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June 2014
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August 2014

Last Of The Winter Whine???

Bah humbug, my cold worsened and we needed a day in bed to cope with the headache. I knew I wasn't well when I didn't feel like eating. It was Sunday, so no-one missed out on a walk. This morning The Labradors woke me up at 7-44am and bounced about enthusiastically. Although I had the sneezes, I felt slightly better. We met Rafa and Sandy on our walk, but as we were late we had a bit of a walk by ourselves when they left. It was very foggy in patches and I had special treats from MrsDrWho's sister in my pocket: when I called Peri and Gilly, they came running at full speed.

Running labradors

They also received some chewy twists. Gilly will lie down and eat hers, happy to have her photo taken. Peri will not: she won't settle, and every time the camera approaches she picks up her treat and trots away. Why she thinks I will steal her treat, I don't know. She's very funny.

Special chew treats

I did manage to make a Minecraft Creeper pocket and an extra creeper on the back of the pyjamas, and Young Him was very pleased.

Creeper yay Shirred sack dress

Young Her finished her dress. I did the main part of the faux shirring (zig zagging over elastic cord) because it was boring and a bit tricky. The rest she did herself. I assure you, she is pleased to have a new dress, and her old one repaired too!!!

I wore my new hat this morning. It is the For The Lost Hat, the hat which I can't find, and I used the Thrifter Beanie pattern. I knitted till almost all the wool was gone: Debbie Stoller's Full o' Sheep. It is exceedingly warm and snuggly. It is also a great pattern, as you just rib, then knit and finally the deceases are very easy to remember. Look, you can see part of my face, the part that isn't obscured by hat, sunglasses, hair, neckwarmer or scarf!!! The weather is Very Wintry. Which is great for people like us who enjoy the cold. When Peri woke us up at 3am to go outside, it was so cold I had to fill a new hot waterbottle.

For the lost hat 2014

Enforced sitting on the couch with no knitting made me crochet. I plan on making a blanket, nine squares square, and one ball to do the edging. I can crochet a square in a day, it appears.

Granny square

I was inspired by Megan's pastries to make some raspberry pastries on my own. Hers were much better, but I couldn't face milk or cream or custard.

Raspberry pastry

I have been reading some new books, one by Camilla Lackberg recommended by ny GP, and the others mostly from the book reviews in Saturday's paper. I tried to keep reading Jo Spurrier's trilogy, but I was defeated by my cold. I have fifteen books on Hold at The Library and only one is in transit. What usually happens is what will happen now: they will all come at once.

MrsDrWho and her sister gave me some green satin sheets they found in the storage unit whilst clearing it out. I was a bit worried about slipping out of bed until MrsDrWho suggested I make a dress instead: Frankly my dear, I do give a damn!!! What an excellent idea. Not sure I can rival Scarlett or Maria from Sound of Music's curtains though, or that I have somewhere posh to wear my satin sheet dress. If I could just get some mice and a pumpkin I'd be halfway there!!!


Friday Food: Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce

Creamy lemon sauceWell, it is amazing what you can whip up when you look in the fridge and you haven't been shopping. There were frozen meals I'd cooked earlier, but I felt like something different.

There are hundreds of creamy lemon and garlic pasta sauces, so I kind of went with what I had really. It is not as rich as you might think and would be delicious with some smoked salmon, chicken or maybe prawns.

It is also ready in a matter of minutes. MrsDrWho and I have decided to only cook Angel Hair pasta, because who has time to wait ten minutes?? Not really, but we're going with it in food emergencies.

I made half the recipe and sprinkled a little finely chopped basil over the top. I would have had baby spinach if there was any!!

 

Creamy Lemon  and Garlic Pasta Sauce    serves 4

  • a little butter or olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 375ml cream
  • zest and juice of 2-3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • cooked pasta, enough for 4 people

Since this recipe is so speedy, you can set the pasta boiling and then whip up the sauce.

Garlicky

Fry the garlic in a little butter or oil for a minute, or until it is fragrant. I mashed it a little with a fork to help it meld with the rest of the sauce.

Cream, zest and juice

Add the cream and when it is almost boiling, add the lemon zest and juice.

Cheese and pasta

Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes and then add the cheese. Stir till melted. Gently fold the pasta through the sauce and serve immediately. I like pepper, so I did add a good two or three grinds at the end.

Lemon cream pasta


Christmas In Ju-Why???

Why is is Christmas in July?? Surely it should be Christmas in June, six months after Christmas in December?? I was pondering this today because we celebrated CIJ at Leukaemia Support Group. My mum and her friends had Christmas a little while ago too. I baked Nigella's Sticky Gingerbread Cake and topped it with some fondant snowflakes and snowy icing sugar. I think they looked lovely, and people thought I was magic to make the snowflakes. I told them where to find the cutters, so they too could make magical snowflakes.

