The Green Folder

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Asparagus how to store, cook and eat it

Fresh asparagus should have crisp, not bendy or soft stalks, the tips should be firm and held tightly together, walk away from anything less.  I would also urge, only eat asparagus when it is in season, for New Zealand, September – December.   Personally, lightly steamed and dripping in butter is the way to eat this stunning shoot.  It is rumored that Julius Caesar loved it this way, who knows,  it was certainly cultivated by the Romans more than 2000 years ago.

  Top tip, store your purchase standing up in a container of water, like a bunch of flowers, covered with damp kitchen towel, they start to die as soon as they are cut.  This will keep them fresher for longer

Asparagus provides vitamins A, B2, and C.  It is also a good source of potassium, iron and….calcium – surprised? Now if only I could find a way of making my children eat asparagus, all would be good in my green world.  For the rest of us here’s some asparagusy stuff.shoot (2) Continue reading “The Green Folder”

Upcycling

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Chair Upholstery Lesson 1: Pre-work

4 do’s and Don’ts for your first projects according to Antonia and her 23 years experience making mistakes.  We were all told to write down these rules.

Bla Bla Bla, if you are not interested in chair upholstery skip to the bit where I threw the hammer down.

  1. Do not try to upholster a wingback chair.  Why because it is kick ass and you need about 18 months of experience before you attempt this.  Start with a dining room chair or foot stall.  It has the elements you need to master tension, corners, measuring and cutting.  Move on up through headboards, chairs with squabs, padded chairs without arms, simple armchairs with removable wooden arms then your ultimate goal, a wingback chair.
  2. Do not use stripes or geometric patterns until you know what you are doing.  Why because you need to be able to match the pieces perfectly.
  3. Do not use any other fabric other than upholstery grade.  Why because it is stretchy enough to manipulate around corners and provides enough tension for a smooth finish. Upholstery fabric can be cut into release cuts, without it ripping further or tearing at the staple sites.  Other fabrics, even drapery will not do this.  It is false economy.
  4. Do not start on a complete re-upholstery project, i.e taking a chair down to the frame. Why because you need to build experience with the fabric first.  Choose a chair that has good bones, where you can use the existing springs and padding.

Continue reading “Upcycling”

Campfire Stories

 

cropped-frizz-4.jpgAfter the rain

I stood and looked out. The air was thick and heavy and made my hair curl and frizz about my head.

It has been ridiculously hot and humid lately, a month of record temperatures was broken with a big dump of rain recently. The sudden and violent downpour caught suburbia by surprise, it’s hot, bothered and sleep deprived citizens flooded and swore.

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Mother nature was not surprised, she had been watching and waiting, when the rain came her people were ready.  Relieved and thirsty they embraced the rain or burst through the dusty brown earth showing themselves to drink greedily.  All life here was changed temporarily by the rain. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”

Upcycling

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A Broken Orange Chair

‘Ok, we will start, we are only waiting for one more.’ our leader looks behind her at the large wall clock then down at her wrist.  ‘Yes, we will begin’  She leans forward and hits a button that illuminates the white wall behind her.  It shows a cartoon happy person with a speech bubble.  HI, MY NAME IS……..I AM FROM…………

‘You’, she points at me, ‘we will start with you.’

Continue reading “Upcycling”

Cocktails

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Fancy a Gin Fizz – Here’s a couple of winners

A Fizz is basically a base spirit – usually Gin- citrus and sugar made to fizz with a soda and sometimes an egg white to give a luxurious creamy head.   I have a complicated relationship with eggs on the whole, fried and runny NO, mayonnaise YES, soft boiled or poached NO, lemon meringue YES.  Putting egg white into my cocktails seemed disgusting and so I have always opted out, until I was introduced to Miss Sloe Gin Fizz. Her velvet pink dress and white feather boa utterly seduced me.  Sugar and egg white are, after all meringue, I argued as I shook like a pro waiting for the magic to happen.20180120_231056 (2).jpg

 Why hello Miss Fizz so very nice to drink you.  For you I will grit my teeth and put egg white into my shaker.

Continue reading “Cocktails”

Campfire Stories

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I am not sure what moved me

I have been trying to catch a picture of a Monarch butterfly for about six weeks now and have driven myself crazy.  I am never quite ready enough to get the shot I am after.  Many of them have sailed through my life this summer, flirting, but they are busy and my mission is none of their concern.  They have only four or so weeks to do their thing and a camera shoot with me is not on the agenda.  My husband laughs at me and sometimes tries to help with “quick quick” calls to the garden.  I am not ready to give up, there is something enchanting about just watching their swooping air shows I console, when I leave my camera on the kitchen bench.

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I felt my heart crack a little when I saw a monarch whose short weeks had ended on the side of an exhaust black dual carriageway.  I was trudging, under hot sun and through petrol fumes, from one car dealership to another when a flag of rust caught my attention. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”

Jokes and Ditties

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I Call To My Cat – in an egg timer kind of way

 

“Twinkle”…….I call my cat she ignores me

“Hey beautiful.” I plead into the dark

She hears me………. I know it

I whistle our food call

Again I am ignored

“Come on girl…….

Come inside”

“Please.”

“Please.”

It’s cold

She is shadows

I am not necessary

“Come on ……..I have food”

I shake the box…..”your favorite”

She smiles in the dark, hidden from me

 I need her…………….. more than she needs me

 

 

 

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Campfire Stories

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A Fight To The Death for my Bagel

My husband and I were lucky enough to be invited by one of my favorite humans  to share a few days at the top of this beautiful island.  It is at least a four and a half hour drive from where I live, and so to my shame, the last time I visited it must have been at least four years ago.  The thought of the journey is worse than the actual miles and the reward worth the dust on the car, so no excuse.

I found myself grateful, relaxed and alone embraced by a stunning start to the day on the beautiful Karikari peninsula wondering why it has been so long.  I popped the kettle on and pushed a fat bagel into the thin space of the toaster and prayed I would not burn the batch down before I opened the ranch sliders and breathed in the heavy salt-laden air. I had intended to set up a folding chair but the view had held on, I heard the bagel pop up and gave silent thanks for the toasters resolve.

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Continue reading “Campfire Stories”

Campfire Stories

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Would you still write if no one listened?

I read somewhere that over 6.5 million people blog, double that if you include social media.  Most of us are woman.  What are we doing, why are we doing it?

WordPress made me think about this recently whilst setting goals I found it uncomfortable, it made me admit I wanted to be heard, that I wanted more followers; I am actually socially shy and private, so I was confused.  My answers showed a path that I had not intended.

Cat plays her throat trumpet announcing she will be sharing my space for a while.  I am full of questions and rub under her chin as I silently try to answer them. The pressure confuses her body and her back leg lifts, performing a scratching action midair.  That happens to the dog sometimes, I wonder if the pressure of my words have any impact, do they cause an action somewhere else. Continue reading “Campfire Stories”