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Friday Food: Ginger Pumpkin Bread

A pumpkin recipe: Halloween perhaps?? No, my recipe was inspired by the fact that pumpkin was $1 a kilo yesterday. Today it was $2-14 but I didn't let that stand in my way. What I especially love about this bread is that it improves with keeping, just the right kind of cake for me as I plan to keep this for Morning Tea on Wednesday. It also made 3 cute little loaves, which is a bonus.

Pumpkin bread

This recipe calls for a tin of pumpkin puree, but I couldn't buy any here. Instead I steamed some pumpkin, with the skin on, because when it is soft it is so much easier to peel and The Labradors are crazy for pumpkin. You need approximately 420g of pumpkin puree, and maybe 1kg of cut pumpkin to start with. I put the pumpkin in the steamer over the saucepan and it took about 25 minutes to cook. I just mashed it up, and didn't need to put it in the food processor at all. I think any kind of pumpkin would be fine.

I also added some freshly grated ginger, to ginger up the bread!!! If you like ginger, I'd really recommend this. The foil tins I used measure 20 x 11 cm (8 x 4 inches) and each holds 500g of the batter. Although the recipe recommends 175*C, I think if your oven is fan-forced 160*C would be a better temperature. My cakes peaked and then split on top. I am beastly careless, but if you crave perfection, use the lower temperature.

I didn't add an icing at all, but a simple lemon glaze would do nicely.


Ginger Pumpkin Bread    makes 3 small loaves

  • 420g pumpkin pureed or mashed: butternut, Australian Grey eg
  • 375g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1/2 tspn salt flakes
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 2 tspn ground ginger
  • 180g butter, melted and cooled a little
  • 220g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 220g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • thumb sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated: if you like

Sometime before you want to bake, prepare the pumpkin puree or mash.


Preheat the oven to 175*C, or 160*C fan-forced, and grease and line three

20 x 11 cm loaf tins.

Dry ingredients

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and ground ginger. Set aside.

Wet ingredients

To the cooled pumpkin, add the caster and brown sugars, eggs, melted butter and some freshly grated ginger if you so choose. Mix to combine thoroughly.

Combine and tins

Finally pour the dry ingredients into the wet and whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared loaf tins, distributing evenly. Drop each tin onto the bench, gently, to make sure there are no bubbles in the loaves.

Baking and cooling

Bake for about 50 minutes, rotating the tins half way through. The loaf is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then place on a rack until completely cold.

The cakes will keep well. Wrap them in clingfilm and store in an airtight container. You can also, of course, freeze them. As I can eat Ginger Pumpkin Bread, I did. It is deliciously moist and full of flavour. Happy Great Pumpkin bread making!!!

Ginger Pumpkin Bread

It's Time, Men And Women Of Australia.


Last week Edward Gough Whitlam died.

It wasn't time to be sad.

It was time to remember.

It was time to be thankful for a life well lived.

It was time to hope one day there could be another to fill Gough's shoes.

It was his time.

I remember the It's Time campaign and the way he swept into Government, Margaret at his side as an equal, not an accessory. They were two marvellous people, and I admired them both. The Dismissal is burned into my mind, I remember the shock and I do maintain the rage even now. It is a mark of our trust in institutions, or total apathy, that there wasn't a revolution. Norman Gunston reported live from the middle of the action.


I can't possibly list all of his Government's achievements, but I certainly benefited from them and still do today.

It is the end of an era.

And now for something completely different: two Labradors!!!

Peri and Gilly are so cute

Peri and Gilly are looking very cute and they do love having their picture taken. JaneJet took a picture of all the dogs: Sandy, Peri, Gilly and Jet, all waiting for a treat.

Sandy Peri Gilly and Jet

Speaking of something completely different, I went to see Spamalot last week. I laughed like all get out. It was so funny and as it was the opening night there were a few things that went wrong and the cast just took it in their stride with some clever ad libs. This week I am off to see The Vicar of Dibley with Sue Hodge from 'Allo 'Allo!

