Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jack-seed paste

Have I invented a new recipe?
I posted about jackfruit (here) some days ago. At that time we didn't do anything with the seeds, except keeping them in water. The next day DH removed them from the water and wrapped them in newspaper - to let them dry up a little bit. Yesterday morning they were removed from the newspaper and put in the sun to dry more. (Sorry no photos from that process). Last night part of the seeds were boiled - like potatoes. Yummy to eat when still warm with salted butter added! :)
Here are the boiled jackseeds. Have to remove the "shell" from each of them before eating. I call it "shell", because it is a bit like the shell on shrimps.  
After the seeds were cleaned, I put them all in the food processor. I added garlic, olive oil, water (jack seeds are dryer than potatoes), sesam seeds, leek, salt, pepper and different spices. If one wants it spicier, add chillies and more salt. I didn't do that, because I find chillies too hot.
It can be eaten at dinner as well as bread-spread.

It turned out so yummy!!!

MIL told me jack curry as well as boiled jack seeds were "poor-people's-food" in the old times. Many families were fortunate having a jack tree in their garden, and often they ate jack three times per day...
There are not many vendors at the fruit- and vegetable market selling jacks nowadays. The younger generation doesn't bother about it anymore - sadly. In DH's family, there are only I and him who know how to clean jacks - and MIL - of course - and some of her siblings.  Perhaps we are fortunate having such an exotic fruit in our garden! :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cleaning up the garden

Such a beautiful sky this morning!

We have one jackfruit tree in our garden. The leaves are dark green and takes up a lot of light, so it was needed to cut off all the branches. We have talked about it for some weeks, but it was not before yesterday we finally did it.

The heap doesn't look that big, does it?! Man it was!!! I like to do works like shredding branches and started as early as 07:30 this morning. At noon I was almost done with the heap, but had to give up due to rain!  

Here's the shredded jack branches! OOOOH! I'm sure the flower beds will be happy when I add it all there! :) 

This is how our poor jackfruit tree looks now! It looks so ugly!!! But I know the job was needed; it will dry up faster in the flowerbed after rain and we get much more light into our kitchen. The huge branch to the left should have been cut off too, but we don't have suitable equipment for doing that. If you look carefully, you'll see there are still 4-5 jacks on the tree, most of them almost ripe. One has to be removed from the tree tomorrow, or else it starts to rot. Perhaps I'll make more jam - mixed with ripe bananas this time! :)

Jackfruit jam

Any of you who knows jackfruit? I was not familiar with it until I visited Mauritius for the very first time in 1998. The fruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world. What is so fascinating with the fruit is that it is eaten as curry (unripe and boiled) as well as fruit (ripe) and even the seeds are eaten (boiled). The taste of ripe jack is something between ananas and banana - with other sweet tastes. Don't eat too much ripe jack; it's "heavy"! :)

Jackfruits cut in half. These are ripe jacks. The middle and right one is OK, but the left one had started to rot so we couldn't use it - except the seeds. When ripe, it also has this "sickening" kind of sweet smell; some says it smells like onions that start to rot, but actually I'm not sure how to explain that smell! :)

DH is cleaning jacks! Those of you who are familiar with the fruit, knows how much work it is to clean and how darn sticky that thing is! Before cutting, put cooking oil on the knife! The only parts that are used from ripe jack is the flesh around the seeds and the seeds.

The seeds - often boiled as beans.

 The flesh - ready to be boiled. The ripe fruit is very sweet so there is no need adding sugar while boiling it for jam. I added vanilla pod, whole, chrushed cardamom and cinnamon. Last time I made it, I mixed in some ripe bananas. I know jackfruit jelly as well as jam are made in Goa (India), perhaps other places too, but as far as MIL knows; it is not common here. She had never heard of it until I made it for the first time a couple of years ago. :)

VOILA!!! 5 small glasses jack jam!  

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Garden Work on a Sunday

The day started early - as usual - listening to the radio about any news of cyclone "Gelane". Fortunate it had weakened during the night, but still there were expected rain and local thunderstorms. Happy about rain, I put all the flowerpots on the side of the porch that is not covered and the plants will get some needed water (when it rains). It didn't look like it was going to rain, so I put on a washing machine too. Thereafter I swept the porch and discovered one banana tree - with a huge bunch of bananas - had gone down on the ground during the night. The bananas were on the ground and guess what was in front of it?! A wasp nest!!! The wasps here seem to be more aggressive to what I'm used to at home, so no way I wanted to cut off the bananas! DH equipped with a box of "DOOM", managed to spray the insect killer on them, but not all of them died.
I have mentioned earlier how fast everything grows in this tropical climate. Last year, a "lila" tree started growing from a seed in our garden. None of us expected it to grow as fast as it did. It had become too big already and we didn't want to think of how huge it ends up in a few more years.

