Dec 27, 2014

D335: Not true

Today is not when my day-335-of-creativity happened.

Besides writing things, I've made all sorts of meals and dishes.  Hub reminded me to do a little more for the blog today while I was making cherry pie filling. So here's the story...

We stayed with the in-laws in the week before Christmas, in central Victoria.  Hub and his brother both fruit picked in their high school summers and we heard of a cherry farm who needed some fruit off the trees after recent rain.  So off we went, resident expert to lead us and buckets in tow, to collect 25kg (yes) of cherries!!!

The orchard - it was big.
 They were excellent, and we had a lovely Christmas Eve-eve morning in Strathbogie, picking all the fruit we wanted.

One for my mouth, one for my tummy...
Yep, cherry picking is good.
So with five A4-sized 4" tall boxes in the boot we came home (only $1 a kilo!!), delivered one dutifully collected for a friend, and got through maaaaybe two by the end of Christmas Day.

Our box has a handfull still going.  I've about two cups in the freezer and have cooked up five cups for a pie filling.  I've used this recipe (, which has instructions for different base and top pastries (yyyyes!) and the filling goes like this:

Pit 5 cups of cherries into a saucepan, add 1.25 cups of sugar.
Warm to release the juices and bring to the boil.
Keep at a low boil for 7-8 minutes.
Add 4 tbsp of flour - sprinkle in small batches and stir in - and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until thickened.
Stir in 1 tsp of vanilla and remove from the heat.

Be sure to sprinkle in the flour.  I accidentally dropped little clumps and the weight of it plopped it straight into the syrup and it instantly cooked  it into little globs of flour that were too strong to smear against the wall of the pan.  If I'm lucky, they'll present like raspberry seeds.

Hopefully I'll report on the pastry and pie tomorrow...

D334: Home Baked Oven

This was done back in October.  Yes. I've been absent.

I haven't been idle, however. It's just that the stuff I've been doing - writing - is something I'd like to keep separate to this.  That said, life hasn't been completely devoid of craft and such.  Here is an example of one project that seems to have been a winner.

Here is Bub, fresh from her nap, and its the first thing she did at the new oven - wash her hands!
I love that Bub knew exactly what was going on when she discovered this.  It took maybe an hour.  Use packing tape if you have it, not electrical tape like lazy me.

So, for this I used 
  • A box of suitable size and shape;
  • 4 pipe-cleaners;
  • An empty egg carton;
  • cello or sticky tape;
  • scissors;
  • Stanley knife (box cutter);
  • two paper or plastic plates;
  • one plastic bowl; and
  • aluminium foil.

I recommend not taped the box closed.  Using the lid for the stove top worked really well as its easy access to anything that needs repairing.

These are the pipe-cleaners being stuck to the "taps".  This is not the best tape to use :(
Bub cooking an egg in the oven, on the 'biscuit tray'.
The pipe-cleaners threaded through the box lid with a twisted loop used to secure it.
The 'taps', made from egg carton cups, and the 'spout'.
The loop of tape on the back of the foil-covered paper plates ('hot plates').
Foil covered plates, attached with a loop of tape, for 'hot plates.
Folded cardboard cut into shape and attached with pipe-cleaners and tape.
I traced around the edge of the bowl and used the box-cutter to cut inside that about a centimetre.  The bowl is taped in.
I used a box-cutter to cut between holes made with a pencil.  The fold points are reinforced and a partially folded piece of tape is the handle, which has worked really well.
Reinforced oven door "hinge".
A piece of tape partially folded to make a handle.
The oven tray, secured to a quick oats box (also taped to the base), and the fire in the background (triangles of paper!).