Wednesday, February 26, 2020

WOYWW 560 re emergence



 If you go back to my last WOYWW post, when my friends and I last made Christmas cards for the soldiers. You will see how neat this dining/craft room was, some gremlin came in and stored all their STUFF in here lol

 I really need to get some time to get it all back to a decent living soon

 Looking towards the kitchen through the door on the left

 Desk where my Silhouette Cameo 4 is going on 

 How did the desk in the office get so out of hand?

 Hubby's side of the office

 Garage where more craft stuff is stored and kombucha in the making in bottles

 Aaacck what a horrendous mess

I went from an 8 meter by12 meter craft room to a garage and dining room. I must cull soon as all of this mess will not fit in my tiny spaces now, I can't complain, some people only have a cupboard.


Wow my last desk show was 9 months ago. How time flies. 

Since September last year I worked 2 jobs Mon - Fri, so life got very busy.

My craft room is a terrible mess as you can see.

I've had my street library installed, still waiting for some good weather so I can paint and varnish it to weather proof it.

Next craft camp coming up March 20th and I also have some exciting news to share but that will come later.

I've had my new Silhouette Cameo 4 delivered last week, still have not plugged it in to try it out, that is how hectic my life is. However I am spending much time on line collecting hints and tips and svg files. I've resisted getting a cameo since its inception, hubby has been offering to buy me one for years, I eventually caved in and let him buy me one this time as it has much more now that it is capable of than when it first came out.

Also got a new worm farm/composter delivered too.

So hop on over to The Stamping Ground to see what others are up to on their desks.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Composting and Worm Farm


Another exciting day after my Silhouette Cameo 4  delivery on Friday. 
This Worm farm/ Composting bin got delivered on Saturday, 
built right here on Macleay Island by our garden guru Len
 Its made of all recycled material. On the right is the worm farm with a lid on it, I see a platform underneath to put a liquid catching receptacle.

 This is the worm farm area opened up, I have no idea what the plastic bowl with handle is for, 
will ask Len when I next see him. 
The blue roll on the left is to channel the compost into the bin on the other side, like a funnel. Clever man this Len is to think of everything and build it.


 This is the section where the compost is ready to be used in the garden, it will be dropped out of the drum above in the middle after being 'cooked' in there. 
The pipe is to let water in to make the nice mulch.


Air vent for the composting bin, the bin is put on wheels so I can turn it around easily.

 This is my first worm farm that Len made for me and I've had for a year now. Its not doing good, or not fast enough and I know now I have to put cow poo in it to get worm poo hahaha.

  My fancy collection point

 The lid opens up so I can feed it and I put shredded paper and dry leaves to keep it cool.

 Can you see that healthy black worm casting under the leaves and lettuce?

I add the dried leaves on top and spray them with water to keep it cool


I use this pump action water bottle to water my worms

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Silhouette Cameo 4

Friday was a very exciting day for me, my Silhouette Cameo 4 arrived, luckily I had a day off to receive it...not that me being home matters as they deliver anyway.

Purchasing Cameo stuff in Australia

Hubby had offered to buy it for me ages ago when it first came out, I refused the offer because at the time it didn't interest me and didnt do too much that I needed it to do.

Now that its at Version 4, it can do so much more and I was happy to take up on the offer.

I couldn't play with it straight away because it came with a US plug. I needed to get an adaptor to be able to use it.

 USA Plug
 AUS Plug


Adaptor


When the delivery guy pulled into the driveway, I was hanging out the clothes, I ran to the car knowing that he had something from Silhouette, hubby said the order is coming in three parts, 
I have 2 so far. Hubby ordered the tool set separately



Its so good to have the first glimpse of whats inside

The box unpacked with all its goodies

The next day I got another exciting delivery, not craft wise. See next post to find out what it is.


Posting this on Sunday because I had a busy Saturday making Chinese Sticky Rice Dumplings, coming up in another post.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Kombucha

Since May 13 - 2019 when I got my first scoby hotel
My hotels going well




Very dark and very vinegary, I don't like making with English breakfast,
I may have to make it less stronger by using less tea leaves

Egyptian tea leaves just starting to brew, it took a long time

 
This is the green tea I use, its a Japanese brand and has rice in it, very nice flavour. 
All the above is called the 1st ferment.

