Problems with colour pairing

Two-colour brioche: why is it so bloody hard to pick two colours that work together ?

It seems so easy when you start off with your great pattern and your two colours of whatever yarn you’ve chosen … They look so good together in your knitting basket – can’t fail to be terrific.

But they do.

The reverse side is just – wrong.

Why on the front does the green vertical row sit proud and the violet row provide merely background; and on the reverse the green is competing with the foreground violet ?

Or why does the front look just as you hoped but the reverse looks simply muddy ?

Here the front gold stands out as vertical rib; but it also stands out on the reverse, in almost the same way !

Beautiful. But only the front. On the reverse the pattern is close – crowded, even. This effect is commonly seen, where the back of the pattern appears to be somehow more tightly knitted !

Rather puzzingly, that effect is not seen here: this is good ! I attribute the difference between this screen-grab and the previous one to the fact that this one’s colours could scarcely be more opposed; whereas the one above uses two shades of the same colour.

I am now on a mission to find some kind of equation that will result in a pairing of any two colours that will work perfectly together to result in brioche that doesn’t fight against what it’s meant to look like.

As I understand it, that is. As far as I have learned, two-colour brioche knitting should be reversible but for the colours being swapped.


(None of these is mine: I screen-grabbed them all from the Web in my wish to at least partly indicate what is so frustrating me.)



Big success with a new recipe !   :)

I realise this recipe comprises ingredients to be found elsewhere (e.g., it’s quite like eggplant parmigiana), but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my sister and I consumed it last night with delight and regret: delight in its yumminess – regret in the eggplant’s not being a larger one.

What the scoring and baking of the eggplant did was to add a different dimension to the taste. We were able to eat all that garlic with absolute impunity, as well as the entirety of the eggplant’s skin. It was simply – wunderbar !

You might think it tiresome to have to bake and then re-bake, but you shouldn’t: have a glass of something you like, and talk of other things !

Baked eggplant with tomato & feta


  • 1 eggplant sliced in half lengthwise and scored criss-cross (like you do a mango)
  • feta to taste

Tomato sauce

  • 50ml olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 4 ripe tomatoes chopped smallish (I did 16ths)
  • ½ 170g can tomato paste
  • fresh basil
  • seasoning
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar


  • Preheat the oven to 200C.
  • Brush the eggplant with plenty of olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt and then bake face-down in a baking dish for about 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft. This will depend largely upon your … erhmm … ‘scorings’ in the eggplant: the closer the quicker cooked. Is that logic or what ?!   :D  You need to check how it’s going at half an hour.
  • Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce: heat the olive oil on medium heat in a pan with a large surface area, then add the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes (don’t brown the garlic !) then add the chopped tomatoes, basil, tomato paste, ½–¾ cup water and season. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, then add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir in.
  • Pour the tomato sauce over the egplant halves and crumble over the feta, as thickly as you like.
    Bake for about another 10 minutes or until the tomato sauce is bubbling.

It will be my preference, next time I make this dee-lishus meal, to use thickly-sliced bocconcini rather than feta; but my sister is an LCHF eater and LOVES feta, so that was it.

Serve with a salad: you don’t need cooked vegies with this.

And I reckon I deserve a pat on the back for having found meals to suit P’s LCHF intake and my vegetarianism at the same time.


A short(ish) thought

and probably far from original.

I was occupied in de-tangling a ball of wool and wondering if it had already hit 39C, as forecast, when it occurred to me that I wasn’t looking forward to summer.

Instantly a song popped into my head: Steve Lawrence, I think it was, singing in his already adult years a hit song for the then teens – “Can’t Wait for Summer”. Dunno when it was, but either late ’50s or early ’60s.

The lyrics, e.g.:

Can’t wait for summer to run around in shorts;

Can’t wait for summer to play on tennis courts


Can’t wait for summer to throw away my books;

Can’t wait for summer to sort my fishing hooks

and I could only think of how utterly irrelevant these activities are to today’s teens.

Sad, ain’t it ?

Don’t be put off by the name !

These are simply dee-lishus ! – do they not look so ?

Best consumed greedily with something like yoghourt with a chopped herb you like mixed in: fennel ? – chives ? – basil is really good. Something to dip ’em in. Sweet chilli sauce is extra yummy. Whatever.

You will eat the lot, depending …



      • Chop 750g cabbage <^>
      • Put into boiling water, cook 7-10′
      • Drain: press to remove all water
      • Finely chop an onion
      • Crush 2 cloves garlic
      • Finely chop half bunch parsley
      • 2 tbsps oil in a pan, add onion, cook till light golden
      • Add crushed garlic, mix and cook till dark golden
      • Put drained cabbage into bowl
      • Add cooked onion mixture
      • Add 2 eggs
      • Add 56g semolina
      • Add chopped parsley
      • Add 1 tsp salt and 1 of pepper
      • Mix everything very well
      • Wet hands to make balls/patties
      • Fry in oil

<^> Start with half a large cabbage and weigh it; then add a bit more if necessary


Today marks two important birthdays for me

The first is that of my dear and very loved friend up in Sydney, the Goanna. I have known her since, I think, 1971; and have loved her from about a fortnight after I met her. Goanna is forthright, honest, amusing and VERY good at her chosen profession (which she keeps saying she’s not going to do any more …).

The second is that of Mr B. Bettong, NWT*, who turns the magnificent age of 1 ! (Goanna is a bit older than that.)

“Wot ?”, I hear you cry; “I see no Boodie !”.

