Sunday, March 27, 2011

This week I....

Got the oven installed and working. Made a huge batch of apple preserves. made 14 bottles of worstershire sauce, helped James make apple ketchup.

I also found a good local source of soap nuts and lots of other stuff too, went to the farmers market (where we succumbed to bacon butties) and did a short supermarket trip (3 items only).

Tomorrow the boys are going to ride out to visit their friends - one at Port Chalmers (14 kilometers approx) and the other at Aramoana (lots further). They have to ride home too but we will take them to the top of the hill to give them a head start going out. The only rule (apart from road rules) is that they get back by dark and have their cell phones with them (emergencies only). This will be the first really long run they have done so will be interesting to see how they cope. It'll be interesting to see which way they come home. The short way has a huge hill, the long way has a good bike path for half the distance and is flat. Their choice :)

The photos are holiday ones from china town in Arrowtown.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Work even

Its been an odd sort of week. I filled in with an elderly friend because her normal carer (also a close friend) had caught a cold. That was two mornings and then I got a sore ear/throat and figured I might not be a good risk either so Matt filled in for the third day. Then I did my normal classes who are doing well with their knitted socks. Then I got a relief day at the kindy (fun) followed by the funeral of my favourite Uncle. Not the way I like to finish a week!

That got me through to Friday where I found another friend had lost her boss suddenly to a heart attack.

On top of that I was trying to finish up some preserves and jam and the oven had to be prepared for installation which meant the kitchen has been out of operation for a couple of days - the sparky hasn't showed up yet!

So there are two massive sheets of jib board in the kitchen blocking all the cupboards and all the shelves are off the wall and stacked in various parts of the house. The breakfast stuff is on my work bench and I can never find what I need when I need it. One of the good things was a trip to the warehouse where for once, I got a pair of sandals which fitted - that was freaky as my feet normally fit nothing and then, when we came to pay for them, the price was $2.20....Huh!!!

Oh and there was a bunch of men running up and down the street clad only in wigs and scarves. I got some photos but my camera isn't working properly so they aren't as good as I would like. Living on Baldwin Street can be 'interesting' at times :)

viv in nz

Sunday, March 13, 2011


That elderberry jelly lead to all sorts of other things - like bottled fruit and a free preserving kit from a friend (yay) and 20 odd bottles of preparation etc, etc. So now I'm a bit tired (to put it mildly).

Tomorrow is our first real session creative art wise for this year - mostly due to the rooms still being painted after their flight over the fence. I have exactly zero things to do (not counting the odd ufo of the more mundane variety) so I will take my knitting (James rather boring but necessary sports sock) and the felting gear. Buzzing round like a flea in a fit does exactly nothing for my creative side, just makes me tired!

Anyhow here is a photo or two of the community centre in flight to add to the one I posted before.

viv in nz

Friday, March 4, 2011

Elderberry jelly

Matt picked a lot of the elderberries along with most of the pears so I am busy making elderberry jelly and bottled pears. I think my hands will remain a sort of muddy purple for ages. The next thing is all those apples falling off the tree. I'll use some in the elderberry jelly as a setting agent and the better ones will get themselves bottled. There seem to be a good number this year too. Last year was so poor I let the birds have what there was.

I strained the elderberries through a nice piece of cotton which I have sprinkled with salt. Hopefully there will be a dye result from that. Probably muddy purple :)

We also cut the first bunch of celery - very nice and crunchy. I intend to use some of the tops for soup - I have a soup base in the fridge (ham bone from christmas, boiled) so it might be vege soup for tea round here.

The potatoes from the front gate did exactly one dinner. Better than nothing I suppose. They were very nice though. I'm of the opinion that potatoes are not the best thing to grow in a small garden because they just don't give enough back that is special for the area they take up. I'd rather grow greens and other roots and buy the potatoes from the market. However, a small number for special events (christmas etc) is always welcome.

The corn James planted has actually developed a few flowers! You never know - there might be some sweet corn yet :) The lettuce is still going strong and so is the silver beet (swiss chard) much to the disgust of the kids :) However it can be disguised suitably with a bit of effort and it is free so they just have to live with it!

And that is the news round here :) I can't wait to see if that elderberried cloth works out!

viv in nz

The photos are from Karitane last year