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February 2014
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April 2014

The Cultural Fringe

"Even as it (Great Britain) walked out on you and joined the Common Market, you were still looking for your MBEs and knighthoods, and all the rest of the regalia that comes with it. You would take Australia right back down the time tunnel to the cultural cringe where you have always come from."

Paul Keating PM  27 Feb 1992

Too easy, Lord Sir Earl Tony Abbott just made it too easy. I can't stop myself. What in the world is happening?? Knights and Dames?? In 2014?? In Australia. It's too much. I have to bite my tongue lest I say something I may later regret. Of course, George Brandis wouldn't care what I said to offend people, as he said: people have the right to be bigots. He may be speaking in some obscure legalistic way, but his comments, if taken at face value, mean that Holocaust deniers would not be challenged or stopped.

Great work this week from the Federal Government.

Let's enjoy some light entertainment.

The two cute dames, great dames, at our house had a most exciting walk on Thursday. There was some unexpected controlled burning off at the Reserve (the dam) and so we went on an expedition on a new-to-us walking track. And yes, they walked almost the whole way in this divergent fashion. And swapped sides at the drop of a hat, or the scent of a smell.

Dames on a walk

Things were back to normal on the weekend. Peri has been so happy, playful and wicked: it is the cooler weather. She just loves to run and play in the coolness. Lorelai Gilmore has been digging some excellent new holes in the garden and shunning the paddle pool: that's cool!!

Long Labrador shadows

Some of our BOM blocks from February didn't make it to my blog, so here they are: Chevrons, paper pieced.

Chevrons for February

And the blocks for March, where all three of us made two blocks each by 8pm.

Bome march

MrsDrWho's blocks on the left and MrsReno's on the right.

Mrsdrwho  mrsreno

I took some avocado dip and double chocolate banana bread. The banana bread is from Smitten Kitchen via Kate Knightly Knitter. I believe it is delicious and sooo easy to make. The dip is moreish. I had to use jalapenos from a jar and substituted parsley for coriander, still it was true to the dip idea.

Dip and bread

MrsDrWho and I met in town for lunch yesterday. We had toasted BLT & cheese sandwiches and some freshly made hot chips: not that I am obsessed with food or anything. She bought me a new bag. At first I thought it might have been one of those one-size-fits-all tops, and my mind boggled. I actually had two tops made from bubble material when I was a teenager. Thankfully my mind could stop being boggled!! The bag is incredibly stretchy and takes up so little space in my handbag. I love it, and it is very green.

Magic bag

I was a bit poorly at the end of the week. I spent a day in bed and rested. When the weather is cooler and I feel slightly more like a real person, as does Peri, I tend to enthusiastically pursue activities and then fall in a heap.  I forsee a few days of sitting on the couch knitting socks and catching up on some TV. Lording and Dame-ing about the house perhaps?


Friday Food: Chicken Meatball Minestrone

According to Donna Hay, meatballs are back. I didn't know they had ever gone away. The most onerous part of this recipe is frying off the little meatballs, and that only took 15 minutes: not so long.

I substituted Parmesan for Pecorino and baby spinach for silverbeet. I used a 20ml tablespoon and made 36 meatballs. The recipe says it makes 4 hearty serves, or in this case, 6 ordinary ones!!

 

Chicken Meatball Minestrone   serves 4 or 6

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • grated zest of a lemon
  • saly and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup or 150g fresh ricotta
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1.5 litres, or 2.5 pints, chicken stock
  • 200g smallish pasta, I used bows as I had them already
  • 250g baby spinach, chopped
  • extra Parmesan cheese for embellishment

Put the mince, egg, Parmesan, parsley and lemon zest in a bowl and mix well. Gently fold in the fresh ricotta.

Making the mince mixture

Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls with wet hands.

Heat the oil in a pan over a medium to high heat. When I had a high heat it smoked the house out. Fry the meatballs in batches until well browned and cooked through: 5-8 minutes. I cooked three batches of 12. Set aside.

Chance of meatballs

You need a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients. Fry the garlic in a little olive oil for a minute and then add the stock and bring to the boil. Gently add the meatballs and the pasta.

Stocking up

Cover tightly with a lid and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the pasta is ready. Add the baby spinach and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

Almost soup

Serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese on top and buttered toast.