Sticky gingerbread cake

On Friday I was invited to the Family Birthday Outing for MrsDrWho. I struggled on with my poor RSI finger, no purling, and made the 3.5 metres of I-cord I needed for Young Her's Life of Brain hat.

Brain almost done

And here it is being modelled in a brainy position. Young Her is very chuffed.

Life of Brain 2014

I made a Creeper Waist Bag for Young Him. It was rather successful, unlike the pocket appliqué on the pyjamas. I picked up scrapbookin' puffy paint instead of the appliqué puffy paint. Now I must cut out another sixty-four tiny squares (well almost) and wait another twenty-four hours for it to dry. There is also talk of a Creeper apron....

Creeper craft

Obviously the bag is much larger than the pocket.

Miss Lorelai Gilmore found a long dead thing when we were walking at the dam. She decided it needed to be sniffed, and maybe even nibbled. Peri was on her lead ready to walk on the road and so I handed her off to Rafa's Dad while I went to fetch Gilly. Gilly thinks that if she doesn't look at me, she doesn't have to obey commands. She's a rascal. Poor Peri was not very happy at being left with Rafa's Dad. Her worried look changed to one of joy when we came back.

Peri waiting with Rafa's dad

There was a wiggly tail trot past by very happy Labradors. Their tails swish so quickly, the camera (Or perhaps it is me?? That's more likely) can't keep up.

Wiggly tails

Knitting Dining Out this week was indeed dessert. I had a wondrous Toasted marshmallow coconut meringue with raspberry curd and strawberry gelato. I was very lucky, as almost all the other desserts contained chocolate and/or coffee, and I can't have either. My dessert was too much really, but I broke my Stop When You Think You Have Had Enough Rule and finished every last spoonful.

Dessert 2

Dessert 1

At LSG Christmas In July we learned that not only were we clueless about The Grinch and his paraphernalia, but no-one knew the second verse to Jingle Bells. Lovely Nurse #2 and I said we knew the second verse of the National Anthem, and so we sang it, to the amusement and amazement of all:

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands;
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands;
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

The verse is clickly and there is a video where you can hear the anthem. Both Lovely Nurse #2 and I commented that it appears we do NOT welcome those who come across the seas. It makes me ashamed to be an Australian: to learn that we have handed refugees back to Sri Lanka after a suspect 'enhanced' questioning, and now there are 153 more being held on a Customs boat. Thank goodness some dedicated and brave people have gone to the High Court, and an injunction has been issued. I simply can't believe that Australians really condone this behaviour by our Government, and the last one. Surely, along with those who came 40,000 years ago, we are all immigrants? Many ancestors arrived as political, religious or financial refugees. In our state we welcomed the peoples of Europe after WWII, and then the Vietnamese and Cambodian boat people, the Hmong and now the Somalis and Sudanese. Surely we can find it in our hearts to do more than hand refugees back to the Navy of the country they are fleeing?? It may not be the easy thing to do, but I believe it is the right thing. It makes me so frustrated and disappointed.

That is my two cents worth for today.

Meanwhile, there is a lot of this going on:

Zzz

Sleepy warm Labradors, all cuddly and cute. They snuggle up together.  Seems like a good place to be very soon!!!


Friday Food: Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancake stackThank you to the Dining Out knitting people, who helped me decide what to cook this week. The cinnamony pancakes (well large pikelets really) sounded delicious, healthy and easy. Perfect for the school holidays and lazy breakfasts in bed.

 

Once again, this is a Sarah Carey recipe. You'll need some sort of food processor or blender, but probably like me, you'll have all the things you need to make these.

I found the mixture to be rather too runny, so I would start with maybe 1 1/2 cups of milk, and then add more as needed.  I only made half the recipe, and I also used dark brown sugar because that's what I had. I like the cinnamon taste so I added a whole 1/2 teaspoon to my batter: I like dicing with spicing.

These will freeze well, they reheat so well. I often cook up some frozen blueberries to make a sauce and freeze that with them in small batches: perfection.

 

Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes    makes about 20

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tspn baking powder
  • 1/2 tspn salt, the recipes asks for 1 tspn,  but I find that too salty
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups rolled oats, whole
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • extra butter for the pan

Place the fry pan over a medium heat as you begin.

Put the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and half the rolled oats into the food processor. Whiz until the oats are blended and it looks a little like hazelnut meal, or ground hazelnuts.

Floury oaty meal

Meanwhile mix the egg and melted butter with 1 1/2 cups of the milk. Tip the flour and oat mixture into a large bowl and add the rest of the whole rolled oats.

Ready for combining

Make a well in the centre and pour in a little of the milk mixture. Stir gently from the centre out, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients and adding more liquid as it is needed. It should make a thickish batter.

Batter's up

This is what happened when I put 2 tablespoons of the original batter into the pan for each pancake. It did not go well.