Recipe to Riches has started again on Ten and so once again I am reviewing each week's winner. Last week it was Mrs Miller's Easy Bake Chocolate Cherry biscuits.


Basically frozen biscuit dough that you bake in the oven for 11-15 minutes. I was disappointed about that because on the show the big selling point was 12 minutes, which they said about a hundred times. There were 8 pieces of frozen dough for $5-99 which works out to approximately 75 cents per biscuit. They were indeed easy to bake, but there was no uniformity of size.

R2r baking

Some were small, some medium and some large which means that if you baked a variety of sizes together the small were over cooked, the medium fine and the large biscuits weren't cooked at all and fell apart.

Too big to bake

I had no-one to taste the biscuits and so, for my blog, I ate chocolate. They were tasty, not terribly rich and the sour cherry was a nice addition. I think if you wanted 8 nice biscuits these would be fine as emergency freezer backups. However, you can stir up some Flourless Choc Chip biscuits ( no nuts) for just 20 cents a biscuit and I know they are good. You would get 30 of those for $6-00.

I have been knitting again: an animal themed scarf and the second of a pair of socks. My finger is almost healed and though it is tender, I can knit. I need to pick up my cardigan again before the weather is too hot. Still, it will be -4*C with snow on Ben Lomond tonight.


I caught up with Kate Knightly Knitter and her lovely patient children for lunch and then the next day MrsMauritius and Bella'sMum too. In fact I did so much catching up that I had to have three days resting up in bed. Kate Knight gave me some delicious apricot jam and even though I swore I wouldn't, I went home and had toast and jam for tea that night.

I spent some time lying in bed with a cool face flannel over my eyes, but the rest of the time I divided between reading and using my Ipad. I have read so many books of late, that I can barely keep them straight in my head. I did spend a month looking for a Library book that The System insisted I hadn't returned. I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought I remembered taking it back, but because I take a lot of books back I wasn't sure. Last week The System 'found' my book. Thank goodness.

Oh and I have new solar lights. The KMart has the lights at Christmas time and I didn't discover them until far too late last year. I bought a set for $17 and put them by the path at the back gate. So pretty and sparkly. I think I need some more.


Peri has already gone to bed and Gilly is watching me closely in case I go to bed without her. They had a very exciting walk in the rain storm this morning and then had to be dried, which is a big job for them and me. It wore us all out. We'll sleep well tonight.

Friday Food: Rock Cakes

A rock cakeThis morning I had brunch with MrsMauritius and Bella'sMum and afterwards I gave Bella'sMum a lift. I had to move the morning tea and patty pan trays from the front seat and suddenly I thought of Rock Cakes. Mum always baked them in patty pan tins. I loved the golden brown rounded base of the cake and the crunchiness from the sprinkle of sugar on top.

And that's why I baked some Rock Cakes today and why I have eaten 6 of them already: three for afternoon tea and 3 more for supper. Rock Cakes are a kind of scone really, they are basically made the same way and then you add an egg and treat them as a little cake.

Traditional Rock Cakes have mixed peel, but I don't like it, so I added more sultanas and currants and the zest of half a lemon to compensate. You can add any dried fruits, or even glace cherries. I like to sprinkle a little ordinary sugar on top just as they go into the oven. You don't need very much and it is a little extra luxury.

I used my large spoon, I think it's a tablespoon, and I scooped up the mixture and then levelled off the spoon. I used my finger to push the dough off, and let the smooth side fall to the bottom. The rough peaks on top catch the heat of the oven and go golden brown. There are not many things better than a Rock Cake and a cup of tea.


