Sunday, March 23, 2008

Red Hill Agricultural Show

Well it was Red Hill Agricultural Show again on Saturday. I had been umming and arring for sometime about whether to put anything in this year or not. I've been quite disorganised this year. Run over by work, a caring for a 'always on the go' toddler and I guess just life in general.

In the end I put in three items.

This alpaca cardi has been on the needles for some time - well over six months anyway - I had changed the sizing, failed to record what I had done, and every time I picked it up I kept making mistakes that I had to pull out. Very frustrating. But I used the deadline of the Show to give me the final kick along to finish.

Anyway, it won a first prize, so I was quite pleased in the end.

I also finished the plum pudding tea cosy. I love it, but it didn't get a gong.

And lastly, Mr S' Sailor Sweater. It got a second prize. I'm quite pleased with it. The only criticism I have is that I don't really like the edges. If I knitted it again, I'd knit a garter stitch band. The yarn is Sublime's Baby DK (a mix of merino, cashmere, silk and microfiber). The yarn is gorgeous to feel, but is a bit of a trial to knit with. It splits quite easily and it's difficult to get an even surface.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

More books for Susan

20% off books? Yes please.
There was a sale at one of my bookshop haunts. Of course I couldn't resist.
I'm doing a lot of thinking about food at the moment. Having a toddler really makes me focus on what I'm cooking and what I would like Mr S to eat as he grows up. The spectre of childhood obesity is such a worry. In this fast food world with high sugar, salt and fat at every turn, raising a child who has a balanced diet is a challenge. I want a child that has an appreciation and enjoyment, even a love of food.
I don't want him to have 'hang ups' about food, but a healthy attitude. A 'French Women Don't Get Fat' kind of approach.
So, that brings me to why I bought four more cook books. They are all about celebrating good food.
Janet Ross and Michael Waterfield's Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen was originally published in 1899 by Janet Ross (from the introduction she sounds marvelous). This 2006 edition was edited and added to by her great great nephew. It's full of delicious vegetable recipes. I just love vegetables - some of the suggestions are interesting, some are mouthwatering: Baked Potatoes with Juniper Berries, French Beans with a Fluffy Egg and Butter Sauce, Beetroot in Cream... mmmmmmm
Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam - even if one never cooked a single thing from this book it would still be worth having just for the pictures and text. It's delightful. Each chapter has a colour theme. Tessa Kiros writes in her introduction "I have collected these recipes over the years. This is food for families, for young people, for old people, for children, for the child in all... for life. Some are recipes I remember from my own childhood, others are the food I want to cook now for my family." Yes Yes Yes!
Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Cooking with Kids. Stephanie Alexander is an icon. I'm lucky living in Melbourne that I've been able to taste some of her food at her various restaurants over the years.
Even though she is no longer part of the Richmond Hill Cafe and Larder, it's still a favorite lunch place. It's opposite the Epworth Hospital in Bridge Road, where my obstetrician practises, so when I was pregnant I often went there for a treat after an appointment. When I was feeling so very ill and nauseous, it was one of the few places I could eat. They were wonderful and very considerate. So it has a special place in my memory.
Kitchen Garden Cooking is a real treat. I have already started a small vegetable garden with Mr S, but I have much bigger plans. The book starts with the story of a real kitchen garden. The recipes are organised by seasons, so as you are growing and harvesting produce you can then find ways to use it. Broadbean, leek and fennel-top spring risotto; Lemon delicious pudding; Pumpkin and tomato gratin; Raspberry muffins. Yum Yum Yum.
Annabel Karmel's New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner - what a dreadful and pedestrian name - but some great recipes for little ones - who could resist a book with recipe titles like 'Mummy's Favourite Fish Pie' and an introduction to cheesecake for toddlers!
Now all I have to do is find time to use them. I guess for the modern working family, that's what weekends are for.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

We have progress!!

Work is all consuming at the moment. I'm even going in on my so called 'day off' at the moment and doing weekend reading. How easy it is to get sucked into the vortex.
But I'm gradually getting back on track with my crafty and creative life.
I've nearly finished the Sublime Sailor Jumper for Mr S. Yeah! Pictures of that next week. Maybe. Or maybe the week after...
And I'm making slow progress on my Ripple Blanket. But I think I hate the colours. I want bright colours. I want pink and minty green. But I think I've strayed. I'm thinking about ripping out at least the last 5 colours - may be more?

I've also made this little bag. The pattern comes from Rowan Knitting Magazine Number 31. I've had the fabric for some years (No 31 came out in 2002, so probably that long). I cut it out and slipped it in to the Magazine at least two years ago. Today I made it up!
While trying to find the photos to load onto the blog, I just found this photo again. It's Mr S' first birthday cake. I'm no cake decorator, but this turned out OK. Just a bit of fun! Makes me smile anyway.