Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting back into sewing.

My maternal grandmother was a brilliant craftswoman. She did tapestry, fine crochet, knitting & just about anything else you can name. What I really remember however, was her as a seamstress. I used to spend a lot of time with her, & I best remember her making beautiful dresses for the rich women of Ballarat. I was a little kid, sitting quietly in the corner, watching her take their measurements, discuss the style they wanted & then she would make up the patterns. Her work was exquisite & she was quite busy with that work. Luckily, she also spent a lot of time with me, teaching me all she knew. Also, luckily for me, after she died, I was given all her craft supplies, some patterns & leftover fabrics & tapestry threads. I cherish them so much, often just pull them out to look at them, touch them again & I remember her so well from each item.

Recently I decided to get back into sewing, just for something to do as I used to really enjoy it, especially when the boys were little. This is my first project! I was so thrilled with how it finished up: it looked like it had been "professionally" made. And even more thrilling, a dear friend of mine bought it for her daughter. She sent me photos of her modelling it & I became all teary, because she looked so pretty in something that I had made, & I didn't even stuff up the button holes!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Honey Jumbles

Do you remember being able to buy Honey Jumble biscuits from the supermarket? They don't seem to around to much any more, which is really sad. Jeremy just loves them, so I made some yesterday, from a recipe I found on It's an easy recipe, makes 20 HUGE biscuits, & is really true to the original taste. Hope you try them, & let me know what you think.

Honey Jumbles.

  • 60g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp milk
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Pink food colouring
  • Combine butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until butter has melted. Bring to the boil.
  • Remove from heat. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, mixed spice and cloves over butter mixture.
  • Add milk.
  • Stir to combine. Cover.
  • Set aside for 1 hour or until mixture has cooled and thickened.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  • Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly.
  • Divide dough into quarters.
  • Roll 1 portion into a 25cm-long log shape. Cut into 5cm-long pieces.
  • Place on prepared trays, leaving room for spreading. Using a wooden spoon, flatten each piece of dough until 5mm-thick.
  • Repeat with remaining dough portions. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden.
  • Stand on tray for 10 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using a whisk beat the egg white in a bowl until foaming.
  • Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined.
  • Stir in lemon juice.
  • Spoon half the mixture into another bowl.
  • Tint pink with food colouring. Spread half of the biscuits with pink icing.
  • Spread remaining biscuits with white icing.
  • Set aside for 30 minutes or until set.