Pomodoro Day.


Ok, so Pomodoro day is upon us again.  UrbanNanna is busy getting everything rolling so I am taking over the role of putting up a quick blog for the morning.  This year we have a new bit of technology in the mix to save time and UrbanNanna’s hands to get us through the 60kg of tomatos we bought yesterday.

Well I had best quit stuffing about on the laptop and get back to turning that Passatutto mill…

 

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Baby bounty

I recently had my first child (now 3 months old) and received an amazing number of gifts for my son.

However, among the bounty of presents were several homemade gifts that filled me with extra warmth and love.

1. Yellow crocheted blanket

from one of my best friends aunty’s

 

2. Star bibs & face washer

homemade bibs and face washers from a girlfriend in Brisbane

 

3. Shape Wool Blanket

detailed knitted blanket from a friends mum in Canberra

 

4. Rainbow Gecko Quilt

quilt from a friend of the family.

 

5. Teddy Bear Quilt

from my mother

 

 


It’s a country thing

There is nothing more that I love than the smell of wood fires during winter.

This is made even more pleasant when you are in a country town surrounded by local jams, cheese and quilt fairs (or is that just me).

We recently headed north to the historic town of Beechworth (the honey place), where we indulged in local craft ale from Bridge Road Brewers , situated in the old Cobb & Co coach house behind the Tanswells Hotel, and bakery delights from the famous Beechworth Bakery.

While we were there I happened upon a couple of great little treasures that shouldn’t be overlooked on a visit like the Larder and Divine Linen.

If you are looking for a country escape with a roaring fire, great local fare and beautiful handmade keepsakes then keep Beechworth in mind.

 

 

 

 


Winter Wool Adventure – update

This squiggly pile of wool spaghetti is the beginnings of my lattice blanket. 6 more balls of wool to go and I will be able to start sewing it all together.

Only drama so far is that I have noticed two different colours in the wool. Note to self ALWAYS check the batch numbers on the wool before starting any major project.

K

🙂


Little Scarves


I’ve asked the doyen of knitting, Erin Douglas, to write a few articles for me on one of her favorite subjects 🙂

Over to you Erin…

Little scarves – I’ve got to tell you, I find knitting scarves a bit boring. As in, a LOT boring. Even an intricately patterned one is super repetitive after a while, and they take so long!

So when I discovered a bunch of cute neckwarmers it was like a whole new world had opened up – gone are the days of dragging a metre or more of scarf around with you as you go, now the longest your piece will be is about 50cm.

These little scarves go by a range of names – kercheifs, neckwarmers, and cowls. Generally they’re quick to complete, and mostly only use one ball of yarn. Here are a few of my favourites:

A very simple kerchief is the Baktus – the whole thing is knitted sideways in stockinette stitch (knit only, no purl) with easy increases and decreases. A simple scarf that looks great, is warm, and doesn’t take too long to make. If you’re up for something more advanced there are plenty of modified versions around, especially if you look through other people’s projects on Ravelry or flickr .

My favourite neckwarmers are the bainbridge remix and the bow scarf . These two take up next to no room in your handbag (when knitting or using) and only need 1 ball of wool. I often am asked where I bought these two, and it’s awesome to say that I made them, to see the looks of admiration.

Lastly, cowls. This incredibly quick and dirty cowl, the wham bam thankyou lamb , is the very best first project that you can do. It takes no time at all and is really just a big rectangle sewn together at an angle and looks awesome.

The fifth avenue infinity scarf however is a bigger commitment, and can often send you insane as you re-count your stitches to find you’ve dropped one of the 221 stitches somewhere. It will also be incredibly rewarding when you finish, or at least I hope – I am halfway through it now!

These are great projects to get started on now for the coming winter and remember, you could have made 3 little scarves by the time you finish a traditional long scarf!

So get your knit on!


Peaches & Plums & Pears….oh my!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My good friend UrbanFarmer gave me a delicious jar of her poached pears recently, which inspired me to grab all those end of summer stone fruit and poach them so I can eat yummy stone fruit all through winter on my porridge, muesli or in a wicked crumble. YUM!

Nothing to it really:

(1) choose your fruit (plum, apricot, peach, nectarine) add an apple or new season pear to round out slightly bitter flavours

(2) slice up fruit – my preference is for large pieces of fruit but its really up to you

(3) place in a saucepan large enough for all your fruit pieces and cover with water and the juice of 1 lemon. You can also add some castor sugar for sweetness if you like this is up to you but I wouldn’t add more than  3/4 cup otherwise you’ll enter jam territory.

(4) cook until fruit start to gently break up and adjust sweetness to your taste.

(5) at this point you can simply transfer to a container and eat or you can spoon into sterilised jars and store for future use. Its that easy.

p.s if you are feeling particularly Urban Nanna-ish you are welcome to send me your recipes to publish for other readers (and me) to try.

🙂

 

 


Winter Wool Adventure


Winter is on its way and so its time to dust of the ol’ knitting needles and begin this years project.

I’l be honest I don’t really have any interest in creating jumpers, gloves or beanies but I do love a thick woollen blanket to snuggle up in on a cold night.

Last year I created a ‘waffle blanket’ for our queen sized bed and this year I’m following a similar path. I’ve decided to create a ‘lattice weave’ blanket.

So thats 26 (10st x 245cm) sections + 25 (10st x 260cm) sections. Knit together the edges and then weave each of the sections to create a lattice pattern.

One down...

One down fifty to go.


These are a few of my favorite things…


Now that I’m on maternity leave I’ve got some time to update my website properly and share a few of my favourite things with you.

1. Heath Ceramics: California based pottery company producing tableware and accessories.

http://www.heathceramics.com/go/heath/

2.  Elk Accessories: Melbourne retailer that offers contemporary designed fashion jewellery, knitwear and homewares.

http://www.elkaccessories.com.au/

3.  Dear Gladys: vintage fashion store in Melbourne that is the retail arm for charity Fitted For Work, which assists unemployed disadvantaged women find work and dress for success.

http://www.deargladys.com.au/

4.  Red Door Corner Store: this is my local cafe / food-a-torium. Everything is made fresh on site and if their South American hot chocolate (with chilli and cinnamon) doesn’t keep you coming back for more the homemade hot cross buns will.

http://www.reddoorcornerstore.com.au/index.html

5. Books for Cooks: this a a must for anyone who likes to eat or cook.

http://www.booksforcooks.com.au/


Sweety Treats


Ok so I’ll be honest I’m not the most confident baker in the world. In fact my baking skills usually result in soggy pastry or rock hard biscuits but I thought that I’d try my hand at it once again, in the belief that persistance and practice may result in a modicum of success.

So I rustled through my CWA (Country Women’s Association) cookbook and found a recipe for jam drops. I swapped out the raspberry jam for a lemon marmalade and whipped up a batch.

Now I’m not going to claim a blue ribbon at the next bake off but despite being a little too floury my biscuits were edible (big step for me), so I’m claiming it as a victory.

Urban Nanna (1) – Fear of baking (0)


Pomodoro Sunday



Last spring I thought I would have a go a making some passata (base tomato sauce used in everything from pasta sauce, caseroles, stews etc).

We ventured to our local food market and picked up 20kg’s of end of season tomatos. Where upon I proceeded to wash, steam and pulp my tomatos into submission.

I added in garlic, basil, oregano and a few bay leaves and let the mixture simmer down to a sauce consistency. All the while my sauce bottles were being sterilized in the oven.

The only downside to this process was that I really didn’t make enough to get through winter. However, spring is just around the corner so I’ll be sure to double up this year.