You know I love baking so I love Maisy & Grace’s vintage kitchen line Tala. This retro cooks’ measure would be a great addition for any baker’s kitchen. It has great retro looks, your normal cups and pint measures, and also measurements of most common products in grams and ounces. So if you are making a quick batch of scones, you wouldn’t even need to pull out your kitchen scales. I remember having something similar in our kitchen cupboards growing up – and Tala is an authentic vintage bakingware company as it’s been around since 1899.
You can see more about this measuring cup here.
Finally I have a few free moments to write. In between moving and a toddler weaning off his day sleep, there haven’t been very many minutes to myself!
I spied this art deco tiny cottage for sale in the Saturday newspaper and it made me feel a bit nostalgic. I used to part-own it, and in the middle of a messy breakup, was not able to keep it. I always felt sad that I had to give it up. And sure, I may not have kept it anyway being so tiny, but how else would I ever ever ever be able to own a house in Grey Lynn again?
Check her out here, she’s a cutie, although there aren’t many original features left. The listing price band they have her at is $700K+ though – I could have been rich!
Well I’ve been trying to write a post for a month, but this damn house, this damn move and (mutter mutter) my child is weaning off his day sleeps – everything has been thwarting me! But onto more interesting things – my favourite finds in the holidays (Happy New Year by the way!) were two gem irons. Yes, I can now make ginger gems, and they were every bit as delicious as I remembered. And why are they so delicious, you may ask. I can answer that: because the recipe includes a half cup of golden syrup for 16 gems! That’s a lot of golden syrup, no wonder they are so yummy.
I got my irons on trade me – I had a sudden realisation that I would not be able to buy them in the US, so I needed them now. And I whipped up my first batch immediately, sizzling away in the cast iron. Irons do come up on Trade Me quite often, but make sure you get the cast iron ones, not the aluminium ones as they don’t do as good a job. I found some aluminium gem irons at an op shop but they didn’t make great gems. If you want new, you can also get new gem irons for $70 (yikes!) at the Home Store here.
This ginger gem recipe is from the recipe book Ladies, a Plate: The Collection - my sister gave it to me for Christmas and it is a wonderful reference for traditional New Zealand baking (I’ll do a full review later on). I recommend it for any keen New Zealand baker.
Anyway here goes the recipe (just writing about it makes we want some, so I think I’ll make them again tomorrow):
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
60 ml milk
150g golden syrup (about 6 level tablespoons)
1 tbsp butter
And about 55 g extra butter for greasing the irons
Preheat the oven 230 degrees C. Put the ungreased irons in the oven to heat just before mixing.
Sift the flour, sugar, spices and salt into a large bowl.
Dissolve the baking soda in the milk.
Whisk the egg until light and fluffy – about half a minute with a rotary hand beater (which I don’t have so I used my electric beater).
Heat the golden syrup gently in a small saucepan, then add the butter and stir to melt.
Now work quickly. Tip the golden syrup into the flour mixture and mix with a wooden spoon – it will be quite dry. Don’t try to combine it all, just tip in the egg, mix again briefly, then lastly add the milk. Stir for a few seconds. It will now be soft dropping consistency. Set aside.
Take the gem irons out the oven and put on heatproof board. Drop about 1/2 tsp of butter into each space. You don’t need to spread the butter, it will move up the sides when the mixture goes in.
Now take an ordinary tablespoon and spoon the mixture into each space. If you let it drop from the side of the tablespoon it will fall neatly into place (makes 16 gems)
Bake for 10-12 minutes until risen and brown.
Take out of the oven, leave for a few minutes, then tip out onto a rack.
Yum yum yum!
After a lot of hard work we finally got our house on the market, so if you know anyone looking for a house to buy out our way, send them along to our open home! We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 living, and a kitchen-dining area. We also have a wee sleepout/studio as well. It’s been a great house to live in – I can’t believe I’ve owned it for 9 years! It’s taken me from having flatmates, to having tenants, to having a family here. And you can walk to the village, which is a big bonus!
When I got it, the style was a mish-mash of 70s and 80s decorating, so we cleaned it up and now it’s a perfect backdrop for someone with eclectic style. Sadly I lost a couple of arches that were framing the carport (Dad took one out by accident!), but otherwise I’ve tried to keep all the arches in the house (well except the brick arch in the kitchen). It’s bright, light and warm as fully insulated with gas heating and a wood burner.
Sadly it doesn’t come with all my wonderful retro prints!
It’s for sale by negotiation as I hate house auctions – too stressful – with a CV of $485,000. Check it out here.
If you are moving into my area, you could do worse than pick up the Brake House. Built in 1977, it was awarded an Enduring Architecture Award in 2001 – and wow what a house. It is set on 12500m2 of bush, which is split into two sections. The house is set into the bush, so you better like rainforest to live here!
It was designed by Architect Ron Sang for photographer Brian Brake, from the architect’s website:
It has been described as serene, harmonious and unobtrusive in its deep bush setting. The house is made up of rigid rectangular boxes set out in a straight line on concrete bridge spanning a gully.
You can read more about it here.
It is over 400m2 and has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. And it has what I have always wanted – a tatami mat room! It is gorgeous, so take a peek at the listing here, just to sigh over it.
The sellers are looking at offers over $2 million.
This little darling bach is the Kiwi dream! It is tiny but is right on the edge of the water and has its own mooring. How fabulous! I remember seeing it in House and Garden NZ a while back and it is tiny – just 70m2 – and the owners lived there full-time (I think they were setting up a business in Picton). Imagine the commute to work – you could sail there! You’d definitely be living the dream. You don’t even need to decorate it, as it comes with all the fab retro furnishings.
Amazingly for such a small space, it has 3 bedrooms. Actually I lived in an apartment in Tokyo that had 3 bedrooms and was only 60m2. If the floor plan is clever enough, you can get away with a tiny space, especially if not much room is given to bathrooms and kitchens. You also need lots of storage or not much stuff! Time to downsize and live the dream?
They are only asking $345,000 as it is on leasehold land. Even if you aren’t thinking about moving, the decor is very inspiring and worth checking out – you can read more about it here.Read More