Oh dear

I added about another 1/2 a cup of plain flour, but by only using a proportion of the milk at the start, this problem can be avoided.

Flip and turn

Take two: Melt a little butter in the pan and then spoon in 40ml for each pancake. They are ready to turn when there are little bubbles around the edges and in the centre is too. You should be able to slip the eggslide (or whatever you call it) easily under the pancake and flip it. Cook for another minute or two and then keep warm in the oven. I have a Keep Warm setting.

Cinnamon oatmeal pancakes

Serve with berries and maple syrup/golden syrup or honey as you see here. Really, eat them with any fruit: bananas, stewed apple or pear or whatever you fancy.


Jeepers Creepers, Where'd You Get Them Eaters??

Well, it was definitely cold yesterday: 5*C in the middle of the day. Luckily I was well rugged up on our walk. I was wondering if I should make Peri a coat to keep her warm, now she is on the way to being thirteen. It was very icy cold at the dam.

Icy gilly and peri

The answer is no. Definitely no. When it is Zero degrees and Peri takes an unauthorised, but enjoyable, dip in the creek, you know she doesn't need a coat. They both ran through every muddy puddle too. Peri and Gilly had such a great time!!

Muddy Labradors

On the other hand, I have a bit of a head cold, so I am taking imaginary pretend tablets from the compounding chemist. It seems to help, even if it is only the placebo effect. Perhaps I should try yoga? It seems to work for Peri. She finally discovered the Warmy Bed was on and was very happy to lie on it.

Peri doing doga

Gilly took the prized couch seat and stretched out long like a lizard drinking. She's very long. She knows she's having her photo taken too. 'Maybe I shouldn't take up all the room...' is what I think Gilly is wondering.

Gilly long like a lizard

MrsDrWho's sister, niece and nephew have arrived for a holiday. I'm knitting a special hat for Young Her: Life of Brain, and a new one for me too. For the LIFE of me I can't find my emerald green hat. It had disappeared. I need Mulder and Scully. So in a fit of huffiness I started a new one: For The Lost Hat. I have been knitting so much I have given myself an index finger repetitive strain injury, and so I am having to rest and recuperate said finger. I finished the little base for the Brain hat, I just need to make metres of I-cord for the actually wriggly brain tissue.

2 hat 2 paw

I made some Minecraft Creeper biscuits for Young Him. I was inspired by this tutorial.

Creeper construction

I was able to buy some gel colours and I used powdered Royal icing. I have a cold, I am being kind to myself. For my first real attempt at decorating with outlining and flooding, I don't think they are half bad. MrsDrWho said Young Him really liked them.

Creeper biscuits

MrsDrWho in in the midst of Parent/Teacher interviews and it's the last week of school too. I baked her a potato, brie and thyme quiche. I used my new mandolin to slice the potatoes. It is wonderful, especially as it has a handle which holds the potato and protects my hand from being sliced too. And that nose would be Miss Lorelai Gilmore's!! She knows (nose) a good thing when she smells it.

Potato brie and thyme quiche

I went to my new Exercise Physiotherapist today. He remembers MrsDrWho being a teacher at his Primary School. There are no secrets in our Island State: everyone knows everyone. I have a new exercise diary (two pieces of A4 stapled togther, still..) with three explicit goals and I have to go back in a fortnight. He took my blood pressure and it was behaving a litle: 130/90 ish. My assessment was for 90 minutes and Medicare picked up all bar $18, and they'll pay for all of my next five sessions. Yay for universal health cover.

Our Knitting group had Curry Day on Sunday, and I took not one photo. Both the company and the food was excellent. Instead of dining out again tomorrow, we thought we would just go out for dessert and tea/coffee instead. Rather strangely, the cafe we first chose (well posh French cafe that used to be a local legendary cafe of wondrous food and atmosphere) would not let us make a reservation, or come in earlier at 7pm. Ha!! We decided to go to Hotel Charles instead, where they are happy to serve us at the time of our choosing, and took a reservation immediately. I plan on having the coconut meringue and a pot of tea, maybe Party Tea!!!

Chocolate crème brulee, salted caramel ice cream,
double cream and croquant 14
Tiramisu, amaretto custard, candied almonds,
white chocolate dust and mocha ice cream 14
Toasted marshmallow, coconut meringue,
raspberry curd and strawberry gelato 14
Maple and pecan pudding, butterscotch, brandy
snap and honeycomb ice cream 13
Affogato, a shot of espresso vanilla bean ice cream
w’ one shot of either
frangelico
baileys irish crème
kahlua
drambuie 12

I have new boots to pick up from lay-by and some more baking and sewing to do tomorrow. After walking on an incline on the treadmill for ten minutes I think we will have an early night. If I can coax Peri and Gilly away from the Warmy bed: there's room for two if you squoosh up.