Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mares eat oats and does eat oats

And we eat flapjacks. I fancied a flapjack the other day, as you do. My mum used to make these when I was a teenager and some days they were the only thing I ate in my lunchbox. I was skinny back then.
Back when I was a lass my Mum was good enough to lace the flapjacks with chocolate icing. If you haven't tried it then I recommend it, a really dark bitter chocolate icing is just the right accompaniment to a sweet and crunchy flapjack. It's a tradition that I uphold proudly.

125 g butter
1 (generous) T golden syrup
2 C rolled oats
3/4 C coconut
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla essence
1/2 t salt

Melt together the butter and golden syrup (at this point I remove about 1 T of this mixture and save it to make the icing). Then add the oats, sugar, vanilla, coconut, and salt, mix well and press into a cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 180 deg. C for 20 min or so. If you like it chewy bake until light golden, if you like it crunchy, bake it a little longer.
Ice with chocolate icing: 1 T melted butter (as above), 2 T cocoa, 1 C icing sugar, boiling water to mix until it's the right consistency for spreading (about 2 T).
I ice this slice when it's hot, about 5 min after taking it out of the oven. It makes the icing glossy and smooth and perfect once it cools.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shiny, sparkley, matchy-matchy

We have this old formica table, it's yellow and grey and white, and it's very dear to us. It's been the site of most of my craft projects, all of our dinners when there were two, then three, then four of us, it's where the wee ones paint, fold paper planes, draw pictures, and do their homework. I wouldn't buy a new table if I had all the money in the world. However, the chairs bothered me. They were a mismatched set of wooden chairs that just weren't right.
I see chrome kitchen chairs in junk shops all the time, but hardly ever do I see four the same. So when I saw four matching ones with rusty legs and brown velour upholstery, I knew I must seize the moment and begin a restoration job. The chairs dismantled easily, because they were made back in the day when you could take things apart to mend them, and then put them back together. Four screws to loosen, that's all. The chrome was a little daunting as it was pretty rusty, but I polished it up with fine steel wool (from an auto shop) and "Blue Magic" chrome and metal polish, and they looked as good as new (here's the howto on youtube). Really, as good as new! The upholstery I got done by professionals- $80 per chair in case you're wondering how much it costs)- and I would recommend that for most people as four layers of vinyl would be challenging for any sewing machine (and its operator for that matter).
Posted by PicasaSo there it is. I now have a fully matching dining set and I'm as pleased as punch. And I must say, it's so satisfying to see how beautiful a professional finish is. If I had reupholstered these chairs myself it would have ended in tears, nothing surer.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's *that* time of year again

It's *that* time of year again. The time of year when leaves are falling, the sky is grey for days on end, and fingers start to itch for knitting or crochet.
I have just purchased enough double knitting wool to make a blanket. This is *insanity* for me because I have no patience for long or overly ambitious projects. But I was seduced, seduced I tell you, by all of these lovely crochet afghans I've seen on the interweb. Look at this, and this, and this, and tell me you're not off to buy some wool and hook.
To temper the insanity I tried out a smaller project to see if I would tire of it quickly, or whether I could potter away at it for ages. Hence, I now introduce my granny square scarf.
I love this scarf. It's my perfect combination of winter colours, combined in a semi-kooky homemade fashion item that screams "I made it!" and "laugh if you will!". As well, it was the perfect holiday project because I needed only 5 balls of wool and a hook. No pattern to follow as it's just simple granny squares (trebles with two chains between sets) and I could do it while I looked out at the ocean over at Collingwood.
Here's the back:
And the front:

And a shot carefully cropped to remove my double chin, and...other bits.

The squares were joined as shown here, but when I make the blanket (and I am going to make that blanket) I'm going to crochet in the ends (so much easier than sewing them in) and join the squares as I go (as shown here). And family, you should all be very afraid because when I'm done I'm planning to make a series of crochet cushion covers as gifts.
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