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For my littlest friend November 16, 2008

Posted by Sarah in fabric, felt, gift, home made, sewing, thrifty, wool.


My little niece Sofia turned One year old yesterday!

I knitted a blanket for her arrival into this world, and for this big milestone I wanted to make her something fun, educational, and most importantly, chewy! After playing around with a couple of prototypes I eventually came up an idea to make her building blocks.  Each block spells her name, so she can stack them any way she wishes to spell her name.


There are some special fabrics – the buzzy bee fabric seen here on the far left was a piece that my mother sent to me in a care parcel.


The spotty fabric on the far right of this photo is the same fabric that I used to make Mum’s apron. And the A on that piece is the wool fabric that Dad’s blanket was made from.





This cow fabric is from an old pillowcase of mine. I managed to cover up the text with an O that I blanket stitched on over the words.


The bottom of the photo has a little kiwi on the fabric, another of the fabrics that Mum sent to me.


This S took so long to stitch, I love the way it came out, it feels so great. I sewed it just imagining tiny fingers playing with the sliky stitching.


This fabric was leftover from the clutch that I made for my sister Karen’s birthday.  The tiny cherries came from a raid of mum’s stash earlier this year.



This monkey came from mum’s collection of iron on transfers.  I had to unpick some stitching around the edges, so at one point it was on either mine or one of my siblings clothing.  I love to think that he’s going to the next generation of our family, even if the tree does seem slightly too small for him to be hanging in!





Happy birthday Sofia!  I hope you have fun playing with these.

Homemade candied peel November 15, 2008

Posted by Sarah in home made, thrifty.
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Joh and I eat alot of fruit. Every Wednesday I come home to a wonderful box of organic fruit and vegetables delivered to my door. These boxes contain seasonal produce only, which is great. The last couple of months, the dreary end-of-winter has seen us with alot of oranges. Like 6 a week. And we’re not the types to really head to the fruit bowl and snack on an orange. Not when there’s bananas you’d sell your firstborn for sitting there, and the most magnificent mandarins on earth. These fruits both have an advantage over oranges in our house – they’re easy to peel and eat. So, we’ve been putting oranges in fruit salads, adding them to the odd campari and soda, juicing them for breakfast. The problem is that I don’t like to waste anything. Anything. This house is full of boxes of things that I might find a use for one day. So when I see perfectly good orange skins being thrown out it pains me. These oranges haven’t been waxed so their skins are perfect for cooking with.

In the bok Pure Dessert, Alice Medrich talks about freezing citrus skins to keep for making candied peel. Our freezer has all kinds of bags of things for stocks, and now a bag for skins of lemons and oranges! I saved up enough recently to make a batch of candied orange peel. The flavour is so much better than the pathetic awful overly sweetened stuff you can buy, and it’s oh so domestic to have my own in the fridge. I’m planning on using it for my christmas cake, dicing it and adding it to cookies, and for decorating cakes. Oh, and it’s awfully good just to eat, by itself, while you stand in your pyjamas on a Saturday morning while you wait for the kettle to boil.


Flowering artichokes November 15, 2008

Posted by Sarah in flowers.
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I took this photo a few weeks ago at the markets.  Isn’t nature beautiful?


Buttermilk peach cake November 15, 2008

Posted by Sarah in baking, cake, dining in, food, recipe.

For breakfast!


Today I woke up with the knowledge that there was a small container of buttermilk in the fridge that had to be used today or thrown out. But I also knew that I had used the last of the eggs yesterday, and whatever I cooked first today had to be something I could do in my pyjamas. I sat down at our trusty computer and searched for eggless buttermilk recipes and eventually found this recipe. I was all excited and about to get up and start creating when I found that the recipe did in fact have eggs! Upon scrolling through the comments I found that there was indeed an eggless substitute, one that a commenter had left on the site. The recipe goes like this:

1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 cup berries

Sift dry ingredients together, add melted butter and buttermilk. Pour into a tart dish and top with berries. Bake at 180 degrees celcuis for 45 mintues.

I melted the butter and then let it cook for a few mintues longer to caramelise. I strained it before I added it to the cake batter. Heidi’s origional recipe calls for wholewheat flour but I used white flour and it came out fine. I used half white sugar and half brown sugar, because that’s what I had on hand.

I went to the markets specifically to buy peaches for jam yesterday (4kgs infact!), so they became the topping in place of the berries. Before baking I sprinkled the top with pink salt and brown sugar.


I just happened to have some peach jam in the fridge that I made yesterday, so I used that to glaze the tart/cake.


Delicious! I still can’t decide if this is a tart, or a cake, or a pie. I think when it cools it will be quite a different beast.