Felt hat project
I am still in pursuit of assembling sufficient information and skills needed to be able to make a felt hat. Last week I collected flowers from the garden to try and make some natural dyes. I followed a recipe I had seen on Gardening Australia. My efforts all resulted in very pale colours. First I soaked red salvias, blue salvias and yellow/orange calandulas in glass bottles using cold water and then brought these to a simmer in my electric preserving pan. Next I drained each colour and put in a separate pan and added some white wool bringing that slowly to a simmer for half an hour. I definitely need to do more research and practicing but I’ll keep trying. I know you can buy special dyes but I think it would be nice to achieve a result by my own efforts.
Video for Author page
As mentioned in my last Blog, I needed to make a video for inclusion in my Author page on Amazon. Location for filming the video was the first hurdle. Ken said he could add film behind me if I sat in front of a green screen which is the recognised method of superimposing someone or something on a background. I bought some green material and we taped that to the wall and then I sat at a small desk in front of the camera. I’d written out a sort of script of what I wanted to say but of course I couldn’t look at that because I had to face the camera and speak. Ken was so patient; it took me 11 attempts to sort of get it right. I had no idea how hard it would be to talk without making mistakes.
Ken superimposed me on different pieces of film he had but nothing looked right. I had the idea a library background would be good so Ken went up to the local library. He described to the librarian what we were trying to do and approval was kindly given. Joining the film making club has certainly given him some new skills not to mention a few headaches besides.
If you would like to see the end result it can be accessed on my author page at:
I can’t believe how colourful the garden is even though it’s winter. Some of the fruit trees still haven’t shed all their leaves but at the same time are budding up, likewise some of the ornamentals. Even sweet peas, which self sowed, are whizzing up. This surely must be a sign of how confused nature is due to climate change. I planted garlic on the shortest day of the year, which is what I normally do, then read in a gardening blog that wasn’t the best way and it should be planted sooner. Anyway I’ll keep with my method of planting on the shortest day and harvesting on the longest. My last crop was fantastic. A while ago I planted broad beans which are now looking healthy and strong and I am fortunate enough to be able to harvest carrots, lettuce, beetroot and corriander as required. Gardening is very rewarding if you are able to accept failures along with the successes.
Once again I have to thank Jo Marty for kindly allowing me to include one of her recipes in this blog. This time it’s for Spaghetti and Pea Pesto. I tried it out last week and it tastes really delicious. In Jo’s words ‘the recipe is super cheap yet flavourful and filling’.
200g frozen peas, defrosted, generic is fine
1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons almonds/35g, skin on is fine
100g cheddar cheese, grated, reserve a little for sprinkling over
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup vegetable oil (olive oil is best but any mild oil will do)
500g spaghetti pasta
Half cook the peas. Set 2 tablespoons aside for garnishing later.
Place the almonds in a food processor and blend well. Add the garlic, peas,cheese,salt and pepper then vegetable oil. Blend well until smooth.
Cook the spaghetti until al dente according to the instructions on packet.
Ladle out and reserve approximately 2 cups of the cooking liquid then drain the rest.
Add 1 cup (i.e. Half of the reserved cooking liquid) of the cooking water to the pea mixture in the food processor. Blend well, stopping to scrape the sides and base.
Return the spaghetti to the pot then over medium heat toss through the pea sauce until well heated and well mixed. Add more of the reserved cooking water if necessary.
To serve divide amongst 4 bowls and garnish with the reserved whole peas and grated cheese.
25th June was the birthday of my good friend Olga. It was a happy celebration.
A get-well message to Joan Blain, a regular contributor to the blog, who is in hospital with a broken ankle. I hope she is catching up on her reading.
To everyone else, keep well and treasure each day.