Saturday, August 18, 2012

Plumberry Jam


Making Strawberry and Plum Jam OR Plumberry Jam

1.  Wash the strawberries and remove the stems.
2.  Weigh the fruit and use equivalent  Sugar for fruit weight. (Eg 500g Sugar to 500g Fruit)

3.  Place the fruit and sugar in alternate layers in a saucepan.  Leave overnight.
4.  Heat slowly, stirring occasionally, until all the sugar has dissolved.  Do not boil before all the sugar has dissolved.
5.  Boil for 20 minutes, turn of heat, blend with hand blender if finer jam is required.

6.  Cook for further 10 minutes.
Test the jam.  Jam should fall from spoon in flakes and not in separate drops.
Jam should be thick when cold.


Method as for Strawberry Jam.


Method as for Strawberry Jam.  Can go half plums, half strawberries or even 2/3rds plums and 1/3rd strawberries.

When plum /Strawberry jam is made, the taste is sweet with a hint of strawberries, very nice!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Love is in the Aire with Dale!

As with all affairs, you never quite expected it to happen... it just did.  I'm totally inlove with my newly aquired Airedale, Simba.  He is just soooo cute and extremely loving.  He loves cuddling and is playful when the cuddle sessions are over.  He shows me lots of love with his sharp little teeth.  He loves tea from a saucer after I am finished with mine, snoozes on the couch and stealing my balls of wool when I am busy crocheting.  

I have much to share with you in terms of my crocheting as I have just had a wonderful 3 week holiday of which 2 of the weeks I spent with my parents in beautiful Port Elizabeth.  Much inspirational juices were stirred up while on holiday and much crocheting again.

I am busy crocheting a jersey for myself, will post the end results very soon.

Lv Janine and Simba ♥

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fathers Day

Tomorrow is Fathers Day when we spoil, acknowledge and honour our dads.

I was very blessed to grow up in a home with a dad and a mom.  My dad worked for Eskom for many years and so our life was very stable and secure.  I had a very happy childhood and many conversations were held around the family dinner table. 

My dad loves gardening.  When we were children, come weekends, he would mow the lawn and gather us girls to help when this task was being done.  We either had to rake or hold the dustbin bag open for him to empty the grass cuttings into from grass catcher.  We would often perch ourselves up on the big rock in the garden and loose sight of what we were supposed to do or play with Sheba our Border Collie while waiting to be summoned.  :-) I think my love for gardening developed at a very young age as I spent many hours in the garden either alone or with my dad.  We were often asked to water the garden.  I know how important it is now, I’ll come home from work to find my poor plants bedraggled from thirst!

Holidaying was always much fun for us as a family as it was then that my dad really got to relax and be himself.  He loved going for early morning walks on holiday and generally I would always go walking with him.  I was an early riser then.  Most of our walks were on the Natal coast, Clansthal and then Amanzimtoti when my parents purchased a holiday flat there.  I remember the early morning smells of the Frangipani flowers, seeing big snails and just enjoying the holiday and change of scenery.  I remember one year there had been a flood in Natal and a lot of debris had washed up on the beach at Amanzimtoti.  My dad has an eye to turn something out of nothing.  We collected the most amazing driftwood and carried this lot up to the holiday flat.  I remember laughing so much from the weight of the wood that both my dad and myself had to put it down to stop laughing.  When we arrived back at the flat with all this driftwood, my mom would give us a look and say something like “Ag no, what you going to do with all that wood”.  My dad had plans for lamp stands, garden features etc.  It was fun.  Just this past holiday I brought some interesting pieces of driftwood home for my garden!!

My dad has always been very active in the garden and would always end up slaving away in my garden when coming to visit.  I can just hear my mom “dear, be careful your back”!  Thanks dad for all the hard work you put into my different gardens.  Thank you for all the plants you have dug out of your garden on your hands and knees for me to bring home to my garden.  I remember you climbing onto a rooftop of a building at our house in Felixton.  Mommy just shaking her head in disbelief.  We had fun in St Lucia and Mapelane. 

It would be impossible to sum up a lifetime of incredible memories and the wonderful precious times we have spent together.  I look forward to all the special times we can still spend together.  Dad, you have taught me invaluable life lessons from your life and poured a wealth of knowledge about different things into my life.  You have encouraged time with God and made a special effort to find me a devotional book like the one you have been reading as it touched your life in such a special way.  You’re the best dad ever, you always looking out for things that support our interests and end up going more than the extra mile to do so much for your daughters. 
It is said that children are a blessing from God, but I know for certain that Dads are too, especially mine.
I love you Dad and pray God richest blessing on you and in your life today and the years to come!!

Kisses and hugs

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Birthday Party

Toffee Apples!!♥ Perfection after the third attempt only!  A very pleasing and tasty result!

