Monday, 23 April 2018

Honey & Ginger Anzac biscuits

Sweet and oat-y and thought to be a welcome inclusion in care packages sent to loved ones fighting in a long-ago war so far from home, Anzac biscuits are an Australian tradition that take their name from those first brave ANZAC soldiers who landed on a far away beach at Gallipoli in Turkey, on April 25th, 1915. On that April date each year, our nation solemnly remembers those long-ago soldiers and all those who have come after them. 

Those original Anzac biscuits had a long way to travel to reach loved ones on faraway shores. While traditionally made with rolled oats and golden syrup, without eggs and with lots of sugar, there are many twists now on the original recipe that began appearing in recipe books from the 1920s.  Traditional or with a twist? Chewy or crunchy? However you like them best, they are a biscuit with ties to our nation's history.

ANZAC biscuits with a ginger twist!

I discovered this version, for Nourishing Anzac Biscuits, over at Georgia Harding's blog,  Well Nourished, while looking for a healthier version that had far less refined sugar. In my much-loved, old and splattered copy of the Day-to-Day Cookery Book by I.M. Downes, the Anzac Biscuit recipe calls for a whopping 3/4cup of sugar. While Georgia's recipe incorporates ground, mixed seeds, I have tweaked the recipe to make these biscuits without them. Here's how I made them:

Honey & Ginger Anzac Biscuits

100g butter
60g raw honey
1 teaspoon bicarb soda

1/2cup wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2cup dessicated coconut
1/4cup of coconut or brown sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger powder

1.  Preheat oven to 170C.

2.  In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients, except bicarb soda. 

3.  Melt butter with honey in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from heat as 
     soon as butter has melted.

4.  Add bicarb soda and stir in very gently as mixture becomes frothy.

5.  Pour frothy butter mixture into dry ingredients and mix well. 

6.  Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls with wet hands (as mixture is somewhat sticky)
      and place on lined baking trays. *Leave room between each biscuit to spread as it bakes.*
      Flatten each biscuit ball slightly with a fork.

7.  Bake until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool considerably on trays before 
     transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

8.  Store in an air-tight container. 

Try not to munch on too many of these before Anzac Day on April 25th otherwise you'll find yourself up early baking an extra batch!


Friday, 20 April 2018

A Skirt with Pockets

Some lightweight, deep blue denim fabric, bought on sale ages ago, has been waiting in my fabric stash for me to sew up into a skirt with pockets. 

My new home-sewn skirt.
(The colour varies in the photographs ... it's actually a brighter blue than this!)

The pattern I used is Frankie & Ray's West Coast SkirtI chose this particular pattern because I thought it was a simple one even though it included two things I hadn't attempted before. Pockets and elastic! I found both the pockets and the elastic easy to sew in.  The trickiest part was turning the long and narrow skirt ties, which I made with the striped fabric of an old cot sheet, right side out. In the end, this simple technique demonstrated on this YouTube video, made it much easier. (Thank goodness!)

Drawstring in & pockets pinned on.
(This blue is more an accurate capture of the colour!)

Elastic at the back.

Turning over a "waistband"  to hide the elastic.

I really like this skirt! I love the gentle A-line and the deep side pockets.  I did shorten the length by adjusting the pattern so that it sits just below the knee rather than mid-calf.  It was easy and quick to sew and I know that I will wear it a lot because it's very comfy. 

 I love deep pockets!

Sewing has become a real joy. I have been pleased with everything I've made so far and wear them often. What I find quite funny is the number of people who comment on my home sewn clothes and ask where I bought them! 


Monday, 16 April 2018

Our Sea Glass Beach

There's a little beach, on a peninsula not far from where we live, that we visit from time to time so that our boy can search for sea glass. Fragments of blue, green, amber and white that are washed up on the shore, rough and sharp edges tumbled and smoothed by the waves. 

Little gems of weathered sea glass.

While I watched my boy wandering the shore, head bent down towards the sand in earnest concentration, I strolled the path above. (Beach walking is strictly prohibited for my sore feet right now:(  Although I found no sea glass along my path, there was a lot that was beautiful that caught my eye. 

The wooden stairs that lead down to our sea glass beach.

The tiny, calm waves of the sea.

A view of the sea framed by a tree. 

The soft, lemon-yellow petals of a flower. 

The crumbling pickets of someone's back beach fence. 

 The colours and spikes of a lizard.

Under a tree's arch. 

The red fireworks of a flower. 

Tall pines like this one reach for the sky.

A heart shape in the mesh. Xxx

My boy has been collecting sea glass here since he was around four years old. He still gets just as excited, when he finds a "special piece", as he did back then. If it's deemed a keeper, he brings it home! 

My son's sea glass collection.
(There's a few stones and some sand in there too!)

These pieces of once discarded bottles and glass have become someone else's treasure, my boy's precious gems. It wonder what else we throw away that would have value to another?


p.s. The links below are to  little projects you can make with sea glass.

                                            *  Sea Glass Candle          *  Sea Glass Stepping Stone