Rock Cakes   makes about 2 dozen

  • 300g (2 cups) self raising flour
  • 1/2 tspn mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 90g chilled butter, cubed or roughly broken up
  • 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tbspn sultanas
  • 2 tbspn currants
  • 2 tbspn mixed peel
  • 1 egg
  • 60ml milk
  • a little ordinary sugar for the top

Preheat the oven to 200*C. If you don't have a patty pan tray, then you can just put the spoonfuls of dough onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Rub in the butter

Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a bowl and then rub in the butter. Just use your fingertips, and as you rub the butter in raise your hands from the bowl so that the flour is aerated as it falls back down. Basically you want it to be reasonably fine, and there shouldn't be any lumps of butter left: generally breadcrumb size.

Adding things

Add the sugar, dried fruit and peel and mix well, making sure it is evenly distributed and coated with flour.


Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk and add the egg. Whisk together in the well, it saves an extra bowl!!, and then gradually incorporate the dry ingredients until you form a dough. If it is a little dry, add some milk. If it is a little sticky, add a little more flour. Mine worked out perfectly.

Ta da

Fill the patty pan tray, sprinkle each with a little extra ordinary sugar if you like, and then bake for about 12 minutes. I checked after 7 minutes, turned my trays and then they were ready at 12 minutes. The tops will be slightly golden and the base of the cakes will be a lovely golden brown. Cool on a rack and then store in an airtight container. They will keep for a few days, but we used to cut them in half, toast them and eat them with butter if they were a little stale. Still delicious!!!

Rock cakes

Friday Food: Cheese & Bacon Rolly Uppy Things

Bacon rolly uppy thingsI'm not sure when the Australian Women's Weekly Easy Entertaining cook book was first published, but mine cost $5-98. They cost $12-95 today. It was a long time ago when I first made what they like to call "Cheese and Bacon Savouries" from their Wedding Breakfast section. I've always called them Cheese and Bacon Rolly Uppy Things. They are a marvellous savoury treat, and you can use whatever you fancy really: I never add the capsicum when I make them for MrsDrWho, I use some finely diced celery instead.

I use plain white sliced sandwich bread, and I bake the crusts for The Labradors as a treat so they're not wasted. The recipe is quite old and I couldn't find a tiny can of pimentos, instead I used some fire roasted capsicum in oil. Other than that, these are really straight forward. You can prepare them a day ahead and bake them when required. They will freeze for 2 months and can then be reheated for 20 minutes in a slow oven.

I only made half the recipe today, but it is easy to halve or double. You grate the cheese before you measure, not the other way around. I found some lovely local bacon, which always makes me happy. I used a tad more curry, as I found the 1/4 tspn wasn't quite enough. You can taste the filling and adjust it, which is handy. You will need a rolling pin, toothpicks and a kitchen basting brush too.


Cheese & Bacon Rolly Uppy Things   makes 28

  • 2 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 2 olives, chopped
  • 2 tbspn (40ml) mayonnaise
  • 1 tbspn of roasted capsicum, chopped
  • 1 tbspn chopped parsley
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tspn curry powder
  • 14 slices white sandwich bread
  • 30g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180*C. Line a tray with baking paper.


Cook the bacon in a pan until it is crisp and drain on some kitchen paper if necessary.

Things to add

Prepare the spring onion, capsicum, olive and parsley and add to the grated cheese, along with the bacon, mayonnaise and curry powder.

Cheesy completeness

Mix the filling until it is well combined and taste it, to see if you need to adjust anything.

Rolling flat

Trim the crusts from the bread. I found I could cut 3 or 4 slices at once, but that was my limit. Roll each slice one way and then the other with a rolling pin. You want it as flat as can be.


Then spread about a tablespoon of the mixture over each slice. I left a little border at the top and bottom, so it would roll more easily. Secure the slice with 2 toothpicks and then cut in half.

And bake

Place on the tray and then brush each savoury with a little melted butter. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove the toothpick and serve. I like them hot, warm and cold. In the cook book they serve them with the toothpick, but I think it safer to remove them first. You can trim any filling that has leaked out the side and do a little product testing before you serve them!!!

Cheese and bacon rolly uppy things

The Big 'Thing' Theory

I was watching The Big Bang Theory today and it really does make me laugh out loud, splutter and giggle. I do wonder why there is no nerdy ordinary female science professor who has a wondrously impossibly handsome, understanding and supportive boyfriend??? It's still a man's world out there in sit-com land.