My youngest daughter is now 7 years old.  It was her birthday in the month of May and we (my eldest daughter and I) threw a Hello Kitty, Shop Shop party for Emma and a few of her friends.  We had a total of 5 girls so it was a lovely little tea party.  The girls got to decorate their cupcakes, fabric paint Hello Kitty pictures on bunting to take home and buy at the shop with Hello Kitty tokens. 
Fabric Painting

Eating Sandwiches have never been more exciting.                                                                                   
The little shopping boxes were such a good buy from a baking warehouse.  We figured out how to fold them up but as they were being filled from the shop, the bottoms started falling out.  So a quick rescue plan was made with my husbands ducktape.  No bottoms of boxes would open after that! Oh what fun!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chocolate Swiss Roll

200ml Flour
45ml (3Tbs) Cocoa
10ml (2 tsp) Baking Powder
Pinch Salt
4 Eggs
15ml (1 Tbs) Lemon Juice
25ml (5 tsp) Water
200ml White Sugar

Chocolate butter icing:
Cream together 1/4 Cup butter, 1 Cup Huletts Icing Sugar & cocoa to desired colour.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

1. Grease and line a 22cm x 35cm Swiss roll pan.
2.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3.  Beat the eggs until light and foamy, then beat in the lemon juice and water.  Add the sugar gradually and beat to dissolve.  The mixture should be very thick and pale.
4.  Sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold in lightly with a spatula.
5. Pour the batter along into the prepared tin.  Level lightly if necessary.
6.  Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, then turn out onto a slightly damp cloth and pull the paper off carefully.  Cut off the crisp edges to make the rolling easier.
7.  Roll up and wrap in the cloth.  Leave for a minute or two, and then remove the cloth and allow to cool on a cooling tray.  Spread a thin layer of the butter icing over the cake before rolling up again, and decorating as desired.

Here is a little story to go with my ever delicious Swiss Roll Cake. 

I have always been a keen baker, my aim to always find the best chocolate cake recipe ever, the surprisingly quick and easy, yet delicious recipe, new recipes, new flavours and so on.  Well, some years back, we talking about 13 years back,  I tried out a Swiss Roll recipe and after the biscuity result, shelved making Swiss Roll for a long time.  I then came across this recipe and said, "Swiss Roll Recipe, I'm going to conquer you!".  Well I did and my Swiss Roll turns out absolutely light and super yummy.

You can fill it with freshly whipped cream, butter icing or quick and easy ready to use caramel.

Hope you try it out and have SUCCESS!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Collaged in a Moment

Helloooo out there.  I am trying my hand at collaging those moments, projects, prettiness.  Freezing time and the moment.  Have you ever felt like stopping the clock in life?  It's normally those moments when I'm together with all my family, having a really nice holiday or just a day at home with everyone together.  Click, stop the clock, I want this moment to last forever!

All of the photos of from moments over the month of April.  The carrot cake was absolutely delish, want the recipe?  I also crocheted a handbag, it's just a big granny square which you basically shape near the top.  It is just so cute. Anyway, have a happy weekend, enjoy those moments, stopping the clock.... wonder if taking the batteries out my clock will help?

What programs do you use for making photo collages, please help me find the right one?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baby Blanket

Myself and Sophie were invited to a baby shower last week Wednesday which was a public holiday in South Africa.  The invitation came through on the 8th of March and before I knew it, it was Saturday the 17th March and the baby shower was just 4 days away.  I roped Sophie into helping me crochet a baby blanket as a gift and we did some hectic fast crochet moves.  I then commissioned my eldest daughter to help with sewing the blanket together and with just an hour to spare on the day, we completed the edging of the blanket.  I managed to snap a few photos before wrapping the blanket up and giving it away.  I would have loved to sit and marvel over it a little before giving it away but now I'm inspired to crochet some more and have them ready to either give away or sell.

Pretty Edging

Just a little bunny I crocheted last year as well. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mary and Martha

♥ I know that I have not been too chatty on my blogs of late, mostly photos with minimal descriptions.  Not too sure why but I guess I was just not quite ready to face another busy year.  I listened to a teaching today on Mary and Martha from the Bible.  It was a very good teaching on these lovely ladies from the Bible and which character you felt applied to you.  Why Jesus said “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things; but one thing is needful:  for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her,”  Luke 10v41, 42.  The teaching was on how to apply a little of a Mary nature into your lifestyle so as not to tire and burn out doing your Martha duties.  It was super appropriate to me, old Martha I am you know.

Ok so this brings me to the point of self reflection.  How much of what I do is Martha and how much is Mary.  It’s much like a scale, you need to live your life in balance.

