Thursday, 28 February 2008

Sugo mania

Yesterday a friend and I decided to go the CERES organic market in East Brunswick (a place I haven't visited in aaages) to pick up some lovely locally grown produce. There we stumbled across a few 10kg boxes of their own tomatoes and seeing them was really all we needed - within a few hours (OK, quite a few hours as also had to get coffee, have lunch etc etc) we had bottled our own tomato sauce, ready for whipping up quick pasta dinners.

And there are more snaps on Flickr.

The recipe is a trusty one, given
to my friend's boyfriend by an old Italian, and I've done my best to remember it here! Oh, and we used a mouli to separate the seeds and onion from the sauce, although I'm sure there are other things you could use (a sieve might be hard but might do the job...)

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Box of tomatoes (we had 10kg!)
3-4 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
A few dashes of olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
Fresh basil leaves

1. Quarter tomatoes and toss into a big saucepan (you may need to do this in batches - we did our 10kg in 5 batches) and splash in some water. Simmer on stover for about 15 minutes until the tomatoes have collapsed.

2. Strain in sieve to remove excess liquid (which you can keep for a soup stock or other tomato-ish stock).

3. Put back in saucepan and add onion and garlic (our 10kg reduced enough so that we now had two big saucepans half full) and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until onion and garlic have softened and cooked.

4. Cool for a little bit then process through a mouli to separate the sauce from the tomato seeds and onion; discard seeds and onion and bottle your sauce! Top each bottle with a basil leaf.

I think it'll keep a while as we bottled ours in jars that were 'sterilised'. OK, so technically they might not be sterile, but close enough - we washed and cleaned them in soapy water, then left in the oven on 160 degrees celcius for 3o mins or so.

**UPDATE** It's probably a good idea to either use proper preserving jars (with tight rubber seals) OR store in fridge OR just put in plastic containers and freeze, else your sauce may not last long on the bookshelf :(

And on a completely different note, above is a print I bought from Ashley G (aka Kitty Genius) via her Etsy shop ages back, that I only just got around to framing. It's printed on archival matte poly/cotton canvas (lovely texture, almost like fabric) and the frame is white, of the box variety. So cute!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The Mercury Print Museum, Hobart

Of all the things to stumble across within 5 minutes of arriving in Hobart city for a short holiday, I was rather happy with this - the Museum for the local newspaper The Mercury. They have lots of great artifacts, information about "the way things were" and the newspaper and there were plenty of photo opportunities (and I've put more of Flickr). Definitely worth a look if you're on the small island.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Hearts for Mikes & Mirabel

Finally got some time to make hearts for Mikes' Hearts for Mirabel campaign-thingo when my inherited sewing machine (which is rather old and can be seen here) decided to stop working :( I wanted to make some sort of mobile of hearts, but that won't be happening as hand sewing takes a lot longer than the machine kind, as I discovered. Oh well, these are it then. On the back is a black and white spotted fabric and the front is, funnily enough, hearts from a kinda charming and very sturdy Ikea cotton fabric.

And there are a heap more hearts over here, made by the 105 members (and rising) of the I Heart Mirabel Flickr group set up by Pip at Mikes. Woo hoo.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Blog Joy Awards

"To bestow the award choose 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel happy about blogland. Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so they can pass it on. Beware you may get this award several times."

Ok, here goes:
Rosa from a ervilha cor de rosa
Julia from Book By Its Cover
Jamie from The Breakfast Blogger
Haalo from Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once
Fiona from Hop Skip Jump
Jessica from How About Orange
Lara from Kirin Notebook
Claire from Loobylu (OK, retired but was always such an inspiration) UPDATE: Ohh, perhaps things are about to change (thanks for the tip-off comment, Loobylu, can't wait!)
Carly from Moopy & Me
Richard from Ace Jet

All of these guys rock, and of course it's hard to restrict to just 10 but best we stop there (hence the ampersand snap - yes, I could go on and on). Thank you thank you thank you.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Shrove Breakfast

Any excuse to have pancakes is good, but today is the best - mmm, Shrove Tuesday (actually, these are almost crepes). Although they're a bit wonky (hey, homemade is cool) they tasted pretty good and went well with a homemade warm blueberry sauce (with berries we picked ourselves).


1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Sift flour & salt and make a well in centre
2. Place egg in well and with a wooden spoon gradually work in the flour and half the milk.
3. Beat for 1 min and stir in remainder of milk
4. Allow to stand for 1/2 hour (to soften the cellulose of the starch grains, producing a lighter batter)
5. Melt a bit of butter in fry pan. Pour sufficient mixture to cover pan (or to make pancake to the size you want). Cook until set and lightly browned on base
6. Turn pancake and brown on other side, then remove from pan. Keep on a plate in oven set to low temp (about 100 degrees celsius) while you cook the rest of the batter
7. Serve with lemon juice and sugar, warm blueberry sauce, maple syrup, ice-cream or whatever else you feel like!

(Recipe from the trusty Cookery the Australian Way)

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