Tag Archives: Brisbane

Rosellas – not just birds

Rosellas

I have mentioned before a rare treat one finds occasionally at markets and church fetes in Australia: Rosella jam. I was determined to make a batch for myself once Rosellas were in season.

Well, they must be in season now because as lady was selling them at the markets at Brisbane Square this week. They are much cheaper than figs, I have to say.

Rosella seed pod

Now, I had seen pictures on the internet of what a Rosella looked like, however, being  a city-raised gen Y, hadn’t ever seen one in person. They were much smaller than I had expected – about the size of a cloaked strawberry. I also expected a few large seed inside, not a single pod filled with hundreds of tiny seeds.

As an aside, my mother is always shocked at the things I don’t know. Why is it those of older generations who criticize the young, never take responsibility for raising them wrong? Anyway…

Inversion

Recipe: Soak 500g rosellas in water. Separate skin from pod and boil both in 1 cup of water until pods clear and skin soft (around 10 minutes). Remove pods, blend skins with water. Return to pot with 200g castor sugar and boil (will froth) until ready to set. Remember to invert jars to seal.

The recipe I followed said “half a bucket of rosellas”. Needless to say, measurements are liberal.

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Archives

Archives

My most recent excursion to Archives bookstore on Charlotte Street, Brisbane, was delightful. It was pouring today, and as I jumped onto the front stoop, I could feel the warmth emanating from the store. They are the only retailer in Brisbane that realises that we are having an unseasonably cold Summer and do not need the air-conditioning cranked up. I first visited this store 10 years ago, and still love visiting, as they have the right balance between mustiness and organisation. Located in what used to be a publishing house, it has lovely high shelves, a huge variety, and clunky wooden floors. Picked up and am now reading A Passage to India.

Recovery

 I have also attempted the book covering that was featured here. It was such a brilliant, simple idea, but one which I have only ever used on notebooks. I do have an issue with larger books as the scrap-booking paper won’t cover it, but I suppose I could find a nice wrapping paper or some old wallpaper.This has added to the consistent aesthetics of my bookshelf immensely, as I like to organise my books by colour and size, rather than alphabetically. I also arrange my wardrobe by colour. Is that bizarre? Fear not, my kitchen is by logical category.

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To Market, To Market

I went to the Brisbane Markets in Rocklea today for the first time in a very long time. They are recovering very well after the floods. After my poor experience with seedless lemons, I felt the need to find some vegetables which retain some semblance of being a plant once upon a time. 

I had the aim of only spending $20 on fresh veges, but went a bit off track.

Brain flowers

Does anyone know the name of these flowers? I usually just call them ‘brain flowers’. Will have to google this one.

Dragon fruit

I’m not sure if people outside the tropics get this one but I love it. The best description I could give of its flavour is it tastes like fruit. Nothing too overpowering, along the lines of grapes and apples. When I was in Cambodia I lived on dragon fruit as it was so cheap there but can be up to $9 a kilo here.

Sweet basil

apparently there isn’t just ‘basil’. It comes in all sorts of flavours. Overwhelmed, I just took the genus I recognised, as the others seemed to lend themselves more to Thai cooking than Italian.

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig, Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

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What to save?

We had to evacuate at about 1am on Tuesday night (Brisbane floods and all). What did I save? My sewing machine, some clothes, pillows, documents, precious jewellery and that’s about it. Unfortunately my little car is not big enough to save much else.

Went for rubber necking this morning and couldn’t get anywhere near the house.

 Supermarkets are empty but my Anzac biscuits are going down a treat.

I am trying to think of a craft project using wet books (as I fear I will have a LOT of them). Ideas so far include making my own paper, sticking them together to make a box, and general collages with the covers.

Stay tuned…

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Drapery

When I moved into my current rental, they have lace curtain in the kitchen. I love lace, but these were stained, moth-eaten and tattered. We have one of those post-war houses which are so common in Brisbane. It could be kitsch if it weren’t entirely cream with lino and chipboard throughout. In an effort to put some personality into the place, I whipped up some simple curtains which I think look pretty spiffy.

Curtains really can be so simple to make. Unfortunately, I think the cost of decent fabrics, the trend towards ceiling to floor windows and the effort to wash them, means fashions have moved towards blinds. However, I find curtains less sterile and can add more unique style to a room.

I cut a thick, stiff, cotton fabric 1.5 times the length of the windows across and about 6 inches longer. If I did them again, I probably would have cut them twice the length to allow for more gather when they hung. I hemmed all four sides of the squares using a rolling hem, then pressed over the top edge enough so that the rods would be able to fit through and sewed it down. I simply used some regular ribbons as ties.

Here’s a picture:

Lessons learned:

Trim the loose threads before taking photos

Consider how much gathering you want before cutting. Curtains need a significant about of overhang to be effective.

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