30 May 2012

Remember that table?

So now for a little while, we've been using this amazing amazing table...

All built my the amazing Jacob. Part recycled gymnasium floor with the free-throw line, part rimu posts from someone's old decking, lots of glue and lots of nails and a whole lot of sanding!

Putting the top together, and hand carved-planed posts magically turn into legs!
Timmy, give us a size reference. Thanks!
Sanding and planing the top. 
Framed and looking quite posh!
So proud of this guy! (sigh-love!)
Ok Bruce. Your turn.
The legs going on!!! Woooh!
A few more coats of varnish to go!
Done and looking completely amazing!
The table seats eight, but a Chili-Cook-Off with about a dozen rad peeps, no problems!

Not bad for Jacob's first major wood-working project, huh?! It looks so amazing! The amount of work that went into this, I feel like I'll never quite know, but I know he worked his cute butt off. Seriously. Work of art. And mostly from recycled timber and such!

I'm still so impressed! 

14 May 2012

Classic Pumpkin Bread

I cannot explain into words how much I love pumpkin in dessert form. Seriously. Pumpkin Pie. *Drool* I know it's probably the good ol' American in me. But I can never pass up a slice of Pumpkin Pie. NEVER! 

(Even though I was HUGELY disappointed with a slice I had over the weekend at one of my favourite places which shall remain nameless for the moment)

But with that, I was happy to know I could come home and dive into some super yummy pumpkin bread! The recipe I found was lovely, but needed a few minor tweaks to make it suitable for metric conversion and for the fact that Canned Pumpkin is something that we can't get here. And BTW, why use canned when making it fresh is SO easy! Seriously!

First off, remove the skin from the pumpkin and cut into small pieces, about 1 cm chunks. Boil in water until tender. Drain the pumpkin and put in a food processor until all the pieces are a lovely puree. See. Easy.

Ingredients : 
425 g pureed pumpkin
4 eggs
235 ml vegetable oil
160 ml water
600 g white sugar
440 g all-purpose flour
9 g baking soda
9 g salt
2 g ground cinnamon
3 g ground nutmeg
1 g ground cloves
0.4 g ground ginger

(I know .4 and 1g of things looks weird. But I use a digital scale when I bake now, and it's spot on! One of the handiest tools in the kitchen! I highly recommend having one.)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour three 7x3 inch loaf pans. I used one 7x3 and a few mini bundt muffin tins. 

In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, water and sugar until well blended. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for about 50 minutes in the preheated oven. Loaves are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
And devour.

09 May 2012

Ginger - Part 2!

Ahhh Part Deux. Never as good as the original. But the second part of my gingery findings lead me to what was to be Crystallised Ginger, but turned out to be more of a Hard Ginger Caramel. Which BTW is still pretty darn good! In an attempt to use the still good ginger from my Ginger Cordial, I decided to give it a go.

There are heaps of recipes online, but I used the recipe from James Wong. (Next time, James, I promise I will use fresh ginger and not murder your recipe!) You can get his books online and they are well worth it! 
I keep the ginger in a handy jar that I throw in my bag for car trips if I'm not driving. Winding New Zealand roads and my almost-always car sickness don't go together well. 

08 May 2012

As of lately..

Some road trips around New Zealand.
Cape Palliser. 250 steps to the top and back again.
Practise makes Perfect!!
And our 'Canes FINALLY won at home! Wooooooooh!

07 May 2012

Ginger! Part 1!

I completely love ginger. I love the smell of it. I love the taste of it, and even the way it feels on my skin. (Ginger infused oil in a creme... Heaven.)

A couple weeks ago I made my first batch of fantastic Ginger Cordial! It was actually very simple to make. And even though it will last about 3 months in the fridge, it only lasted less than 3 weeks. (recipe via Valentine Warner)

  • 200g fresh root ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 600g caster sugar
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 15g citric acid

Break 200g of the ginger into large pieces and peel. Cut into thin slices and put in a medium saucepan. Peel the lemon into wide strips and add to the pan along with its juice. Cover with 1.5 litres water. Stir in the sugar and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to the boil and boil for approximately forty minutes or until the ginger is very soft and the liquid has reduced to a thin syrup.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the citric acid. Strain through a funnel lined with clean muslin into a sterilized bottle. Stand for 30 minutes then seal tightly and label. Store in the fridge and use within 3 months. 
Glowing Ginger Goodness!
I love it with a hot water especially now that it's getting quite a bit colder here in Welly. But it's soooooo refreshing with some bubbled water from the Soda Stream!