Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Comfort Food

The Ukranian Goulash from the Kripalu Cookbook was oh so good. It restored my faith in my ability to make savoury food (I normally think of myself as the cake-maker of the household).
2 cups carrots
3 cups potatoes
1/8 cup butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs parsley
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 cup tomato paste
2 cups water
Steam potatoes and carrots until soft. Melt butter in frying pan. Add spices. Add flour, tomato paste and water to make smooth paste. Add potatoes and carrots. Stir together until hot. Serve.
Now, I was less exact on my measurements and I didn't have tarragon or basil and it was still good. Imagine how lovely it would be if you followed the recipe to the letter :)

Monday, August 30, 2010


I am growing a few herbs in the garden at the moment - dill, oregano, thyme, sage - but I am never quite sure what to do with them beyond dropping a few leaves in with pasta sauce. A number of my favourite bloggers seem to do wonderful things with herbs. I'd love to hear some of your favourite recipes!

Also has anyone else got the Kripalu Kitchen cookbook? I found a copy in the op-shop and it looks great - I am trying the Ukranian Goulash from it tonight. What have you got planned for dinner tonight?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bear Hugs

Here's Puff enjoying the jigsaw Dilly sent him (above)

And here's Woolley putting the finishing touches to the jigsaw Bob sent him (above).

I have always had a penchant for stuffed animals. I never liked dolls and if given one as a child I was known to express this dislike by giving them a savage haircut. So it is that now I still have one (or maybe 20) bears and other such furry friends around the house. Yesterday two of my special friends were delighted to receive in the post a lovely parcel from our good friend Helena and two of her furry friends Bob (http://bobs-diary.blogspot.com/) and Dilly (http://gweenwagons.blogspot.com/)

Thanks guys!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Doings on a Tuesday

A while ago I mentioned to you some embroidery I had been doing from old iron-on transfers that I found in the op-shop. I promised to show you the results but I never quite got around to it! So here goes... More on last weekend's stitching action soon.

I have just played a very nice game of 'chasey' with the cat next door. He often pads through our yard en route to his feline journeys and he used to stop to chat but today he just didn't want to. Other things to do. So I gave gentle chase with my camera and he deigned to pause for this very noble snap.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Love Biscuits

Had a great time at the thrift stores today. Especially nice were a couple of old cookbooks which I always love to find - The Country Womens Association of New South Wales Coronation Cookery Book and the Xcel Cookery Book - both of which look to be pre-World War Two to me judging from the advertisements in them. Best of all, though, they have handwritten recipes dotted throughout them. This is something I really love to find - recipes that someone found particularly good or which they particularly loved - recipes that have a story.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I have been reading Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family, which is a lovely book much like her beautiful blog www.soulemama.com/ In it, she quotes a very sweet blessing that she and her family say before meals. I have decided I am going cross stitch part of it onto a sampler for our kitchen this weekend. I am so enjoying our garden and the signs of spring life at the moment that it just seemed right -
Blessings on the blossom,
Blessings on the root,
Blessings on the leaf and stem,
Blessings on the fruit.
Hopefully I'll have some results to show you on Monday.

With the wind continuing to whip dramatically around us at the moment, I am reminded very much of Wendy Rule's song, "The Wolf Sky". I'm not quite sure what a wolf sky is, but I imagine it sounds a little like what we have right now. If you haven't heard of Wendy, you have to have a listen -



Have a beautiful weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A gentle whisper of spring...

Sunshine today! And signs of life around the garden - a dash of blue from the primoses and velvety purple blooms and fuzzy buds from the magnolia tree.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In a yellow wood goes commercial! :)

A shameless advertisement today! I have finally managed to get my online shop opened at Etsy - http://www.etsy.com/shop/Inayellowood. There has been much procrastination but it went live yesterday. If you are interested in vintage knick-knacks and clothes (the latter will be uploaded shortly), please drop by and have a look. Its very much in its beginning stages at present, with not many items listed, but this will grow given the frequency with which I visit thrift stores!


Our crazy weather continues on today with winds of up to 60 km/h predicted by lunchtime. Spring, where are you?


The election campaign which has been dominating the news here in Australia for weeks (it feels like years) will finally be over this Saturday. And I still haven't decided who to vote for! I have considered doing a 'donkey vote', so non-plussed am I by all of the parties, but then my conscience nags at me about what a privilege it is to be able to vote and how many people in other countries don't have the vote etc., etc. So I still have no idea what I will do once I am in that little booth.

