Monday, June 11, 2012

(a nice little) long weekend..

A long weekend here for us this week. It was wonderful not to have to do the netball rush and standing in the cold rain x 3, having a bit more time instead to tackle a few jobs that have been on the to-do list for far too long. For example...a box of apples that really should've been bottled a few weeks ago but just never happened..

Pie apple - a mixture of Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies in light syrup
A little bit of dehydrating..
As I came to the apples in the bottom of the box, I decided to hang a row up in our kitchen to dry. I had forgotten how much we enjoyed munching on dried apples in the past!

A little pectin stock making..
Leftover apple peelings/cores can be simmered in the slow cooker before making their way to the compost bin or chook pen in order to extract all of their pectiny goodness. The gel set is so much nicer with homemade pectin stock than bought pectin, it takes jam making to another level. Plus, being a waste product,  it's free!

A little crochet..

to turn into little elephants..
Our spinning group has put out a challenge: to make a soft toy to be given to a needy child at Christmas. I've borrowed the cutest animal toy book from the library (Super Cute Crochet - Nicki Trench).  The two projects I've started so far have turned out much smaller than I expected, but I agree, they are very cute!

A little frost..
which sure was chilly!

A little custard tart..
It seems only sensible to use up excess eggs in a tasty way! We've been getting about 8 eggs a day this past week by looking after a neighbour's chooks in addition to our own, so custard tart it had to be.

A little wearing of the new cardi..
I'm so happy to have finished the Tappan Zee cardigan I've been working on. It's super, super cosy and the fit is very comfortable. I probably should have made a tension swatch to begin with, but hey, what can I say except that I like to live dangerously?!


Little cat cuddles with shy cats are the best!

I hope your weekend was enjoyable. Did you get up to anything interesting? 

38 comments:

  1. I love your new cardigan, the colour and pattern are really lovely...and your gorgeous preserves...nope, still havnt been game to try out my vacola yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Come on now, Suzanne, I can hear it calling your name, just begging to be put into action!! :)

      Delete
  2. That cardi is so beautiful. Just love he colour. You had a busy day. It is so clod and miserable here that we both curled up in front of the fire with our books, instead of doing the millions of things that need doing around here.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok Christine, I've been following your blog for some time now, and I am in awe of how much you do, can you pleeeese do a post about how you organise your time, and energy so I may pick up a tip or two.

    Pretty please :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kate, the colour is pretty variegated close up, but I'm ok with that. ;) Lazing by the fire sounds wonderfully blissful!

      Hmm, time management, Busy mum, I'll see what I can do. ;)

      Delete
    2. Thanks waiting in anticipation...

      Delete
  4. Sounds like you have had a busy long weekend. I didn't do much but finish off my top-down poncho and watch photography videos. Do you have photography tonight - I'm about to head off to mine.

    See you soon.

    PS love your cardi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Photography videos, Liz? Sounds interesting. Have you seen the N-photo mag with the tutorial disc included? I have a couple if you want to take a look..

      Off to check out your poncho! :)

      (missed you at spinning today)

      Delete
  5. Wow i love that cardi! I want to make one for myself, where did you get the pattern? Also can you dry apple rings like that? I had no idea it was so simple!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you follow the link to the Tappan Zee cardigan in the post Racheal, it will take you to the ravelry page that includes the pattern. If you aren't signed up to Ravelry, you will need to create an account but this is easy and free. It's worthwhile joining if you're on the hunt for lots of knitting/crochet patterns!

      And absolutely when it comes to the apple rings! As long as the drying environment has a low humidity and is somewhat warm, you're good to go. ;)

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness! That cardi! It looks so pretty and detailed. You are so clever.

    I love all the good use of food! Waste not, want not.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm happy too that we didn't have the netball rush this weekend! We managed to renovate the vegie patch in the time we saved there.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have shamed me! I have apples on the tree that I STILL didn't get to this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by, ladies, I hope your weekend was enjoyable too!

