I'm learning to knit on circular needles. Dont know how come I have never tried before. Saves all that time and hassle stitching things up. My first project is going to be a beanie. I thought I was going along great guns. The 4cm of ribbing was pleasing. Then I made the wonderful discovery that to create stocking stitch, all I had to do was knit. Speeding a long, feeling pretty chuffed, I stopped to measure the length of my progress when I made the very disappointing discovery that all I was knitting was a mobius strip. For which I could think of no useful purpose. So off the needles it came and now I am unravelling it. On a happy note, I have at last finished the scarf I was making from two different shades of the beautiful Noro silk garden yarn. Yay! Oh, well, back to those circular needles to see if I can manage to keep those stitches straight this time.
Sometimes ya just have to put other plans on hold and make the most of what is being presented in the moment. Today, so much work waiting for me but the sun is shining and the air is warm. If the weather forecast is to be believed, it's not going to last beyond today. It's supposed to rain for days to come. Time to open the windows and let the fresh air in. Get that washing done and enjoy lunch in the sun. There will be time enough tomorrow for all that work that is waiting.
today I am listening to Minoo Javan sing Persian folk songs while I am getting ready for this. Come and say 'hi' if you are in the vicinity of High Street, Northcote between 10 and 4 tomorrow. خداحافظ
A long time ago, when I lived on a farm and we didnt go on summer holidays because there were crops to be harvested and stock to be watered, I used to feel envious of all those who were relaxing at the beach. So I used to have imaginary holidays. To exotic locations. Like Cuba and the Greek Isles. For that month when it seemed to me that "the whole world" was on holiday except us, I would read books about that country. Letting the pictures rest in my mind. I would laze about in the heat reading novels set in that country. Recite poetry. Cook foods, listen to music, watch movies that had the flavour of that region. If I could find them, other people's travel tales helped broaden the experience. Maybe not as good as a real visit but fun nevertheless. Persia was always one of those places I'd intended to "visit". Particularly as this is a place that would be very difficult to really go to. Much of what appeals to me is historical and while there are many beautiful relics of this in Iran, they are not always easy to find there. Iran is the place of ancient Persia, but 'Persian' people and their customs are now dispersed all over the world. I have long loved the poetry of Rumi and always meant to read the Scheherazade 1001 nights stories. Islamic art and architecture very much appeals to me. I know so little about this and have always meant to learn more about it. Last year for my birthday I was given a beautiful Persian cook book which I have hardly made anything from. Yesterday when I was setting my goals for May, I added visiting the Love and Devotion exhibition of Persian manuscripts. The book that my bookclub is reading for May is The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif, about a refugee who makes a new life in Melbourne making Persian carpets. So it seems like the right time to explore Persia.
What to do with a too ripe banana? In my collection of recipes written out from borrowed library books I found a Banana Sponge recipe that I thought I could adapt to make gluten free. It worked a treat! It's a delicious, moist and tasty sponge. The original recipe was served with mango cream. I had some frozen raspberries, some low fat cream cheese and yoghurt and used them instead to make a scrumptious filling. I dont know the name of the book I got the original recipe from, except that it was a healthy heart cookbook. Anyway here is my adapted recipe:
1 cup ground almonds (could use hazelnuts)
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 ripe banana
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
2/3 cup of sugar
Preheat oven to 175 deg C. Lightly spray cake tin (i used a silicon ring pan with fancy bottom - has a special name that I cant remember.)
Place the ground almonds on a baking tray lined with baking paper and toast in the oven until lightly browned - about four minutes. I used four bowls. In the first I mixed the toasted nuts and the flours together.
In the second bowl I mashed the banana, and then added the lemon juice to this and mixed until it was a smooth paste.
In the third bowl, beat the egg yolks and 1/4 c of the sugar until pale and thick. Add the banana and lemon juice mixture ( in the second bowl) to this.
In the fourth bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the unused sugar and beat until it is dissolved. Then add the egg yolk and banana mixture to the egg white mixture and stir until just combined. Then carefully fold in the flour/nut mixture.
Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed (and skewer inserted comes out clean)
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out on to wire rack. When cool cut through the centre and fill with raspberry creme (if desired) - the cake is quite yummy with out any filling.
1 cup raspberries (frozen, thawed are fine)
1/2 cup light cream cheese
1/2 cup yoghurt (I used no added sugar raspberry flavoured)
2 teaspoons stevia (or sweetening to taste)
Blend all the above ingredients. If too stiff add more yoghurt. If too runny add more cream cheese.