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Nice one, Nature! February 9, 2011

Posted by Sarah in flowers, food, fruit, garden, gift, home made, nature, tomato, worm farming.
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Something cool that’s been developing in our inner-city garden recently is the emergence of pop-up tomato plants.

I keep two worm farms, and recently I transferred some of the castings from the farms to our pot plants.  Now, normally this makes our plants grow like crazy, and shoot out all kinds of new growth.  What happened this time however is that several little tomato plants started to shoot out of the soil in the pot next to our established Kaffir Lime trees.  A couple of weeks went by and then we started getting fruit!  The seeds must have been in the worm farms for at least 4 months, it’s incredible that they were still viable.

Normally we can’t grow tomatoes because our courtyard doesn’t get enough sun.  I’m loving the novelty of having tomato plants in our garden this year.  Even if they don’t turn red I’m sure I’ll be able to make some kind of delicious green tomato salad or salsa with them.

Thanks, Nature!  What a lovely thing for you to do.

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Frocktober (day 23) October 23, 2010

Posted by Sarah in clothes, cotton, dining in, dress, fabric, food, friends, friendship, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, me, recycle, Second Hand, thrifty.
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Today I hosted an afternoon tea and frock swap to raise some funds for Frocktober.  I’ve just looked in the collection tin and there’s $170 in there!  Fantastic!

We all had a lovely time eating cakes, drinking bubbles, and swapping our pre-loved threads.  It poured down right in the middle of our afternoon tea so we all had to move inside quick smart.  This photo was taken right in the middle of the hardest downpour of the day.  The things we do!

Dress:  This one is the perfect picnic dress, a breezy cotton Gorman sundress with silk ties.  Love it.

 

 

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

Frocktober (day 16) October 17, 2010

Posted by Sarah in clothes, dining in, dress, food, friends, frock, Frocktober, Fundraising, silk.
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Today I cooked a 3 course meal for 15 people in a silk dress!  We were planning on having the dinner party outside but the wind was so strong that we ended up staying inside.  I look like I’m bending at an odd angle in this photo, because it was so cold!

Dress:  Silk, from Misery Boutique in Auckland.  I wore this on day 26 of my challenge last year.  It fits so beautifully, and feels great on.

If you’d like to sponsor me for my Frocktober challenge please head here to donate.  My registration number is 664999.

The blockade September 29, 2010

Posted by Sarah in business, christmas, food, fruit, hand made, home made, homemade jam, jam, preserving, strawberries.
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The 212 glass jam jars I ordered arrived about an hour ago, and I already have two pots of Strawberry Jam bubbling away.

(Just in case you were wondering what I’m going to be spending the next few months doing)

Right now they’re making quite an excellent blockade for our front door.  I’ll have to work our a better place to put them before the Mr gets home tonight.

I’ll be selling jars full of Jam and Relish this holiday season – stay tuned for more information!

Sonido! South American Cafe August 19, 2010

Posted by Sarah in Arepas, beef, bread, dining out, food, holiday, Meet Me At Mikes, Melbourne, Sonido! South American Cafe.
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I had been on the look out for places to eat and drink while we were in Melbourne when I came across this blog post by Pip from Meet Me At Mikes.  Turns out, this sweet little cafe is just around the corner from her store, so it worked in well with our shopping plans.  The first day we just dropped by for a coffee, and the second day we stayed and had the most delicious lunch.  Highly recommended if you’re in the Fitzroy area.

Josephine had the Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes beef) – $11.50

A lovely slow cooked beef dish, served on a crispy arepa.  The menu says that this is an old Cuban recipe.

This was really delicious, especially with the guacamole and salsa that was provided to serve with it.

I ordered the Arepa con Huevo – $9.50

A delicious combination of soft scrambled free range eggs, with spring onions and tomatoes.  Served on a crispy Arepa.

The combination of crispy hot arepa, and soft scrambled eggs was just wonderful.  I would be eating this all the time if I lived in Fitzroy.

Below is their contact information, taken from their website.

CONTACTO

Address: 69 Gertrude Street Fitzroy VIC Australia
Phone: 0404621946 / 0406850341
Email: info@sonido.com.au

Trading Hours:

Tuesday to Friday: 8:30am – 4pm
Satuday and Sunday: 9am – 4pm

Melbourne August 19, 2010

Posted by Sarah in art, birthday, dining out, Fitzroy, food, friends, friendship, holiday, Josephine, Meet Me At Mikes, Melbourne, Retail, Shop, Store.
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After my birthday Josephine and I headed down to Melbourne for a few days.  It was my first visit, so we had plenty of exploring to do.

It was very cold and rainy, so we didn’t get to venture out and about as we would have liked.  Mostly we found nice places to eat and drink, and did a spot of shopping.  I’ll show you what I bought for myself in another post I think!

We checked out Meet Me At Mikes in Fitzroy.  I’ve been following Pip’s blog and twitter feed for some time now, so it was very exciting to go to her store.  She wasn’t there the day we went, but we were served by her lovely daughter Rin.  Josephine and I both found ourselves cheap little summer skirts – yay!

This is all the graffiti we managed to photograph due to it being so wet and cold.  I’d like to go back another time and spend some time photographing more of the alleys and laneways.

Great coffee at Sonido on Gerturude St.

