Thursday, 30 January 2014

For Little Super Heros ….

3 year old kinder is a big thing and so is being toilet trained in time for 3 year old kinder.
My nephew has been doing a super job giving it his best shot so this little super hero cape is going in the post tomorrow as a little reward.
Well done little JT - you're ACE!!!!!
Lots of love
Aunty Jen

If you have a little hero that needs one you can find the pattern and instructions here.

The kitchen stool was the only thing willing to model it for a photo - all 3 of my kids refused.
I think we may have moved on from super hero capes at our house … 'sigh'.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Almost back to school

Our small people head back to school next week.
There has been some last minute organising.
The kids have labelled all of their bits and bobs themselves whilst I sat on my hands fighting the urge to straighten and reposition.
One of the last things needed for the smallest was a chair bag.
The school said you can buy one from Spotlight or Officeworks but also gave us a pattern if we wanted to make our own.
With a pattern and a cupboard of fabric I couldn't possibly buy one!
After much agonising by the smallest as to what would be the best fabric (there is a lot to choose from …), we now have a very spunky chair bag.
Fabric - Paisley Garden from the Rainbow Garden range by Prints Charming.
Lined with cotton drill to give it a little extra strength and to make sure we could see as much of the  pretty fabric as possible.
Stool - Ikea, because the bag didn't fit on any other chairs in our house. Hoping that it fits on the school chairs. I may have not allowed enough seam allowance….
Here is the pattern from our Primary School just in case you need one too.
Jenny x

Monday, 27 January 2014


What is not to love about jam ?
It must be good for you as it is full of fruit - yes, I am choosing to ignore the fact that it is also FULL of sugar.
But it tastes SOOOO good.

Today for the first time ever, I made jam.
Thank you Women's Weekly 1984 (page 227).
Sitting on my bench I now have super sticky, delicious strawberry jam.
I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself despite the fact that it is only 3/4 of a small jar.

I'm also quietly hoping I don't poison anybody.
I'm pretty sure I got the whole sterilisation thingy right.
Maybe we'll just eat it quickly ….

Have you dusted off a cookbook yet?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

A Dusty Struggle and some Choc Fruit Squares

It has been a bit of a struggle finding things to cook for dinner out of my number 1 dusty cookbook.
Sooo much cream, sooo much butter and a few scary, heavy combo's that just scream heart attack!
Maybe a time warp back to 1984 in the heat of a West Australian summer wasn't such a great idea.
Still, we must plow on.
Whilst dinners have been a struggle, this book is very good for cakes & slices (which is not good for the self imposed post christmas, cake withdrawal programme - an attempt to fit back into clothes worn pre-christmas … which is sadly not working).
It has been far too hot here to bake anything but the kids and I have found a couple of no bake options to try.

A couple of important points before we continue:

I am not a food stylist
I am not even a great cook
I am good at eating
It is too freaking hot to do much at all

This is the first new recipe that we have tried out of 1984.

Sultanas are a fruit so these squares must be healthy, right??? - especially if you ignore the chocolate, biscuits and sugary condensed milk.
We made a couple of little changes:
No walnuts for us as my kids don't like nuts.
We substituted the sherry for orange juice and the dark choc for milk choc as that was all that was in the pantry.

It is really quite yummy.
Next time I would use a smaller tin to make it a little thicker and if the weather is cooler the chocolate on top may actually harden (although soft and gooey is quite delicious).
We will make this one again as it will make a nice treat in a lunch box.
So we'll call this a "Dusty Cookbook" success!

(not so good for the Cake Withdrawal Programme however ….)

Have you pulled out a Dusty Cookbook yet?
Jenny xx

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Year Of The Dusty Cookbook!

Now we could call this a "challenge" but I'm not one for too much pressure so lets just stick with what we have for now.

I have a few cookbooks …. 
no, that is an outright lie ….
I have a LOT of cookbooks.  
(this isn't all of them … )

I love them.  They make me feel good.
But I only use a few of them.
And some of them only get used for 1 or 2 recipes.
Shocking, I know!  These books sit on the shelf waiting …. patiently …. and maybe a little sadly …. hoping one day it might be their turn.

Meanwhile, as I ignore them, I whinge about preparing dinner and cook the same old things that will generally be eaten by most of the people that demand a feed in our house.  
I dread hearing that call every afternoon "what's for dinner?" from each child … even when they have heard me answer the previous sibling (perhaps it is a conspiracy to have me admitted ?!?!?) It drives me crackers!


Is this happening at your place too??  

This is the "Year Of The Dusty Cookbook".
Why not join me - 


Yep, I was surprised too but there is a plan.

Each fortnight we choose a dusty book off the shelf (maybe your house is cleaner than mine but we'll use the term 'dusty' to describe books not often used, OK?), cook from it and share it on a blog or Facebook.
It doesn't have to be every meal or everyday (that would be madness) but a couple of newbies at least.
Tricky, eh? No rules, no pressure, no big commitment.  
Just use the books you have and share the journey.
And maybe we might find some new regular meals to feed our respective tribes along the way.

Why a fortnight? I thought it might be easier than weekly and I'm all for making things easy.  If this does prove to be simple then I might go weekly - lord knows I have enough cookbooks!

Go on it could be fun. 
Please leave me a comment so that I know you're in and then we can check on your progress too.

Year Of The Dusty Cookbook - Book 1
"The Australian Women's Weekly Original Cookbook" by Ellen Sinclair 1983
I am going back to the beginning - my first ever cookbook.  
I was still at high school and this was a christmas present from my parents in 1984.  I've made a few things from it over the years - mainly cakes and biscuits.  I currently use it for …. Vanilla Slice (I love a snot block!) and that is about it.
So, brace yourself kiddies, tease the fringe and grab the shoulder pads, we are about to go all retro….

Which book will you choose?

Do you have this one?
Jenny x

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Dear Blog,

Dear Blog
Hello it has been a while.
I am sorry I neglect you.
I think of you often but just can't seem to find the words…or the pics...
Our relationship is a funny thing.
It was full of bubbly, giggly love at first.
Over time (and I admit that I am at fault as I haven't put enough into our relationship) it has become tainted with a little guilt, pangs of anxiety and a lot of questioning about whether we should go on together.
After a lot of thinking, rather than pull the pin and part company maybe we should start again.

Hello my name is Jenny.

I sew a bit but tend to think more about it than do it at the moment.  Something I will try to change.
I live in Perth, Western Australia (yep, I know it used to be Melbourne - last year was a big year).
I have 3 kids - the biggest hits the teens this year, the middle plays the flute and the smallest still likes to hold my hand sometimes.
I've made a few quilts but don't have one on the go at the moment.  I'm thinking a queen size quilt for our bed with blue crosses on a white background ….  It is on my long to do list.
I am trying to teach myself to crochet.  It is a slow process but I have made some very handy dishcloths.  I tried a vest/cardigan thingy but even the Mr shook his head at that one when I finished.  It went back in the crochet bag to be dealt with later.  I didn't photograph it for you, blog, I was a little embarrassed and I didn't think you would be interested.

And that perhaps is my blogging stumbling point, dear blog, keeping you interesting.
Many things here just aren't.

What if we add something new?
Keep the crafty bits as that is what we do but add something else too.

SO dear blog I have a plan!
It involves food and cookbooks. 
I think it will be fun.  
I will explain more soon.

I will spend more time with you dear Blog and work on our relationship.
Thank you for being so patient and waiting for me.