26 February 2008


Well, the weather has jackknifed from a sweltering 36.5 degrees on Saturday, to a cool 22 degrees today. It's also raining, so I'm feeling quite chilly. I've lost one of my slippers, probably the dog next door thought it looked yummy and ran off with it, so I needed to come up with a solution for cold feet. I went searching for some socks, which helped slightly, but they're very thin, and I can still feel the cold from the cement through them. So I figured I'd knit some!

I did a quick search on the web, but all the patterns I could find were either knitted in the round (which I have no idea how to do, must learn), or or in 4 ply cotton, which is a bit much knitting for me. So I'm currently creating my own pattern. I'm about half way through the first slipper, and so far it seems to be going OK, but it's hard to really tell until it's done. If I can get them to work, I'll post the pattern in the next few days. (And pics of course.) I'm using one of the many many balls of 8 ply acrylic that I have in the shed, courtesy of my grandmother, who used to crochet until her fingers wouldn't do it anymore. Cost to me, nothing!

I haven't posted about this yet, but on Sunday, lemons were 6 for $1, so I bought a dozen, and did up some lemon recipes (I've been waiting for them to get to a nice low price for these). Firstly, I made Rhonda's Lemon Cordial recipe. I'm not a big fan of lemon drinks myself, but DH loves Lift. While this is better than his previous favourite drink, Coke, it's still a little too full of colours and flavours for my taste (not to mention expensive!), so I figured if I could find a substitute, it would be good. Unfortunately he's not a big fan of it. I suspect because it lacks fizz.

Lemon Butter

Next I moved onto Lemon Butter. I used my grandmother's recipe, sent to me by my mum.

1 pound of sugar (2 cups)
1/4 pound of butter (2 tablespoons)
6 eggs
juice and rind of 3 lemons

Add well beaten eggs to the sugar. Add juice and rind of lemons, and butter. Stir gently over slow fire until thick as honey. Great for sandwich spread or tartlet filling.

Now personally, I didn't have a slow fire handy, but it worked quite well on my electric stove. A few hints and tips, firstly, don't put anything on the stove (or fire), until you've juiced and grated all those lemons. I thought I'd do it quickly enough that I could save time and do both at once, but all I ended up doing was burning my butter and eggs. I managed to salvage most of it by transferring to a new saucepan, and pushed on.

With the eggs, make sure you beat them well. I'd suggest an egg beater. I just whisked them with a fork, and ended up with bits of cooked egg white in the lemon butter. If this happens to you, you can strain it out, and as an added plus, this will get rid of any remaining burnt bits as well!

To grate the rind, you use the back of your grater, the one with what looks like little holes punched with a nail from the inside. Grate just the top yellow coating off the lemons, not the white. Apparently (according to my mum), the white is bitter. I didn't try this to find out. I did though, manage to grate some of my thumb. Not good. Lemon juice stings!

However, in spite of all this, it seems to have turned out OK, and I'm really looking forward to trying my lovely lemon but some home made bread. Pity the lot I made that day didn't rise, I suspect due to my beautiful daughter checking on it a bit too enthusiastically.

Chocolate Fudge

Our final job for the day was to make some chocolate fudge! This recipe is my mother's and is a popular one at fetes, and with kids and adults alike. But be warned, it is NOT healthy.

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of cocoa
butter for greasing
a few drops of vanilla

Put all ingredients except vanilla into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until it boils. Reduce heat, and boil steadily until thick (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat, add vanilla, and beat till creamy. Pour into greased sweet dish. When partially set, cut into squares.

Hints and tips: If rice milk is substituted for the milk, and nutalex for the butter, this is a great dairy free chocolate substitute. I can't tell the difference taste wise. (And neither could my dad, who is very picky about his chocolate fudge.)

5-7 minutes is an almost exact time. You can check if it is ready by scraping the edge of the saucepan, if the fudge there is gritty, it is ready. If you pour it into the dish and it is sticky and doesn't set, you can put it back on for longer.

Grease your sweet dish before you start. You can't leave the fudge unattended at all. If it burns, the whole lot is ruined.

Our family has used a rectangular Pyrex dish, now know as the 'fudge dish' for this recipe for years. Ownership of this dish has been hotly contested, and luckily we have found extras in second hand shops for everyone. I don't know if they're available new or not, but I haven't seen them anywhere. If you get hold of one, hang onto it!

But best of all, is licking the spoon. After you've poured the fudge into the dish, there will be half set fudge all around the saucepan. (If you don't scrape it out too thoroughly, there is even more!) This is the best bit. Use your wooden spoon to scrape as much as you can onto the spoon. Best eaten just hot enough that it almost (but not quite) burns your tongue.



mummabare said...

oooh yuummmy!!!!

I cant wait to try this :) Beautiful post love!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I'm afraid I won't be able to peruse the rest of your blog at the moment because I have to go make this fudge right now!

Ganeida said...

From one Brisbanite to another...

Rinelle said...

Hope everyone enjoys their cooking.

Hi Ganeida, lovely to hear from the locals.