This week I have a book review and a yarn review for you and I’ll give you some ideas on using things in your kitchen that you’d usually throw away.
What sort of things do you put in the rubbish? Our council area has an excellent recycling program. We can recycle tins, plastic bottles, yoghurt tubs, milk and juice cartons, glass jars and bottles and paper and cardboard just by putting them into a bin. The council collects it and sorts it for us. Some things just need to go in the rubbish and there is not much you can do about it. What about food scraps and left overs? I’d strongly recommend that you get some chickens to feed it to or start a compost pile. Other than that I urge you to reconsider the food you throw away and how it could still be used for food. (Within reason please, I’m not suggesting you eat banana skins and green bacon!) There are lots of tasty edibles you can make with things such as a roast chicken carcass, watermelon rind or a Christmas ham bone.
The remains of a roast chicken – chicken stock. Put the carcass in a saucepan with some salt and pepper and maybe some vegetable such as carrot, celery, onion or garlic. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for an hour. Strain and freeze.
The bone left from the Christmas ham – pea and ham soup. Put the bone and a few handfuls of split green peas into a saucepan. Cover with water and cook until the peas are soft. Remove the bone and cut off any meat that is still attached. Put the meat back into the soup. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.
Watermelon rind – pickled watermelon rind, a popular American relish that uses the white part of the watermelon.
Citrus peel – candied peel
Beetroot tops – use them like spinach if they are nice and fresh
Green tomatoes that don’t get ripe before winter comes – green tomato relish
Hard, unripe or soft overripe fruit – relish or chutney
Rosehips and crabapples – rosehip or crabapple jellly
Left over roast vegetables – blend them with some stock to make soup
Zucchini (courgette) flowers (if you grow your own) – stuff them and deep fry them
Dandelions – salad greens. If you find a dandelion growing as a weed in your garden, blanch it by covering it with a flowerpot for a week. This makes it more tender and less strong in taste. Pick the leaves and use in a salad with other greens.
Well there’s eleven ideas for you. Perhaps you have other ideas. Leave a comment and share your ideas with us.
THIS WEEK’S BOOK REVIEW IS “Hip to Knit” by Judith L Swartz. Go to the book review’s page to read it.
SELBY’S YARN PICKS
Jo Sharp Luxury 8ply DK Pure Wool
I recently knitted a jumper for Yarn Magazine with this yarn. (It was the burgundy jumper on page 34 in Issue 6). I loved knitting with it and I loved the end result. The high twist gives a garment that will wear well, keeping its shape even after many washes. It’s smoothness gives a beautiful even fabric when knitted in stocking stitch and also will show any textured stitches well. Despite its smoothness, it still retains it “woolliness”, something that I like in a classic wool yarn. It is a perfectly standard 8ply or DK weight yarn that knits up at 22sts to 10cm, so you can easily find patterns to use with it. Although it is more expensive than other 8ply wools at $6.35 for 50g, it is worth the cost. I think it is reasonable to pay extra for top quality wool if that is what you are wanting. The best thing about this yarn, aside from all its other excellent qualities, is the colour range. There are 42 colours to choose from which is significantly more than other Australian yarn manufacturers (except maybe Bendigo). Some are heathered and some are solid colours. Be warned – once you knit with this stuff, it’s hard to back to other 8ply wools! I recommend it for classic garments that will last and last.
IN THE GARDEN
Well, not really in the garden at the moment. Our new heated propagating tray arrived today along with our seeds for the summer. The white part of the tray heats up to 10 degrees higher than the ambient temperature. You put your tray of seed raising mix with your seeds in on top and the heat of the propagator heats the soil and your seeds germinate more reliably. We bought it so that we can start our summer vegetables early and have them growing and producing happily before the really hot dry weather kicks in.
We are planning to grow all the usual summer vegies such as corn, climbing and dwarf beans, pumpkins, capsicum and tomatoes. The tomato varieties I have seeds for are Amish Paste and Principe Borghese, both of which are good for eating fresh and preserving.
I’ll keep you posted on the seed germination results.
IN OTHER NEWS
I’m off to Oxford for 2 weeks in November to visit my sister, her husband and their new baby Isabella. I’m pretty excited. I’ve been there a few times but this is my first trip on my own. Aside from visiting Katie I’m hoping to see some wool shops, maybe a castle or two, maybe a little drive in the Cotswolds, maybe a college…
Don’t forget the Mt Pleasant Fibre Fair is on this Saturday.
I’ve added a few more yarns to the Hand Dyed Yarns for Sale page. You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page.
Have a pleasant week. Sarah.