Hi there everyone,
I was chatting to my sister in England and, as we often do this time of year, we were discussing how the summer daytime temperature there is the same as the winter daytime temperature here. Well today takes the cake. At 28 degrees in August (the last month of winter in Australia), today is the hottest August day since 1911. Instead of making warming soups and sitting by the fire with some knitting, I’ll be getting all the washing dry on the same day that it gets washed and making sure all the vegies don’t dry out. Oh well, it’ll get cold again soon enough. Tomorrow in fact.
I have decided that Thursday is a better day for my weekly post. I’ve been babysitting my nephew on Mondays and Tuesdays will soon be filled up with spinning again. How can I do a crafty blog if I haven’t had any time to do crafty things? So Thursday it is. That being said, I haven’t done much this week that’s worth writing about. Anyway, I’ll give you my recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds, tell you about our weekend in Clare, give you a yarn review and give you an update on the garden.
MAKE YOUR OWN ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Further to my post last week about not throwing useful things away…there is something you can do with pumpkin seeds. I made soup a couple of days ago and used two small pumpkins that both had lots of seeds in them. I’ve already saved some seeds from a butternut to plant again this summer so I didn’t need any more. Being reluctant to give them to the chooks where they would probably start growing and give us more pumpkins than we’d ever need in a spot we don’t want them, I decided to roast them. I did a little searching on the internet and cobbled together a few different recipes. It worked and they taste good, especially warm from the oven. They weren’t so good cold the next day so I’d suggest eating them quickly or giving them another quick spell in the oven.
What you need: pumpkin seeds, olive oil, paprika, salt flakes. I used seeds from a butternut and a red kuri, South Australian olive oil and Murray River salt flakes.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (375 degrees F). Separate the seeds from the fibrous stuff by running them under warm water over a colander. Dry the seeds with a tea towel or paper towel. Put the seeds in a bowl and add just enough olive oil to coat them lightly. Add plenty of salt flakes and a shake or two of paprika. Mix well. Spread the seeds on a tray and put in the oven for about half an hour, stirring a couple of times so they cook evenly. They are ready when they are crunchy. Eat while they are warm , adding extra salt if you like.
A WEEKEND IN CLARE
For those not in the know, Clare is a town in South Australia about 2 hours’ drive north of Adelaide. It is in a beautiful valley, called the Clare Valley and is wine producing area. There are lots and lots of wineries and olive oil farms where you can try the wines, eat gorgeous food and enjoy the scenery. We went up for the weekend and stayed 2 nights in a little old cottage in the middle of a vineyard. The weather was good and we even rode our bikes on some of the Riesling Trail, a bike track that runs 25km along an old railway through green hills, olive trees and grape vines. We were pleased to note as we drove up that the crops are looking good this year. The wheat, barley, broadbeans and lucerne are all looking tall and green. The canola was flowering and was blinding yellow. There were plenty of sheep with lambs, grazing happily. I’m fond of Clare. It’s a great place and I can highly recommend it to anyone travelling in SA.
SELBY’S YARN PICKS
Jo Sharp Silk Road DK Tweed 85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere, 50g, 137m. Made in Italy.
My Mum recently knitted a cardigan from this yarn and I knitted the button bands for her. Since being knitted it’s been washed a couple of times. This is a fantastic yarn. It feels lovely in the ball and knitted up. The cardigan is wearing well and still looks good, exactly what you’d expect from a Jo Sharp yarn. While it’s expensive to buy at around $9 per ball, each ball has 137 metres, it lasts well, looks great, is nice to knit with and has added silk and cashmere for a bit of luxury. There are 24 colours in the range; greens, blues, browns, warm pinks and neutrals. The colours are made up of many colours but it’s not what you’d call heathered. The light brown pictured is brown and cream with tiny blobs of dark brown, pink, maroon and the occasional green. The texture is very slightly slubby and makes an almost smooth but still interesting fabric. It knits to a tension of 20sts to 10cm which is a little unusual but it’s not hard to find patterns for this weight of yarn. Great stuff if you are after a little luxury.
IN THE GARDEN
Our Newcastle Early apricot is flowering and is very pretty right now. We usually get apricots in late November. I’ve planted some corn seedlings and this weekend I’ll put in some more seed. The lettuces are growing nicely and so are the carrots. The broad beans are still flowering. I’m anxious for them to produce and then finish because the tomatoes will be going into that patch and some of them will be ready to plant in a couple of weeks. The potatoes are mostly finished, just a few more to dig up. Our chickens are very happy and healthy. We are getting 5 or 6 eggs a day and running out of cartons. Anyone in Adelaide who wants to buy some eggs from me are very welcome to. Only $3 a dozen for the best eggs you’ll get. They are fresh, creamy and have bright yellow yolks. They taste fantastic.
Happy Father’s Day to my dad, Richard, my stepdad, Joseph and my dad-in-law, George. My Godfather Bill died a few years ago and he was like a dad to me too. I’m fond of all my dads and I’m lucky to have so many! Happy Father’s day for the first time to my brothers-in-law Andrew and Travis.
Have a good week everybody. Sarah.