Saturday, February 22, 2014

Orange Grape Muffins

If you are a regular at following my blog you will know I don't like to waste anything. This is especially true with food.

Even though Harry and I have been empty-nesters for a year now we are still getting used to how much food is enough for us and at times some things seem to pass their best. One of these was a bunch of grapes last week. It was also more the fact that they weren't as nice as the usual ones I had been buying. So in the heat of our Summer they had started to dry before our eyes on the kitchen side board. In fact they were beginning to look like raisins and as they hadn't actuality turned moldy I thought, well they are like home made raisins so I will make something with them.

We also seem to have a steady supply of juicy oranges on our tree so I made up a muffin recipe combining the two fruit and it turned out quiet nice even if I do say so myself!
Some of the grapes hadn't even dried yet so you could even make this with fresh grapes if you had a plentiful supply.


Orange Grape Muffins

2 cups of self-raising flour
¾ cup sugar
75 grs butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
Grated rind of 1 large Orange
1 cup or dried grapes (raisins would do)

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup sugar

Well grease a 12 muffin tray.
Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and add the grated orange rind.
Toss grapes in the dry ingredients. (make sure when you remove them from the stork of the grape "bunch" that you don't allow any of the woody part to come off with the grapes)
Melt the butter until warm and add the milk.
Beat in the egg.
Fold liquids into the dry ingredients about 14 times until just mixed.
Some little bits of flour can still be seen.
Fill a 12 tin muffin tray and bake at 200ÂșC for 10 mins.
Mix the orange juice and second measure of sugar to dissolve.
Brush over all the muffins while they are still hot and in the tins.
Allow to cool for a few minutes and for the juice to soak in and then tip out.
If you leave it longer they will stick to the tins.
Use a large spoon carefully around the edges if the syrup hardens and they won’t tip out.

Monday, February 17, 2014

This Is An Orange

At the beginning of the citrus season I found a rather misshaped or is it misshapen orange on our tree.
I wish I had taken a pic of it when I first noticed it had lumps and bumps in the wrong places!






As you can see it has grown into something quite odd.













The rest of the fruit on the tree were fine. Sweet and juicy.

I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, I mean its hardly the shape to juice on a juicer.

In the end I needed some orange peel for a recipe and so I decided to grate as much of the peel I could and then cut it open to see what it was like inside.






It was interesting as it still had segments as an orange is supposed to but they seemed to have developed in the wrong way.

It was like each segment wanted to have its own outside skin.

There was still juicy in side the segments but very awkward to extract.

Not sure how it had happened and none of the other fruit have had this problem.
I would suspect it had something to do with the flower before the fruit was formed and maybe it was eaten by a bug.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Plunket Singlet

When my children were babies I knitted a few of the Plunket singlet patterns both the fancy one and the thicker rib one.
I also sewed their nighties from a pattern set I still have. In fact I even used the pyjama pattern. I really love a wrap around nighty.






One day at church I saw one of our young babies wearing a coloured knitted top as a tank top over a skivvy.

I thought I know that pattern and sure enough it was the singlet pattern. It does have a very pretty delicate lace yolk neck design so I thought what a great idea, I'll make one too.

I have lots of ball of wool as left overs form other garments and as bay items don't use much or take much time I enjoyed knitting it.

So here it is, a little top for our youngest granddaughter at the moment.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

Oaty Kiwifruit Bar

One of the things I don't like is having food go to waste.
Sometimes in this house food is left and past its freshest to eat raw especially with fruit.
As I see throwing it out a waste of money, I will make a recipe even if it means inventing it myself to use the food up.

This is a recipe like a microwave one I have made in the past but changed to suit cooking in the oven.

Ingredients
450g firm Kiwifruit
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon cornflour
2 cups Flour
1 cup rolled oats
4 tablespoon ground almonds
1/2 cup brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
170g butter

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a 9 x 9 baking tray.
Peel the kiwifruit and cut into small chunks. (or scoop flesh out and cut into quarters)
Combine kiwifruit, 1st brown sugar and cornflour in a bowl and mix.
Let stand while you prepare the rest of the bar.
In another big bowl, mix together flour, oats, almonds, brown sugar and baking powder.
Heat butter until just melted and add to dry ingredients mixing until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spread 3/4 of the mixture into the pan and press lightly with the back of a spoon to pack it a little tight.
Spread kiwifruit mixture carefully and evenly on top.
Sprinkle the  rest of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly again.
Bake until light golden brown on top, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting into squares.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Four Generations

During the Christmas and Summer Holidays my parents called in for a few days while they were up this way.
While they were here we arranged some times together with children, grand children and great grandchildren. These are special times as we know they are 'numbered'.

Part of this was the four generation photo of females.



Here we have me, my mum (Phyllis), my second daughter (Jennifer) and her daughter (Natalie)

              In other words Nana, Great-Granny, Mum and Natalie

There were also other precious moments in the day...




                                                 A special look





Great Granny and Natalie

"I do like that shiny watch strap"






              Jacob is not shy to join in the family photos



And not to miss out on all this...

Great Grandpa will have a little chat over his glasses holder.

I love the look of admiration on my fathers face

Thursday, February 6, 2014

More Knitting - Newborn Layette

With grand-baby number six arriving soon I have had my knitting needles out again.

Theresa and Steven are expecting their first baby in March, the beginning of the Southern Hemisphere Autumn so I am doing a couple of first size jacket/cardigans.

The pattern book I used was one I have knitted a lot from and find them easy to do.

It specifically has premature and small baby sizes and as our family tend to make them small they are ideal fits for those first few weeks.

If this baby is a girl Theresa has said it is not allowed to be dressed in pink!

So...

It is a set I have done before in yellow and the hat and bootees in white however Theresa and I chose white for this one.

It's baby's first hand-knitted outfit she had received for it. I haven't done mittens but I may if it gets colder closer to the time.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Years Garden Challenge - Part 3

Today we had some salad leaves from the garden with dinner. The first pickings for this year.
It was so good to have fresh veggies picked only a few minutes  ago on the plate to eat.

As I have already started this years gardening - a bit late mind you - Part one, Part two - you can see how I am progressing.


It might look progressive but I can assure you I am a little disappointment.

I planted about a dozen tomato plants I had grown from seed. But only one has survived.
I had two punnets of lettuce plants; great lakes the standard lettuce that hearts up beautifully and a salad selection - multicoloured and shaped leaves that can just been torn off and the plant left to continue to grow. There were twelve plants in all. But by the time the birds/slugs/cats or something else had dug, scratched or eaten the seedlings I now have seven. One of which is still struggling as I have had to replant it I don't know how many times!

The zucchini is slowly recovering from being attacked by one of the above! and three of the capsicum plants have grown.

I have also planted out about five pumpkin plants so we will see if there is enough time for anything to fruit on them.

I was really disappointed as all the seeds I had planted have been scratched away. I am presuming its the birds that also stripped out plum tree.

So I have replanted some carrots, parsnips, beetroot and radishes and this time covered them with the netting frame Harry build me a few years ago.


Maybe there will be a better chance for them this time.

The garden patch in between last years plot and this years is simply over grown with a weed called convolvulus or bindweed. Once in your garden this is a horror to get rid of. Every tiny piece of root system will grow. As I dig any garden I remove what I can and put it in the rubbish to be collected each week.
But for this invasion dramatic action was required. I have sprayed it all with weed killer. I am not intending to grow anything in there for awhile so I thought this was a radical but effective way to start.


I'll post you updates over the next few weeks!!