  Chicken meatball minestrone

 


Spine-ing For The Fjords.

Peri and Gilly are so happy it is cool. On our walk today I mostly saw two pairs of clean heels!! I can just make out that Peri is rolling in something smelly.

Far far away Labradors

Behind the tree Gilly found a section of dry bony spine. It was a trophy. Still, she dropped it when I used my deep commanding voice. Peri had a good look, but as it wasn't a succulent juicy new bone, she decided to give it a miss.

Labradors and the backbone

When we came home, I wanted to take a 'before' photo of the paving. I am going to use a dog friendly weed killer made from vinegar, salt and washing up detergent to kill the weeds sprouting up between the pavers. Obviously The Labradors have a secret Instagram account and wanted to post Selfies!!!

Photobombing

The weedkiller can be made without salt, as it can make the soil unfit for use. Since this is between the pavers, I think it will be fine. So here's the 'before'. I'll wait a week or so and see what the 'after' shows.

Before

More knitting has ensued. I finished the tiny Socktical Magic socks,

Socktical magic 2014 socks

and I have started MrsDrWho's Channel 2 Socks. The colourway is Test Pattern in Patonyle Magic. I remember when I was little we only had two TV channels: Channel 2 or the ABC and Channel 6 or TVT6. There was even Channel 5a. This colourway represents quite closely the Test Pattern on the TV when colour arrived. Imagine, TV wasn't on all twenty-four hours a day. What did we do???

Channel 2 socks one

And finally The Dilly Dilly Bonnet. Yes, that is me modelling it, so it is a rather stretchy eyelet lace pattern!! This is for Jet the Dog's niece. I knitted this in 5ply, on 4mm needles, so there may have been a little vamping to get it right in the end.

Dilly dilly bonnet

Tomorrow I am visiting Jet's Mum for lunch and we are going to do some knitting. I like knitting or sewing with friends. I'm not sure what I will cook, it has to be something that I can make between coming home from a walk and going out a few hours later. So not a pavlova or the Republican Slice!! Perhaps Nectarine cake?? I made cupcakes from this cake recipe and they were delicious. I will just need to find some nice fresh fruit.

And now, since everyone else has gone to bed, I'll make a cup of Evening Tea to help me feel sleepy, and join them!!


Friday Food: Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pancakes

I love the taste of mushroom and freshly ground black pepper and so this recipe was just what I wanted to cook. I made my own pancakes/crepes, but they are readily available fresh and frozen, even here!! I poached a chicken breast as I never have left over BBQ or roast chicken. At the supermarket deli you can buy shredded or chopped chicken for $21 kg. I bought a chicken breast for $11 kg. This is a good pantry recipe: I didn't need to buy anything other than mushrooms and chicken.

It is also good because you don't need to turn the oven on, you just pop the filled pancakes under the grill for 5 minutes. You could add whatever you fancied to the creamy sauce, but I really liked this incarnation!!

 

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pancakes    serves 4

To make your own pancakes, you need 8:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, though I used less
  • 2 eggs
  • 20g melted butter
  • extra butter for frying

For the filling

  • 20g butter
  • 3 spring onions or a brown onion, finely chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbspn plain flour
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded or chopped chicken
  • 2 tbspn flat leaf parsley, chopped and a little extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

If you are making the pancakes yourself, put the flour into a bowl or jug, and make a well in the centre. Whisk together the milk, eggs and melted butter and then pour into the flour. Whisk until smooth.

Batter up

Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat. You can see I used an ordinary pan and they didn't stick. Add a little butter and swirl, and then pour in 1/4 cup of the batter. Swirl again to almost cover the base of the pan. Cook for a few minutes until tiny bubbles appear or the bottom of the pancake is golden. Flip and cook until this side is golden. Put onto a plate and keep warm, using any method you like. I didn't actually bother.

Pancakes

Whilst cooking the pancakes I poached the chicken breast. Here's the link for the way I poach a chicken breast. Cool, and then shred or dice whatever chicken you have chosen to use.

Pancakes and chicken

To make the filling, place the same frypan you have used over a medium to high heat, add the butter and fry off the onion. When it is soft, add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes or until they are tender. Add the flour and fry for a further minute.

