Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oranges ...

It's taken 7 years for our citrus trees to yield any fruit, but this year, for some reason, they've gone into overdrive :)
I had this thought of making marmalade but was totally put off by words like sterilising, setting point, jam thermometers, *shudder*, and visions of my mum spending hours in the kitchen, sweating over making jam after we'd collected wild blackberries and damsons from the hedgerows and woods. I was of course hoping that there would be an easier way, so typed 'easy marmalade' into Google and ... score! the very first hit was 'Absolutely Fail-Proof Easy Marmalade'.
It's fast to make, easy to remember, and doesn't need any of the usual time consuming jam-making processes!
So basically you boil 6 oranges (or any other citrus fruit) and 1kg of sugar together for 20 minutes, pour into jars (I used Woolworth's everyday Essentials containers so that I could keep them in the freezer), and thats pretty much it!
The first batch I made, I followed the advice from the comments left, and peeled half of the oranges before processing them ... definitely a good move as it was still chunky but spreadable ... yum!
I made the second batch with just the juice (the first one cooked so quickly that I had to make more, even if it did mean going and picking the fruit at night by torchlight! ... but hey?, when you're on a roll ... ). So I used 4 cups of juice with 4 cups of sugar and a packet of Jamsetta pectin, boiled together, just the same for 20 minutes. I don't know whether or not I actually needed the pectin, but according to the million recipes out there, it seems like most of the natural pectin is in the skin, pith and pips, which I didn't use ... anyhows, the clear marmalade came out my favourite.
Or maybe it's orange jam not marmalade?... either way, for half an hours work, it turned out awesome and I wont be needing shop bought marmalade again :)

Sunday, July 03, 2011


It's not very often, in fact I can't remember ever buying a knitting book and wanting to make pretty much every pattern in it, until my copy of Custom Knits arrived from the Book Depository last week. OK, I say pretty much because I can't see the City Cape Poncho happening for me at this time, but hey, who knows ... I've been known to change my mind before ... :D
To decide which pattern to start with first, I did a quick stash check and found that I had 10 balls of Moda Vera Shiver (the same yarn that I just used for my Super Birthday Sweater) ... yep, I bought a heap a while back when Spotlight were selling it off for a dollar a ball!
So after checking out what my fellow Ravellers were saying and knitting, I cast on for the Lion-Neck Cardigan on page 43. (Really, what did any of us do before Ravelry? .. love it, love it!)
This pattern was fast! I was listening to audio books on Librivox (the perfect multitasking ... knitting and reading), and completed this jacket in two mystery novels, A Strange Disappearance by Anna Katharine Green (1880) and The Agony Column by Earl Derr Biggers(1916) :)
If I make this again, and I think that I will be, I'll omit the sleeve shaping completely, to make the fitting look more like the one on the model :)
I can't decide yet whether or not to use the ties ... ?