Sunday, 31 August 2014

Roses Are Red Violets Are... Ummm... Rose Coloured.

Well, it has been pretty much a full month since I last posted. Mostly because it has been hurringly cold! That means most days are spent wrapped up in several afghans, with a warm hat, fuzzy scarf, and fingerless gloves, hugging a hot water bottle. Very hard to do anything craft-y like that! So, yes, I am WAY behind in all my embroidery stuff. And I haven't really done a lot else either - just a lot of reading and knitting a big warm afghan with large needles.
I did manage to knit a cute Minion hat last week on 4mm needles - I was bored and in the mood for a goofy hat.

Towards the beginning of the month I made my first ravioli - it was fantastic. Filled it with my homemade ricotta cheese. I do like the homemade pasta!
When I made the pasta dough (on the last post), I only made half a recipe, but got 7 meals out of it. 3 cups of flour and 3 eggs - 7 meals. Coupled with freshly made home-made ricotta cheese (2 litres of milk), my ultra-fast home made pasta sauces (a tomato one - buy 1 tin budget tomatoes, and 1 tin budget tomato puree; and a creamed greens one), and fresh veggies from the garden for sides, salads and the sauces, I managed to do a week's worth of dinners, surprisingly fast and easy, for a grand total of $7.00. Now that's economical!

I also broke into the first of my hard cheeses - the beer cheese. Oh wow! it was wonderful! Especially with my freshly baked peasant bread, and a glass of my homemade cider.

What I am most excited about though, is the violet blossom jelly I made today.
I can see why it is very rarely done anymore - very time consuming, down on the ground, picking 4 cups of violet flowers!
My garden is overrun with violets, and I regularly pull bucketfuls of the plants out trying to keep the garden clear and stop them overrunning and killing everything else in the garden. Unfortunately, the violets I have are the white ones - no scent at all. Bummer. My neighbour down the back though has a small patch of beautifully scented rose-coloured violets. They are just heavenly! She let me raid her violet patch yesterday for the flowers. I completely stripped the patch of flowers, and just managed to get enough.
After half an hour getting all the ants off the blossoms, I then steeped them in boiling water, left them to cool, and left them to steep overnight. Boy do ants LOVE violets! I put a plate over the bowl to keep 'things' out (you know, all the 'stuff' that invariable fall into whatever you are trying to cook if you don't cover it), and when I came back to check on the flowers an hour after pouring the hot water on, the whole bench was just covered in ants! They were all trying to get into the bowl to get to the violet water. Needless to say, I had to move the bowl to where the ants couldn't get to it.
So this morning I made up the jelly. Ooooo! Heavely! Very delicate flavour, and DEFINATELY worth the effort!

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