The filling

Turn the down heat to low. I mixed the cream and chicken stock in a jug and then poured it in a little at a time, off the heat, stirring furiously. As you add more, you need to stir less furiously, until it is all combined.

Making it saucy

Bring to a simmer, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Take off the heat, stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cool for 5 minutes more.

Chicken and parsley

Grease a 20 x 30cm casserole with some butter. Mine is smaller and I fitted in 4 pancakes, and have four left for another day. Fill each pancake. Spread 1/4 cup of the filling over about 3/4 of the pancake, then roll up. Place into the casserole and continue until they are all done.

They see me rolling

Turn on the grill, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top of the pancakes and then grill for about 5 minutes.

Grilling

Sprinkle over a little extra parsley. I served it with some baby broccoli, but a salad would be good too. These definitely taste good the next day, even straight from the fridge: ask me how I know!!!

Chicken pancakes


On Our Election

We went to vote. I don't want to talk about it. Voting and me: we're on a break.

The best part was the sausage in bread for Peri and Gilly. The kind P&F people gave us an extra big sausage because they had been watching The Labradors as they waited outside while I voted: they were totally focused on the door, and longing for me to reappear. I was very popular with Peri and Gilly, and there was much slobbering and licking of chops, well, sausages!!

Happy sausage voting

We met Sandy's mum and dad who had just voted. Poor Sandy didn't get a sausage. On our walk it was The Jets and The Sharks, although there was only one shark: Rafa!! The Labrador Jets were sticking together.

Jets and sharks

There has been more rain, 12mm, and we walked in the rain. It was misty and grey. We are extremely happy.

Rain much

I have not one, but two socks. I've been sitting and knitting and my first Don't You Know It's sock is complete and I am making a bonus small pair: Socktical Magic!! MrsDrWho likes the Test Pattern colour, and so I am going to have a go at knitting a tube sock with an afterthought heel. I am being inspired by fellow knitters at the moment, and this time it is TinkingBell!!

Big sock little sock

I have been sitting and knitting because I had my flu vaccination and it seems to make me extra tired and I had a tiny fever for a day or two. And a sore arm. I am vaccinated to the hilt. I remember going to have the Polio vaccine, Sabin, on a lump of sugar when I was small. I often had pains in my legs and my mum worried it was Polio. I remember what I wore to have my smallpox injection as a little girl: a burgundy velvet dress with a white inverted pleat down the whole front and a little black bow at the Peter Pan collar. I had black patent leather shoes and white socks. I am very grateful for vaccines and I had my Pneumonia and Triple Antigen boosters last year: Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough. Thank you medical experts and researchers!!!

I have a hankering for this jackety coat. It is in the latest BSODL (tm) catalogue and of course it is the only one without the pattern information. The young woman on the phone has promised to email the details to me. I love the way it whooshes out at the hem and that the collar is flat against the fronts.

Jackety coat I want

I bought some Labrador Christmas fat quarters and MrsDrWho ordered a second set for me. I am so lucky to have so many festive puppies. I am not sure what kind of quilt I will sew.

Labrador christmas material

I am up late by myself, everyone else has gone to bed. My sleep pattern is all out of whack because I had a long afternoon sleep after my vaccination the other day. I am a tad confused in a timey-wimey way. I thought we were sewing quilts this week, but it's next week. Thank goodness for friends who know what is happening, and when!!

Amy Herzog is holding a Cardipalooza - a cardigan knit-along lasting a year. I confess that I am confused about the difference between a normal, a Custom Fit and a Custom Fit recipe for patterns. I can, however, commit to knitting a cardigan in a year. That's very doable!! Whilst browsing the tub of knitting bits and bobs in the lounge room I discovered I've already knitted the back of the Aislinn cardigan. When did that happen?? I have no idea, but what a bonus!!

I won a prize!! I subscribe to our Local ABC newsletter and every week there is a quiz which requires a careful reading of said newsletter. I sent my answer by email and won a copy of Sally Wise's new book, A Year on the Farm. I  am looking forward to cooking the chutneys and ketchups which are, according to Rafa's dad, in the book.

If you had asked me if I was familiar with On Our Selection, I would probably have said no, but Dad and Dave?? Definitely. And Mum and Mabel too.

