28 October 2008

Knitting and cooking

I'm very happy to tell you I'm feeling better today. I went back to the doctor yesterday and my medication was changed. It's made a difference. :- ) I can now sit here at the computer for more than 30 seconds and write what I want to write. It's been so frustrating not being able to do that.

I finished off the Ascot scarf I started the other day and have now started on a pair of these fingerless mittens that Heather wrote about on the Simple Green Frugal Co-op. The last two days have also seen these wonderful posts from Eilleen about Learning How to Sew and Oh Darn! Mending Socks or Gloves, written by Sadge.

The only other constructive work I've done in the past week is to pickle some beetroot (beets). We had a small crop of about 20 beetroot that I picked last week and left in the fridge. I finally got to them a few days ago and turned them into the most delicious bright red salad ingredient.

When you pick your beetroot, don't cut the tops off - twist the tops off and tidy the top with a knife but don't cut into the flesh of the vegetable as it will bleed into the water while it's being cooked. Wash the vegies thoroughly but don't peel them or cut into the flesh at all. Place in a pot of salted water and boil until cooked.

Then it's just a matter of making up a pickling liquid that suits your taste. I make mine like this:
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
some new fresh bay leaves
salt and pepper

I would normally have added some mustard seeds too but didn't have any.

When the beets are cooked, let them cool for a short while and when you can handle them, slip the skins off with your fingers.

Then just chop the beets into the shapes you want - either quarters or slices, place in a jar and pour over your pickling liquid. Store in the fridge. They will last for at least three months without any form of canning or preserving.

Before I go today I'd like to say a sincere thank you to a wonderful group of women who have been helping behind the scenes here. You all know that Sharon organises the swaps. She often makes more than she originally intended to because sometimes swappers drop out, and rather than allow our ladies to be disappointed, Sharon steps in. There were a number of swappers who didn't receive their promised swap this time and I'm so pleased to say that Ann R, Christine K and Stephanie all stepped in and helped. They made extras and sent them. I believe that generosity and kindness are a big part of simple lives and it tells me a lot about these women that they stepped up and helped out. Thank you ladies. I appreciate it and I'm sure the women to whom you sent your extras did too. It makes me feel stronger to see the strength of others and I want to thank Sharon, Ann, Christine and Stephanie for being a great example to us all.

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