Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh Joy

My order from Wondoflex arrived this morning. I want to show you this gorgeous 100% merino wool before I start making myself a thread through scarf. I got the pattern from here and can hardly wait to get the needles out. Even our 38 degree heat will not deter me on this one. I'll post pictures as my scarf progresses.

Before I finish, I heard the funniest true story this morning concerning a friend of a friend. This grandma had taken her 4yo grandson to Sydney for a few days in the school holidays. On one of the days they visited the Aquarium and had a lovely time. After leaving the aquarium, the boy said his backpack was too heavy so grandma carried it for him. Back at the hotel she thought she'd go through the backpack and take out any unnecessary stuff to lighten the load for their next outing. Imagine her surprise when, in the bag, she discovered a pet fairy penguin !! Apparently they have a 'hands on' area at the aquarium so people can play with these little penguins and obviously the 4yo decided he'd like one for himself. The lady had to make three phone calls to the aquarium before she found someone who believed her story and asked her to kindly return the little penguin.

Talking about penguins has reminded me that I must buy the ingredients to make my friend Carol's ice cream which many of the CWA ladies rave about. Here's the recipe.

Ice Cream recipe
Large can Carnation Evaporated milk ( chilled in fridge for 24 hours)
1 cup castor sugar
juice of an orange an d lemon
mashed banana and some passionfruit. (about 5 or I use a can of John West passionfruit)

Make sure the milk is chilled or it won't work out well. Whip milk until it holds its shape on beaters,add sugar and other ingredients and mix well. Put in container and freeze. This makes 2 trays although I usually put it in a covered bowl.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day

Happy Australia Day from the national capital and to quote the 2ue reporter on the radio this morning - "If you're not in it, you're sort of out of it." Hmmmmm !!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Indulgence Day

Today I've been finishing off a few projects I've had on the go. I'm still making beanies for the homeless in Canberra - these will be distributed by Vinnies Night Patrol which is a van that goes to places around the ACT and Queanbeyan giving out free soup etc to the poor souls who live on our streets for various reasons. If you've ever been to Canberra in winter you'll understand why this service is very much needed. Here's the beanie I finished today.

I loved working with this wool (Patons 8ply Caressa) - it was so soft.

I've also been making dishcloths and experimenting with different types of cotton. I once had a good supply of Sugar n Cream which is what I used to make these ...

........but my supply is dwindling and Sugar n Cream is no longer sold in the shops here in Australia. Here's the cloth I finished today.

I have tried using two strands of Panda 4ply cotton and currently have a friend testing it for me.

My next project is going to be a neck warmer, also for Vinnies Night Patrol. I think the neck warmers are better than scarves as they won't fall off. My order from Bendigo Woolen Mills arrived a few days ago and I'm itching to get stuck into the 8ply Classic wool. Doesn't it look 'yummy' ?

Also bought some of their 8ply cotton to see if it would be suitable for dishcloths but its working up very soft and I don't really think it will be good for washing dishes. It actually feels very thin for 8ply. I started knitting with it but after a few inches, frogged it (rip-it, rip-it, rip-it) and changed to crochet which suits the cotton much better. As I have a 200g ball, I'm going to have to think up another use for this lovely cotton.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Check Out the Check-Out Chicks

For the past two weeks I have been eating Valencia oranges, free of charge, courtesy of Woolworths supermarket !! Last week, after putting my groceries away, I looked at my docket and discovered that I’d been charged for navel oranges (at $4.99 kg) instead of Valencia ($2.99 kg). I phoned the store and was told that as per Woolies policy I would be refunded in full and to go to the service desk next time I was in the store. Well, today I did just that and received $8 back. Needed more things, including oranges, so went in and did my shopping, paid for the stuff, checked my docket before leaving the store this time and guess what ?? Correct – I’d been charged for navel oranges again instead of Valencia !! Back to the service desk to receive my refund. The moral of the story is to always check your docket and you too could be eating free oranges. By the way, did you know that the greener the skin on a Valencia orange, the sweeter and juicier the fruit ?

If its possible to love ads, this one just about does it for me !! Have a look at this -

Thursday, January 22, 2009

PS to Cheesecake

Put some gelatine in to help it set.

