Monday, 21 October 2013

handkerchief quilt

it's taken me a while to work out the best way to piece my hanky quilts but after weeks of deliberation i have made a decision..i bought the backing fabric today and i've started making a quilt with white hankies although some have a bit of coloured embroidery..i have two hankies i'm using in this quilt that are particularly special to, my mother had at her debut, and the other i bought 10 years ago from the all women monastery of saint stephen at meteora in greece..

this hanky is a bit fiddly to applique because of the irregular lacework

the applique stitching on the back won't be seen

some of the hankies are a bit irregular in shape so it's not possible to get them perfectly square on the backing fabric

my piecing method

~ i measured the largest hanky and i then added enough for a small border and a 1 cm seam allowance which gave a measurement of 36.5 cms square..because i want the quilt to be about 170-180 cms square i'll need 25 hankies and pieces of backing fabric
~ i centred the hanky on the backing fabric, pinned and basted it and using a fine white cotton thread i'm appliqueing the hanky to the backing fabric using small stitches
~ once all 25 are completed i'll join the squares either by hand or machine, add batting and a backing fabric and then quilt it by hand although i haven't quite decided what design i'll use
~ once the quilting is done the binding then needs to be added

i plan to make another two by the with children's vintage hankies, that i mentioned in an earlier post, and the other with vintage floral ones..should keep me busy for a while especially as i have three others on the go as well!

Friday, 18 October 2013

kaiser rolls

since i made some not so good rolls for my sons birthday lunch a couple of weeks ago i've been making rolls regularly and the kaiser roll stamp i bought a few months ago is finally getting used..

100% wholemeal organic spelt yeasted rolls

organic white sourdough rolls

organic white and wholemeal spelt 'in it goes (left over milk from coffee
making and a broken egg that was stuck to the egg carton)' rolls

the kaiser roll stamp was purchased from scullery made

happy weekend..x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

i'm just mad about saffron bread

it was time to use some of the precious spanish saffron i'd been given..i'd hung onto it for so long it was in danger of becoming a relic..but would i be able to do it justice?


450 gms organic white flour
50 gms organic wholemeal flour
300 mls organic unhomogenised full cream milk
2 tablespoons (tbs) castor sugar
1/4 cup sultanas
1 tbs very finely diced organic lemon peel (i used my own)
1 tbs very finely diced organic orange peel (i used my own)
6 tbs dark rum
approx 10 saffron threads
1 teaspoon (tsp) yeast
2 tsp murray river salt
filtered water (if needed)
extra 1 tbs milk


~ bring the milk to the boil, take off the heat, add saffron threads and leave until cool
~ bring the rum to the boil in a small saucepan, take off the heat, add sultanas, leave until cool, drain the sultanas and set the rum aside
~ mix the flour with the yeast, castor sugar, cooled saffron thread milk, rum, and extra water, if needed, to make a shaggy dough
~ leave to autolyse for 20 minutes or so, add salt, mix briefly, rest for 10-15 minutes and then mix again briefly
~ remove the bowl from the stand mixer, cover with a damp tea towel and leave until doubled in size
~ turn the dough onto a flour dusted bench and gently knead in the peels and sultanas
~ leave to rest covered for about 30 minutes, knead once more, and then shape to fit a large greased bread tin
~ cover and set aside until doubled or when a finger pressed in the dough leaves an impression
~ brush the top of the dough with extra milk, bake with steam at 230 deg c for 20 minutes, cover the loaf with brown paper, lower oven temperature to 200 deg c and continue to cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until done

mellow yellow!

do you find some edible gifts so special that you put off using them or save them for a special occasion?