A tasty lunch of Arepas at Cruzao Arepa Bar, Brunswick Street.

On our last day we headed out to St Kilda to check out the famed cake shops and ‘beach’.  I loved this old theatre.  I think it’s beautiful.

We shared a slice of the famous plum cake at the Monarch Cake Shop, St Kilda

Back to Sonido for another coffee!

Just before we left for our flight home we headed to Hwaro Korean BBQ for a few beers and snacks.

More photos from our trip are on my Flickr page.

Melbourne

Ginger Gems July 9, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, butter, cosy, dining in, food, Gem Irons, Ginger Gems, home made, recipe, Thrifting.
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Wont you come in from the cold?  Can I tempt you with a just-baked Ginger Gem?

Actually, we baked these last night.  They were lovely with tea after dinner, and even better for breakfast this morning.

This old Gem Iron belonged to my Grandmother.  I packed it with other essential belongings and it moved countries with me.  I am so very fond of it.

I haven’t seen a new Gem Iron for sale in a store ever.  I wonder if they’ve stopped making them?  I wonder if The Delta Metal Co Ltd, of Christchurch, New Zealand are still in business?

The circular Gem Iron is a recent acquisition.  I found it at the Surry Hills Markets last Saturday.  $5 and it came home with me.

Pre-loved.  Worn from countless morning tea’s over the years.  Sturdy and dependable.  I like imagining the old lady who owned this before me.  I wonder if she used the same recipe that I do?

Two recipe for Ginger Gems

Taken from the Edmonds Cookery Book, 1980.  Written in the matter-of-fact way that Edmonds recipes are synonymous with.  At least in my mind.

Ginger Gems

1 cup of Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Milk
25g (1oz) Butter
25g (1oz) Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
Sift dry ingredients.  Beat egg and add with milk.  Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup together and mix in last of all.  Put in twelve hot greased gem irons and bake 12 minutes at 215 C.

Taken from At Home At Play, by Pennie Oliver

Ginger Gems

60g Butter
150g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
1 tablespoon Golden Syrup
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
175ml Milk
250g Plain Flour
2 teaspoons Ground Ginger (we doubled this)
extra Butter for gem irons and for serving.

Preaheat the oven to 230C.  Place the gem irons in the oven to heat.  Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl  Beat in the egg.  Stir in the golden syrup.  Mis the baking soda into the milk.  Add the dry ingredients and milk and baking soda to the bowl.  Mix to combine the ingredients.  Remove the gem irons from the oven.  Drop about 1/4 teaspoon butter into the bottom of each of the hollows.  Spoon the mixture into each hollow to two-thirds full.  Bake for 10 minutes, until the gems are cooked and golden.  Serve plain or with butter.
Makes 20 – 22

The Caterer July 1, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, bread, business, butter, cake, catering, chocolate, custom order, food, fruit, green, home made, homemade jam, jam.
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I had a catering job yesterday.  12 people for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea.  Of course, although I took my camera with me, I managed to forget to take photos of most of the food I provided.  Here’s what I did manage to capture:

The olive oil dough resting before being cut into Panini buns.

The cooked Panini buns.

You’ll just have to imagine them filled with Free Range Roast Pork, my home made Harissa, crisp Lettuce and fresh Tomato.  Or Free Range Roast Chicken, Avocado, home made Basil Aioli and crisp Lettuce.  Or Rare Roast Beef, Horseradish Cream and Rocket.

This fruit platter looked so pretty I had to take a photograph of it, even though it was all secured in plastic wrap.  This platter accompanied a platter of freshly baked scones, home made jams and whipped cream.  A very lavish start to the day.

Double chocolate and toasted walnut brownie.

A close up of the decadent brownie.

The afternoon fruit platter to accompany said decadent chocolate brownie.

If you’re in Sydney, and are interested in having me cater your next function send me a message or comment on this post.

Baking up a storm June 29, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, business, butter, cookies, custom order, food, home made, kings cross, oats.
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Some shots of the baking I’ve been doing this week to prepare for tomorrow’s Catering job:

Spiced Orange and Cardamon Cookies

Chocolate and Oat Cookies

Double chocolate brownies

Op shop finds June 15, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, cake, fabric, food, Gempo Fine China Japan, Op Shopping, recycle, Second Hand, Tasmania, tea towel, Thrifting, thrifty, vintage.
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Today, sweaty and exhausted after another tough boxing session at the gym, I headed to the nearby Op Shop to do a little spotting of pretty things.

I came away $6.50 poorer.  But, look what that investment gave me:

5 cake tins, of varying sizes and weights.  I’ve been in need of a Bundt tin for some time, so I was delighted when i found this one for just $1!

This very old cake tin is really quite beautiful.  It’s old enough that it was made in Australia, as was it’s neighbour.  A rare thing now I guess – tins made here.  I think it will make a fine fruit cake tin at Christmas time this year.

I’ve been a fan of thick tourist linen tea towels for some time.  I’ve never been to Tasmania, but this tea towel is quite lovely I think.

While I was scouring the shelves I came across this little coffee cup.  Isn’t it a beauty?  I do not know if it is very old, or very new.  I didn’t find many references to the writing on the bottom of the cup when I did a Google search.  The text says “Gempo Fine China, Japan”.  I don’t mind either way, I think it’s quite lovely.  Definitely my star find of the day!