Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cheese n Corn Chowder

This one is one of my very earliest things I learnt to make, and I love it.
Plus, it's really simple, which is always wonderful.

1 can of corn
1 can of creamed corn
1 onion
some garlic (depending on how much you like, I usually use about 2 cloves)
a teaspoon or so of cumin seeds
a stock cube (chicken or veggie)
2 cups of hot water (for the aforementioned stock cube)
a wodge of grated tasty (or other good-for-melting) cheese (I do a couple of good pinches per person)
1 potato (optional)
a wodge of fresh herbs, chives for preference by parsley works wonders as well

  1. Cut up the onion and fry in a little olive oil until just before it starts to turn brown
  2. cut up or mince the garlic and chuck it in the pot for a minute or so, stirring constantly in the hope the onion doesn't go any browner
  3. make up the stockcube in the hot water, pour that into the saucepan
  4. empty both corn cans into the water as well
  5. if you're using the potato, cut it into small cubes and chuck it in now too.
  6. and chuck in the cumin
  7. leave to simmer, stirring occasionally for around 10 to 15 mins, or until the potato is soft. If you used it. :)
  8. Put the herbs in now, stir and leave for a few minutes
  9. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle a wodge of grated cheese on the top.
  10. Serve with fresh buttered bread.
Best In Soup Show ribbon, 10 years running!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I managed to break my only watering can
well, not just break but actually shatter parts of it

And then I unpacked the sink to wash the dishes
and found I'd made my favourite antique kitchen implement rusty


I'm a terrible housewife.

I think I'll just sit and not touch anything else
Just in case...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

craft yourself some army surplus

I was just researching some less plans for political stuff and I came across this craft activity. Yes, it's how to make your own gas masks by the John Curtin Prime Ministerial library. There's a number of lesson plans on the site which include 'craft activites'. Naturally I clicked on it, and clearly this fun gas mask was the only one they'd thought of stemming from Curtin's time in office.

People think of the weirdest things to teach children.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Argyle guys

A friend of mine is going away for a while and taking his tiny laptop with him. But he's never had a case for it, and I think it's important to have a padded case to protect it.

With needles at the ready, I jumped into action!

I've never knitted an argyle before, it's a mindbending exercise in frustration. And my advice to those of you embarking on it is
Dont Get Cocky.

The MOMENT you think "ahh, I've finally got it worked out, this is easy!" you'll grab the wrong colour to knit and it'll stuff up.

But there is good news for you! Every cloud has a silver lining, and argyle's silver lining is that it's actually very forgiving. a wrong stitch here or there is actually quite hard to spot. And that makes you love it.

Even while you're hating it.

I researched argyle patterns online, and drew one out on grid paper. The pattern is much harder at the start when you don't have the previously knitted stuff to guide you. Each diamond had it's own yarn, so there was 4 strands each of grey and white and then 8 black strands for the zig zags. because I didn't have 4 balls of each colour, I cut lengths off the each ball and used that. So a lot of the padding between the laptop and the world is actually the knots where I attached more yarn to each strand.

The pattern for the bag itself is really simple, it's a long rectangle that's folded up at the bottom and over at the top. I sewed it to felt to line the bag and add an extra thickness of padding. And for a final protection, I cut the plastic bottom of a purchased shopping bag to size and inserted it between the knitting and the felt at the front of the bag. That stiffened it nicely, but made sewing the buttons on not as much fun as I'd hoped.

When I was staring at the finished argyle, the buttons just looked like eyes, and since my friend is a fun kind of guy, I decided that it just needed a tongue, to enhance the face. But because he's all corporate, I decided a tie-like tongue was the way to go.

The tongue can be folded back into the bag when needed, to show the more corporate side of things.

He loved it, and I was quite pleased.

But I think it'll be a while before I knit another argyle!