Monday, February 28, 2011

Apple and Pear Harvest

The birds have been feasting more than us, so on the weekend we got out and picked the rest of the pears and a few apples. Actually only this large bag full:
But making apple juice, stewed apples for sauce, muffins, dried apple slices and a cake didn't make much of a dent.
I really love my apple peeler, which cores and slices as well! It cost quite a bit (for what it is), but has really been worth it!
Yummy snack for later in the year!
The apple cake is such a fantastic standby - freezes really well and can be eaten with a dusting of icing sugar, or whipped cream, or yoghurt, or ice-cream!
I have had this recipe for years, and don't remember where I got it from.

Spicy Apple Flancake
2 large apples (the tarter the better)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
100gm (4 ozs) butter, melted
1 cup sultanas (optional)
1.5 cups flour
1/2 tsp ground spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Peel, core and dice the apples (I don't bother to peel them often). Place apples in a bowl and sprinkle with sugar.
In another bowl, lightly beat egg then add with butter to the apple mixture.
Combine in with other ingredients.
Spread in flan dish (removable bottom is great).
Bake for 40 minutes @ 180 deg. C
Leave to sit in dish for 10 minutes before removing.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Devastating Earthquake

Christchurch is my birthplace.
I still have family and friends who live there. They are now in fear of their lives as a result of the 6.3 'aftershock' which struck at 12:51pm. My brother says "we are in big trouble".
This earthquake was smaller than the September 2010 one, but shallower (September was 30+ kms  deep, this one 5kms), so the damage is quite severe. There are unconfirmed reports of deaths.
The Canterbury people are going to need a huge amount of assistance and your prayers.
Go to this site to see the latest.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fun 7kms in the Sun

Wellington turned on a beautiful day for the Round the Bays Fun Run/Walk and 1/2 Marathon. I'm really proud of Rebecca doing her first 1/2 marathon - it was quite hot and in some of the bays without shade pretty hard to keep going I reckon. But she finished and we'll know her time tomorrow morning in the newspaper.
Derrick and I did the 7km walk - for him it was a doddle, and even though my training hadn't been as planned I did finish it.
Here are some snapshots from the morning:
This lass is organising her music
A cool thing for a class to do together!
Welcome shade along Oriental Parade, only 5 kms to go!
I was pleased to see this sign - starting to wilt a bit!
Everyone's support crew!
Several people along the route gave encouragement to everyone - it was such fun for them to do it, and very nice for those striding out.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Moonlight, Dusk and Turbines

I finished work at 8:00pm last night.  It was coming up to dusk and the moon was bright and clear,  so I stopped in at home to pick up the dog and the camera, then off down the road to find a picture. Not a lot of time because light was fading fast.
Not too far from home I got this shot:
I'm still learning aperture, shutter speed and settings with my new camera, and I'm sorry I missed the evening sun rays on the turbines, but I think the colour looks OK and the moon looks like a sun! This photo has only been cropped from the original.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Thread Candy Has Arrived!

In the post this morning, a little box filled with thread candy, which I had ordered from Tracy and Jeff at SewThankful. I often buy threads from this family-run (small) company - I love their range, the prices and the service! Often the box will arrive in 5 days. That is usually faster than mail within New Zealand, for you see, this company is based in New Mexico, USA!
What have I got?
These are all from Superior Threads:
Kimono Silk Thread, Highlights, King Tut, Rainbows and Sunburst (a colour changing thread) - I am excited to get started on my next (new) project. I want to use these threads, plus 2 others I already have, on my Tote & Gloat challenge.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Healthy Birthday Cake

Derrick has a birthday tomorrow, so I made a healthy birthday cake which we have been enjoying.

I was given this recipe about 27 years ago and what I like mostly is that it doesn't have oil and I can add more carrot if I wish.

Carrot Spice Cake

Bring to the boil and simmer 5 minutes:
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sultanas
1 1/3 cups cold water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves

Cool and add:
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 chopped nuts (optional) I used pumpkin seeds instead
pinch salt

Mix well.
Pour into a round cake tin (with a hole in the center) approx 9" diameter.
Bake for 40 - 50 minutes at 190 deg C.

Ice with lemon butter icing or be extravagant and make a cream cheese frosting with 175g cream cheese, at room temperature, mix in 1/2 cup icing sugar and grated zest from 1 lemon. Sprinkle with chopped dried apricots and/or pumpkin seeds.

The Pollen Gatherer

This bumble bee is almost drunk with his load of pollen! It's going to be difficult to fly home.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Safety When Sleeping

I discovered Molly this morning under some weedmat in Dug (our little C-Dax trailer). She had pulled it over herself!
Molly in hiding

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And, She Said - It's Done!

Yes, 2 years! such a simple block, easy to put together! But, I got BORED with it! So it has sat around for 2 years waiting for me to finish stitching the lines together and then to quilt it.
 Here is a close up of the quilting - I tried to do something different for each row (or mimicked in the row pairs).
Finished size: 58.5 x 64.5 inches. Binding completed at quilting group last night.
Tutorial here.