Showing posts from October, 2011

How to make homemade condensed milk

I was blog visiting the other day and stumbled across the recipe for CONDENSED MILK.  I never knew you could even make it so I just had to give it a try.  It was SO EASY.  Here is the recipe and yes, it tastes like the real thing. 
1 cup of powdered milk
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup white sugar (I used caster sugar)
3 tablespoons soft butter

Put all the ingredients in a small processor and whizz until the sugar is dissolved.I didn't use the processor, I made mine in the stand mixer and I think it was a lot quicker and easier.

The condensed milk was very tasty but I really couldn't sit there and eat it all!!  Not at all healthy - so instead I made chocolate coconut balls which of course is even less healthy.  They will be very nice with a cup of tea for supper (occasionally).

After lunch today I couldn't help but have a small slice of cheesecake.  It was my son's 19th birthday yesterday and this was so delicious.  No, I didn't make it.  Its the only time of the year that I buy a fancy cake and my sons choose what they want. This one was a baked cheesecake covered in chocolate - very wicked!! My son has taken half of it to share with all his friends, I hope he eats what is left because it I shouldn't eat any more.
After all those calories  I thought I would take a "turn" in the garden, as Jane Austin would say. Whilst smelling the jasmine, admiring the tomatoes and tasting the spinach I picked this little posy of sweet-pea and lavender.  So now when I wash the dishes I can admire the flowers.
My DH likes to eat a biscuit at night when he gets up for a drink of water - strange I know but a habit he has had for years.  So I make biscuits for him, this weeks are similar to my ANZAC recipe but modified slightly - everything is based on …

Creating a home

As I was doing the housework/bread making on Saturday morning I was thinking of a blog I had recently read . . . it was mulling over in my mind.  I really shouldn't have taken it to heart, but sometimes these things happen.  The topic was about creating a home for ones husband and family and several comments were along the following lines:  that working women do "housework" and not "home-keeping" therefore they are "not creating a special home for their husbands" as they don't have the time to spend doing those finer details.  And because they don't have the time to "clean thoroughly" (deep clean) it isn't quite as "good/clean".   This really upset me. Very silly I know, but I don’t like these sort of comment as it tries to say (perhaps unintentionally) that some women are doing a lesser job because they aren't at home all day and if you aren’t at home all day your house suffers.  I have many working women as friend…

Dear friend . . .

Dear Friend,
As you got up this morning, I watched you and hoped you would talk to me, even if it was just a few words, asking my opinion or thanking me for something good that happened in your life yesterday, but I noticed you were to busy trying to find the right outfit to put on and wear to work. So Iwaited.
When you ran around the house getting ready, I knew there would be a few minutes for you to stop and say hello, but you were too busy.

At one point you had to wait fifteen minutes with nothing to do except sit in a chair. Then I saw you spring to your feet, and I thought you wanted to talk to me, but you ran to the phone and called a friend to get the latest gossip.

I watched as you went to work and I waited patiently all day long. With all your activities I guess you were too busy to say anything to me.  I noticed before lunch you looked around, maybe you felt embarrassed to talk to me, that is why you didn't bow your head. You glanced three or four tables over and you noti…

Art Wednesday: The Queens of England

Queen Elizabeth II has been in town staying just down the road at Government House.  Sadly, no she didn't come to visit me personally therefore we were unable to share a delightful afternoon tea together!! I am sure we would have had a lovely time.  And no, I didn't wait in any crowd to see her - I could have, in fact I probably would have had a very good view, but I had better things to do such as picking up my husband that ranks higher than the Queen of England!

So to commemorate her 16th visit to Australia (and possibly her last as she is getting on in age - now 85) I thought this Art Wednesday would be "Queens of Great Britain" - they are in no particular historical order!! Of course, most of these Queens became a Queen as a result of marriage - not many were Queens in their own right such as Queen Elizabeth I and II.  My favourite among these photos is "The Queen Mother" - it is a beautiful painting, almost photographic.
Anne Boleyn by a unknown artist …


