Sunday, January 08, 2006

KNITTING, though considered to be an old-fashioned art...

I was admiring again, Mrs Beeton cuffs in the Dec' 05 edition of Knitty and wondering whether Mrs Beeton had been published recently (I've a copy of her Book of Household Management given to me for my 21st birthday by an aunt - must read it one day). All my dogged research librarian skills turned up that Project Gutenberg has made Beeton's Book of Needlework, by Isabella Beeton available online - for free. I LOVE Project Gutenberg. The link is to where the knitting instructions begin. It's just wonderful!

In the spirit of historical patterns, we also find La Couturiere Parisienne, which has costume patterns from the C14th to C20th. I'm still playing but haven't found any knitting. There are c*****t patterns.

I was having so much fun with Mrs Beeton, and fielding visits from my Dad and brother, then from my Dad and his neighbours to sticky-beak at my garden, that I nearly burned the Chilli Plum Sauce. Rescued it just in time. A low yield this year (just 5.25 cups from 4k fruit) and it's a lot of work for 5 cups of sauce, but man-alive it tastes great.

The recipe is from the Australian Women's Weekly Home Library, The Book of Preserves, 1990. If you see this book anywhere and like making your own jams and stuff, buy it. (Jejune, I've found the recipe - it was at Mum's - and have copied it for you).

My cousin rang to say the apricots are ready, but there isn't much fruit. There was such a bumper crop last year, I didn't expect much. Will pop over tonight and pick what there is. As far as jams go, apricot is my favourite. The kids prefer Mum's plum jam, and that's just fine by me. :)

9 comments:

Kate said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog! Unfortunately, I seem to fall into a blackhole of opportunity as far as SnB Canberra goes; I arrive too late on Sunday and leave on Wednesday morning : (

I could get to the BookCrossing meetup, though. What's this about. I figured there's one on tonight - what time?

Kate said...

I'm having such 'fun' trying to get blogger to accept my comment to your post! Third time lucky...

Thanks for the deets re SnB Canberra. Unfortunately I seem to fall into a blackhole of opportunity arriving in Canberra too late on Sunday and leaving on Wednesday morning to be able to join in. Pooh.

I can make the BookCrossing meetup. What's this about and what time does it meet? I know it's at Starbucks in Civic on 2nd Mondays but that's about it...

Taphophile said...

Hi Kate
Hi Kate
BookCrossing is an online community that exists to give away books.

Our monthly get togethers are informal - we take a few books to swap or leave and chat and drink hot chocolate (or the like). You don't have to be a member to come. 7.00 at Starbucks, City Walk. Group of women and men aged 14-50 (roughly), large number of books on a table and a fair few of women will be knitting as we tend to turn everything into a S'n'B. It's a pretty disparate bunch brought together by a love of reading and a generosity of spirit.

If it's more convenient, my email is peggysmum AT yahoo.co.uk

Susan George said...

Have marked down Beeton's Book of Needlework for further attention - stitches sound interesting.

Jam making season is great and the product is fantastic - I have been collecting interesting jars all year in anticipation - I just haven't managed to pick any fruit yet. Maybe next weekend? But you have inspired me - I really must do something. Also amazed given the drought in Canberra that you got any fruit!

Taphophile said...

Good yield from the various plums, but the apricot not so good. It tends to be year about anyway and we had a great crop last season. The fig is absolutely laden. None of these get any extra watering. They are VERY well established trees, though.

I do water the citrus, mostly with grey water, and had a bumper crop of lemons last year. The lime gave me two fruit but that was an accident. I didn't want it to fruit at all, but missed a couple of blossoms. It's only a baby, being in the ground just 14 months. The limequat in tub is doing well with grey water. Will be planting a mandarin and a ruby grapefruit in the autumn.

Sometimes Unwilling Guru said...

I had plans to grow an orchard in the back half of our house yard when we bought here but so far I haven't seen many fruit trees that do any good in this area.lemons grow anywhere but I miss home grown plum and apricot jam.It's at times like this, that I miss our old place which was between Cobar, Hillston and Roto in Far West NSW.Our property was situated on what once was the Riverina( 150km west from Griffith) boundery, till they shifted it.The ground was just beautiful to grow anything!

Taphophile said...

Crikey, Cathy, when you move west, you really move west! :) Know the Hillston area a bit. My Mum's from near Leeton and we were on a property outside Jerilderie for a little while. One of the joys I have now I'm out of a flat is being able to grow fruit. My fig tree is a tall stick, and will probably fruit next season. They seem to grow pretty much anywhere. I've plans for a pomegranate hedge (Dad want's rhododdendrons, I want pomegranates) and a sour cherry. There's also this great plant called an Irish Strawberry Tree that grows well here and fruits constantly. It makes a lovely jam, too.

melissa said...

i have that preserving book .. good isn't it . i have a few fvourite recipes out of it , but havent tried that one ... will have a look at it ..im about due to make tomato relish .. the tomatoes are starting to come in and i openned the last jar of relish the other day .

Taphophile said...

Yum, tomato relish. We've not got many tomatoes this year, and I've only one jar left. Good luck with yours :)