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

vintage things

children's vintage handkerchiefs
i've been collecting these hankies for a few years
with a view to making a child's patchwork quilt
with them

 adult vintage handkerchiefs and doilies
i have dozens of embroidered and patterned handkerchiefs
and embroidered doilies..they're also for quilt making..
i particularly like these hand embroidered birds

i also love these hand embroidered animals..there's so
much work in them..the dog's my favourite

vintage towels
i found these brand new towels yesterday..they all
still had their original price tags on them..
the floral ones are a canadian brand by the name of camtex
and the striped ones are made by tara

do you collect any vintage things?
if so, what do you collect and where do you go looking for them? 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

jubilee cake

this is a cake that my mother used to make when i was a child and it's been one that i've wanted to make for ages..i have fond memories of my mother making it to take on the picnics that we went on regularly..i can make heavy weather of packing for a picnic but in no time my mother would throw together a few chops or sausages, bread, butter and sometimes a jubilee cake and off we'd go..

the jubilee cake or loaf was created in 1936 for south australia's 100th jubilee year and the recipe* was published in the 1936 edition of the 'green and gold cookery book'..i'm not overly fond of using the baking recipes in this book because i find the measurements inexact and the instructions unclear so i used the jubilee cake recipe* in 'the blue ribbon cookbook' by liz's a book of recipes and anecdotes from south australian prizewinning country show cooks..

after making the jubilee cake for the first time i can say that it's a winner..the flavour and texture belie the simplicity of the ingredients and how quickly and easily it's a way it's a bit like scones in the sense that it can be made and served in no time and with staple pantry's the sort of cake i'd now make for impromptu guests or if i wanted something with a cup of tea after a day in the garden..

best eaten slightly warm with butter

note: * for copyright reasons i'm unable to post the jubilee cake recipe from 'the blue ribbon cookbook' but the recipes from the 'green and gold' are quite similar but this recipe from the cwa (country women's association) offers a different method..

Thursday, 3 October 2013

don't judge a banana by its colour

one black mummified banana languished in the fruit bowl for a while until it became an embarrassment..i secreted it in the vegetable crisper so my daughter (who's now living with me) and sunday's birthday guests (especially those to whom i'm related) wouldn't see it and so i could spare myself the strange see..i just knew that banana was destined for stardom! 

oh no..not another banana bread recipe


250 gms organic white bread flour
100 gms organic wholemeal flour
2 ripe bananas mashed*
1/4 cup sultanas
1 cup low fat milk*
2 tablespoons (tbs) cream*
2 teaspoons (tsp) coconut butter
1 heaped tbs organic candied lemon peel (i used homemade) finely cut*
2 tsp honey
1 tsp yeast
1 tbs active starter
2 tsp murray river salt
filtered water
castor sugar
a little extra milk


~ in the bowl of a stand mixer add flours, banana, milk, cream, coconut butter, peel, honey, yeast, and starter and mix adding filtered water if necessary to achieve a shaggy dough
~ leave to autolyse for 20-30 minutes
~ add salt, mix briefly, rest for 10 minutes then mix briefly again
~ remove bowl from stand mixer, cover with a damp tea towel and leave until doubled
~ remove dough to a flour dusted bench and gently knead in the sultanas
~ place the dough in a bread tin and leave, covered, to prove
~ brush the top of the loaf with the extra milk
~bake at 220 deg c for 20 minutes, cover with brown paper or foil, reduce oven temperature to 200 deg c and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or until cooked
~ spray the top of the loaf with water and sprinkle generously with castor sugar and return to the oven for 3-4 minutes (optional)

note: * these are all foods i used to avoid food waste
low fat milk: my daughter makes coffee every morning and once she's boiled the milk for the coffee a couple of times she used to discard it but i now get her to keep it for me to use in bread making
cream: i served cream with a cake i made for my son's birthday and there was some left over that i'm slowly using up
candied lemon peel: my neighbour recently gave me most of her beautiful lemon crop and i retained the rinds after juicing and candied them..

caveat: so much of my cooking is informed by what i'm growing and what i have in the kitchen..sure.. sometimes i need to shop for a particular ingredient to make a meal that i've planned but it's more the exception than the rule..this means that i rarely replicate dishes exactly..and i certainly don't expect anyone to replicate the recipes i's just fun to share my passion..having said that though it's one of the best banana breads, yeasted or otherwise, that i've ever made..x

this post submitted to yeast spotting

edit note: for those not trying to use up ingredients like i was use full cream milk and omit the cream