Archive for August, 2017

Who knew you could brown the top of your lemon meringue pie with your embossing heat gun tool … #when your grill won’t brown the sides of your meringue

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I have an older friend that recently handed me over an unfinished quilt. Her daughter had made a good start but it went into storage for fifteen years waiting for someone to complete it. My friend gave me the freedom of taking what was there and finishing it however I wanted, so I had the fun of opening the box and making my own plan of how to go forward, ignoring the instructions and doing what I liked. We were both happy with the result and I had something to do in between projects, a win, win scenario 🙂

Eli Lydia Ari quilt, beanie pirate 005flowering tulip quilt 017flowering tulip quilt 015flowering tulip quilt 013

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Our very generous friends in Auckland have shared their mekelesha with us over the years, but I really wanted to see if I could find decent substitutes for the Ethiopian spices that go into this finishing mixed spice so I could be self sufficient. Mekelesha gives that extra special zing to many wat dishes. We can get many spices now that were never available before, now that we have Indian grocery stores all over New Zealand . There are heaps of recipes online, thank you to all those that have shared, here is my kiwi version from what I could find in Aotearoa.



  • 1/2 cup Kororima seeds (I used black cardamon pods and dug out the sticky, smoky, camphorous smelling black seeds)
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Timiz ( Different variety but close are the Indian long black pepper or Lindi)
  • 1/2 cup whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup whole cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp ground nutmeg (use whole if you want to bother grating it)

Method: In a hot pan, dry roast the black cardamon seeds for two minutes, stirring all the time. Add everything else except the ground nutmeg. Stir over a medium heat for six minutes. Don’t burn! Add the nutmeg then tip into a cool dish and leave until cold. Now spend ages grinding it in your coffee grinder, sieving and regrinding until it will pass through a tea strainer. Enlist help to grind while you sieve. Your house will smell amazing and you’ll be sneezing in no time 🙂

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