Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#001: What could happen in a second

It could happen in a second.
But, everyone knows that… Predictable.
It’s the falling out of love that happens just as fast.
The single epiphanic moment when you know it’s broken, forever. The Ol’ Mare has had a few in her time time – moments that stand proud in my often foggy memory. After forty years of flexing the Dreamer muscles in my brain, I sometimes can’t tell what was real, and what I’d imagined. Did I really go there? Do that? Was that really me, or something I dreamt up?
But those moments, like lighthouses in the storm, will forever remind me when and why those tempestuous loves ended. So, that was why. Ah, I remember now. Don’t let nostalgia cloud your judgement, girl. Stay on course. Head steadily toward the lighthouse.
There was the one who sobbed into his pillow, little girl noises from The Tough Guy, begging me not to end it. Another, that night at the club when his best friend, pupils pulsing, slurred out the name of The Other Girl. And another still, his broke ass standing on my veranda, smoking my cigarettes, drinking my scotch telling me how “marriage is a big word” – the same word he’d used to win me back just days before.
Guess he didn’t know there’d be no more “winning back” after the second I finally clicked. None of them did. The Second broke it.
Love. Trust. Loyalty… all gone in just one little second.

Monday, January 21, 2013

EASY Hot & Sour Dumpling Soup

This simple dumpling soup is PERFECT for rainy days and is made up from basic store cupboard / pantry ingredients. I always hate it when celebrity chefs use the words "store cupboard" and "pantry basics" because, let's face it, normal folks like you and me don't keep our cupboards stocked with the hundreds of exotic ingredients that they use. But! This is my own recipe and I really DO keep these ingredients in my kitchen all the time. You'll see that i've used bottled lime juice. You're welcome use freshly squeezed, but in the effort to always have lime juice around, I do keep the bottled stuff in the fridge for emergencies. I also often buy a pack of frozen dumplings from the Chinese grocer and keep them in the freezer for unexpected guests. I boil them up, drain and then zap them for a few minutes in a greased medium-heat pan to make potstickers, served with a soy dipping sauce (soy sauce, chopped chill & garlic and a few drops of sesame oil). Delicious!

TOP TIP: Buy fresh chilies, wash and towel dry them thoroughly, then freeze in a sealed plastic container. As you need a hit of chill in your dishes, chop as much as you need with a sharp knife while still frozen. Do the same with washed, unpeeled fingers of ginger root.

(Serves 2)

Place the following in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes:
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 thick slice ginger root
  • 2 tsp bottled lime juice
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 green chill, sliced in half lengthways (keep it whole for less heat)

Strain out the bits and pieces and place the clear broth in a bigger pot with:
  • 12 frozen pork and leek dumplings (6 per person; use whichever flavour / filling you like)

Bring to the boil and then GENTLY simmer for 5 minutes.

Divide the dumplings and broth between 2 big soup bowls along with:
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli per bowl
  • a few drops of sesame oil and slices of red chill in each as a garnish


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Complete Projects: Brendan's Throw

It's done and dusted. After Brendan (my baby brother) dragging his lip, feeling ever-so sorry for himself that I've made throws and baby blankies for loads of people, except him, I decided to take on my biggest crochet project to date - a throw for Brendan's new home. It would have gone a lot faster if I wasn't taking time off to buy a home and start a new job etc etc etc, but finally - here it is!

It's taken roughly 18months when I really could have done it in ±6. But as you can see, it's been a real labour of love! Even though the pattern's called a "granny square", I didn't want it to look "granny", especially since it's for a boy, so I went with quite bold, masculine colors.
I've done granny square blankies before but there were a few "firsts" that make this one a little special. This is the first time that I've successfully joined squares, using an unbelievably simple technique that you can find here. It's also the first time that I've done a "shell" edge, which turned out quite nicely - if I say so myself.

I watched a simple shell edge tutorial on YouTube and then pretty much did my own thing.
I'm sure Beena cat will be happy that it's done now so she can climb back into my lap again. She wasn't happy at all with this cosy looking blanket sitting in my super cosy looking lap and she couldn't get a piece of the cosy action. She did manage to get a few cat hairs on it, but nothing that Brendan will really notice. (Sh! Don't tell him.) In fact, now might be a good time to ask if you know of any good cleaning tips for great big granny square / ripple blankets? If he needs to give it a wash, should he just take it to the professionals?
Anyway! I'm happy that he's got something to throw over his knees / feet on those cold Johannesburg nights when he's relaxing in front of the tv. And soon I'll be starting a blanket for Donovan - my other brother. I'm thinking shades of blue and grey for Don's.
But first, I've got to turn my bedroom around, from drab to fab! I've bought the readymade curtains, but I need to buy the patterned border for the bottom. I have very high ceilings so standard curtain drops aren't long enough. Then I need to paint the back wall, put up a shelf and sew the great big cushion covers for the bed. I've bought the accessories, so once I get going it shouldn't take to long.
I just need to actually START. Oops.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Completed Projects: Rice bag cushion covers

A little something that I made for Noodle, one of my best mates!
For some time now I've been toying with the idea of turning food sacks into cool cushions, so when Noodle's birthday came around, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out.
I didn't have any empty food sacks, so I bought 2 bags of basmati rice from Gorima's, emptied them, washed them and then sewed them into cushion covers. The rice itself I donated on Noodle's behalf to the John Palmer Residence for the Blind, which is were my grandmother lives. They're always grateful for any donations that they receive... Win win!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lazy Saturdays

So I'm chilling in the sofa messing around with the apps on my iPhone and I see that there's a Blogger app. Could it be possible that I can blog directly from my phone if the inspiration hits me?!? Well, this is the first attempt. Let's see if this thing works...