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Aprons for everyone! November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in apron, christmas, fabric, gift, home made, sewing.
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My brother Mark lives in San Diego with his wife Mari and their adorable son Logan.  My parents are flying over to visit them soon so i’ve been working on their gifts solidly for a week now to get them to New Zealand before Mum and Dad depart on the 19th of November.  Phew!  I’m finally happy with the gifts and will be sending them on Monday, just enough time to get there.

I used a butchers apron of mine as a guideline for Marks, then added some width at the top as per Joh’s suggestion.    Joh and Mark are both very tall so Joh became my model.  I made it slightly longer than I would for Joh because I know Mark likes things really long.  I added some New Zealand fabric to Marks one to add interest and to remind him of home.


I was unsure where to secure the neck tie for Logan’s apron so I sewed on velcro dots so that he can wear it as he grows.  I had a bit of a problem making Logan’s apron.  He’s two and a half, but i’ve never met him.  Also I don’t come into contact with little people that much, and I was making his apron without a pattern.  Luckily Mum came to the rescue!  She called a friend and got her to measure her three year old son for me.  Ah, the lengths I go to so that the presents are a surprise!


Mari’s apron was pictured in a previous post here.

And then there was Sunday… November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in apron, fabric, gift, home made, sewing.
1 comment so far

We started the day with a relaxed breakfast of pikelets.  My mother used to make these regularly for lunch in the weekends when I was growing up, and still does.  Hers are about three times the size of mine, but the recipe I had was for 18 small ones so thats what I made.  I love nostalgia food.  It makes me homesick like you wouldn’t believe, the smell of these babies cooking in the frying pan in a little butter.  The jams pictured are all home made, two by myself and one by Mum.


I recently purchased a new sewing machine and apart from doing a few repair jobs I hadn’t really used it.  I work in a cafe, and really don’t like wearing the boring stock standard black mini aprons we have to use.  So I made my own.  This is made from an old skirt that Mum made for me probably 8 years ago.  I haven’t worn it very much at all since I moved to Sydney, so I thought it would be a good place to start, and I wouldn’t ruin new fabric if I made a mistake.  Please excuse the super cheesy photo. I’m quite proud of what I ended up with considering the last time I touched a sewing machine was intermediate school!  I used the whole front panel, cut off the back and made ties from the remaining fabric.  I bought some ric rac the last time I was at spotlight so I sewed that on the bottom seam to add a bit of interest.


Next up was an apron for my sister-in-laws Christmas present.  This was very easy now that I had a pattern from making myself one.  I made hers a bit shorter and used ribbon for the waist tie.


A less than lazy Saturday November 9, 2007

Posted by Sarah in baking, beef, bread, chocolate, dining in, food, home made, markets, organic, recipe, vegetables.

I like to spend time filling my larder.  Preparing for future culinary sensations.  Modern housewifery.

The weather here has been appalling for the last few weeks, and I love it.  I love the opportunity to stay indoors, don my apron and create.  This Saturday just past Joh and I embarked on a somewhat mammoth cooking bonanza.  Here’s what we achieved with our 10 hours.

First of all we had to do some shopping for ingredients.  Down to the markets for lemongrass, ginger, red capsicum, coriander, limes, chillies.  Off to the butcher for some beef bones.  To the supermarket for wholemeal flour and onions.  Back to the Thai supermarket later for tamarind and more lemongrass.  The first thing we did when we got home from our shopping trip was to heat the oven up to roast the beef shin bones.  This is to release the flavours of the bones to make really good home made beef stock.


Joh prepared some capsicums for roasting while I got to work on some homemade bread.

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The bread was put on top of the computer to rise, then the beef bones and capsicums went in to roast.  The next step for me was to make some home made mince meat for my christmas mince pies.  This year I made a traditional fruit mince mixture, and also another mix made from figs, chocolate and ginger.  The second mixture is great for people that don’t like traditional fruit mince pies.  The recipe can be found here.  I tweaked the recipe slightly and used organic where I could.  I also used half white chocolate and half dark chocolate for a point of difference.


The bones came out of the oven and went into the stock pot along with spring onions, brown onions and ginger that Joh prepared.  The stock was left to cook over a low heat for about 3 hours.

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The capsicums came out of the oven, were peeled and bagged in portions and popped in the freezer.


I kept the organic apple peels from the fruit mince from earlier and made some fruit tea too.  This takes some time in the oven on a very low heat so we got to work on that while we waited for the bread to cook.


Now the reason we wanted to cook today at all.  Chilli Jam.  This is a thai-style chilli jam, full of fish sauce and sprimp paste.  I love to have it in the fridge to give stir fries a lift, and Joh will just eat it by the spoonful whenever I’m not looking :)  We also made up a batch of Red Curry Paste so that we can make our own Massaman Beef Curries at home.  Thats the chilli jam on the left and the red onions and lemongrass dry frying in the right hand pan for the Red Curry.


This is the finished chilli jam.  And the baked bread.  And the two types of fruit mince.

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The beef stock was cooled overnight and the thick layer of fat was removed.  The beef stock is now happily waiting in the freezer.  We froze the Red Curry Paste in ice cube trays so that we can just take out as many as we need to make a meal.  It’s 7pm and we’re both really tired and can’t be bothered cooking for ourselves after a huge day in the kitchen, then a big clean up.  We contemplated going out to eat but resisted the temptation and stayed in.


The photo really doesn’t do this meal justice.  Organic scrambled eggs with coriander and organic tomatoes.  Organic sunflower sprouts, mushrooms and asparagus, and our own homemade bread.  Perfect, simple and easy.   We gobbled this down in five minutes, both very happy we didn’t leave the house to eat someone else’s food.