Tomorrow I plan to knit the second small sock and bake some tiny tarts. That should be plenty, and I know The Labradors will be hoping for some biscuits or cakes from their new book.


Friday Food: Gozleme

I remember seeing gozleme on Masterchef, but when it makes it to the cover of the Recipes+ magazine, then it has pretty much jumped the shark. Of course I am once again late to the party, but now I am at the gozleme party, I shall be staying. I made the most basic spinach and feta version, but it was so delicious and moreish, I ate one and a half for late lunch. There are recipes with meat or chorizo or even eggplant if you click the link.

I didn't make a dough with yeast, even so, it crisped up very well and wasn't stodgy at all.

It makes four good sized gozleme, or Turkish pastries, and they can be pan fried, or barbecued. I can recommend a gozleme or two for weekend lunch. You could make them before voting, and indulge afterwards: in Tasmania or South Australia.

 

Spinach and Feta Gozleme    makes 4

For the dough

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 300g plain Greek yoghurt
  • salt

For the filling

  • baby spinach, finely sliced
  • 200g feta cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for frying
  • fresh lemon for squeezing

 

Make the dough by mixing the flours, salt and yoghurt together. I found the dough to be a little dry, but I persevered.

Make the dough

Knead on a lightly floured board for about two minutes until smooth, then rest for a few minutes. I rested mine for 4 hours while I slept.

Knead and rest

Divide the dough into quarters and then roll out each into a 25cm diameter circle on a floured surface. It should be quite thin.

Rolling out the dough

Arrange spinach to cover half the dough, leaving a gap at the outer edge. Crumble over 1/4 of the feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Filling the gozleme

Fold the dough in half and then fold the edges over about 1 1/2 cm and pinch them to seal the gozleme.

Heat 2 tbsp in a pan over a moderate heat. I checked to see if the oil was hot enough by frying a tiny piece of dough, once it browned, I knew it was ready. Cook the gozleme for 2 minutes on each side, pressing down with a spatula or egg slide. It should be a dark golden brown colour. Oops, I forgot to take a photo of that.

Frying

Cut in to quarters, squeeze over some lemon juice, and then serve. They are delicious.

Gozleme


Duck? Duck.... Go(oose)!!!

We went back to The Vet so Dr David could check Gilly's waxy ears and Peri came too, just for fun. Lorelai Gilmore's ears are much better, but we are to follow a complicated ear drop protocol for the next 24 days and then go back and have her ears checked again.

You may think they are looking lovingly at me, I couldn't possibly comment.

At the vet again

Actually I can. They are, in fact, mesmerised by duck. Dried duck. Tasty, and delectably dried, duck.

Duck duck GO

The duck was a present for Peri and Gilly from TinkingBell. Tink and I catch up on an irregular basis a few times a year. There are always myriad cups of tea, frantic conversations talking twenty to the dozen, and lots of knitting. Tink gave me some gorgeous sock wool. It is perfect for me, and almost, almost too nice to use. I shall use it, but I shall treasure it for a while!! I am also the new owner of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Annual. Yay!!!

Gem of a sock wool

I sewed TinkingBell one of my Christmas grocery bag, and also a Wonky TARDIS Apron (using this tutorial as inspiration) and a reversible drawstring sock bag, from this cute tutorial.

Sewing

Anyone here for the knitting? Well you will be shocked, shocked I tell you, to learn that here be knitting!!! Kate Knight inspired me with her dishcloths and so I rummaged about in one of my wool tubs and came up with a bamboo cotton mix of some kind and so the Kidding Dishcloth was born.

Dishcloth in progress

And today I cast on the Don't You Know It's Socks in new Patonyle Magic print. It's my usual sock-to-fit-me pattern, plain and simple.

Don't you know it's socks

You would think that now Autumn has arrived the temperatures would be cooler. Not so, but we have had rain. At last, the first real rain all year. And it has been cooler in the mornings. Peri has to have her lead on half way through our walk because she runs so much in the brisk mornings and wears herself out for the rest of the day. Peri does not do things by halves. Gilly is young and full of youthful energy. They are both stickybeaks and spent quite a while investigating the Clean Up Australia bags last week. Well done to the stalwart volunteers.

