Reading an article in fortune tech got me thinking about social associations…
Having just had a great ‘cup of tea’ catch up with an old friend and one of the main inspirations for my blog, gave me a crafty resurgence. Although brief, our chat encompassed Pinterest, how could it not really when the adoption rate is so high. The preface of our mutual Pinterest - interest was the ability to connect and share crafty ideas.
Pinterest connects users of similar interests through ‘things’ they find interesting while Facebook is a mechanism to connect users agnostic of interest. In parallel to this, I would suggest that my sewing machine connects me with my interest in craft and sewing and to hang out with other crafty type people I would head along to a craft fair. I definitely don’t think all of my Facebook friends share my interest in craft so my crafternoontea blog posts will be shared on Pinterest.
Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.
- Peg Bracken
Peg Bracken was a great believer in making things easier for working women in the 60’s and it seems far more relevant now than ever before. Coming up to Christmas and the summer holiday period seems to be busier than ever as you are wrapping things up work for the year, crossing I’s and dotting T’s as well as saying thank you to everyone for their work over the past 12 months at xmas parties and functions and dealing with family travel plans. All that being said, knowing that christmas and the break that comes along with that is on its way is always a great feeling.
I love to give gifts that I know I have put a bit of time and effort into and Christmas is great because is a time when you are allowed to give give gifts and you don’t feel a little strange for giving gifts during the year outside a birthday. My 2010 new years resolution was to learn how to make condiments, starting easy with plum jam I moved into an array of jams, relishes and chutney’s things like, feijoa and ginger jam, tamarillo jam, kiwifruit jam, pumpkin and paprika chutney, eggplant chutney, topping the year off with fruit mince. Having been severely disappointed with the fruit mince, my 2011 xmas was a journey to make the best darn fruit mince I could and share it as part of my christmas gift.
During my christmas shopping excursions I had been looking through any recipe books I came across for an interesting fruit mince recipe. There was only one condition, it had to have figs in it. Dried figs are just so totally yummy and I got into loving them so much when working with a dear friend of mine who would snack on them while I would be munching back some sort of bad for me chocolate bar. After having tried them on their own i was hooked and what a great way to get you out of a ‘bad’ chocolate habit. Continuing my hunt for the ultimate recipe, i had been looking around online at a few blogs and posts and just wasn’t finding the right fit. Meeting up with a friend at the local bookshop cafe I managed to take a look at a retro Australian Women’s Weekly recipe book and there it was, Fig fruit mince. Under full disclosure here, i did something that was not really kosher and took an iPhone snap of the ingredients list. My conscience was in jeopardy but I felt this situation compared to when you only want to buy one song on iTunes but not the whole album. In this case, I just wanted the fig recipe and not the rest of the forty nine dollar book. Here is my version of said recipe, I also doubled the batch as I got a bit excited at the Harris Farm bulk bins and got a very large amount of ingredients.
Fig Fruit Mince
150g Dried Fig
65g Dried Cranberries
40g Mixed Peel
55g Glace Ginger
60g Glace Peach, I used Paw Paw instead
1 medium (150g) Granny Smith Apple, peeled and grated
110g firmly packed brown sugar, I used dark brown
2 TBsp Fig Jam, I used a combination of Rose Jam and Orange Marmalade
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
2 TBsp Orange Juice
1 Cinnamon Stick, snapped in half
1 tsp mixed spice, I used ground cloves and nutmeg
100ml Cognac, I started at 100ml and got a bit more liberal
Chop all dried ingredients finely and place into a large bowl, mixing the fruit together at every addition of new fruit. After the first two lots of dried fruit to go in the bowl, I added the grated apple and continued to stir after every new fruit addition. I got a bit liberal on a few things like fig and put a bit more, as well as ginger and of course cognac. I let the mix sit covered on the bench overnight adding more cognac just before I went to bed, ready to take on Mince Pies the following day. You will hear more about those soon….
Like many other new years resolution inspired blogger undertakings, I have made a pact to myself to share what I like to do with my spare time. I am not going to sign my life away or air dirty laundry but I just want to tell you a bit more about myself so you know what to expect from my future posts. As a late bloomer into the blogosphere and an active contributor in the technology community I now feel compelled to start contributing my thoughts and creative creations to the expanding online world.
CrafternoonTea for me, means the ability to turn texture into a functional object while problem solving through the process. The pillars that make this up are based on three things, the ‘useable’ being through knitting, crochet, hand stitching, embellishment, machine sewing or garment construction; the ‘palatable’, through cooking, baking, making condiments and most of all eating; finally the ‘exploration’ that comes through exploring Sydney on my Bike or playing music on my own or in a group.
Being part of the IT industry by trade there may be times where I will preface posts with my thoughts on the industry. While the association of craft and software seems relatively distant, the craft, music and general creatively that occupies my spare time helps me to absorb and articulate trends in an adjacent but relevant way. That was a long winded way of saying, I might talk about IT stuff too.
The process of discovery and learning at each step is how I continue to expand my creative context. Usually I will find a brief explanation personally, through a blog or recipe book and work my way through the process to figure out what to do next. As an example, I was heading up to the ski field and I needed a new hat. I was visiting my parents over a holiday weekend so asked if my mum had a spare crochet needle and some wool (that i liked of course) from there I started creating It is the constant problem solving inside the process that makes craft so enjoyable for me.
With my crafty creativity and inspiration coming in waves, there will be periods when I am more active than others. Having been an active listener to the online community for some time now, I now make the transition to being an active contributor with a resolve to contribute to my blog ‘at least’ every month. While that seems like a long time frame in the 24/7 world, organic creativity needs to be nurtured so the monthly timeframe is a good fit for me.
Ok - that is more than enough intro babble now I cant wait to get into it.