Monday, December 4, 2017

Our Christmas Gathering

This month Karen W., Karen G., Elaine, Linda, Stephanie and I started our day with a brunch at Carss Park Cafe and Grill. A great time was had by all and this meant we did not have to provide lunch at home.

Back to mine to finalise our year...

Drawing the winner of our sampler quilt from Stephanie's donated fabrics. The winner is Stephanie and she has chosen to keep the quilt. I think we all would have loved it. Our hexagon quilt from a previous draw was still waiting to go to a charity but Karen G decided she had just the place at home to use it as a wall hanging so chose to give her money to charity and take the quilt. That means we now have one quilt and about $200 to donate to charity. Does anyone have suggestions as to which charities?

Drawing our next lucky dip fabric. Karen G drew out Helen's donation and I am in the process of writing instructions (luckily Helen supplied some with a sample of her block so that makes it easier). We decided that rather than sending back the completed quilt it might be better if we send back the four smaller units and mix them up creatively on the board. I have a photograph of the four small blocks below. Stephanie's challenge was to get all the required yellow squares from a tiny piece I had in my stash. the dotty fabric is the Focus fabric (remember any colours you use should appear in the focus fabric). We have also supplied the yellow fabric.

Sandwiching Karen's Windmill quilt. This was completed by an industrious team while others cut and arranged for other projects on the go.

I will soon be sending out fabric for our next block due in February and will organise some dates for next year before others book them up.

Merry Christmas to you all!

For those who are interested here are Karen's instructions for her delicious gluten free and egg free meringues and macaroons...

For information about aqua faba recipes, see sites such as 

As one of the sites says, the liquid from the tin of chickpeas (or other kinds of beans) shouldn't be too hot. In summer, I'd refrigerate it for a while before whipping. 
The meringues I made were from the recipe on  - see below. I don't know the Lidl brand; I assume it is one in the UK or USA.
Cooking time is much the same as for ordinary meringues so adjust the temp and time in the recipe for your own oven. Slower is usually better with meringues in any case. I cooked at about 100 deg C (fan-forced) for about 2 hours, and then left them in the oven to cool. The meringues do need to be put in a very airtight container as soon as cool if the air is humid.They can get very sticky very quickly on days like today.

I added 1 or 2 tabs of desiccated coconut to part of the batch for the macaroons. Adding the coconut makes the macaroons spread a lot more than the straight meringues do (?because of the oils in the coconut?).

*** Recipe from Vegan Society website ***
With the magical discovery of aquafaba, vegan meringues that taste just like the real thing are everywhere. Enjoy experimenting with bean-juice! 


  • One can of chickpeas (certain brands work best - try Lidl)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • Caster sugar (roughly 4floz, aka 120g)


  • Preheat your oven to 120C.
  • Put greaseproof paper onto a baking tray and wipe with a small amount of vegetable oil – this will stop the meringues sticking to the paper
  • Drain can of chickpeas, catching the bean water ('aquafaba') into a measuring jug 
  • Measure out the same volume of caster sugar to aquafaba into a separate bowl
  • Pour the aquafaba into a large, clean bowl – bigger bowls are better, you want lots of room to add volume 
  • Add 1 tsp of cream of tartar
  • Beat the mixture with an electric hand whisk until it looks white and glossy
  • Optional – you can add 1 tsp of vanilla or other flavouring at this stage
  • Add the sugar slowly whilst still mixing
  • It will start to thicken up and develop a sticky marshmallow consistency which holds stiff peaks
  • Using a tablespoon place blobs of mixture on the baking tray – leave about an inch between blobs
  • When the oven has reached temperature put the meringue in
  • Cook for an hour
  • After an hour check the meringue, they should be a little golden and *just* firm to the touch and not tacky or sticky
  • If they are still sticky, check at 10 minute intervals
  • When they are done turn the oven off and leave the meringue in to cool – preferably overnight.

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