Monday, 27 February 2012

Chicken and Spinach Ravioli

I had been eyeing off a ravioli maker and yesterday saw that the kitchen ware shop had a sale on. Of course the store had sold the ravioli maker the night before as they were half price. Luckily they had another store 15 minutes drive away which had six in stock. So I promptly drove down to pick up my new ravioli maker.

I also bought a few extra ingredients so that I could make spinach and chicken ravioli. I really only  needed chicken mince and some fresh ricotta as I keep strong flour normally for pasta making and had spinach growing in the garden. The spinach looked good the last time I looked at it but we have had some severely hot weather which has wilted my plant. I rescued what I could and will make do.

My ravioli tasted fine but the finished product was very rustic
Anyway here it is...

300g Chicken mince cooked with chopped garlic and pepper
one cup of chopped cooked spinach
300g ricotta cheese
Mix altogether. My food processor has died but feel free to give it a quick whiz for a smoother texture.

Ratio of 1 egg to 100gram of strong flour
I used 500g flour (bread flour) and five eggs
You can substitute water for eggs, 3 eggs and 50ml water give or take a little bit
The dough should form a nice ball after kneading but not be too sticky.
Rest the dough for 30 minutes wrapped in plastic film in the refrigerator

With your pasta machine roll out a sheet double the length of your ravioli tray ( I did mine to number 2 -reasonably thin).
Semolina flour is useful to help dry the pasta as you are rolling it through the pasta machine to stop it from sticking and also helps to stop it from adhering to the ravioli plate. Dab pasta sheet prior to laying sheet on base plate with semolina. Shape base sheet with mould provided and then fill indents with filling.  Fold back rest of pasta sheet to form top and sprinkle with semolina flour and roll with rolling pin to seal and cut ravioli

Mine only were indented by ravioli pattern and required hand cutting (although the instructions on the box said wait an hour for pasta to dry- not very hygienic with chicken in 37C degree heat)

Six minutes in a boiling pan of water and top with prepared tomato sauce. Being so hot I cheated and opened a large tin of diced tomatoes with a tin of pasta sauce added some pepper and smoked paprika and away we went.

I told you it looked rustic - no points for presentation but the children all said it was nice

And after dinner I sat under the air conditioner and did a little more crotchet on the wave blanket.

And then every chance I had over the weekend.
Can you see a pattern developing?

3 rows of each colour x3 colours (blue red white)
Repeat colours with x2 rows of each colour ( blue red white)

Drop the first colour and introduce a new colour at the end of the next block of 3x3 colours (drop blue then do red white -new colour - orange) . Repeat colours in rows of 2.

And plod along until your fingers ache.....

Time for more crotchet... Thanks for joining me.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Writing about those you love

Recently my eldest son has been asked by the school to get his parents to write him a letter that he can read at the retreat that they have organised for year 12 students. The concept of letter writing  is to be a reaffirming and supportive loving gift to our children. It gives an opportunity to express ourselves to our children,  especially at an age where both parents and child struggle with communication and often argue over minor issues which become inflamed because we  lack the skill and pathways to express ourselves without heated emotion. It doesn't mean it will be any easy to say what we really feel via the pen, but it might allow some organized thought and positive affirmation of our love for our son.
My husband suggested that it would be an exercise that I would like to do, sarcastically suggesting that I had so much time on my hands. In fact the more I think about it the more I feel privileged to have an opportunity to express myself to Caleb and hope that both of us will make the effort to scribe a few words to him. It is so easy to say a few negative words, to always be correcting and to not look for the positive aspects of an individuals life.
The challenge and not a hard one will be to tell him of all the lovely things that make up his personality and enable him to shine.
My challenge this week is to say something positive to each of my family members this week and each day..besides writing a letter to my son.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

What's on the go?

I never mentioned that since finishing my hexagon rug that I had been hankering to have something to do on the go. I wanted an easy to carry around project that  I could take with me to sporting events and have whilst waiting in the car for school pickups etcetera.

