Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Rhubarb and vanilla bean jam!

As winter rolls around once again the plums and apricots have long since disappeared from our trees and have been made into delicious jams, preserves and baked goods, not to mention eaten fresh from the tree. 

This time of year is not known for jamming but I have found a gorgeous recipe for jam made from the abundant rhubarb plant that lives by our front porch. We usually use rhubarb in crumbles and pies and sometimes stew it up with apples to eat with icecream but this year I have an inkling that the whole plant will be cooked up into this delicious spread!

Without further ado, here is the recipe!
Adapted from BBC Good Food

Rhubarb and vanilla bean jam

1kg rhubarb (trimmed of leaves and ends)
1kg sugar
1 tsp pectin (or, as I did, finely dice the skin of a mandarin or clementine- any citrus skin will do)
2 vanilla beans halved

Put a small plate in the freezer.

Wash rhubarb, chop into 3cm chunks and place in a large pot with the sugar, mandarin skin and vanilla bean. Cook over a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.

Turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and beginning to break apart. After this point, begin testing every 2 minutes to see if the jam is set by dropping a small amount onto the cold plate. After a couple of minutes, run your finger through the jam on the plate and if it wrinkles on the surface it is ready.

Once the jam is ready, carefully spoon into warm sterilised jars and place lids on while the jam is still hot to ensure a vacuum seal.

Stored in a dark pantry, this delicious jam should keep for 6 months.



Before the sugar dissolved

Simmering away nicely

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Gorgeous colourful tights made in Melbourne

So.... I have died and gone to heaven! Locally and lovingly made gorgeous tights in all the colours of the rainbow!

What better way to jazz up a dreary winter wardrobe (not that your wardrobe is dreary!!) than with a pair of delightful coloured tights from OKOK in Brunswick!

I am yet to purchase a pair for myself as I am pondering which of the plethora of hues I will choose first but rest assured I will be visiting again soon!

Here's the deets!

Shop 16,Hardwick Building
Sparta Place,459 Sydney Road
Brunswick Vic 3056,Australia

Ph. + 61 3 9387 9840

(This is not a sponsored post... I just think these tights are well pretty!)

Monday, 16 April 2012

Brain spew... things I love

Blue skies with fluffy white clouds. Crisp sunny mornings. Quietness. Silence. Wide open spaces. Green grass. Quaint cottages. Neat rows of vegetables in garden beds. Messy, wild veggie gardens with no paths. Little birds picking at the ground. Wiggly earthworms in my worm farm munching on my kitchen scraps. Growing plants from seeds. Every day miracles. A clean kitchen. The smell of baking bread. Butter. Lots of butter. The smell of spices. The smell of wet laundry. The smell of freshly cut grass. The feel of my Pop's front lawn under my feet. Doing cartwheels on Pop's lawn. Eating boiled fruit cake with nan. Drinking 27 cups of tea. Coffee. Really good coffee. Meeting passionate new people. Meeting people who like the things I like. My babies. My daughter's soft soft soft cheeks. My son's cheeky bites on my feet, arms, fingers. My darling footy loving, silly, hairy, talented husband. Wool. Colourful crochet hooks. Finding new fun patterns. Creating. Finishing things. Reading blogs. Dreaming of changing things. Actually changing things. Moving a room around. Cleaning away dust. Forgiving people. Laughing. Hysterical laughing. Collapsing on the floor laughing. Funny visuals. Cake Wrecks. My sister in law. Being together. Creating together. Watching the family expand. Being in on the secret. Keeping secrets. Receiving letters. Realising I am making a difference. Loving people. Being vulnerable. Taking risks. Hiding away sometimes. Closing the door. Saying goodbye. Sighing in relief. Finding treasures in op shops. Vintage dresses. Cleaning out my wardrobe and donating things to the op shop. Changing the sheets. Showering, shaving my legs and getting into bed. Turning over my pillow to feel the cool on my cheek. Waking up when it's still dark. Walking on my own. Travelling to the river. Smelling wet earth. My weekend co-worker. Learning from elders. Listening to music created by my family. Listening to my 1 year old learning to sing. Hearing my 5 year old's naturally perfect pitch. Knowing that music will be special to them too. Our foster child. Being trusted. Sharing life together. My darling mother. Seeing mum in her element. Eating her delicious foody creations. Being ok with not really knowing much. Being open to learning new things. Eating things that nourish me. Eating luscious treats. Moving my body without feeling restricted. Knowing that there is more to life than just this. Knowing God. Knowing love. Knowing that they are one and the same.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Crocheting is awesome.. so are school holidays and my family!

I have discovered that what I thought was knitting's plain little sister, is in fact, freaking awesome!

These last couple of weeks have been (surprisingly) really nice! The idea of the kids being on school holidays was making me feel extremely tired. I would go as far as saying I had anxiety just thinking about it... But around the holidays rolled and, to my surprise, we have had a delightful time!

It's been a gorgeous feeling closing my eyes at night without the inevitable "Oh crap! Better set the alarm!" and just as lovely faffing about in my pyjamas for an extra hour or so in the morning. There has been an abundance of tea brewed, chocolate and hot cross buns eaten, a few lovely/frustrating family gatherings, and a whole lot of crafting going on!  Despite a few stressful things happening  for some members of our family, we have drawn together over the last couple of weeks and I can really feel the love right now. I love how we draw near to each other in a crisis.

Richie has started walking and is loving exploring his little world from a new perspective. He is going through some pretty full on separation anxiety so parting is sweet sorrow (sweet for me and sorrow for him... did I just say that!?) but apparently he is fine as soon as I leave. I start a new job in mid May so I will be needing to leave him with my mum weekly.. that will be an interesting experiment. I will be working a total of 4 days per week as I am keeping my weekend job too. I haven't ever worked this much before so we shall see how it goes. I'm sure it will be fine and we will be able to juggle things to make it all work. I hope!!

My crocheting is coming along in leaps and bounds and I have discovered that what I thought was knitting's plain little sister, is in fact, freaking awesome and quickly becoming my craft of choice! I have spent quite a few nights wishing that sleep was optional so I could just keep crocheting all night. I am making a blanket, some socks and granny squares for Pip's Granny a day project (see a few posts down for info on that).

Well this post is getting too long and I am looking at it thinking I should do about four different posts for all the different things I am writing about... but I can't be bothered so I'm going to click publish now.

Caine's Arcade- thanks for sharing Pip!

I just stumbled across this wonderful video whilst browsing Pip's Meet Me at Mike's blog

This has totally made my day! Please take the time to sit down for 10 minutes and enjoy this gorgeous video.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Meet Me At Mikes- A Granny A Day!!

Meet Me at Mikes

I am participating in

Ooh! I'm so excited!!! Anyone want to join me?? 

I am going to take the opportunity to learn new crochet techniques and get a little bit fancy! How exciting!!

Here are some great granny square links brought to you by The Striped Deck Chair

And HERE is one for cute cute cute crochet flowers!!

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