The decision was to cut it down, which we did today - while waiting for the rain! :)
First DH had to get the ladder and cut off the branches,
before he was able to cut the trunk.

The branches were quite soft and easy to shred. We bought the shredder a couple of years ago and I really love it! I love shredding branches and re-use it in the garden. There are branches from different trees that are not suitable for shredding, like banana leaves, palm leaves and not to forget lemon tree and bougainvillea branches that are full of thorns! I have tried shredding branches from these trees too, but bananas and palms have too much fiber in the branches and as I mentioned; the others have thorns.

The shredded "lila" branches, together with some branches from "bottle brush" and "filao", all ended up in the strawberries and leek bed. :)

Before you read on, do you remember this? The beautiful flowers on the coffee trees. That was at the end of October last year. Look what the flowers have turned out to be! Some of the beans are getting red! MIL has promised to teach me making coffee from "home-grown" coffee beans - the way she did it in "the old times". :)

The wasp nest story didn't end above. DH had to attack them once again with "DOOM" (insect killer). Thereafter he got the rake and attacked them one more time and managed to get the nest out from the bananas! The bananas are saved! :))
It's late afternoon - still no rain from "Gelane" - as meteo predicted! I guess the cyclone has weakened so much that it has kind of disappeared. Or we get the rain tonight or tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Valentine's Day Swap 2010

I wanted to add about this exchange to my previous post, but had some problems uploading the photos - so here we are! :)
NNC always seem to be in a swapping mood - and this year there won't be less swaps - it seems! :) Last year, when I joined NNC, I was too late to sign up for the popular Valentine's Day Exchange. This year I didn't want to miss participating!
The exchange was a secret one; I didn't know who will send me the gift before I received the parcel in the mailbox. Suspense!!!
I didn't pay much attention to that boring brown, padded envelope when DH came back from town and said: "here's a parcel for you"! I was busy sewing and "decided" it must be the Homespun Elegance patterns I purchased before Christmas that had finally arrived. Later in the day I was going to open the parcel and first then I noticed it was from Maria (no blog) in Portugal!
The Valentine's Day Exchange "headmistress" Margaret :)) (no blog) did not allow us to open the gifts before midnight - 00:01 (February 14th) in our respective countries! Not even allowed to have a peek!! :)
I was too tired that night to wait until midnight, so the first thing I did in the morning was to open the brown padded envelope - and look what was inside!

Two transparent hearts with lovely tatted hearts inside, one has tiny beads too. 3 skeins DMC floss, a pen, ribbon, small jewelry box containing two small heart charms, a cute card. I forgot adding a view card and leaflet from Portugal that was enclosed too.
Aren't the hearts cute?!


My partner is Diane (no blog) from the US. I decided to cross-stitch a card. It is embellished with pink Mill Hill seed beads around the heart, which is not very visible on the photo.

I made a mini-quilt too. :) The colors did not come out as they should be; too dark. It looks like the border is black or dark gray, actually it is green.

I also added some local tea bags - hope you like it Diane! :)

Gelane's Quilt and Baguette Bag

YIPPEE! One of the kid quilts I've been working on the last month is FINISHED!!!!! I started working on the star blocks approx one year ago, when something went wrong and they were put aside - hidden somewhere in a corner! :) I'm feeling proud; this is my own pattern! I don't know how many hours I have spent working on it - that doesn't really count - but it has been a lot of work - as well as brain work to calculate the blocks fitting together etc. Another thing that makes me proud; the fabrics I have used are from my stash! The only thing I have bought is flannel for the batting and backing - didn't have suitable flannel at all in my stash.

I have used Beatrix Potter novelty fabric; Peter Rabbit and the goose (does that goose have a name? I can't remember!) with coordinating fabrics - Moda marbles.

Here's a close-up of the center piece. Sorry my digital camera does not take good close-ups, I can't get the photos better. If my calculation is right, the quilt consists of 763 pieces and I have quilted in each of them. What a job! LOL! :) I have enjoyed every second and minute I have worked on it - a challenge!

Since I have created the quilt, I have named it "Gelane's Quilt". I completed the quilt yesterday, when another cyclone was named in our area - its name is "Gelane".