I decided just before leaving for Canberra that I would crotchet another rug and grabbed some of the left over wool and the vintage crochet book and have a go at the chevron stitch- zig zags all the way and I could make it interesting by varying colours - I've decided on orange, red blue and white as being my base colours and we'll see what happens from there.

Today I have attended  my quilting group. I haven't actually worked on this quilt since well before the school holidays, probably early November.. I obviously have an affinity to the colours of red and blue because here it is again- red white blue...a quilt I started at least one and half years ago.

Always plenty to do and not enough time to do it in. Persistance pays and if I plod along I will eventually finish this quilt. I'm half way there anyway.
I'm still thinking about my twenty wishes...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Canberra stay a holiday away, Sydney sights a quick dash overnight.

My week away has gone so quickly. I flew to Canberra to visit my sister and family on the farm just outside of Queanbeyan. It truly is a beautiful place but not so far from civilization as to be remote in anyway.
I arrived on Yolanda's birthday in the evening and truly made her laugh with a present of the crotchet delight - the apple snug! I don't think she quiet knew what to think and suggested I make a matching one so they could hang from one of her Angus bulls - giggle! We headed off to dinner and caught up with the rest of her brood, my four lovely nieces and nephews and feasted on Thai food. Presents all round and my sister did receive several serious presents from me.
The next day we headed to Lake Berlei Griffin and roller-skated/ rollerbladed part of the way round the lake. I have not skated for twenty years and was fearful of breaking my neck and told her as much. Instead my rollerblades partially disintegrated. Being friable plastic that does not stand the test of time they tore away as I was doing up the laces but not enough to stop me from skating.

We generated much interest around the lake with several people asking where to buy adults skates and rollerblades.
I survived the day and pursued a new adventure of blackberry picking the next day.
Blackberries have sprouted up around the dams and are also in the pine forests surrounding the property.
Because of Canberra's cooler climate this year the blackberry fruit is just coming into season. In Adelaide we would be picking blackberries a few months earlier. It made the most glorious deep red jam which I bought some really nice jars from a store selling french provincial type wares. My mum and dad are at the farm at the moment,having driven across in the caravan, and are going to bring some jam back for me. Yolly has bucket loads of jam that I made, as I went out blackberry picking three times. It was really lovely getting out in the paddocks with just the cows for company and listening to the wind blowing in the trees and looking out over the golden fields. Really glorious.
The property that my sister and husband own is steeped in history. It still has the original cottage and a tiny school house and shearers quarters, although some are in a state of disrepair.
I stayed in the original cottage that is attatched to the main farm house. Inside the cottage some original photos and keepsakes from world war one and of that era are kept, left behind previous owners.
I photographed them as I find them facinating.

There is an autograph book which belonged to Alex D MacDonald and is full of illustrations and short versus from mates he served with and some of the women he met in his travels.
Included are also papers of discharge from service to the Australian army and stating his career as railway employee.
A small collections of cards sent back home at Christmas and some order of service from Christmas mass and rememberance services to those ANZACS whom died in Polziers in 1916.

 The Homestead at the farm Murryong was also a guest house and many people wrote to Mrs fishwick to tell of their enjoyable stay.

Some of the photos found - of whom I do not know.

 And more from world war 1 and the funeral of Sir Walter Davidson

After five pleasant days on the farm I headed off to Sydney to do a little work related learning - participating in a stomal therapy symposium held by one of the companies that supply products to patients.
In between lectures that ran for one and half days I managed to sneak out for a few walks around the city area, ride the monorail and whip up the Sydney "Ëye" Tower to take advantage of the circular view of the city.
Looking out towards Darling Harbour , Sydney out front of hotel room
 Darling Harbour

 remnants of the Sydney Olympic games in Darling Harbour
 Maritime museum

 Glass whales in the lobby area of one of the buildings were fabulous

 Brolgas dancing in the fountain!

 Walking towards the city central
 near Chinatown and Paddy's Market

 The Sydney Tower- The EYE
Views from above - Sydney Harbour Bridge
 Darling Harbour

 looking strainght down, lots of ants below
 Victoria Building with green turrets

 over Hyde park
 Hyde park
I did love the view and the coffee wasn't bad either.
Home again

 We do have nice beaches!