There is no dress as yet. There is half a bodice toile 'thing'. You can't properly try on half a bodice, but the weird contortions I have made whilst trying to wear it seem to indicate that it might fit!!


There are two new skirts for MrsHouseOf. There will be a third too, using the fabric with the pattern.

3rd skirt

I have tried to use the skirt pattern creatively. The first skirt I made 10cm longer with the pockets.

First skirt

I played with the direction of the scalloped print in the second skirt and made it to the pattern length with no pockets at all. I like the attached elastic waistband. It is supposed to have buttonhole openings for the elastic/ties, but I left a gap in the back of the waistband centre back seam and threaded the elastic through that instead.

Second skirt

I bought her a cardi and a top to wear with the skirts. I am chuffed at my co-ordination luck!!! I think the fuchsia colour is in the material I have yet to sew as well. The cardi's colour is a tad difficult to photograph for me. I have a lot of material for the third skirt so I think I will try to add a ruffle at the hem.

  Top and cardi

The weather is very cool in the morning, but Peri has decided she likes a dip in the little creek anyway.  Gilly prefers the paddle pool at home, but at the dam she likes to supervise.

In the creek

Peri is enjoying the cold weather and this morning she was jumping all over Gilly when I went out. She had a wicked twinkle in her eye. There has been lots of running!! I think she has Sister Bertrille ears.

Peri cornering

Gilly was looking at Peri suspiciously at home. She's usually the one leaping about and running fast and Peri was too full of Spring Fever for her liking.

Gilly is suspicious

I made the yummiest cheese 'thing' the other day. I cut the top off a small round of Camembert (or Brie??) and poked in some slivers of garlic and fresh Rosemary and then baked it in the oven for about 15 minutes. It is so delicious served with some redcurrant jelly and crackers. A crusty baguette would be perfect too.

Cheesy goodness

Tomorrow I am baking Bacon and Cheese Rolly-Uppy Things. I used to make them all the time, and they popped into my head yesterday and I could not shake the idea. I now have 500 toothpicks if anyone ever needs any!! I shall take the 'Things' to sewing tomorrow evening, where we are having a catch up week. I have already sewed the blocks for next time:

Plume blocks

They are a kind of arrow, or ahalf of a star. One has the dark as the arrow and the other the light.

I'm waiting for the chocolate and orange cupcakes to cook. I didn't start making them until way too late. It has given me time to blog, buy some material from The Spoonflower and I made may own design too, Labradors of course!! 

There were such kind comments on my post about Mental As week. It is good to be aware of the way people may be affected by a mental illness. It may not the terrible stigma it was in the past, but it can still be difficult to cope if you, or someone you know, is diagnosed with any illness: mental or physical. I am glad that my family and friends don't differentiate between any of my many, many illnesses!!!

Now the cupcakes are cooked and The Labradors are waiting for their bed time treat, so we are off to bed now.

Friday Food: Caramel Maple Mud Cupcakes

A cupcakeWow, that's a long name for a cupcake that takes the shortest time to make. I was looking for a recipe to use up the end of the maple syrup that was melt and mix, and this Donna Hay recipe was perfect. You really do just melt and mix. I had far more trouble getting the consistency of the icing right!!!



The cupcakes don't rise very much. I used my usual ice-cream scoop to fill the cupcake papers half full, and that's pretty much they way they stayed: half full. I used a very full scoop and then another tablespoon of the mixture to make some larger cupcakes. I'm not really sure, but I think you could make 10 larger cupcakes and 16 smaller ones - they look sad, make the big ones.

I didn't use the frosting recipe, I just made a simple butter icing. There's no point in a simple melt and mix recipe if the frosting takes a mighty effort. It really is worth using proper maple syrup, and not the maple flavoured one.