What a Night

It was all over in about ten minutes but in that time it terrified our dogs, flooded the gutters, leaked all over the kitchen bench via the skylight and in doing so flooded and ruined my dinner. Overflow from the gutters near the front door caused a pool inside the door which happened to be opened at the time. Oh boy, what a mess. I don't think we have any other leaks but I might have to get someone to come and check the roof, particularly where we have skylights. It stopped just as quick as it had started and this was the view from my front door. I had to take the photo from inside otherwise I probably would have ruined my camera as water was still dripping everywhere.

I can hear a siren now - whatever vehicle it was just went flying past our place. I hope people weren't out driving in that storm as visibility would have been bad. Far better to pull over and wait it out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Mother's Lemon Cheese Cake

I feel like I've just found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow !!! I want to share with you a recipe my mother used to make many years ago - 40 years ago to be precise ! This is the BEST cheese cake I have ever tasted and I've been searching for the little piece of paper its written on for ages now. Tonight, while browsing through an old binder I found it, so do yourself a favour and try this .............

Lemon Cheese Cake


1/2 lb Nice biscuits

5 oz Margarine

1 pack Philadelphia Cream Cheese

1 lemon jelly

3/4 cup water

1 small tin Carnation milk

1 lemon

3/4 lb Castor sugar


Crush biscuits and add to melted margarine. Place in dish and put in 300 deg F oven for about 20 minutes.

Mix cheese and castor sugar.

Mix jelly, water and juice of lemon

Beat milk then gradually add cheese mixture and lastly jelly.


I told you this was an old recipe so you'll need to do the conversions to metric - sorry !!

You can leave me a comment if you do them and that'll save me the bother of trying to work them out for myself.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Order in the House

In my last post I mentioned the Speakers Chair, a replica of which has been put in an alcove in the Old Parliament House, Canberra for visitors to pose in for photographic purposes. On our visit, John donned the wig and cloak for this shot.

The ornate Speaker's Chair seen in the photograph symbolises the Australian Parliament's links with the British Parliament at Westminster and with British history. It was a gift from the UK branch of the Empire Parliamentary Association and includes pieces of timber from Admiral Nelson's flagship, HMS Victory, and also from Westminster Hall. It was at Child's request that the Chair has remained in its original location at Old Parliament House.

Enough history for today ..... now I'm off to do a bit of knitting !! I am currently receiving kitten blankets for the Canberra RSPCA which have been knitted or crocheted by members of the Knit4Charities group of which I am a member. Only have three more parcels to arrive before I can photograph then deliver. This month I have been making childrens size beanies for Streetswags, Brisbane and next month we will be helping Vinnies Night Patrol, Canberra so I'll be concentrating on beanies, neckwarmers and fingerless mitts for the homeless. Will post pictures here.

Thank goodness for airconditioning - its 37 degrees Celsius here at the moment.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And now for another year

Now that the silly season is over, things are getting back to normal here. Canberra is fairly quiet at this time of the year as many people take time off to get out of town for school holidays, travelling interstate or just down to the coast. Actually, I love January because of the peace and quiet after the rush leading up to Christmas and New Year which is followed by a huge influx of car enthusiasts (and a few hoons) for Summernats which is held at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) for about four days just after New Year. EPIC is only about 2-3 kms from my place and you can hear the fireworks every night at around 10-ish.

During the holidays I played tour guide for an interstate relative and visited Old Parliament House. It was amazing - if I'd known it was so good I would have gone before. The whole place is opened up and you can go places that were a real no-go zone before they moved to the new Parliament House. We sat on the front bench in the House of Representatives, went into the Prime Ministers office (akin to the Oval Room in US, but this one was square), and dropped in to the Cabinet Room. All very interesting. I had a bit of trouble with my new camera and some of the photos were a little dark as I couldn't figure out the flash settings. I'll post a few of the reasonable ones here but will definately have to go back to OPH sometime in the future.

Of course you'll recognise this as the front door.

When I walked through the door of the Cabinet Room, these two old codgers gave me a bit of a shock - they looked so real. I wonder if you know who they are ?

And here's the rest of the Cabinet Room.

I do have one other photo I'd like to add but I think I'd better get permission from the 'subject' before doing so.