19 January 2008


It was one of those days yesterday when nothing much happened, yet everything did. My labours of love continued with the daily chores and catching up with odds and ends. We have a friends little dog, Iona, staying with us for a week while she is in Sydney. Rosie and Alice stared long and hard at her when she first arrived, but now they're settled into a respectful relationship and all is well in our doggy backyard.

One of my chores yesterday was to make bread and this is it - a quick sourdough made from the NY Times no knead recipe. It makes a great loaf and well worth trying if you haven't already done so.

I have been thinking a lot about baskets recently. Using my own shopping basket inspired me to make a very simple plaited raffia one. I love baskets and find pleasure in looking at them, looking after them, and now, making one. I don't know what it will turn into, my hope is for a small bench top basket I can put unripe tomatoes in. If this basket evolves into that, and there is absolutely no reason to believe it will, I will have a go at making a laundry basket.

Pigeon peas

Of course you'd know that I'd be watching the cricket yesterday - and in bits and pieces today as well, it's a five day test match. While watching, I shelled some pigeon peas, started another dishcloth for my gift stash and did some work on piecing the raffia basket together. It's a favourite time of year when the cricket is on. I wander in and out, work on projects and sometimes snooze in front of the TV. Hanno joins me sometimes and falls asleep too. If we're both sitting there and I wake and see him beside me, I have a little laugh to myself and think back to those days when sleeping during the day was the last thing we'd do.

There is a season for all things.

The sun is shining brightly outside and it's been a lovely summer of warm days and coolish nights. We usually have a very hot and humid summer, but this is very nice indeed. The vegetable garden has grown so fast, but so have the weeds, and although we welcomed the rain we had - and there was a lot - it's all but ruined the garden. Tomorrow Hanno and I will spend the day out there - with small cricket breaks, of course, to weed and tidy up. There are a few tomatoes still going, as well as the best capsicums (peppers) I've ever grown, lots of herbs, egg plants, lettuce and silverbeet. The potatoes are finished, along with the peaches and nectarines, so we've decided after we tidy up, we'll rest the beds for the remainder of the summer. Replanting will start mid-March. I'll write more about this tomorrow.

Our meal last night was tinned red salmon (from a long way off in Alaska) but I tempered that with potatoes and salad all from our backyard. Here is a picture of a yellow brandywine tomato we had in the salad. Brandywines are wonderfully delicious tomatoes that we've been growing for a couple of years. The flavour of the pinks is rich and very tomatoey, but these yellows lack the acidic taste of most tomatoes - the yellows are creamy and utterly delicious.

I hope you enjoy your weekend and have time to take care of yourself. To all those new to the blog, hello and
welcome. I hope you find what you're looking for here. To all those readers who pop in most days, thank you for your lovely comments and encouragements along the way. I appreciate you taking the time to connect and I thank you for reading.


  1. i love your blog. i just started reading it a couple months ago, and i've been hooked! i'm going to try out those dog biscuits for my three furbabies. thanks!

  2. I love that you always have something to do. I am often so bored and I think it's because I don't have little things to do here and there. I'm enrolled in a sewing course next month and might even try and find some seconhand knitting needles and give that a go. Love your blog.

  3. What a lovely, dreamy day!

    Thanks for the no-knead bread recipe; I have read about that on a couple of blogs and really fancy having a go xx

  4. I've tried the No-Knead bread, but haven't had much luck with it, I don't know why. I'm interested in the braided basket you're making, though - do you have to sew the braids together as you do when making a braided rug?

    I'm a new reader - found your blog by following a link from somewhere. I'm enjoying it tremendously and have already added it to my bloglines!

  5. Looking forward to trying the no-knead recipe as I am not much of a bread maker. A day doesn't go by when I pop in to see what Rhonda has been up to! Look forward to your blog each day! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!


  6. Enjoy your weekend also! Am dreaming of the warm weather that will eventually come to cold Nebraska! Can't wait to plant my garden!


  7. Rhonda,

    How long do you make your dish clothes please use american inches:)

    I love to crochet them but never make them the right size. I either make dish scrubbes or almost towels:)

    Blessings to you,


  8. Rhonda,

    Sounds like you had a lovely day! We're in the midst of a snowstorm here...lots of white fluffy stuff out there, perfect weather to be indoors under the blankets, drinking hot chocolate and knitting in front of the TV. Gotta love winter nights!