Caramel Maple Mud Cupcakes   makes about 10

  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 160ml milk
  • 120g dark brown sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 75g white chocolate
  • 150g plain flour
  • 50g self raising flour
  • 1 egg

For the icing

  • 2 tspn softened or melted butter
  • 20-60ml maple syrup
  • about 1 cup of pure icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 160*C and line a muffin tin with papers.


Put the maple syrup, milk, sugar, butter and white chocolate into a saucepan over a low heat and stir until it is almost melted. Remove from the heat and stir until it is smooth. Cool for 10 minutes.

Flours and egg

Add the sifted flours and fold in till combined and then whisk in the egg.

Making baking

Fill the cupcake papers and bake for about 25 minutes for the larger cupcakes and 20 for the smaller ones. They are cooked when the top springs back when you touch it, or a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.


Place on a cake rack and leave to cool completely.


Make the icing by mixing the butter and maple syrup together. It looks a bit iffy, but once you start adding the icing sugar it starts coming together properly. I added a little too much icing sugar and then had to add more maple syrup. Again.

Fixing the icing

Once the cupcakes are cold, top them with the icing and enjoy. I iced mine by slowly letting a dessert-spoon full of the icing fall, swirlingly, onto the top of each cupcake. It seemed to work well.

Caramel maple mud cupcakes

Un-iced these should keep for a week in an airtight container, or they can be frozen. I wouldn't ice them until they were ready to eat.

The Pyjama Games

I am partial to a Doris Day film, and to her singing as well. She's one of those people I always wonder about: has she died or is she still alive?? As of right now, she's either ninety, or ninety-two, and still going. When I searched the internet for The Pyjama Game film I couldn't find it at first, that would be because Americans spell it pAjama. We spell it as pYjama. I have a few pieces of material that I bought to sew skirts, but now I sew dresses. I really loved the green rose print and so I decided to make some pyjama shorts.

Pyjama shorts

This is a free pattern from Melly Sews. You have to sign up for a newsletter, but there are quite a few free patterns so I don't mind. I am not any size included in the pattern, so I had to add quite a few centimetres and next time I will also add some length so that the waist elastic sits a little more at my (so-called) waist. This is the first thing I sewed with my new machine and it was such a delight to use. Sewing heaven!!

That's just about all that has been happening at our house. I finished the Ender Dragon costume and didn't take a single photo. Then on Monday and Tuesday I had a bit of a migraine. The Labradors and I slept all day on Monday after our walk and all I ate was a few of The Labradors' seaweed rice crackers. Tuesday I felt a little dull and so we slept all day again. It is very lucky that Peri and Gilly don't mind sleeping.

Rafa's dad and mum are back from their overseas trip, and Rafa from his dog hotel too. All the dogs met up at the dam and Sandy's mum came too. Can you guess which two dogs just love to have their photos taken?? If there was an idog-phone, they would be taking selfies all the time!!

Peri, Rafa and Gilly

Peri Rafa Gilly

Sandy, Gilly and Peri

Sandy Gilly Peri

Gilly loves to walk to the top of the hill, she is quite sturdy and marches up briskly. She likes to be first. Sandy's mum offered to take her right up to the very top where her car was parked. Peri and I said goodbye and we walked back down the hill to our car. We drove up and barely went round the first bend and there was Sandy, his mum and dad and Gilly. Apparently Gilly was fine until Peri and I were out of sight and then she would not budge. She wouldn't go another step, and cried and whined piteously. Peri was beastly careless until she saw Gilly. Gilly had to be comforted and she tried to climb in the door to reach Peri. Shes' been a little clingy today, but I am not playing into her hands and we are being jolly and confident.

Gilly's expedition

It's Show Day today and this week we have had electrical storms, wild winds, sun and rain. That's Show weather. I still can't knit so I have been doing lots and lots of reading and watching Falling Skies on TV here, and Farscape at MrsDrWho's house. There are four series of Falling Skies to watch and they are making a final fifth to conclude the story. I hate it when a series just stops, with no proper ending. TV is great at the moment with new The Blacklist, Marvel Agents of Shield, Salamander, Madam Secretary, Scorpion, Modern Family, The Code. Oh and all the NCISes. The ABC has some great new shows coming soon and I so enjoyed The Bletchley Circle and I am sad it has been cancelled.

