I did not look at the time once, didn't even think of the time I was totally engrossed, and ducking debris, for the whole time: so that's 5 Stars, A+++ and 10/10.


Friday Food: Little Banana Pancakes

Friday Food was on the list for Friday, but then I had a doctor's appointment, went to see Star Trek Into Darkness with MrsDrWho and found it necessary to have a long rest.

So once again I have declared Saturday, Friday.

These are based on Jill Dupleix's banana pancakes, but honestly, who has the time or inclination to whip the egg whites separately and fold them in?? Not me. To make these more pikelety, add another teaspoon of baking powder, just one egg and only 3/4 cup of milk and proceed the same way. The mixture is best if you leave it to rest for 30 minutes, but if you are in a hurry, adding a squeeze of lemon juice and resting for 5 minutes could do the trick.

I made 18 little pancakes using my large tablespoon for each one. If you don't like banana, then substitute some grated apple, berries- frozen or fresh, or whatever fruit you fancy. These can be eaten straight away or frozen for later on.

 

Little Banana Pancakes   makes 16-ish

  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml milk
  • 1 tspn vegetable oil
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 1 tbspn caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 bananas
  • butter or oil for frying
  • golden or maple syrup for drizzling
  • extra banana for presentation
  • pure icing sugar for dusting

Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar and oil. In another bowl sift the flour, salt and baking powder together.

Wet and dry
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and, adding a little of milk and egg mixture, begin to incorporate the flour with a fork or whisk. Slowly pour in the wet ingredients as you stir until they are all well combined. You can sieve out any lumps, but I never do. Good whisking and sifted ingredients seems to help.

Refrigerate (and cover if necessary) for 30 minutes.

Mixing well
Slice the bananas, and here I'd like to say that a finer dice or mash may be more to your liking, and fold gently into the pancake mixture.

Ba-na-na-naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
Heat a teaspoon of oil or butter in a pan over a medium heat and then add tablespoons of the pancake batter. If you drop it vertically from the tip of the spoon, rather then over the edge, it is supposed to make your pancakes rounder. I usually only make 3 at a time in my pan. Of course a non-stick electric frypan allows you to make lots more with no chance of disasters!!! Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the top of the pancake has lots of tiny bubbles. You can check underneath, but it should be golden brown. Flip the pancakes and cook for another 30-60 seconds then place on kitchen paper.

And continue as before, adding butter to the pan and cooking the little pancakes. You can keep them warm in the oven.

In the pan go the cakes
Serve with some extra sliced banana, a drizzle of golden or maple syrup and a dusting of pure icing sugar.

Little banana pancakes


That Old Black Magic's Got Me In Its Spool

The Craftsy Block this month is a spool (the picture is clicky to see the BOM), actually it is seven 7 inch spools like this:

Craftsy spools

I didn't really like the pattern and so I found a free pattern and we all agreed to sew that instead. I think it really does look like an old fashioned cotton wheel wound wildly with thread. First MrsReno and MesSherlock.

Craftsy May spools
And then mine and some of MrsDrWho's. She's had an interesting week thus far, so just made part of her block.

Craftsy BOM May
I am part way through sewing the second spool. Next fortnight is catch up evening so I hope to finish my other circle and fan blocks and then there will be ten. Wow, that was fast!!!

The Walk Mittens have been quite fast too. I just have the thumbs to knit. I had to wait until they were both finished as I want to make the thumb of the right mitten with an opening and I couldn't do that till I'd knitted the left thumb. And of course, I knitted the right mitten first.

Almost Walking

There is the little loop to be crocheted at the top of the pop-overs and two buttons to be sewn onto the cuffs and after the thumbs they are ready to be worn. The weather is strange, some places are expecting 25*C tomorrow, and I'm back to wearing Summer dresses with a cardigan that I can take off when it's too hot. This may be the first year when I wear a Summer dress in Winter, just twenty-two days to go to find out. It was frosty and foggy this morning and I wore my new hat.

I ordered new dress patterns from Sew Serendipity. The postage from the US was just $3 per pattern so I ordered two: Marilyn and Naomi.

Marilyn
Naomi

Naomi will need a lower scoop neck and maybe Marilyn will need a slightly higher and shorter waist. I  love them both and they are shown in different fabrics to give you design ideas.

