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July 2005
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September 2005

Let's get "Fysical", "Fysical".....

OK, so not as back as I though I was…I have knitted another ball of Zhivago and I am up to the underarm cast off and the decreases. I have used 3 balls and  have fallen behind on my plan. Oh well….. I have knitted a ball of the no-name green fuzzy wool from ACMA. I am knitting – wait for it – a blanklet, yes a small blanket or ruglet if you like. It is in feather and fan which seems, at the moment, undetectable amidst all the fuzziness. I will have to wait and see if it shows up. I cast on 100 stitches with 5mm and I am knitting a 5 stitch garter stitch border at each side and  8 rows garter stitch at each end. I plan on knitting several strips and sewing them together : three, I think. I have put the Snuggly cardigan aside for a while. I want to knit up my cardigan ASAP, so as to be able to buy more yarn if I need it – and I think I will.

The Labradors are well and fairly happy. Peri didn’t roll in the dead wallaby yesterday, and came when I called her. Harki wants to play but none of her toys suit, so she just wanders around sulking. I need to buy her new toys!!

Southern Cross played the missing Stargate-SG1 episode ‘Prometheus Unleashed’ on Thursday night, very unexpectedly. I don’t know why we couldn’t see it before. There was a tiny mention of Atlantis but not enough to be a spoiler in these days of ep guides and the internet. Anyhow it set up nicely the reappearance of Vala in season 9 to replace Carter. Season 8 came in the mail yesterday as did Battlestar Galactica , the new series, season 1 and a very cute T-shirt. ACMA is going to wear it as it is black, and you know me – I can only wear green ( blue/black jeans  are allowed out of necessity) I bought a new pair of khaki coloured trousers, 60% off, so they were only $16. They are too long so I will take them up and wear them this evening to Janette’s party. It is a round number party and we are all meant to come dressed as something beginning with ‘F’. I think I am going as a female or someone ‘fysically unwell’. That’s the best I can do, I’m lucky to actually get there the way I am going!!

Oh, and thanks to Rachael's recommendation I bought Notebook Magazine which is very good, and I also bought a subscription for 6 months for only $25. Can't go wrong really. And when I rang up I found I could renew my Delicious at the same time : Bonus!!!

This recipe comes with Mark and Di’s lip smacking approval. I took it to their house for tea last night. I couldn’t eat any as it is chocolate.

No-cook Chocolate Tart

  • 150 g Chocolate Ripple biscuits, crushed

  • 90 g butter, melted

  • 1 tbspn cocoa

  • 1 tbspn brown sugar

  • 200g chocolate

  • 125 ml cream

  • 30 g butter

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 250 ml cream, whipped with -

  • 1 tspn vanilla extract

Mix crushed biscuits, cocoa, brown sugar and melted butter, press into a lined 20 or 23 cm springform tin. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Melt the chocolate, butter and cream, stirring till smooth. Add the eggs and beat thoroughly. Gently fold in the whipped cream and vanilla. Pour into tin and refrigerate 3 hours at least or overnight. Serve with more whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate curls ( or a crumbled Flake)


Back in Black ( well green actually)

I am back in the land of the – well, semi-living. After feeling boogelly for two days and sleeping for most of them I am not exactly A-OK,  I’m aiming for D-OK!!!!

The Labradors are sleeping soundly on the couch, Peri is using the Labrador cushion as her pillow. Harki hasn’t wanted to go out in the rain to find a toy so she tried to get me to put a plastic bag inside another plastic bag. It just doesn’t work. You can’t throw it.

I have knitted the rib and 24 rounds of my sock. The lace pattern is easy to remember and I can easily see which row I should be working on. I have to pick up some more Zhivago this afternoon so I can do mindless, finger resting knitting. The tiny steel double pointed needles make holes in my fingers.

This afternoon we are off to buy a birthday present, and to go to Petit Point which is closing down. This is sad. In the last 3 years almost all of the small independent shops have closed down. I hope for some bargains though.

Oh, dogs do dream, Harki’s tail is wagging and she is fast asleep. Don’t children look so cute and angelic when they are asleep???

Ricotta and Cream Cheese Spread (Fresh)

  • 200g fresh ricotta cheese

  • 125 g cream cheese

  • 1 tbspn caster sugar

  • 1 tbspn honey

  • 2 tspn lemon zest

  • 6 dried apricots, chopped

  • 2 tbspn raisins or sultanas

Beat cheese and sugar till smooth. Stir in the honey, zest and dried fruit. You can add any dried or glace fruit according to your preferences. Will store in the fridge for up to four days. Eat for breakfast or brunch spread on thick fruit and nut toast.