This morning I finished a bread bag! Yes, it is a bread bag, or better say "baguette bag". How do you get an almost one meter long baguette into a supermarket plastic bag without the baguette going into two pieces?! Impossible!!! (I do wonder why on earth the baguettes have to be that long?!!) The bag was almost finished before Christmas last year, left to add the handles only. Isn't it amazing how long time simple things take to finish?! Well, now that one is done too - two UFO's less - on my list of UFO's! These two projects are not only two UFO's, but two OPAM projects for February too! Never thought I was going to make it! :)


A couple of weeks ago or so, I received this award from Siv Hege - THANK YOU! :) I appreciate you find my blog as a source of inspiration!

There are a few simple rules to be followed by receiving this award:

~ Add the link to the person you received the award from on your blog.
~ Tell 7 things about yourself.
~ Give the award to 7 bloggers who inspire you.

SO! What do I tell about myself that my readers don't already know? I never find it easy to talk about myself, but here are a few things:

~ Chocoholic
~ Never completed an interior/architecture course
~ Happily childfree
~ Love 12 months of summer - hate humidity
~ Unpredictable
~ One dream is to sell some of my projects
~ Another dream is to visit New Zealand

It took me a while from I received the award until I posted about it, because I have found it very difficult to choose 7 creative bloggers who inspire me - there are thousands of them in the blogger world. Here is my selection:


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Homespun Elegance patterns

Finally the parcel arrived - yesterday! I purchased these Homespun Elegance patterns end of December 2009! It took that long time, because the shop was sold out for one pattern and it took time getting it in stock again.

I'm deadly in love HE designs! I wish I could have bought all the Christmas patterns, especially the oh so darling Santa's from the Cinnamon Stick Collection! Aren't they cute?! Perhaps I should put up a "Wish List" - just in case.... (Hint! Hint!) :))

I'm still haven't got all the flannel I need for the kid quilts; they are on hold... I thought of doing some cross-stitching today, but after doing a floss "stocktaking" I don't have all the needed floss. I don't have all the needed linen for the HE ornaments either... and what does that mean??!! I have to purchase the linen - being on "SSD" - or not!!! :) "SSD" also means "Stash Shopping Disease" ............. I'm ill!!!! SSF!!! (Stash Shopping Fever!!!) LOL!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Quilt top (UFO) finished

Another quilt top (UFO) is finished! Hurray! :)) It all started last year with these blocks, but at that time I never made any quilt out of the blocks - stored the blocks away! :) I'm determined to finish the UFO's I have before I start a new project. I hope I'm able to hold on to that, because we all know how tempting a new project is - don't we?! I have worked on this quilt almost every day for approx two weeks. Today I made the last four star blocks and added the last piece of the outer border to the quilt top. I want to use flannel for batting and backing, but haven't bought anything yet. Yes, I am on SSD (Strict Stash Diet), but I allow myself to buy flannel since I don't have anything for the two quilts I've made.
I know I have showed you just a few pieces of the two recent quilt tops I have made... I thought I was going to wait until they both are finished to show them in full - are you able to wait?? :))) As you may recall, these two quilts are my own designs... Perhaps I'm feeling a bit shy showing them... :))

Some "terrific" thunderstorms hit yesterday and during the night! It has been so hot, humid and sultry for days so something had to happen. Yesterday morning we went grocery shopping and on our way back home we were hit by a thunderstorm. We don't have a car, so we usually walk it to the supermarkets in the area, which is very good exercise! :) I don't like thunderstorms that much, bad experiences from where I grew up where lightning hit off and on. Some years ago a lightning hit our neighbor house (in Norway) - it burnt down - sadly. I didn't feel very safe walking in an open space yesterday, with an umbrella over my head - have heard about too many scary accidents where people have been hit...! We were soaked when we returned home! I have mentioned earlier I don't mind being soaked by tropical rain and this time I loved it too! It feels so good after a warm shower, dry clothes to put on and something warm to drink; this time "French Vanilla" coffee and Cadbury Wholenut! YUMMY!! :) The thunderstorms continued during the night so I didn't sleep very well. A house not far from us was hit by the lightning, it hit the solar panel (I think it was) on the roof... and made quite some damages inside the house too. There was a blackout all over the island for approx 5 hours during the night - what a "terrific" weather! I hope there won't be any thunderstorms tonight! I want a good night's sleep! Oh no! What did I say?! I hear the thunder in the distance now....... :((

The coolest place in the house?! Poor Birre-Liten feels the weather conditions too. He - as well as the dogs - find the days too hot. They don't really know where to stay, but it seems the best and coolest place is inside the house; on the floor tiles - or on the wooden table - my sewing table! :))
Oh, and there's a GIVEAWAY - from Norway this time. Lappestua has a giveaway. Look at these yummy Easter fabrics!