Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekly Challenge # 40: Pinwheels for Peace

September 21 was International Day of Peace so this weeks challenge is to create a pinwheel of peace. There is a great  project which is called Pinwheels for Peace.
 This is an art  project which started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan in Florida, as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community and by millions of art teachers, teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world. I've never heard of this project and I think this is a wonderful project especially in the world of today.
Here is my part for this challenge.

Please help us spread the word about this project Thank you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fruit, fruit ,fruit....

If it's time to pick blackberries it's time to make jam. My blackberry bush carried a lot of fruit this year.
 When I made this picture, they were not ripe yet but it took a couple of days and then it was picking time.
Also a man in our neighbourhood brings me fruit every year. He gets it from a relative who has an orchard and  has so much fruit every year, he cann't use it all so instead of selling it, he gives it away.
I love when the man comes, ringing the doorbell  and calling out: "the fruitman is here!", his  car loaded with fruit and the best part's organic.
I tried different recipes and I will post two of them which I really liked.
The first one is: plum marmelade with cardamom and walnuts. My first thought was: walnuts in marmelade? No I don't think so....but I gave it a try and it was good. The cardamom gives a special flavor to the marmelade.

Plum Marmelade with Cardamom and Walnuts

1 kilo plums, halved, stoned
5 cardamom pods
100 grams walnuts roughly chopped
800 grams gelling sugar

* Mash the plums with a stick mixer, add the sugar and stir. Let stand for a moment.
* Crack cardamom pods, take the seeds out and grind them using a mortar and pestle or use a coffee grinder.
* Add cardamom and walnuts to fruit mixture. Stir over low heat until sugar has completely dissolved. Bring to a rapid boil and boil for about 4 minutes.
* To test if the jam has set, remove the jam from the heat and place 1 teaspoon of jam on a cold saucer and put it in the fridge. When cool, drag your finger through the jam and if it leaves a channel then the jam is ready to be bottled. If the jam runs back together return to the boil and try again in 2 minutes. Skim off any scum.
* Pour into hot sterilized  jars and seal. 
* Invert jars for at least 10 minutes then turn upright. This will create a vacuum seal. Let cool.

The second one is:

 Butternut Pumpkin Apple Marmelade

600 grams butternut pumpkin
400 grams apples
1 lemon
800 grams gelling sugar
1 teaspoon Bourbon vanille or vanille sugar
± 200 ml. water

* Peel the Butternut pumpkin and remove all the seeds and fibers, cut into cubes.
* Peel apples and cut into cubes.
* Add water and cook for about 15 min. or until softened.
* Mash with a stick mixer.
* Grate zest from lemon,  squeeze juice and add to the pumpkin/apples.
* Add gelling sugar and bring to a boil.
* Boil for 4 minutes and then test in usual way for setting. (See recipe above)
* Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal.
* Invert jars for at least 10 minutes then turn upright. This will create a vacuum seal.
* Let cool.

This was my first time using pumkin to make marmelade and it was delicious. It also makes a nice gift from the kitchen as you don't find this marmelade in a regular store.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weekly Challenge #39: "Love is all you Need"

This challenge is in memory of 9/11. Since that day the world has changed. Hatred, it's a word we've heard so much since then.  I believe in  “Love is more powerful than hate”.
This heart of love is for our cousin Hazeline who had to run for her life on that terrible day. We are so thankful that she is still with us today....

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekly Challenge #38 "Better than a Pair of Ducks"

I decided to participate in the Diva's weekly challenge. Laura Harms aka I am the Diva  started this for anyone who likes tangling, regardless of skill level.
So I thought I give it a try. This weeks challenge is to use only Paradox. Here is my first attempt in this challenge.
The next one I messed up. I had wanted to add a border around it but the Paradox didn't show well so I just colored over it  and now it shows too much black and it's uneven....
 Maria commented and gave me a hint to use a white gelly roll pen to tangle over the black border. It sure made a difference. Thank you Maria!