Yes, I like TV, but I do only watch the things I like and I especially like The ABC's curent affairs shows and news. The marvellous thing about using a DVR is that you can deleted the advertisements, or start watching the show after it has started and fast forward through the ads, so it really does only take forty minutes to watch a programme.

I made some granola this afternoon. Tomorrow is the last day of the school holidays so I am going to bake something especially nice for MrsDrWho, to ease her back into the last term of school!!

It has been Mental As week on The ABC: a focus on mental health. RUOK? Day is a great idea for some, but it didn't work for me. My friends asked me all the time if I was OK, and so did my GP, but I could not tell them I wasn't mentally well. I had depression and anxiety. I also have a tiny part of me that looks after me, and that part made me ring my GP and sometime psychologist when I was sure I couldn't go on and felt suicidal. Reaching out for help was the best thing I have ever done, and just as I take drugs and have treatment for my physical chronic illness, so I take medication and go to counselling to maintain my mental health and well being. I'm glad to be here.

Friday Food: Apple Brandy Sauce-ish

Apple pie cheesecake yumI am not exactly sure what to call this, but I suppose sauce is the nearest thing, or accompaniment. This is from The Taste magazine and I made it as part of their Apple Pie Cheesecake recipe. It is, however, marvellous all by itself. This is my version of the sauce.


In the actual recipe the apples are cut into whole wafer thin slices, but I don't find this very user friendly when I am eating. If the apples are cut into small chunks it is so much easier to serve and to eat. The amounts given in the recipe are for one small apple, but I made a batch using 3 apples, so don't be alarmed when there looks to be a large amount in the photos. To make my sauce today I just tripled the ingredients.

I used Cinzano because I have it, and I have no brandy. I am sure other alcohol would be a good substitute for brandy, or you could use apple juice. The sauce is cooked until the alcohol evaporates so you could safely eat and drive.

I used Granny Smith apples. I will not lie, in order to get a golden colour the smaller pieces of apple cooked down to a puree. I think this is because I had to cook the apples for a longer time because I was making a larger amount. I had more apples and so I cut up another apple and just lightly sautéed it so that the little pieces stayed whole. If you are making a larger quantity be aware, or use a different kind of apple.

That's about it really. The sauce will keep for at least a week in the fridge. If you can resist.....

NB I am using an Australian Tablespoon, which is 20ml.

Apple Brandy Sauce    

  • 2 tbspn brown sugar
  • 1 tbspn caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbspn Brandy
  • 1 1/2 tbspn lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple: peeled, cored and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 1-2 tbspn thickened cream
  • a tiny pinch of salt flakes

Prepare all the ingredients:

Mix the sugars together,


and the Brandy and lemon juice.

Brandy and lemon juice

Peel the apple. I also like to cut the very top and base off. This makes it easier to slice. I usually cut 3 sections and then cut 1 cm chunks.


Now heat a frypan over medium heat and melt the butter. Once it is bubbling, add the apple and saute till the apple is golden. Add the Brandy and lemon juice and turn up the heat if necessary, so that the liquid evaporates quite quickly.

Saute and add liquid

Stir in the sugar and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until it caramelises. Pour in the cream.

Sugars and cream

Return to the heat for 1 minute and stir in the cream gently. This is where I realised I had overcooked my apples, because I was making a bigger quantity. You can see I've added the extra apple in the second photo. Add the tiny pinch of salt, and then serve warm, or cool, and refrigerate in an airtight container.

And it is done

And here is the Apple Brandy Sauce, served with some buttermilk pikelets and a drizzle of cream. So perfect.