And now The Labradors. Peri is the most beautiful dog in the whole wide world. She in the middle of swishing her tail because she's been a good girl and come straight away when called.

Peri, the most beautiful dog in the world

And Miss Lorelai Gilmore is always a good girl and the most beautiful pup in the whole wide world. Except maybe today when she ran into the bush seeking the horrible smelly thing, but she did come back when I used my Teacher's voice.

Gilly, the most beautiful pup in the world

I don't think I'm up to knitting a thumb, or two, tonight. I had rice, milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar for my tea, I suppose it's nursery food, but as a child it was something we had quite often. We ate macaroni the same way, all Italians are probably scandalised now.

So it's a cup of tea, the ABC News and then an early night for us all.


Help Me, Obi One Can Call Me. You're My Only Hope.

The Internet and Phone are back. It was not, in fact, my ISP at all. It was the Evil Darth Telstra. It appears that the cables to my next door neighbour's house were cut by mistake, and they were offered call diversion and compensation. Because I am not a Telstra customer they just didn't bother with me at all. I rang and that is basically what Rob from Telstra told me: Ha ha boo sucks to you. My ISP explained that this happens pretty regularly, especially in older areas here where phone lines are archaic. I can complain to The Ombudsman, but as I have no details or names, they won't be able to do anything. I do intend to write and explain what happened, as perhaps if they receive enough complaints the Ombudsman may act. I asked my ISP person to pass on to the people I spoke to what had happened. I may have become a little short when they both insisted on reading me long scripts instead of really listening to my problem. It was all very civilised.

Hence I missed Friday Food and May The Fourth. But I did not have a Georgette Heyer decline or even a Florence Nightingale take-to-my-bed. Which is very good.

We had a massive and very scary hail and electric storm last week. Here's eight seconds of what it sounded like in my car:

   
I thought I would get out and my car's roof would be covered with dents, but it wasn't. The sky was black and there were rainbows and it lasted for about half an hour. At MrsDrWho's house it settled deeply, like snow, and still hadn't melted the next day. 

Dark skies, not the tv show

The weather has taken a distinctly Autumnal turn: close to 0*C overnight with heavy morning frosts, but beautiful sunny days at 19*C.

Frosty mornings
Peri took the opportunity to roll in the most awful smelly and yucky thing, her best yet. I ended up buying some pampering spray to try and mask the smell even after a bath.

Peri so smelly
Gilly decided that the almost complete felt Christmas plum pudding would be a good toy. And so now it is.

Gilly and the ex pudding
The Labradors do enjoy their walks together. They run so fast and range so far that they need giant drinks from puddles and a dip in the paddle pool when they come home. Lorelai Gilmore likes to follow where Peri leads.

West Lab Story
There has been some knitting. I've knitted up the two balls of wool into the back of Dreamy Vision (Aislinn) Yay. I love it. I am sad I didn't take more wool with me. I love the tubular cast on. It's as magic as turning a heel.

The back of Dreamy Vision

You can't see the Eiffel Tower lace very well and my close up photos are not terribly good.

I haven't found the rest of the 4ply to knit my convertible mittens so I've started a new 8ply pair. I think I can crank out a mitten a day. We'll see. The Walk MIttens are from a free pattern.

Walk Mittens
MrsDrWho's Lord of the Rings wool beret, My Precious,  is complete. I found the website for the wool, where you can buy all sorts of LOTR movie costuming. If only!!! There seems to be a severe lack of green though.

My Precious beret 2013
New denim leggings, or jeans as I like to call them, have been worn. Once with Labrador accessories, and once with MrsHouse Of's eldest daughter's new shoes. Surprisingly I could balance in them, even walk a little. Just.

Jeans, new
The passsionfruit vine is bearing fruit and a bumper crop too. I made melting moments with passionfruit filling last week for morning tea. I plan to try some passionfruit curd this week.

Passionfruit melting moments
Once the Sun goes down behind the hill at the back the temperature drops quickly every afternoon. It's 4-30pm and time to close all the windows and turn on the Warmy bed for Peri. There's chicken and vegetable soup to be made for tea and The Labradors' rice to be cooked and a mitten to be knitted. I have lots of blog posts to read and comments to answer. We plan to be online into the foreseeable future!!!