  9. HI seagrass, thank you. : ) Are your furbabies cats? If so, cats need more fat in their food than dogs do. Add some cooking oil to the recipe, maybe a quarter cup.

    hello goingferalish. There is so much to be done here but I never hurry myself, I just do what I can. If you're looking for something to do, look around your home and work out little projects for yourself. You might need new kitchen curtains, or mittens or a hat. I'm pleased to read you're doing a sewing course because that will enable you to do a lot of projects and maybe even make clothes. And definately get yourself some knitting needles. Knitting is one of those things that is slow and relaxing and will help you create all sorts of things for yourself, your family and friends.

    Hi Anita, it's worth trying. Let me know how you get on with it.

    Hello Caroline, welcome. Yes, I braid the strands of raffia and then sew the braid round in a circle, again with a strand of raffia. I'll visit you when I have more time.

    Hi Debbie, I'm glad you're stopping by. : - )

    Thanks Kristina, thanks for stopping by. Planning a garden is an exciting exercise in self control, isn't it. LOL

    Hi Renee. I generally cast on 50 stiches and the size depends on what ply cotton I use. The yellow and pink one in the photo will be between 9 and 10 inches square. I use basket weave, that looks good but it's easy for a not very good knitter like me. Just cast on 50 stiches (you can go bigger but it has to increase by 10 stitches each time) and do a few rows of plain stitch. Then you start the basket weave - that's five plain stitches followed by five purl and you'll move the yarn from the front to the back and vice vera to do that. Do five rows of that. Then start your row with purl, do five stitches and then five stiches of plain. You just keep repeating that, alternating the start of each five rows until you end off with the same number of plain stitches you started off with at the other end and cast off. You'll make a square if you do 10 rows of each lot of five stiches. I hope I haven't confused you. Good luck.

    Hi Maggie, stay cozy!

  10. happy weekend RJ! lovin your blog!

  11. Hi Rhinda Jean,
    Please send some of you warm weather my way.lol We're suppose to have a cold wk.end.
    I enjoy hearing about your garden.:o) Makes me want to play in the dirt.Spring will be here soon.
    I enjoy my visits with you so much.Thanks for all the time you take for your postings. :o)
    Have a Great wkend.
    Blessins', Lib

  12. I really love your blog. It's so nice to read of summer while I'm freezing my bottom of in the USA. [laugh] It makes me think of simple times of cleaning green beans in my grandmothers kitchen from her garden. So wonderful. I have never had luck with bread but I think I might try the recipe. I also wanted to share a link from another page-blog for a bread recipe called No-Time Bread. Enjoy and thank you.

    AT's No-Time Bread

  13. Hi Rhonda,
    I am going to try the bread recipe. It sounds great. I love your blog and pop in regulary. I am inspired. Thankyou. Also hope to make soap this year. I have been making dishcloths and think homemade soap would go well with them.


  14. Hi Rhonda, my your are keeping me too busy in the kitchen! :) But I'm looking forward to the no knead bread, we love sourdough around here. And I still need to make the dog treats.

  15. That no knead bread recipe is sure making the rounds! Seen it all over the place and haven't tried it yet, but you sure make it look heavenly!!!

  16. Rhonda Jean,
    What kind of yarn do you make your dish clothes out of. Is it all cotton or a mixture?

    What exactly is a pigeon pea? I have never heard of them. Your journals always enlighten me with things I have never heard of.


  17. hello everyone!

    Suzen, I use 100% for my dishcloths and I try to by the fattest ply I can find. Pigeon peas grow on a large bush that can be cut back and used for mulch. It's a legume, so it helps fix nitrogen in the soil. The peas can be eaten green but I wait for them to dry on the bush and pick them as a lentil. They're like the split peas you buy for pea soup.

  18. Thank you for the bread recipe, I will try that tomorrow :)

  19. Great blog with lots of interesting stuff. Looked in your archives for tips on Fowler jars for jam making, thanks for the tip. Thought I would mention the NYT no-knead bread isn't sourdough, it uses packaged yeast. You can get some great sourdough recipes from this artisan baking community forum. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/, + lots of really great baking recipes in all sorts of styles.


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