Wednesday, September 3, 2008

New hobby

Over the years, through my various internet crochet groups, I've participated in many 'exchanges' where you are allocated a partner and each sends the other whatever the nominated article may be. For instance, it could be a potholder, dishcloth, bookmark, special day gift like Mothers Day - you get the idea ?? Its usually customary to also include a few other little goodies in these exchange parcels but with the cost of postage getting so expensive, it is becoming a bit prohibitive to take part, particularly if you have an overseas partner. Well, now I have discovered Swap-Bot and I can tell you its FUN. You have to sign-up but its free, and once you're a member, you can choose from hundreds of different swaps. I have done two now - both only involve sending a few postcards and its great receiving from partners all over the world. The first was the 08-08-08 postcard swap which had to be sent (and postmarked) 080808. For this swap everyone had 8 partners - these are the cards I received.
Two were from Texas, one from Canada, Boston, New York, Michigan, another from somewhere in USA (can't work out the postmark) and one from Shellharbour NSW.

The next swap I chose to be in was the D-recipe swap. For this you have 4 partners and have to write out a recipe starting with D on the back of a postcard. So far I've received two and both recipes sound yummy so I thought I'd share them here.

2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
60g butter
2 lightly beaten eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup strawberry jam
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp butter, extra
1/3 cup caster sugar, extra
3 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 180 C and spray muffin tin/s with oil spray.
2. Sift together flour and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mox together butter, eggs and buttermilk. Make a well in dry ingredients and add wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
3. Microwave jam and sugar for 45 seconds until melted and combined.
4. Half fill muffin holes with muffin mixture and add a little jam before filling up with more muffin mixture. Cook for 8 minutes.
5. Combine cinnamon and extra sugar on a plate and while still warm, brush each muffin with melted butter and roll in cinnamon mixture. Eat while hot.

Makes 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins.

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tbps Worcestershire sauce
2 cups pecan halves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine Worcestershire sauce and butter and mix well.
Add pecans, cayenne pepper and salt.
Stir and toss pecans until well coated.
Roast on baking sheet at 350 (180c) for 15 mins. Stir, or shake pan occasionally.

I like the sound of the donut muffins even though they're packed with kilojoules !!

The recipes I sent my partners were for Damper - a good old Aussie traditional recipe. I've received feedback from three and they were quite excited to get a recipe that was 'new' to them.

As I said earlier, there are heaps of different swaps you can get involved in but at the moment I'm sticking with the postcard ones - not only because of the cost of postage, but its good to get cards from other parts of the world and of course make new cyber friends. Just as well postcards don't take up too much room as my house is already crammed with stash from my other hobbies.

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