With the grim, wintery weather continuing on, our front porch is increasingly resembling a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. I dropped some seed near the path yesterday and ever since, as the wind has blown the seed towards the house, the birds have moved further and further towards us, realising too I assume that there's shelter to be had if they get a bit closer.


And of course the cold means baking. Well, it does to me anyway. I have converted my basic cake recipe into a basic muffin recipe and have now added either mixed dried fruit or orange zest with marmalade centres. Absurdly easy. And even easier to eat. Harder to avoid...
I posted this a few weeks ago, but just in case you want to try it...
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
Pinch salt
1 cup sugar
Few drops vanilla essence
2 unbeaten eggs
4 ozs. butter (melted)
1/2 cup milk
Combine. Bake at 180 degrees celsius. Depending on your filling, muffins can take up to half an hour. Just keep an eye on them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Some days are diamonds, some days are stone

Do you ever have those days when you just don't seem to achieve much? I guess it happens to people who are self-employed a little more than people who work in offices etc. so I tend to have them now and then. It's not that I don't have things to do - I am working hard on getting some of my short stories published at the moment and also getting two online shops set up for my greeting cards and my vintage stuff - but some days (like today) just don't seem to have any 'scores on the board' when they come to a close. You feel as though you've just frittered away at the edges of things instead of really getting anywhere. There's always tomorrow, I guess. Do you have days like this?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

News from Nowhere

We are still having some very wintery weather here at the moment, though I suppose this is fair enough given we still have a couple of weeks of winter to go. There was a tornado a couple of hours north of us yesterday. A tornado! Apparently they do sometimes happen in Australia but I had assumed this was pretty much an American phenomenon. Strong winds here today too apparently, and lots of rain - the latter of which we can't complain about given that in a couple of months I will probably be telling you how hot it is!
Even though spring is coming (I think), I have decided to embark on a fairly wintery knitting project. Having immersed myself in Little Dorrit and more recently Return to Cranford, I have decided to knit myself a very simple shawl. Not terribly large, just to go over the shoulders as seemed to be the Victorian style. And being the novice knitter that I am, I think it will all be in a knit stitch. I know - potentially not the most exciting garment in appearance - but potentially nice & snuggly warm.
You may have noticed the lack of my own photos on here since my trusty point-and-shoot digital camera died and I got my schicki-micki Sony a300 for my birthday. Well, I basically can't master the bloody thing! There, I've admitted it. Every time I try to load photos from it onto the computer, it tells me they're too big and it jams the computer. What do I do? Any advice most welcome.
Every time I go into an thrift store these days I seem to find a good book. As I result my bedside table and living room coffee table are bulging! Currently I'm reading Walking in Pimlico by Ann Featherstone (a Victorian whodunit), Wintering by Kate Moses (about Sylvia Plath) and Pride and Prejudice. Crazy Aunt Purl has set up a virtual bookclub over at her site and the latter is our book to start with. I've got Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook and Emily Perkins' Novel about my Wife lined up to start on next. What are you reading right now?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Only a house

There is a house being pulled down almost immediately opposite us. The asbestos was (carefully) removed the other day and now there is a big bobcat sort of thing raging around the block pulling down the house itself. I know everything has to change but I always feel a little sad when I see a house being pulled down. Where do all of its memories go? I was talking to my mother the other day about my parents' house which is the only house I lived in while I was growing up. It's the house I went back to when my father collected my mother and I from the hospital when I was born. My parents are thinking about getting something smaller now and I said "But it's our house...you can't sell it!" Mum replied, "But it's only a house." Only a house? I struggle with this idea. The same is true of where my husband and I currently live - my grandparents' old house. Even now, after we've been here five years, every corner has a memory - new memories of us, of course - but also memories of the happy times I had here growing up. I would find it hard to move and see someone else living here. It, like my parents' house, is a part of who I am. What do you think? Do you connect with your surroundings in the same way?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Balm for the ears, food for the mind

This is a most incredible piece of music from Australian group Dead Can Dance, coupled with a most poignant clip.
Have a wonderful Tuesday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Herbie goes Gardening (Gardening goes Herbie?)

Now that spring is starting to poke its nose out from under the winter covers, my mind is wandering back towards the garden. I have decided to plant a small herb garden in the backyard but I'm not sure what to plant. Has anyone got any suggestions for a sometimes shady, sometimes hot patch of soil?