Don't sleep in the hallway Darlin'

Lethargy has overtaken me today. I had plans : A man, a plan , a canal ; Panama !! ( This is my favourite Palindrome, read it backwards!!!)The Panama plan had nothing on me, yet, I didn’t wake up till 9-30 am and I have had 2 substantial naps thus far. I feel fuzzy headed and even refused an offer of free food from Aunty Captain Mrs Archer.  I have worn pyjamas all day and couldn’t summon the energy to put on real going out clothes. I could have slept in the hallway, the subway or on the couch.....

This afternoon, while I was sleeping, the postman left sock wool and sock cotton and also my lovely Noro Silk Garden too. It was a toss up but the sock cotton won and is about to be knitted into lacy socks.

I have finished the second ball of Zhivago for my Lace Edged Cardigan. I accidentally knitted a whole ball last night, bar 5 or 6 rows. I was surprised, but it means I am up to date with my one ball every two days vow.

That’s all I am up to really. I have had old people’s tea as ACMA is wont to call it – tea at 4 pm!!!


Wearing a football on my head

My scarf is finished, all 1.5 m of it!! I wore it after lunch, inside, even though it was far too hot. I looped it very loosely so I could enjoy its ambience. The Labradors are in love with the scarf too. I shall have to guard against them.

Baby Max is so lovely. He is like a little Harry the dog. I started to believe that I had made Harry up. No-one remembered his story from Play School until finally Aunty Captain Mrs Archer confirmed his fictional reality!!! I loved the story of “No Roses for Harry”.

Max sounds like a little crocodile when he is upset, but he knows his name and he comes when you call him. He is so cute. We had lovely afternoon tea with scones and jam and cream, and smoked cheese and blueberry muffins and even more!! I stayed until the witching hour – 15 minutes before I had to be home for my mum to ring. I must be home at 7 pm on Sunday to talk to her or I am in big trouble!!!

So, after a wet walk this morning and a quick dip in the be-treed dam,  I watched American Broadway, New Tricks , half of Canterbury Tales: The Miller’s Tale, CSI:Ornery and CSI:YMCA. I am all watched out now!!

I knitted more of my Zhivago cardigan and I bought a new doona cover. Surprisingly there were lots and I had no trouble at all finding them. Oh, it is, of course, the green tie-dye one in the bottom right hand corner of the page, as if you didn’t know!!!

There, my life is very boring today. My ennui should inspire anyone to believe that however mundane their life , it is a celebrity lifestyle compared to mine!!! Oh and I am wearing the deflated football on my head because it amuses Harki and she really really wants the footy. See, my life is just sad!!!!!

Banana Cinnamon Muffins

  • 4 small, ripe bananas

  • 1 tbspn lemon juice

  • 75 ml buttermilk or sour cream

  • 60 ml honey

  • 40 g melted butter

  • 1 egg

  • 300 g plain flour

  • 2 tspn baking powder

  • ½ tspn cinnamon

  • 110 g brown sugar

Preheat oven to 200 C ( 180 ff) and set out  12 muffin cases into the muffin tin. Mash the bananas with the lemon juice, add the buttermilk/sour cream, honey, butter and eggs and mix well. Sift  the other ingredients and fold in. Divide evenly between the muffin cases and bake for about 25 minutes. I like to top them with a sprinkled mixture of 70 g caster sugar and ½ tspn cinnamon.


Hanks for the memory....

I have just spent 45 minutes untangling the Silky print Faux fur that I am making into a scarf. It came in a weird form : a small hank, wound and bound with a label. The first one I put on a bottle and it wound into a ball beautifully. So, of course, the second hank decided to become a tangled mess, despite my care. I have ended up with 5 joins, but as it is so furry and hairy any ends will just blend into the scarf ( I hope!! The first ball had no joins, Nil, Niente, Non, etc)  The yarn is a mix of turquoise, green, and all the shades in between and I am knitting with 21 stitches on 4mm and it makes subtle stripes!! It is very cool, and warm too. It feels very soft. So one ball down and one to go.

I have knitted almost a ball of the Zhivago for my Lacy Edge Cardigan. It looks great, but knitting with 4.5 mms is not as comfortable as knitting with 4 mm needles. Nevertheless, I am persevering. I hope to knit a ball every 2 days, so it should take a month to make. A good goal. I will need a skirt to match ASAP!!!