Ah, but you have to look closely. In fact, really, really closely … Zoom in on the cat-scratching pole, about half-way up, and there you will see – his whiskers !    :)

But I shall provide a better view, albeit still a little restricted:

wherein can be detected signs of his breakfast. Is he not adorable ?!!




*Neatly-wrapped tail

Introducing the best rice in the world ! (imnsho)

OK, you lot – here’s another-y. I said I would post only SIMPLE recipes (because I can’t be bothered with fancy ones), and I meant it.

This is a 2-veg curry. It’s extremely delicious. What more could you want ?!


(35’ from go to whoa: serves 4)


  • 2–3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small-medium eggplants, chopped
  • 2–3 cloves squashed garlic
  • 425g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1–2 tbsps curry powder or 1 tbsp curry paste
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • seasoning
  • 1 can (400 ml) coconut cream


  • Heat olive oil in large pan: when it’s hot, add onions and eggplants and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them to the pan.
  • Add all the spices, season with salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for one more minute.
  • Pour on coconut cream and simmer with lid on for another 4-5 minutes.
  • Serve with Jazaa brand ‘Elite’ Pakistani rice. Only kidding ! – with any white rice you like. But Jazaa ‘Elite’ is the best rice I’ve ever eaten.   :)

Not vegan, no; but …



I was vegetarian for 6 years, until I started feeling faint a lot; so I gave it up and went back to being an omnivore. But even then I wasn’t eating a whole big lot of meat. My diet has always consisted of many vegetarian meals, interspersed with the occasional chilli con carne, or baked spaghetti, or curry, or stir-fry with chicken.

Now, having just the other day been reminded (in a book review by Whispering Gums) of the wonderful pleasure in NOT eating animals that have been pretty brutally killed – and honestly, when you look at it like that, it’s simply disgusting ! – I was very easily persuaded to follow the pendulum back again in changing my eating habits.

I have not the slightest intention of proselytising, I assure you.

This means only that I shall, every now and then, post an especially yummy recipe. It will be, of course, vegetarian; but it will be one that omnivores would enjoy if they gave it a burl.   :)

Shall I start with today …?

Why not ?!

Let’s start small …

Asparagus & halloumi entrée

Cooking Time, 15 minutes: Serves, 4


  • 1½ tbsps olive oil
  • 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends broken off
  • 1 x 250g pkt halloumi cheese, drained, cut into 4 lengthways
  • 60g baby mesclun
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat 2 tsp of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Reheat pan over high heat. Cook the halloumi for 1 minute each side or until golden.
  • Divide mesclun and asparagus among serving plates.
  • Top with a slice of halloumi. Drizzle with the remaining oil and season with pepper.

You will come to realise that almost every recipe I make contains either extra virgin olive oil or olive oil. I think it’s because Stringer’s sublime cooking skills always did – and why would I be likely to not do what he did ?   :)

Hold the phone !

Have just decided to add a second one, because it’s a kind of alternative and you would tell yourselves “Oh, she’s already posted this one – pfuh !” when you started to read it. But it’s actually quite different in all respects but one !

Pan-fried Halloumi Salad


  • some mint and parsley, chopped roughly
  • garlic clove, diced
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ long red chilli, finely diced
  • 80g halloumi
  • tbsp olive oil
  • 2 roma tomatoes cut into wedges
  • sprinkle paprika
  • tsp raw sugar
  • some cos lettuce


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
  • In a large bowl add the chopped herbs, diced garlic and chilli, the zest of the half lemon and its juice and the olive oil.
  • Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick rounds and toss around in the herb mixture, setting aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the tomato wedges on a baking tray; sprinkle with sugar and paprika, a little salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until soft and golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  • Place a large fry pan over a medium-high heat; once at temperature, add the halloumi mixture to the pan.
  • Fry until halloumi is golden (about 3′-4’) then remove from heat.
  • Arrange the lettuce leaves on a plate, top with the cooled roasted tomatoes and then the halloumi mixture; dress with remaining pan juices.

Believe me: this is VERY yummy indeed !

A bit of progress !

So. I’ve put another plant in The Front Bit:

It’s a gazania (top left) that hasn’t flowered since first I planted it as a teeny seedling in my very first Geelong rental. It turned out to have flowers of the most gorgeous dark bronze colour – none of which has been seen since I put it in a pot to take with me. I am hoping it will be so happy to feel the real earth again that it will say thanks with many blooms. Dream on, M.R.

The roses planted by Denuta are in their prime right now:

and I am betting that they haven’t had such a showing for many years. S’s pruning was the secret !

I told you I couldn’t take a shot that wouldn’t look like this. Sighh …

From the centre left: a grevillea, a dampiera, a … umm … I forget, at the back a bigger grevillea with different coloured blossoms, in front of it a eutaxia, to the right of that a prostanthera and behind another one the name of which has gone from what I laughingly call my mind. And I cleverly managed to frame out on the right a Silver Cloud. World’s Best Photographer strikes again !

I’m not too fussed about being so forgetful right now; because this garden isn’t worth looking at. In the future – I hope in the autumn – the little things will have grown and be worthy of at least a glance, and I shall know them all.

Besides, there are several gaps to be filled. S and I couldn’t decide how many plants I should buy; and it wasn’t possible to know until these were planted out. I MUST have a smallish callistemon (between the two left-hand poles, only one of which can be almost seen), as well as an Acacia aspera or Rough Wattle – native to NSW and Victoria and growing only to 2m max.