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Monday, July 30, 2018

The Bicheno Jumper

This is the third version of this jumper I have made and it won't be the last.
My nephew has been visiting from QLD and on wet Campbell Town day we drove east for an hour to find a sunny coast and enjoy the BEST fish and chips at The Gulch in Bicheno.

The boys bought some bait and ties their hooks while I found a sheltered spot for me and my needles. The yarn reflected perfectly the land, sea, stone and sky of the area, so I have called this jumper "Bicheno"

I love the texture and lines rich from the patterning and the unique spin.

I did play a bit of yarn chicken with this one (again!) and I lost. The solid gold edging the collar testifies to the 7 or 8 metres I was short!

Julien has a strong personality and can pull it off though.
My Ravelry project notes are here
The pattern can be found here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Shop Update

You may notice the "SHOP" tab at the top of the page.
This will take you to my Facebook Shop which has been updated with some Fowlers Vacola supplies for preserving. I acquired a bulk lot of brand new product and it is listed well below RRP 

Now is the time to sort your supplies before the preserving season starts and have your rings ready to go. Many of us also include a lot of well used equipment in our cupboards too and winter is the time to check your clips as they do lose their spring over the years. We put a lot of work into the washing, cutting, cooking etc and it makes sense to check your equipment to avoid disappointing fails.

Postage can be quoted and local delivery or pick up can also be arranged.
Feel free to share the link with your preserving groups too. 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Rose Hip Salve

Also at that same recent talk I gave, I demonstrated making a salve from rose hips.
You can find previous posts about salve making

This salve is ideal for the face but can of course be used anywhere.
I roughly chopped a big handful of fresh rose hips and then covered with cold pressed almond oil and gently infused over a very low heat till the oil had taken on the colour and smelled of the hips. I used my thermomix but some people use a slow cooker on low for a few hours making sure the oil doesn't get too warm as we are trying to preserve as much of the Vit C properties of the hips. The other method is to place the hips covered in oil in a jar and leave to infuse in the warmth of the sun over the month.
Strain the oil through a cloth lined sieve and extract as much as possible squeezing the pulp. 
Measure the resulting golden oil and add 10% in weight of bees wax. This is best grated and added to the oil to gently heat to dissolve. 
Once it is dissolved, you can also add a couple of drops of Vit E oil and pour into sterile jars and label.
It's best to use a container that is not clear and keep the salve in a cool place away from light. Always use a stick or clean finger and use within a few months.
If you prefer a scent, you can add a drop of essential oil but I like to keep the salve as simple as possible and enjoy the benefits of the almond oil and rose hip oil.

You can use any rose hips but I find wild rose hips in abundance around our road ways.

We also shared some rose hip cordial on the night and the recipe is found 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Recently I gave a talk at the local garden club about food and medicinal plants foraged within the Midlands area. We have plains but also hedgerows and abundant waterways providing a wealth of material and a diverse variety across the four seasons.

Nettles are common in our area and quite a super food power packed with nutrition and health benefits and a much better choice for a "cleanse" than some of the more extreme methods. They are rich in Vit. A, C and K and magnesium, phosphorous, calcium, iron, potassium and more. They aid circulation, lower blood sugar and regulate blood pressure. Ergo, if you are on medications for diabetes and blood pressure disorders you may find adjustments and consultations necessary. Anyway, this little story is not intended as medicinal advice but as a useful seasonal food resource. It's free, abundant and good for you in as an inclusion in your diet. They do have a sting but this can be disarmed by a quick blanch in boiling water.

You can find my method and recipes for 

And without further ado, my recipe for nettle pesto....

Nettle Pesto

A couple of double handfuls of nettle leaves, young and tender.
1-2 cloves of garlic
50g Parmesan cheese
75-100g raw chashew nuts
olive oil to make required texture

Wash and then blanch for not more than a minute in boiling water and refresh the nettles in cold water and drain well. Pat dry to absorb more water.
Place in a food processor with other ingredients and blend until you have the desired texture. You can pulse till you get a chunky crumbly style or blend well for a creamier sauce like mix.
Use this pesto as you would a basil pesto; over hot pasta, gnocchi, fish etc or delicious as a dip for crackers and crudites. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Whey With Cheese

Wet sheep days has meant Craig is forced indoors and he has been making lots of cheese, mainly Parmesan and with the resulting whey, lots of ricotta.

Besides drizzling it with honey for breakfast, I take advantage of the ricotta abundance by making Tomato Ricotta Gnocchi. The recipe is on page 45 or HERE

This giant frypan is perfect for a big fry up with some slices of chorizo and when it's all golden and crispy....

Toss in some stinging nettle pesto and a drizzle of cream for extra richness.

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