Dr Who was excellent. A great episode and a terrific ending AND the new Doctor too!! David Tennant made a good entrance, and although Christopher Eccleston has been one of the better Doctors, I am not averse to a new one. In fact, if you are a Dr Who aficionado, implicit in your enjoyment is an acknowledgement that the Doctor will and you will like it, get over it, and move on!!!

I am off to see the van der Molens for afternoon tea, with dog presents and patterns and Rocky Road. I will pop into Spotlight as they have some green doona covers for about $30 on sale. Just my luck there will be none left.

Rocky Road

  • 125 g dark chocolate

  • 200 g nutty milk chocolate ( hazel, almond etc)

  • 100 pink marshmallows, chopped

  • 50-100 g nuts of your choice

  • 50-100 g Turkish Delight

  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

Line a small square tin or a loaf tin with baking paper. Melt the dark chocolate and spread as a base. Then melt the nut chocolate and mix in the other ingredients till well combined. Press into the tin and refrigerate till needed. Cut with a sharp, hot knife and eat!!!


Look both ways - someone's swatching....

I knitted my moss stitch swatch ( I kind of detest that word, I need a new one. I will think on it)

What I needed : 19 stitches and  33 rows over 10 cm  using old 8s/4mm

What I got!!!   : 23 stitches and 37 rows

With 4.5 mm   : 22 stitches and 32 rows

How can this be?? I am NOT knitting on 5mm needles!!! Now I have fewer rows, but still more stitches. I doubt very much if I would get down to 19 stitches unless I used giant needles, and I shan’t.

I  bought new needles, 4.5 mm and I have tried it again. Really though, I have decided. 5mm needles are just too big, I feel as if I am knitting with broomsticks. 4.5mm is as big as I will go. The yarn looks great though, it has a light and dark mottled kind of effect. I want to knit something else in this yarn now and I haven’t even started this yet, let alone finished it. So I am knitting the cardigan on the left, the lacy edged one, but in the green colour of the very frilly one!!!

               Lacy_edge_cardigan                       Frilly_edge_cardigan                                                                                                                           

       

The new Simply Knitting from the UK is out with quite a similar cardigan. I might make that too. Lacy knitted edging is all the go at the moment apparently.

I also picked up the new unofficial and unauthorised guide to Dr Who. It is pretty much the same as the authorised ones, but I must have it. I also went to Petrach’s and cancelled the 8th Dr orders as the only 8th Dr books now won’t be canon. I ordered the next three 9th Dr books. They should be here in September. I also ordered The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller. It looked good  and I read the blurb in another shop. I write the books I want on my wrist and then go and find them in Petrach’s!!!

I am off to watch TV – the end of Silent Witness ( or Witless Silence as French and Saunders like to say!!!) and Spooks. I still have Thursdays Dr Who to watch as well. Tonight is the last of the new Dr Who. I am off to ACMA’s to watch it and have an assembled platter for tea. I am making my version of Nigella’s Runny Chocolate Pudding : the outside of the pudding is cooked and you crack the top with a spoon and inside is a hot fudgy sauce and you pour cream in!! I can’t eat it, but ACMA can. I am also making some Rocky Road for Matthew, Suzanne, Daniel and Olivia, and I will need to get Fifi, Tommy and puppy Max a present too.

Nigella’s Runny Chocolate Puddings ( My Way)

  • 125 g good dark chocolate

  • 125 g butter

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 3 heaped tbspn plain flour

  • a dash of vanilla extract

You can make these well ahead and keep them I  the fridge for a few days, covered, of course. Preheat the oven to 200 C ( 180 ff) Melt the butter and chocolate and mix . Stir in the sugar and beat in the eggs and vanilla. Sift in the flour and  make sure it is all thoroughly combined. Divide evenly between 4 ramekins or other little ovenproof dishes.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, depending on your oven Watch carefully, as they should have a decent crust formed on the top and sides, but still be runny inside. As they have a high sugar and fat content they will burn quite easily. To serve -  place ramekins on a saucer, and let everyone crack open the top of the pudding with their teaspoon and then  pour in the cream. Be warned, you need lots!!!


Lara's Theme : and we have the snow to prove it!!!