I love the look of the bubbles below when you extract the kombucha after its made.
Thats all that yummy fizz. You can drink it as it is or add fruit at this stage.

Below are all the 2nd ferment where you add the fruit.

 
You will need to burp the bottles everyday, if you dont like I forgot to and one of my bottles blew up. there was mess everywhere on the carpet.

My hairdresser had this given to her and I made her a batch, her kombucha is so yummy. 
I would like one of these one day but they cost $99

 
 Lychee infused                                                 Dragon fruit


Sunday, January 05, 2020

Mangoes and early Christmas cakes


Wow its been awhile since I posted, life has been so busy lately with working 2 jobs and loving both of them, if I had to chose one job I couldn't, they are both unique in their own way and enjoyable.

After a two week holiday over Christmas and New Year I had some days left and yesterday I baked and scraped and preserved Christmas cakes and Mango Chutney - the spicy type. I had soaked the fruit in September intending to cook these cake for Christmas 2019 but ran out of time, so now I am early for Christmas 2020 LOL.

Now I notice my cakes have cracked in the middle, can any experience cook out there tell me why its cracked? I left it in the pan to cool before I took it out.

18kgs of mangoes de-seeded and grated down to 9kgs, that will last me a year or two I hope LOL. I eat it like its going out of style. I also use it to marinate my prawns, this year I'll try and use it to marinate other meats and see what happens. I use spices I buy from the shops. I have never made the spices from scratch yet. 
Thats my husband lending a helping hand, he's a gem and a keeper, which was awesome as I now have arthritis in my wrists and this process of grating is really taxing on my hands. I need to find a food processor to do this as I make these every year. 

This is called Mango Kuchela and is spicy, made with mustard oil and Indian spices.


EDITED: Did some research and my problem was the position of the rack. See Alice's Rules

In case the link doesn't work:

So many finicky details make the difference in baking. The position of the rack in the oven is almost as important as the baking temperature! And pan rotation is important for even baking too. Too many recipes don’t even mention rack position or pan rotation. Go figure.  
Here are my rules for racks and rotation (for non-convection gas ovens) when recipes don’t otherwise specify: 
To bake cake(s) on one rack: Position the rack in the lower third (just below center) of the oven. If baking more than one pan on the rack, rotate the pans from the front to the back a little over halfway through the baking time. Exception: I bake a single thin sheet of cake for a jellyroll, in the center of the oven.
To bake a single sheet of cookies: Position the rack in the center of the oven. Rotate the sheet from front to back a little over halfway through the baking time.
To bake cakes or cookies on two racks:  Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Rotate the pans from upper to lower and back to front a little over halfway through the baking time.
For electric ovens: I use the same rules, but when the electrical element is exposed in the oven, I consider the bottom of the oven to start on top of the coil rather than under it, and I position my racks accordingly: thus the center of the oven is midway from the top of the coil to the top of the oven and the lower third is one third of the distance from the top of the coil to the top of the oven, etc. Got it?
How not to overcook your Christmas Cake 

Question
It's that time of year and I'm busy in the kitchen preparing Christmas treats galore, however, I'm having trouble achieving the perfect Christmas fruit cake. After it's cooked, I find that the bottom of the cake is burnt and the top of the cake has large cracks in it. Can you tell me what I'm doing so wrong?!
Answer
It sounds like all of your problems have been caused by a very hot oven. Fruit cakes will burn on the bottom or crack on top if they're baked at too high a temperature. Make sure you set your oven to the exact temperature given in the recipe. The burnt bottom can also occur if the cake is wrongly positioned in the oven. Or if the pans are lined incorrectly. Fruit cakes require protection during long, slow baking times. Cakes that are 22cm or smaller require three thicknesses of baking-paper lining. Larger cakes need one or two sheets of brown paper and three sheets of baking paper.











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