A pertinent point was made:  Sunday, is the first day of the week, it’s a Mary day.  It’s the day you spend in worship, sitting at Jesus’ feet, (church) then relaxing with your family, chilling, doing a hobby or resting.  It’s the perfect way to start a week, recharging your batteries.
Monday:  This is my usual week day scenario.  From when I get up in the morning, Martha is in action.  I’d like to change that and be better prepared the night before and in the morning take time to enjoy my cup of tea before the run.  Possibly tea & toast in bed?  From 6.30am – 2pm, I’m off into the city traffic, getting children to school and myself to work, starting at 7.30am.  Better planning means leaving earlier, means sitting in less traffic, no stressing like Martha, and getting to work/school calmly and prepared to face the day.  Then doing my work in an organized, non frantic way until 2pm when I finish.  Slotted into my day are two 15 minute breaks, 10am tea and 12noon lunch. (Mary time)  Get home, relax for an hour or so, I always enjoy a nice cup of tea when I get home.  Then there is homework, supper, preparing lunches for the next day and then the wind down.  The wind down is the evening:   lamps play and important role in winding down after a busy day, relaxing music is preferable to an action packed TV show, reading and enjoying your family’s company.  This is good Mary time.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:  Repeat taking care not to become worried and troubled about many things like Martha but choosing what is needful for good health and of benefit to you and those around you.  A constant Martha attitude results in working so hard, no time to rest unless stressed (forced to rest), complaining about those who are resting and not helping but being prudent in times of busyness to delegate the work/chores.
Saturday:  I didn’t think much about Saturday, "it’s the weekend baby", you know.  But now without proper planning, Saturday can get filled up so quickly with all kinds of running around, and "doings".  Take care, plan your Saturday.

Does this not all make perfect sense.

Keep your heart a Mary heart when doing your Martha duties.

So in line with Mary thinking, I am going to share an awesome recipe with you to make life easier for you.  It is a 30 day Health Muffin recipe, 30 day, as it can last in your fridge for up to 30 days before baking.  Your life has just become easier.  Mary thinking with a little Martha involved.

30 Day Health Muffins

125ml Oil
2 Eggs
375ml (300g) Soft brown sugar
500ml Milk
5ml Vanilla Essence
375ml Cake Flour
500ml Digestive Bran
250ml Nuttywheat flour
10ml Bicarb. of Soda
5ml Salt
250g Fruit cake mix
250ml Dates, chopped

1.  Whisk the oil, eggs, sugar, milk and vanilla essence together.
2.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
3.  Allow to stand overnight in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
4.  Spoon into well greased muffin tins and bake at 180C for 10 - 15 minutes.

*  This mixture can be left in the fridge for up to 30 days.
*  Bake fresh batches as needed.
*  You can sprinkle oat flakes on the muffins before putting them into the oven to bake.
*  These muffins are different to the bran muffins in that they have nuttywheat flour in and dates.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Creativity Overload

Who never finishes their slice of chocolate cake, millionaire shortbread or any other decadent treat that suits their fancy!  Today I have a load of creativity to share with you, hope this will fill you with excitement and cause seeds of inspiration to sprout up in you.  There is nothing like a hobby to give you pleasure and endless hours of fulfillment. I refer you to a previous blog of mine titled "LOVELY", see the link on the right hand side of my blog further down relating to the definition of a hobby.

My new range of Floral tea cosies by special request from customers at the coffee shop.

Sitting all "PRETTY", waiting to find new homes!
          Trying my hand at some new block patterns.  So rewarding.
My favourite, most delicately beautiful rose in my garden.  Life's natural inspiration.                                                                                    
A cheeky Morning Glory growing up the Lemon Tree. If you need help with colour combinations, just take a look at flowers.                                                         
Granny Squares in brights, still need to crochet a back for this cushion cover.
Just a plain Red Tea Cosy!  Beautiful Simplicity!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Some Inspiration

I have a collection of inspirations to share with you.  As I have an I-Phone, it comes in very handy when sitting in the doctors rooms, vets rooms or browsing through a magazine at a friends house, coffee shop etc.  Now admit it, we have all been tempted to tear a page out of a magazine as it held inpiration or a recipe you wished to try but the magazine was not yours to tear?  Well now I have an I-Phone so, I promptly whip out my phone and snap the page/article in the magazine.  I will be sharing some of these with you.

Saw this scarf in the "Your Family" magazine.  Love the colours.
Just love these cute cupcake scatter cushions, might implement the idea into a crochet to create warmth for Winter.

I would like to crochet myself a handbag, saw this one in a crochet magazine in the local news agency.

Cute cushion idea.  Think I saw this one in a magazine in the vets rooms.
I am busy crocheting a cushion cover, it started as a cover for my Bible but didn't seem to work, now it will be a cushion cover.  I will blog some of my latest crochet items soon and maybe you'll find some inspiration from that. 
One last one, it's just such a cute idea, to paint on an enamal plate.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Work of Art

Today I'm posting an email I received from my dad this morning.  My mom started crocheting her blanket last year in October when they visited me in Johannesburg around the time  the "one a day" project started. She couldn't stick to the one a day and worked very hard to get it finished.  Here is the email: 

Hi There,

After many hours of hard labour and millions of crochet stitches, Yvonne completed her blanket this weekend.  She bought the wool in Vereeniging in September and started this mammoth task in October.  If you would like to write to her personally, her address is  She enjoyed this past week's colder weather when doing the edge of the blanket as she had to work with it on her lap.  I am now looking forward to the winter when I can cover up.

Lots of love

The pattern that was used is from thank you Alice for all the inspiration and tutorials.  You are such a honey!

Finally I attach a little Valentines crochet I made over the weekend.  xxx