I am eating my way out through 4 days : Dinner last night with Di, lunch with Jenny today and afternoon tea with Sue, a meal of some kind tomorrow with ACMA and then on Sunday with Matthew, Suzanne and Daniel and Olivia and their new puppy, Max!!! I shall not have to cook at all !!! Today I accidentally bought two new pairs of green shoes, costing $105 altogether. “That will see you all fixed up for shoes now,” said the sales woman. I had to give a silent laugh of derision!! Fancy me ever being fixed up for green shoes!! Never, I say, never…..I want to buy some of that storage system that you hang up and keep shoes in, with all the little compartments. I have too many shoes for the shelf in the wardrobe now. I want to see my shoes in all their green glory.

Sharon has the new Zhivago pattern book and I took one look at her blog and had to go out and buy it immediately. I am knitting the first cardigan in moss stitch with the lacy edging, but in green, of course. I am making – shock, horror – a swatch!! Now I expect to find that I have too many stitches and I will need a 4.5 mm. I don’t have  4.5 mm casein needles so I will have to wait till the morning to buy some. Stay tuned!!!

There are 3 or 4 other things, including a vest that I think only needs some sleeves and it will be a cardigan. I shall investigate this one – in green of course!!!

Last night was the opening episodes of the fourth season of Alias. I am definitely not in love with the new opening titles featuring the many faces of Syd, but the show was good, and I am looking forward to the story unfolding. I do think the wig person does an outstanding job. Her hair always looks real. A nice new casual feel to the clothes and hair as well.

Very freezing today, -3 C and yet Peri still went dippy diving in the overflowing creek…..the puddles had at least a centimetre of ice on them and all the ground was crunchy and frozen. The Labradors still found time to sunbake at home and were toasty warm.

Jam Drops

  • 90 g butter

  • ½ tspn vanilla extract

  • 85 g caster sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • 150 g plain flour

  • ¼ tspn baking powder

  • jam of your choice

Preheat oven to 170 C ( 150 ff) and grease and line a tray.  Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and yolk till combines and stir in the sifted dry ingredients. Mix very well, I like to use my hands.  Divide mixture into 16 even pieces , roll into balls and place on the trey. Make a dent in the top using the end of a wooden spoon, or, as I do, your thumb or finger. Fill dents with jam and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool on tray. They should still be quite pale.

Vest_that_needs_sleeves_to_be_a_cardigan


I am forced to always let my conscience be my guide....

The whole bottom half and west side of the island are snowbound to some extent. Schools and businesses have been closed, heaps of roads are closed and they are expecting more snow too. We on the north and east side have had a cool but very sunny day. No snow, not even the glimmer of an idea of snow.  The Labradors have found patches of warm sun to lie in all day and it has been brisk but Spring-like here. Poor snow people, though they will no doubt be having fun playing with the white stuff.

Yesterday I  had one of my many attacks of honesty. The very thought of doing something dishonest gives me a bad physical feeling. The check out assistant didn’t charge me for one bunch of celery and my trevalla ( about $12) I looked at my docket outside the shop and started to walk towards my car but I couldn’t. I couldn’t leave. I had to go back inside and go to the Help desk and pay for the 2 items. When I had I felt so good. I felt happy and a weight was lifted from me. Having an overactive conscience is annoying, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today had been a stay-at-home day. We slept in, we wore sloppy clothes, we read and ate lamb chops on sticks and that is all we did. I am off to Smokey Joe’s, a Cajun/New Orleans style café for tea with Di, and I have morning and afternoon tea  tomorrow as well. It is a good thing that I am so well rested. Last night I accidentally went to bed at 6-30 pm after Dr Who and slept till nearly 9 pm. Then I got up, watched the Tilty-headed man and then went straight back to sleep when I went to bed.

I have finished Warlord and I want Jennifer Fallon to write another trilogy about what will happen next IMMEDIATELY!!! This Hythrun trilogy was really great and I wish it hadn’t ended. I am keeping my spreadsheet of books read from June 1st this year and so far it is 37. I need to pick up the pace a bit, I’m taking about 2 days to read a book. This it the toll knitting takes!!! Someone has named their wool colour ( bamboo??) after a place in Narnia, Look here at Cair Paravel!!! How cool is that? Very cool. I can’t wait for the movie and the colours in the yarn are very Narnia.

Cheese and Capsicum Savouries

  • 12 slices of good bread

  • 60 g melted butter

  • 1 tbspn olive oil

  • 1 red onion finely  chopped

  • ½ small red or green capsicum finely diced

  • ½ cup cheese grated

  • ¼ cup grated parmesan

  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

  • 2 rashers of bacon finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180 C ( 160 ff) Cut 2 x 5 cm rounds or whatever shape you like from each slice of bread. Fingers are nice too. Brush both sides with the melted butter and place on a lined tray and bake for 10 minutes.

