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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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Fruit + Sugar = Jam October 14, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, Cherries, fruit, hand made, home made, homemade jam, jam, preserving, strawberries.
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Nothing makes me feel quite so housewifely than making jam whilst wearing a frock and one of Nana’s apron.

It’s a beautiful thing to make something your grandmother used to make, wearing something she most likely wore while she made it.

The jams that I have made thus far:

Strawberry
Strawberry and Vanilla Bean
Blackberry
Raspberry
Cherry (with splashes of Brandy and Marsala)

Handmade napkins October 4, 2010

Posted by Sarah in beautiful, blue, cotton, dining in, dining out, Engagement, estate sale, fabric, friends, friendship, fruit, gift, green, home made, picnic, recycle, sewing, vintage, vintage fabric.
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Our lovely friends Fiona and Tarek recently got engaged, and had an party yesterday afternoon to celebrate.

We took along a little engagement present of some of my handmade napkins.

The fabric I used came from an estate sale that I went to recently.  I’m guessing it’s probably from the late 60’s?  It’s an amazing cotton print, the purple watermelon is so cool.  I used an old sheet to back these napkins – that way they’re double-sided and they’ll last for ages.

Fabric napkins are perfect for picnics, dinner parties, and everyday use.  We use fabric napkins all the time at home- we just love them.

Congratulation Fiona and Tarek!  We’re so very happy for you both!

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!

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.

Hot Cross Bun day April 3, 2010

Posted by Sarah in apron, baking, bread, butter, dining in, Easter, food, friends, fruit, holiday, home made.
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My Hot Cross Bun making efforts yesterday…

I got up early, popped on a festive frock and my Nana’s apron, and made 4 batches of buns.

My own homemade candied peel was studded throughout

I soaked the currants, sultanas and candied peel overnight in a couple of good slugs of Brandy

I even made the butter that accompanied them

They were devoured with gusto by everyone that came by, a most successful day indeed!

8 of the buns are on a flight to Adelaide with my friend Emma, I hope our friends in South Australia like them  :)

More photos on my Flickr page:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahmcmanus/sets/72157623756983546/

My weekend February 8, 2010

Posted by Sarah in baking, clothes, cosy, Craft, custom order, dining in, embroidery, fabric, felt, food, friends, fruit, gift, green, home made, jam, preserving, sewing, toy.
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It rained for days this past weekend.  It was the perfect weather for staying indoors and creating.

This is what my weekend looked like:

I made Jam.

And a sweet little bear for a sweet friend.

We have a bear who sits on our couch to keep us warm and humble.

A friend loved him so much that I was asked to make another for someone’s birthday.

We had said friend’s over to adopt their new Bear.  I made buttermilk scones.

We had the scones with my homemade jam – plum and cinnamon, and boysenberry.

I made this little peas in a pod toy for another friend.

And I stitched this jar cover while we watched a video last night.

I also made some extremely cute and very short sleep shorts.  Which I slept in last night, all smuggly proud of myself for having made them without a pattern.  Or measuring myself!

How was your weekend?  I hope yours was as gloriously peaceful as mine.

Breakfast of champions November 4, 2009

Posted by Sarah in dining in, food, fruit, health, home made, mango, oats, organic, rhubarb, yoghurt.
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Rolled oats soaked in organic rice milk, topped with mango, stewed rhubarb and organic yoghurt.  I love the colours of this mornings breakfast, they’re so vibrant!

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We’ve nicknamed this month NOvember.  We’re training 5 x a week, counting calories and eating really well.  We both feel great!  I suppose it’s a bit of a detox too, in a roundabout kind of way.

Chewy oatmeal and date cookies October 7, 2009

Posted by Sarah in baking, butter, dining in, food, fruit, home made, recipe.
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The weather here in Sydney has taken a sudden dive.  All of a sudden our picture perfect not-winter has turned on us, reminding me that this city does indeed have seasons.  Albeit slightly irrational, fleeting ones.

I’ve been so cold this afternoon at home that I made a batch of these delicious cookies to warm the house, and our bellies.

I used Deb’s recipe for thick, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.  I didn’t have any raisins in the house so I subbed them for chopped dates, and subbed the walnuts for a mixture of pecans and macadamia nuts.

They’re so delicious, I hope there’s some left for Joh when he gets home….

Pancakes for breakfast September 27, 2009

Posted by Sarah in butter, dining in, food, fruit, home made, organic.
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Delicious!