About Me

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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Fried Rice! The recipe.

We love sharing skills hidden amongst our group. Rita and her husband Arthur ran a Chinese Restaurant for years.... and so who better than her and her daughter, Christine to show us how to make the best fried rice ever?


Rita and Chris's Fried Rice recipe:

Prepare everything beforehand and have ready in little bowls... (just like in the cooking shows!)

* RICE - boil on the stove the night before. I cup of rice to 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to the boil then turn down low and put the lid on for 20 minutes. Fluff the rice up and put in the fridge over night. Let it dry out while it cools down. So if you need to put it in the fridge still a bit warm, leave the lid slightly ajar. Chris uses long grain or Jasmin Rice.

* SCRAMBLED EGG - Crack an egg into a bowl and with a fork really beat it up. Don't add anything. Then in a hot, oiled work, cook the egg, stirring and breaking it up as it cooks. Set aside.

* VEGETABLES - finely chop up some shallots (or spring onion) set aside some frozen peas.

* BACON - If you want to add some ham or bacon, dice it and fry it in the wok. Make sure you clean the wok out well before making the fried rice.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:

- Heat the wok until you see the heat shimmering above it.
- Add a good glug of oil. (Chris used Rice Bran oil  -  it smokes less!)
- Wait until the oil is really hot then put the cooled, dry, cooked rice in. Flatten it down, mix, flatten.
- This is the bit that was good to see in action... with 2 flat heat proof spatulas, one in either hand, move that rice around and around until it is all fluffed up and heated through.
- If it sticks, your wok is not hot enough (or started out dirty with bacon). If that is the case, tip out the rice, wipe it out, reheat the wok and start again.
- Add the scrambled egg and shallots. Mix with those 2 spatulas/ flat wooden spoons. Mix, mix, mix.
- Add the peas and the precooked bacon or uncooked diced ham. Mix, mix, mix. Keep the wok hot!
- You can add other things like prawns or a tiny bit of shredded cabbage, but not too much as it contains too much water. Add tiny bits of chilli if you want. Corn and carrots work but they are not really in traditional Chinese fried rice where Rita comes from. So if Rita's not adding it then neither am I!
- If the rice is lumpy, squash the lumps with the spatula. If it's dry, add some oil.
- Add a tablespoon of DARK SOY SAUCE. This is only available in Chinese grocery stores. It adds a much better colour. You can use normal soy sauce but be careful not to use too much and make your rice too salty.

Enjoy!
(Check again tomorrow and I'll have added photos!


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Iris folding card by Rita

If you are looking for inspiration for designs for hand made cards, take another look at Iris Folding.
Here is a great example by Rita.


Iris folding can be done using the cheapest of materials if you want to. You can be like Rita and use wrapping paper which is great because it is thinner than craft paper and folds so well. 
HERE is an introduction to how to do a simple project. And HERE.


You can explore Iris folding where people use POSTAGE STAMPS (another one here) or TEA BAG COVERS. 
The possibilities are endless!
Thanks for the inspiration Rita.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Crochet by Janice

There are lots of things I LOVE about The Craft Group and one of those things is the "Show 'n Tell" we have. There's no place for holding back achievements by wrapping them in in faux humility. Creating something is to be celebrated! After a bit of a break over the holidays, so many ladies brought in home-made projects to share. Ideas galore!

Janice has been busy crocheting.
When granny squares were reported to be coming back in vogue, I didn't believe it. But there are some ways guaranteed to give them a modern twist and I love them!
Just add white or black borders and enjoy the new version of putting Granny Squares together.



Crocheting with scraps and random colours are so much fun. Here Janice covered some coffee jars. Use them to hold pencils, pot plants, a bright bunch of flowers or look up "Gift in a Jar" for a trillion ideas. (Well, maybe a few less than a trillion).


...and a colourful cushion with a crocheted centre flower.



Thanks for showing your cheerful crochet. 

It makes me stop and give thanks to God that I can show you these things. Janice has had a really challenging year with her health. She always stays positive and God has worked through some amazing medical people to put her on the road to recovery.

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