Heat the oil in a pan and cook the onion, bacon and capsicum. Place in a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Spread on the toasted rounds and bake for a further 5-8 minutes.


Bits and Bobs but no House of Elliott

“Time is an illusion : Lunch time doubly so.”  (HHG2TG) Where does all the time go? Yesterday just ran through my fingers. In the morning I went to have some wodges of colour in my hair at 10 am. Home briefly then out to the Knitting Coven meeting where there was much knitting and chatting and a lovely glass of Riesling!! The weather was wet and wild, necessitating the use of the umbrella and hiding from the hail. Then home again for a nap and to bed.

Today we went for a walk and Peri swam twice in the overflowing creek. The GardyGardeners came for morning tea, then it was off to ACMA’s school where I started the children off on out Perth-assic Park Quilt. There was much dinosaur and reptile pattern making and some were cut out too.  Now I am home again and desperately in need of a nap, but I can’t until after Dr Who. It is the new Dr, Peter Davison tonight, and I must stay up just to see him!!!

I have finished the back of the Snuggly cardigan and am about 1/3 of the way up the left front. I will have to map out the exact number of rows so I can fit in the decreases etc so the fronts will be mirror images. Tomorrow I am staying home all day and I hope to organise my thoughts and order some Bendigo wool for a felted bag and something for me, at last!!! The Dog coat book and my Labrador earrings came with the postman today too!!!

Mini Banoffee Tarts

  • 250 g Granita biscuits

  • 125 g melted butter

  • 2 bananas

  • 1 tin condensed milk

  • 70 g brown sugar

  • 60 g cold butter

  • whipped cream to serve

Make the 4 or 6 tart cases by crushing the biscuits and adding the melted butter. Press into little tart tins and refrigerate. To make the caramel place the condensed milk, sugar and cold  butter in a large bowl and cook in the microwave for 1 minutes bursts, stirring well each time. This takes about 8 minutes, but it depends on the power of your microwave. Pour the caramel evenly into the tart cases and refrigerate till chilled.

Assemble the tarts by slicing the bananas on top of the caramel and then adding a big dollop of cream.


Bags the knitting book!!!!

How I love the new book I picked up from the Library with patterns for knitting bags. I am determined to make a felted bag, so I will study it and ask the advice of experienced felters at the Knitting Coven. I haven’t knitted a stitch today, but I will remedy that tonight and start knitting on the dot of Dr Who. I have ordered the Noro Silk Garden in green. I don’t know what I will do with it but it is so green I had to have 2 balls at least.  I have also recklessly bid on 1 more lot of green sock wool on the Ebay and I am watching another. I have no socks on the go and my feet feel naked!!!

Harki and Peri had a long 25 minute walk today, with lots of running and chasing ( on their part) and I did some puffing and resting.  Harki is still desperately in love with her Unsqueaky chop. Peri has a catalogue and so is content. They both ‘saved’ me from the council workers pine barking the nature strip. There were growls and uppy tails and hackles. I had to let them out into the Forbidden Zone to peek through the gate so they could ascertain that all was ship shape.

Tonight I am making some more of the yummy Chicken soup I made a few nights ago. I am looking forward to it, even though it is a tad slurpy and dribbly in the actual eating department.

Tomorrow I am going to have some wodges of colour in my hair and then the Knitting coven is meeting. I am looking forward to seeing , in alphabetical order : Katt’s sleeve, Sharon’s  Wrap and Suzi’s sock!!!!

Raspberry and White Chocolate Slice

  • 100 g crushed biscuits

  • ½ cup coconut

  • 90 g melted butter

  • 1 1/2 tbspn gelatine

  • 100 g white chocolate, melted

  • 150 g cream cheese

  • 90 g caster sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 250 ml thickened cream

  • 1 tspn Rose Water or vanilla extract

  • 300 g frozen raspberries

Mix the butter, coconut and biscuits and pres into a lined 20 cm square tin. Refrigerate while you make the topping.

Place the gelatine in 2 tbspn water. Heat for 20-30 second in the microwave to dissolve. Cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla or Rose Water until creamy then add the egg, cream, melted chocolate and  gelatine . Mix briefly. Pour into the tin and top with raspberries, pushing them into the creamy cheese mixture.  Refrigerate overnight and cut into squares with a hot knife. Use a peeler to add extra white chocolate curls to the top as a decoration!!!.