Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cooking up a storm!

From this:

to this (and more, but I am not photographing it all):

A friend and her husband took me to the Canning Vale Saturday clearance markets this weekend. I don't drive so it's impossible for me to get to otherwise, and they have no kids and not huge amounts of storage space, so by taking me with them they could split boxes with me. I also supplied the stroller for carrying the boxes!

Apart from it being bloody freezing down there at 7.30am, it was pretty good. I got:

- box of oranges
- box of Pink Lady apples
- box of plums
- half a huge bag of baby spinach, $5
- half a huge bag of basil (I used 250g of leaves to make pesto and still have heaps left)
- half a box of tomatoes (5 kg)
- 2 eggplant
- 2 zucchini
- 2 butternut pumpkins
- 2 leeks

for the grand total of $42 (and I'm only learning - I could've got the apples for cheaper if I'd shopped around at the various stalls better). So far I've cooked up basil & spinach pesto, tomato & basil pasta sauce, roasted tomato passata, plum teacake, plum muffins, beef & barley soup, and pumpkin soup. The kids have eaten a good amount of the apples and I'm going to freeze some according to this method, for making pies/crumbles. I'm going to juice the oranges and freeze in ice cube trays for baking and sorbets. I blanched and froze the rest of the spinach and will use for spinach and ricotta triangles this week. The eggplants are going into eggplant curry tonight and then eggplant pasta sauce for the freezer. I stewed a big batch of the plums and they're in the fridge for snacks/desserts/breakfast (with yogurt for breakfast, custard for dessert). I might make some jam but I need jars first.

Basically this will mean that I have quick healthy lunches and dinners ready when I'm tired. It will reduce our food bill over the next month or so.

I should probably add here that the Thermomix is my best friend ;)

I would definitely recommend these markets if you're in Perth and are able to preserve the produce in some way, and/or buy with friends and use it quickly. Just take a hat and gloves!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I finished!!

Unfortunately, as you can see from the following photo, I obviously didn't know about checking dyelots way back when I purchased this yarn:

The gauge was also a little off, probably because of the long delay between one sock and most of the next. But, really, socks aren't that tough! I need to take the plunge and get into some of the yummy sock yarn I have.

These were knitted in Cleckheaton Country Silk 8ply (85% wool, 15% silk), to be nice soft warm house socks for winter. I'm wearing them now; they're definitely snuggly.

Today I went through a tub of unfinished projects and ripped out three that I just wasn't going to finish (and in fact I couldn't remember what pattern I was knitting from!), which now leaves me with NO unfinished knitting projects. Meaning I need to cast on for something new ... or get stuck into the sewing projects.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I whipped myself up a pair of pyjama pants tonight because, embarrassingly, I ripped the seat of my old ones, heh. They were getting a bit old :) I'd take a photo, but you don't want to see me in my pyjamas!

The sock is getting there - I hope to proudly announce its completion soon (my feet are getting cold).

Monday, May 3, 2010

I don't think I posted about this boring yet nifty little project I did. Evie's been wriggling out of the 5-pt harness in her carseat. I was going to buy a 'seatbelt wrap' thingy, but they're $15 or so with no guarantee that they'll work.

So I made my own.

It's simply two rectangles of polar fleece, sewn together and turned right way out. Fold in the sides so they meet with about a 1.5cm overlap, and mark where you need to fold it. Sew three rows of strong 1.5inch Touch Tape, hook in the middle and loop on the two sides. Attach four snaps to the overlapping part.


She hasn't managed to get out of it yet. (Oh, and that's her "cheese!" face, not a grimace of pain.)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

UFO#1 finished!

Here's UFO #1, a shrug knitted from this pattern. (Warning: link goes straight to a PDF download.)

I even blocked it! I tried to take a photo of it on, but all the mirrors in the house are in shocking locations light-wise:

It was knitted in "Earth Sky" on blue-faced leicester, light aran weight, from The Yarn Cafe/evoke yarns. I knitted a size medium, and the only change I made was to knit a garter stitch border of five stitches on both sides to prevent the edges rolling. It used about 130g of yarn.

Next: the Thuja socks that I started knitting two years ago. I've now made it down to the heel flap on the second sock (wait! Since I saved the draft post I'm on to the foot. Yay!). These will be nice warm house socks for winter.

The problem I can see with having left the second sock so long is that my gauge seems to be a little different; I'm knitting tighter so the sock is a bit smaller. They're stretchy, though, so both will fit and they're only for around the house.