      Delete
  9. Chris, what a gorgeous cardi! Your apple projects look wonderful - we didn't make any pectin this year, which could prove a problem come Christmas. We'd better get cracking, thanks for the prompt.. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is so much goodness going on at your home Christine.
    Your elephant is gorgeous and your cardi is just wonderful, I am still busy with the Tea Leaves cardi but will be casting on the Tappan Zee next.
    Have a lovely week
    Linda
    PS sorry to have deleted the first comment, I had Wendy's blog and yours open at the same time and got confused between your blog and hers, it must be old age, seriously!
    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Celia, I am so thankful for the day when I stumbled over your post on how to make pectin stock, it has changed our whole jam making and eating experience! I managed to obtain 1 x 300ml jar plus 3 x 500g jars of stock from this batch of peelings. I'm thinking I could go another round though... ;)

      Ahh, thanks, Linda, you're too sweet! Looking forward to seeing your Tappan Zee take shape, I do love top down knitting! (no need to apologise, either - it happens to all of us!).

      Delete
  11. Looks like such a productive weekend! Afraid I have a box of apples still screaming for attention. We ate the dried apples as fast as we could produce them, they turn even boring apple into something tasty. boring flu put a dampener on most activities around here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What an enterprising girl you are Christine - full marks for knitting, crochet, pectin making and preserving, tarts and cat cuddling. I feel exhausted just listing everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blech, nasty cold season, Kirsty. I hope you're on the mend. (Happy belated birthday, too xxx).

      Oh, gartcott, come now, it's only the good stuff that makes it to the blog! ;)

      Delete
  13. I've got to look into that pectin idea! I've got some wild old apple trees that produce small, grainy apples...too small to do much with, but beloved by wildlife. Maybe I could use some of them as a source for pectin to use in making other preserves?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, quinn! Small apples from wild trees make the best pectin stock - all the better if they are slightly underipe. This could be a most wonderful forage for you. :)

      Delete
  14. Another project now in the to do list! Love that cardigan. Maybe next winter hey?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mmmm that custard tart looks yummy! I've must admit I've never made one yet I love them. It looks like you've had a very productive weekend again. Isn't it lovely just pottering around your own home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wendy, this cardi is wonderfully easy! The entire thing is knitted on one big circular needle and is in one piece, so no joining up pesky seams at the end. Plus, being top down, it can be tried on as you knit and it has a bunch of stocking stitch to finish off with, perfect for those times when you're just too tired to concentrate on anything more complex! You would love it, seriously. ;)

      Chez, we enjoyed the custard tart so much that I just had to make another today! I was like you and never got around to making one, for some reason I thought it would be too fiddly but really, it is a super simple recipe which I'm tempted to share here! :)

      Delete
  16. Love the pectin idea - how do you store it once you've made it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tamra, after straining the pectin stock I pour it into jars and then heat process them, giving them a shelf life of 12-18 months.

      Delete
  17. What fantastic knitting and crochet projects.
    I've never heard of making homemade pectin like that! We have tons of apple peel as I make apple sauce for my kids + my daycare kids every two days. Obviously I compost the peel but making pectin first is such a good idea. What is the ratio pectin/fruit when making jam/jelly? or does this depend on the fruit?
    The apples look very pretty drying like that!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Emma, I have been using a 300ml jar of pectin stock to 1-1.5kg fruit in a jam making session with great results. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Have been following your blogg for a while now and really enjoy it. I try to live something like you are doing but still find it a little hard as I work full time. Hoping to make the change soon

    ReplyDelete
  20. hello christine,
    what a creative weekend........that cardi is fantastic.thanks for the pectin recipe.
    have a lovely day,
    love and hugs,regina

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have really enjoyed your post today Christine, It looks like you had a lovely and fruitful weekend. And I love your cardigan. Such a pretty colour and beautiful design across the shoulders. Best wishes from Jean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Regina. Enjoy the pectin making, it's so useful. :)

      Hi Jean, I really love this cardi pattern and was a little sad when it was cast off. The top section caught me too, it was so enjoyable to see it knit up and is even more so to wear. Have a lovely week. :)

      Delete
  22. what a jam packed post! I went away to slow living heaven for a little while inspired by your delicious and creative creations!
    Wow, just a fantastic post Christine, love it x

    ReplyDelete
  23. love all your productivity..especially the cardigan..it's gorgeous..jane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, thanks Borgy! I see you've been mighty busy on your blog..great stuff! :)

      Thankyou Jane, I'm very tempted to knit another..perhaps a 3/4 sleeve version...? ;)

      Delete

Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...