Saturday, November 27, 2010

ok win

I have been forced, very kindly of course, by my cousin Lizzie to tell about the recent happenings within our family, down here in Hobart, Tassie.
Now this is going to be a long read but Lizzie said, to tell it like it is so here goes.
It is that time of the year when we all start preparing for our Christmas traditions, and ours just happens to be getting together with Barbie and Noel to make the puddings.
We have been using the same recipe for about 15 years. It came from a very dear lady friend.Veronica, or as her husband used to call her 'Girlie' Her husband, Darkie worked for Kevin, my hubby, driving cabs for many years. We tasted one of Girlies puddings and we were won over. The first time I made them, Girlie loaned me her mothers huge porcelain dish, as I didn't have one large enough in which to soak the fruit overnight. So the tradition started there. Sadly, Girlie passed away this year but she has left us a wonderful legacy.
Usually we start the first few days in December by gathering together our many ingredients. 
This year was a little different, as Kevin had to go to NSW for a rally of some kind so all the pudding mix was gathered by Barbara and Noel, then delivered to our house at Acton to be prepared for the dousing in alcohol. (This is usually left up to Kevin. The original recipe says 1 cup of brandy, but as we now have increased the mixture by FOUR times, it should have 4 cups...........So Kev goes to the drinks cupboard and gets out all the bottles with a bit left in them, as well as the brandy required and in it all goes. Over the next few hours he walks by, stirs and checks and then I hear bottles tinkling and in goes some more!)
Now back to the story. 
As Kevin was not in the state this year, Barb, Noel and I prepared the fruit mix and put it in a now 30 litre container with a lid, for soaking overnight. I found a full bottle of brandy and mixed this in with the fruit and put the lid on. The next day I stirred the mix and thought of Kev and looked in the drinks cupboard again to see if there was anything else I could use, and found another full bottle of brandy so in that went too!
Making the puddings has to be postponed for a day or two, so when Monday came, Noel and Barbie came over and started the fire (we need a large copper to hold all the puddings) and put the water on to boil over a gas ring. The fruit smelled delicious and was nice and plump due to the brandy so time to go ahead with the mixing of the other ingredients. Poor Noel. What a workout for him. It took him about an hour.
Anyway we wrapped the puddings up and then proceeded to scrape out the leftover mix and tasted it. OH YUM. We thought of dear Sharon at this time as she loved licking out the container. She hated cooked pud but loved it raw.
I put mine on to cook and Barb and Noel took theirs home to cook as there wasn't enough room in my copper. We made 13 this year. Two large and the rest normal size. There are 6 in this photo and my Christmas angel is watching over them.

So its all done for another year. Next week, the decorations will be placed around the home and before we know it, another Christmas will come and go.

The lovely bloom is off my hippeastrum.

It had 4 flowers in all but sadly, when I was removing deceased blooms, I broke the whole stem off. Flowers and all. I was so sad but I have these lovely reminders.

now christmas is coming !

have you got all your preparations well on the way, i am thinking about it today, doing something !
i know the members of this blog who live in hobart have made all the christmas puddings, i have been waiting for them to do a post, but i think i will be waiting, and waiting and waiting !!!!!!!!!!

it is a family affair, barb and paula put all the ingredients together and usually kevin and noel do the mixing. but this year kevin was missing on assignment and noel did the mixing, and with a name like that, 'noel' very appropiate for the season, i am sure the puddings will be very merry this year. oh i wish i had a photo of the operation!!! paula could you take a photo of the puddings please and post it so we can all see.

many years ago, when living in devonport, tasmania, our neighbour used to always say about this time of the year 'the parties are starting' and it has been one of those utterances that has always been apart of the vocabulary of my family. well the parties are starting and i have a few, not a diary full like some people.
i will be going to hobart for christmas an am looking forward to it, to be with some of those that i love.

here are a few pictures of things happening here in and around my place

handpiecing some pineapples and building some houses

if you would like to see more about these, then go over to broderie and see the post

these two old boys were stitched in hobart years ago by our dear sharon
as models, when i had my shop and now live with me all year round
have you been good?
he is coming soon!

and my garden is full of these buds all beginning to burst into flower and i love the blue and white display they give at this time of the year here in australia.
i am off to do some christmas wrapping, i am watching the cricket, the first ashes match from brisbane and the aussies are doing well at the moment, it is election day here in victoria and it is another overcast, rainy and stormy sort of a saturday, though not as bad as they were predicting.
the sewing girls and i are off tomorrow to macedon to spend the day with one of the group, looking forward to that.

Monday, November 1, 2010

race time in melbourne

the first tuesday in november is a famous date the world over here in my home city, melbourne, australia! it is melbourne cup day! it is the 150th melbourne cup tomorrow!
i will be watching on television, i have been quite a few times years ago and it is a fun day! my old school friend, margaret is going for the first time tomorrow with her son, tim, who loves the spring horse racing carnival in this city. hopefully it will be a great day.
'so you think' you can pick the winner!

these two will not be in the race!

paula tells me that 'prissy' the one in the foreground, has laminitis, horses get it from eating too much lush grass and so they have been put on a diet because it gives them sore feet!!! my feet are sore, terrible feet i have, wonder if it is all the grass i eat? wish that was the reason!

lots of recent rain in melbourne has meant that our gardens are all looking much lusher and greener and better!

this state and country has been in drought conditions for many years and it is so good to see the difference that water falling from the sky makes, of course we have too much in some parts causing flooding, not so good!

this lovely spring posy brought to me by one of the saturday sewing girls, thanks jan!
pop over to broderie to see some of the things we have been stitching.