Labradors clean up australia

Life has been exceedingly busy and tiring: not the things I'm doing, but the after effects. The weekend was too hot, including Monday, which was the Eight Hour Day holiday. I have had Leukaemia Support Group, an appointment at the doctor and psychologist and another appointment to see the RBF review doctor. I always find this so confronting and difficult, but I have leaned on everyone around me in the last few weeks. Our lovely Leukaemia Nurse came with me to the meeting. I was so grateful for her support. It seemed to go well, and I maintained my composure until the very end.

Now I have to wait until I receive the Board's verdict. I hate waiting, it just gives me time to imagine the worst. My goal is not to catastrophise and instead, to think positive things. I shall knit and bake, but not at the same time, that way lies disaster. It's Friday Food tomorrow, so we'll take the new cooking magazines to bed and choose something yummy.

The Duck Duck Goose of the blog title is a great circle game we used to play when I taught Infants, and bigger children too!!!

Adriano Zumbo has designed three new limited edition TimTam flavours for Arnotts to celebrate TimTam Biscuits' Fiftieth Anniversary. They come in packs of five and cost about $1-90. I can only eat the white chocolate raspberry biscuits, but MrsDrWho agreed to briefly review all three flavours.

Anniversary timtams

Raspberry White Choc
Very nice.
Very like the raspberry mousse chocolate Cadbury had out last year
I can taste the raspberry and the white chocolate isn't too terribly sweet.

Choc Brownie
More brownie flavoured than Timtam, so that's nice.
It has a brownie flavour with a crunch.
It is very rich.

Salted caramel


This is the best of them.
They taste like the Maggie Beer’s ice-cream.
They are fairly sweet, but delicious.
Although if I think they were fairly sweet,
some others might find them overwhelmingly sweet.

The biggest problem is the small packets....although considering
how nice they are, it is probably a good thing
they aren't full sized packets!

Friday Food: Chocolate Republic Slice

On the Taste.com.au site this is called a Wagon Wheel slice, but Wagon Wheels have biscuit on the top and the bottom. This is more of a Chocolate Royal slice, or if you aren't a fan of royalty, which I am not, Chocolate Republic Slice!!!

Chocolate royals

Chocolate Royals have a biscuit base topped with sieved raspberry jam, pink or white marshmallow (pink for milk and white for the dark chocolate) and then smothered with chocolate. You have to pop off the chocolate shell covering the marshmallow intact and eat that first, then the marshmallow, then nibble the thicker chocolate coated biscuit edge and then finally the base. Well that's what I used to do!!!

The first time I made this I was in a dreadful hurry and put the slice in the fridge to cool. Big mistake. The marshmallow seized and the chocolate topping went with it. Not a pretty sight, but MrsDrWho and MrsReno said it still tasted fabulous.

I made the whole recipe for the base but I didn't use it all, maybe 80%? I prefer a thinner base. You can use any berry jam and I think the pips should stay in.

Cut the marshmallows in half with a pair of kitchen scissors with lightly oiled blades. To cover the base in my slice tin, 26 x 16 cm, I needed 30 marshmallows, halved. You can't buy a packet of white, we only have mixed now, but I think it looks pretty. I'm also impressed that 1/2 a cup of jam actually was plenty to cover the base. Usually I add more!!!

The recipe says it makes 12 slices, but I think it makes more.

 

Chocolate Republic Slice   makes 12 or more pieces

  • 185g softened butter
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/3 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam
  • 145g marshmallows, halved - I used 30
  • 250g milk or dark chocolate, melted
  • 50g butter, extra

Line a 26 x 16 cm slice tin with baking paper, with the paper higher than the sides of the tin. Preheat the oven to 180*C/160*C fan-forced.

Cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and light. You can see the difference in colour before I cleaned the side of the bowl.

Creaming butter and sugar

Fold in the flours until a soft dough comes together.

Flours and a dough

Press into the base of the tin. Bake for 20 minutes or until it is golden.

Baking the base

Don't turn the oven off. Spread the hot biscuit base with jam, and ready the marshmallows.

Jam and mallows

Cover the jam with the halved marshmallows, cut side down. They need to be close together. Pop the tin back into the oven for 2 minutes, although mine took 5 minutes at 160*C, until the marshmallows are melted. Smooth down if you need to, but mine covered the jam pretty well. Cool completely in the tin.

