Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dear Mum

I've never done anything like this before, so I apologise in advance if anyone reads this as it might be a bit soppy. It's hard to believe that 23 years have gone by since you passed away, nearly half my life time. I often wonder how different our lives would have been if you were still with us. Over the years I've noticed that the older I get the more I miss you, is that is normal? It saddens me that we never really got to spend time together as adults. Never did the normal mother daughter things, catching a movie, going to an art exhibition or a craft show, browsing antique shops, shopping for fabric. Even just spending time together having a chat and enjoying each others company. I also lament that you never meet your grandchildren or your great nieces and nephews. I know how important your family was to you. I miss your laugh, your warm and generous heart and most of all your loving embrace.
Mary Anderson 17th September 1941 to 29th June 1987

Monday, June 28, 2010

A little op shopping and baking

Whilst on holidays this past week I took the opportunity to scour the local op shops for treasures. Well I wasn't disappointed, here are some of my recent finds.

The two pieces of fabric on the left I got for free, 50 cents for the pattern - 1973 vintage, an angora/lambs wool jumper for $3.50 (I'm planning on felting it), 1m of 50's original bark cloth - $1.00!!! and a bunch of doilies and a vintage sheet for $5.00 (going to make them into curtains)

I also spied a 3 seater lounge, reduced to $75. It just needs new covers on the cushions to bring it back to life. I'm still working on the other half to agree with that purchase. The cats have ruined our lounge suit with their scratching, so it needs replacing. To be honest I really don't like the style of it anyway.

Yesterdays baking, Lunchbox biscuits and bread. The biscuits didn't turn out as I had expected, going by the photo in the cookbook. Anyway they taste great and made a large batch.
I thought I'd try something a little different with the bread and made a plait loaf for a change.

I just love the jar with the red lid, another market find for $1.00

Hope you've had a lovely day
Cheers Lisa

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday and I'm not working

I always work on Saturday, so its seems strange being home for the whole day. Thank goodness for holidays!!
I went to my regular 7am stretch class at the gym, then went to the local markets for a look see. Boy its grown, almost tripled in size.

I had to take my beautiful old Lab 'Utah' to the vet for his monthly pain injection today. He has very bad arthritis and is really feeling the effects of winter this year. He will be 12 in August and this may be his last winter with us. I've know Utah since the day he was born. Gosh I get teary just thinking about it. Compared to Chester our other lab, Utah is Mr Perfect, but that's another story.

Utah in May this year

The boys - Utah on the left and Chester on the right

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Love my pressure cooker

Yes, strange but true, I do love my pressure cooker. It gets a regular workout at least 3 times a week and I would have to say it's one of the best kitchen appliances I've ever bought. Well, apart from my kitchen whizz. You see I come from a long line of pressure cooker users, both parents and my grandmothers all used these handy saucepans.

'No thanks' I hear you say, 'don't they explode', sending food flying around the kitchen and the cook ducking for cover! In years gone by that may have been the case, but like all modern things, pressure cookers have moved with the times and are now a very safe and quick way to cook.
Hmmm, I sound like an advertisment. lol

'Easiwork Health Cooker' found here

The above contraption was my introduction to pressure cookers. My Dad had one of these, made in the UK in the 1920's & 30's. Looks like something Wallace and Gromit would fly to the moon in. Cheese anyone?
The only thing I remember Dad cooking in it was soy chicken.

After my Dad passed away, we had a garage sale and the rocket sold for $50 (not sure we knew the real value). We even had the instruction book for it, Dad didn't throw out anything!

My favourite soup at the moment - Lentil and Vegetable

1 large carrot
2 sticks of celery
2 stalks of fennel
1 potato
1/4 medium size pumpkin
2 cloves of garlic
1 onion or 1 leek
1 cup peas or beans
2/3 cup red lentils
4 - 5 cups of stock or water
1 tsp of each ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper

Suitable for pressure cooker or stove top cooking

Dice vegetables, saute in oil for 5 - 10 minutes, add spices and cook a further 5 minutes. Add lentils and stock. Place lid on pressure cooker, turn stove to high and bring to low pressure. Reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 10 minutes, allow to release pressure slowly.
For stove top, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Season to taste, then either puree with a stick mixer or blender or use a masher for a chunkier soup. Serve with crusty bread YUM

Do you have any pressure cooker stories? I'd love to hear them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


On Sunday I decided to make a date loaf for morning tea and lunches. Well what a disaster that turned out to be. I mean really, how do you stuff up a date loaf? Anyway I'm blaming the homemade baking powder for the rapid rise and fall. All was not lost, I cut out the soggy bit in the middle and the remaining cake tastes great.

After my date loaf disaster I thought it best to stick to baking bread for the day. I write a monthly bread baking tutorial over at Down to Earth Forum. This month I've looked at using different types of flour in bread making. While I love fresh white bread with lashings of butter and Vegemite, nothing beats a loaf with seeds and grains for extra flavour and texture. So here is today's baking- wholemeal, rye and spelt rolls.

Maybe later in the week I'll attempt another cake. I've got some pears sitting in the fruit bowl that would make a lovely tea cake. Sounds like a great idea!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Let the blogging begin!

Yes I've joined the blogging world. I'm hoping that this will keep me motivated to follow the life I aspire to. I hope you will join me in my journey.