Apple brandy sauce in action

Salagadoola Mechicka Boola BIB-ety-bobbidi-boo

Good news on the Finger Front. The Kind Nurse and my GP assured me I would be fine to look at it when I went to have it dressed. I was fine and it is healing up so well I don't have to go back unless it is infected. Yay!! I am looking forward to being able to knit properly again next week sometime.

MrsDrWho and I went for lunch yesterday, and then went shopping, She bought lots of crop trousers, a top and some fabulous shoes. I bought shoes too. I have two new pairs. They are both wedge shoes, the first in a spinach colour. It is hard to photograph and neither is the right colour.

New shoes

The second pair looked rather too high, but on MrsDrWho's advice I tried them on and I can jolly well walk jolly well in them. Unless I win Tattslotto, I think I pretty much have a full shoe wardrobe for the warm weather.

New shoes 2

I whipped up a bib last week using Anchorline Magic cotton. I like the idea of a bib that is actually a dishcloth with a strap and I know I've knitted some before, but I didn't add them to My Ravelry. So I cast on (twice) and then when I reached the top I did some short rows so that the bib would be closer to a baby's neck than if the top was just straight. I also put the buttonhole in the bib and not the strap. If the strap stretches and the button is on the bib, it doesn't fit well any more. This way, you just resew the button to the new spot and you are away!!


The weather yesterday was Show Weather, it's Show Day next Thursday: Agricultural Show. It was cold, wet, windy and wild. It was blow your umbrella inside out weather. Today it was warm and sunny again. Peri and Gilly took advantage of the toasty warm foam and sunned themsleves in turn.

Sunny days for Peri and Gilly

Now Peri is feeling better she runs and plays with Gilly and they posed for photos on our walk yesterday. We met Jet and JaneJet as well as Sandy and his dad. Peri and Gilly ran as fast as their legs could carry them to greet Jet and his mum. They remember them even after almost a year. There were so many tails wagging!! JaneJet is going to send me a photo anon.

Seriously Labradors

My last foray into the realm of polenta was not very successful. I was not deterred. The SMH often has a Meatless Monday feature and I decided to cook Soft Polenta with Mushrooms. I think the secret to success is where the recipe says to add 100ml of extra milk is it was needed. It was and I did. Oh what a delight it was, marvellous in fact. I will definitely make this again. I used Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice and dried thyme. I have some fresh Rosemary so I might try it with that too.

Meatless monday

I have an accidental tradition of making Halloween costumes for MasterSingapore. Last year it was an ant from a Ipad game, this year an Ender Dragon from MineCraft. I knew it was a success when he tried it on and then refused to take it off so I could finish it. He chose to wear it for twenty-four hours and then wait for it to be posted rather than wait a day and be able to take it home. He built a lair and menaced us all evening!! I used this tutorial for the tail, but I put a zip in the top so it could be filled with stuffing when it arrives in Singapore.

Ender dragon

He doesn't want 3D cubes and I can cut off the top and bottom flaps and sew the side ones together. And even though I tried really hard to make the wing shape perfect, I sewed them on backwards with the shiny silver lines at the front.  I will be able to sew with my new Sewing Machine. MrsDrWho conspired with her sister, who sent me the sewing machine I had wanted as a Christmas and Birthday and Christmas present (or so I decreed!!) Truly, I am the luckiest person, not because I am given things, but because people think so kindly of me and want me to be happy. I am very grateful and I had to take to my bed for a little post present recover nap!!!


I had such poor and dismissive service from the Janome retailer in town, but MrsSingapore bought the machine from The Mainland and there was free delivery, a new pair of scissors and I didn't have to trade in my old machine. I would have bought lots more things at the shop in too, but I won't go there again.

New dress launching

I worked out how to watch my Crafty classes through my Ipad to the AppleTV. I am inspired to start a new dress. I need to revisit the Adjust the Bust class, and I am using a pattern I already own. It only takes 3m of 115cm fabric. I reckon I can sew a dress in a fortnight!! I am full of best laid plans and roads to hell paved with good intentions, but I am going to give it a Red Hot Go, all my fingers being well!!!