Melting the mallows

Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave or in a glass bowl over simmering water. When it is smooth, pour over the marshmallows and refrigerate for 2 hours at least. It is best if you take it out of the fridge a few minutes before you want to cut it.

  Chocolating

 As I wanted to post my recipe, I cut the slice after an hour, using a hot knife with tiny serrations. The chocolate topping was still a little soft, but it was OK. I admit I tasted a small piece, I should not have really, but it was so tempting.

Viva The Republic Slice!!!

Chocolate republic slice


Dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner: Batman!

You need to have watched Batman on television with Adam West and Burt Ward to sing the post title aloud!!! Peri and Gilly were very happy to try one of the recipes from the new cook book. I truth, this is the recipe with the least amount of cooking possible: you cook the turkey mince in some good olive oil and boil eggs. It doesn't take much to impress them at dinner time.

Dinner

Their dinner consisted of turkey, wheatgerm, yoghurt, carrot and a hard boiled egg, shell and all.

Dinner is good

If you watch the video you can see Lorelai Gilmore is sure I made a mistake in giving her the egg shell. She carefully puts it to the side of her bowl on the step. Once Peri ate hers, she changed her mind.

I chose the Dinner of Least Cooking because I was totally worn out by my visit to The Hospital and the final year doctors. They were very thorough and did an excellent job with their taking of my history and then a quick examination of my lungs, heart and blood pressure etc. It was two hour sessions with a short break in between, but it wore me out completely. The next day we went to the Vet to be vaccinated and saw Dr David. He was inordinately pleased with both The Labradors and gave them a gold star and 10/10. Peri made loud and happy crying noises the entire time Gilly was having her turn. She was allowed to wander about the room, but I think she wanted to have another injection so she could have more treats!!

At the vet

We had extra long naps on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, though I did get out of bed to go to Wee Jack and Bessie's mum's house for lunch. I felt like I was getting a cold and had a headache and the world felt a little fuzzy. I expect it is because I am trying to take more care of myself and not push myself to do things I think I 'should'. I do really want to contribute to the Hospital and Uni, so it is a worthy sacrifice to make.

MrsReno bought me a surprise green cardigan. It is made of a really stretchy fine mesh and fits perfectly. How lovely!! Of course, it matched the dress I was wearing. I am looking forward to a cool Autumn day so I can wear it again. It was really too warm to wear it on Saturday, but I always like to wear/eat/play with/ try out presents on receipt as soon as possible. Where's the fun in waiting??

Mesh cardi

MrsDrWho gave me some bunnified patty pan papers and very cute biscuit cutters. It has set me thinking about Easter. The patty pan papers are so cute, I love the bunny on the base.

Easter is coming

Today is Shrove Tuesday and I made pikelets instead of pancakes. The Labradors like pikelets and the first few cooked are always Dog Pikelets. It's as if the pan needs to have one round before it is ready to produce proper pikelets.

Shrove tuesday pikelets

They are so easy to make: Beat together 1/2 a cup of milk, an egg and 2 tspn of a plain vegetable oil or melted butter. Mix 1 cup of self raising flour with 8 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl, make a well in the centre and then whisk in the wet ingredients until a smooth batter forms. Use a little extra butter/oil in a pan over medium heat, drop dessert spoons (2 teaspoons) of the batter and cook till bubbles form on the top. Flip and cook until the bottom is golden. I like mine with jam and cream, but today I had a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of icing sugar. Peri and Gilly devoured the Dog pikelets with gusto.

It's not you, Evergreen Vines Cardigan, it's me. You were lovely, with beautiful lace and clever construction, but I wasn't the right shape for you. I think you might be a Miss Jane. It is almost cool enough to knit. In Australia Autumn starts on the 1st March and right on cue we've had cool mornings and heavy dews. The nights are drawing in but we have another month of Daylight Saving to go.

It is an ex cardi

I have been doing a lot of reading. So many thick books arrived at once from The Library, that I was overwhelmed. I am particularly looking forward to reading One Leg Too Few about Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

The Test against South Africa is on the radio so we are going to be listening to Tony Delroy through the ABC app on my Ipad. How lucky we are!!