Now that the summer is almost here I have started to wear t-shirts.  I like t-skirts, they are comfortable and go with anything—and they can be jazzed up or worn casual. BUT it is so hard to find nice good quality t-shirts.  They are so often too long, too short, too tight (like the one above), too loose, too baggy, difficult to iron or simply don’t last very long and end up going out of shape after a few washes. 
Last week I went through my drawers to see what I had for the coming summer and sadly many ended up in the bin or ones that I can wear gardening—I didn’t have very many nice “going out” t-shirts.  Even some that I had bought last season no longer looked very nice at all. It really annoys me as they aren’t that cheap either—so if I am going to spend $20 (USA/Aus) for a t-skirts I want it to last at least a few seasons at least, more the better. 
On the weekend I bought three t-shirts, which look nice in the store but I know they are unlikely to last very long.  I …

Supporting one's husband

My DH is currently applying for another job.  His application was sent off on Saturday.  It’s not that he wants to move from where he is, he quite liked the work he was doing.  However there are a couple of senior managers who don’t like him because of his views on particular topics (which I won’t go into). As a result of expressing his views, they have systematically targeted him—in other words bullied him for months and months. It is only a handful of managers targeting him but they are powerful enough to make his work life miserable and force him to look elsewhere.  We are waiting to see if they offer him an involuntary redundancy.  These should only be offered if a position has disappeared and they cannot find another or the person is breaking the Code Of Conduct.  My DH is doing neither.  He simply has other views on select topics that they don’t like.  We aren’t talking about rebel behaviour or anarchy here – just a  differences of opinion.
It is a very sad day wh…

Nursey Sale and other things

My local plant nursey is having a 20% sale this weekend, perfect time to buy everything I need for the vegetable garden - so I bought and planted the following: Strawberries (taking the number of plants to 10)Beans (2 punnets)Zucchini (2 punnets)Pumpkin (2 different types)Cucumber (2 punnets)Capsicum (large and mini yellow ones)Mini daisies (annuals) (2 punnets)2 large daisies - bright yellow1 Summer Wisteria for a large potThey are now all in the ground, fertilized and watered.  Now I sit back and wait . . . well, not quite. Probably planted far too much, but thats ok, I will share it around!  Yesterday the tomatoes finally went into the garden bed as it doesn't look like we will get any more frosts this year.
So now I am off to have my lunch (leftover pasta) and perhaps do this afterwards (or read) - on the couch and not the snow.  I just had to use this photo as it was SO CUTE.

Once I have had that rest!! I have some ironing to do . . . some skirts came in the mail from "New…

Furry photos

Now that my sons are grown up, they no longer like having their photos taken.  Nor does my DH.  The dogs don't stand still long enough and Charlie (cat) sleeps and that isn't very exciting.  So Ruby is my only living creature in the house that likes to have her photo taken and therefore I am going to bore you with some of these photos. Ruby is an indoor cat and has never ventured outdoors in her life.  As she gets upset when I got outside, I thought I would buy her a harness. These were taken on her first day out.  She was very nervous and I have scratches to provide this!!  She did enjoy the outing, but those birds that she loves to watch through the window are scary in real life!! Discovering the water bowl. New smells - Rosemary.
Since Ruby has been outside a couple of times, she has decided that indoors are, in fact, a much nicer place to be!!
Safely inside again!!  Ruby's favourite spot at the moment is the table by the front window.  However the towel she has been sleep…

The morning

The morning is the time for reviewing the actions and events of the previous day, and for forming, for that which has commenced, a new set of plans, upon the convictions which such a calm and impartial review is calculated to produce.  The morning is the time for gathering our thoughts together, for arranging our resources, and for asking with humble reverence that Divine assistance, without which, we have no right to expect that the coming day will be spent more satisfactorily than the past.

from The Wives of England: Their relative duties, domestic influences and social obligations  by Sarah Ellis Stickney, 1843

Art Wednesday: Mothers and babies

Woman and baby by Edward Lamson Henry
Yesterday my dear cousin gave birth to a baby boy . . . so I thought today's paintings should celebrate this wonderful news . . . so, its all about babies and to welcome . . . one very special baby named David.  A precious gift from God - Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. Psalm 127:3
Young mother feeding her baby by Levy Emile Mother lacing her bodice beside the cradle by Pieter de Hooch Artist unknown Mother and child in the boat by Edmund Tarbell
Sleeping baby by Mary Cassatt
Painting by Donald Zolan
The cradle by Berthe Morisot
The artist is Carl Lasson and this is his wife and daughter
Gravesend Bay by William Merritt Chase
Elizabethan Sisters and their babies, circa 1599 (I find this one a little amusing!!)
Summer by Ivana Kobilka (1861-1926)
This is one of my favourites - does it sum up what being mother is all about.