In My Kitchen – October 2015

110copyIn my kitchen:

Is citrus fruit and lots of it.  From left to right, and in order of sweetness, Emperor mandarin, Valencia orange, Rangpur lime, Lemonade, Meyer lemon and Eureka lemon.

We managed to find homes for all the mandarins and am hopeful we will find homes for the oranges.  The Lemonades and Rangpur limes are the most prolific and, I am sad to say, we just threw bucket loads of them into the compost bins.  I am yet to strip the Meyer and Eureka lemon trees but there are not too many of them.  I am hoping some will stay on the tree over summer, when lemons are in most demand.

If you want a true lemon, Eureka is the way to go.  You can identify an Eureka by the nipple on its base (not shown in the photo).  If you want all rounders, and prolific, go for the Rangpur limes or Lemonades.  The trees are lovely and compact and you get loads of fruit.

Rangpur limes are a cross between a mandarin and a lemon – they are not true limes.  I have read that when you buy mandarin juice, it is a mixture of mandarin and Rangpur.  Rangpurs are much juicier and produce a better quality juice than mandarins.  Lemonades are a cross between an orange and a lemon. They are perfect for anything sweet but they can also be used in savoury dishes.


In my kitchen:

Is garlic.  From my understanding, it is very, very early for garlic.  I picked them because they were just lying on top of the soil and looking very sad.  This is about half of my crop.  There is not much this year due to decimation by birds (they ate half the cloves I planted).  To add insult to injury, the bulbs are not particularly big.  Is it because we had such a short winter?


In my kitchen:

Is beetroot.  This is the first I have picked this season.  They are a good size.  I am thinking roast chicken with roasted vegetables.  Yum!  Actually, I have been thinking of roast chicken for ages but am having difficulty buying a politically correct chicken.  I want real free range and a brand that doesn’t take advantage of ( ie, underpay)  overseas students here on working visas.   Sadly, it is harder than you think.

We were still picking snow peas until a couple of days ago when I pulled the plants out to get the ground ready for spring planting.  The snow peas were a real success.  We have been eating them all winter.  I will certainly plant them again next year.

We are also picking asparagus.


In my kitchen:

Is a mini spatula in the most amazing colour.  My mates, Emily, Colin, Sam and Colette came down for the weekend and they decided to play a game called “Bring a kitchen gadget Glenda doesn’t have.”  Em went for the mini spatula which, she assures me, is wonderful.  She uses hers all the time.

007copy1In my kitchen:

Is a Yolkr.  It is an egg separater and was one of Colette’s contributions.  I have seen them on Youtube.  They appear to work.  You squeeze the top, which sucks up the yolk and then, when you let it go, the yolk pops out.  I haven’t tried it but I had considered buying one.  Good choice, Colette.


In my kitchen:

Is some purple gear.  Colette said that she bought the hand-shaped biscuit cutter and the mit just because they were purple, which is as good a reason as any.   I took this photo just ’cause they were purple.  :)   I am not certain what I will do with a hand-shaped biscuit cutter (except, of course, make hand-shaped biscuits).  The muffin papers were already in the cupboard.  I thought they would complement the other items. 014copyIn my kitchen:

Are some cute dessert bowls.  They were Maus’ mum’s.  I was eating out of one the other day and thought how lovely it was.  The pattern is a fruit tree (let’s assume apple), grass and two happy flowers.  Very cute indeed.

023copyIn my kitchen:

And in keeping with the pink and purple theme, are four stainless steel Ritzenhoff table coasters, designed by Michael Sieger.  They are fabulously cheery and I just love the pink and purple.

And now for something green…

In my kitchen:

Is a gin and tonic ice tray.  It is Sam’s contribution to the “Kitchen gadget that Glenda does not have” game.  This tray makes 4 large (5.5cm diameter) round ice cubes which are, according to the label, to be used in balloon glasses. When Sam gave it to me, I got all excited because I could envisage balls of soap but, on closer inspection, I have decided to stick with water.  You fill the base tray and then place the other tray on top.  Excess water flows out of the holes.  It just ain’t gunna work with caustic, rapidly-thickening, soap batter.  I can’t even bare to think of the mess I would make if I tried.


Just to show I am not prejudiced when it comes to green…

In my kitchen:

Is a green frog bottle stopper –  the neck of the bottle goes in his mouth.  I reckon we bought him in Berlin but Maus is not sure.  He is very cute.


And here is the green frog on my new Lazy Susan.  I haven’t seen Lazy Susans in shops for ages so, when I spied this one, I pounced.  I think they are a great idea for cheese platters and the like.  I am sure it will get a work-out this summer.


And here is green frog going for a whirl.


He sure looks like he is having fun.  :)

052copyIn my kitchen:

Is some Mint Kleen.  Em tells me it is fabulous.  She loves it so much she bought a whole carton of it.  According to the company’s spiel:

Mint Kleen is not only an excellent cleaner but signals a return to nature’s old ways in a safe, responsible and friendly new direction. Use around the home to clean and naturally deter insects.  … It is  Free from chlorine, ammonia, phosphate, benzalkonium chloride, triclosan and other nasties.

117copyIn my kitchen:

Are seeds and lots of them.  These are four new ones I am going to try this year, along with all the normal culprits: capsicums, Lebanese cucumbers, coriander, rocket, corn, Kent pumpkins, several varieties of onions, parsley, basil, etc.

I planted runner beans last year (we are still eating them) but, this year, I want to go for the smaller, stringless variety and also give snake beans a go.

I chose the orange pumpkin because Diane, from Photographs and Recipes, commented that the only variety they have in the States is orange and I have never seen the orange variety here.

Fennel tastes great.  I wonder whether it is easy to grow.

I have decided there will be only one cherry tomato plant this year.  I wouldn’t mind just one Roma tomato plant also, but I am too scared to buy a packet of seeds in case I grow more than one…  and they shoot… and then I can’t bear to pull up the buggers.

I can resist everything except temptation. (Oscar Wilde)

If you would like to see what is in other bloggers’ kitchens this month, visit Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Celia hosts In My Kitchen each month.

Just for completeness …


You are, probably, sick of Clivia photos but these are the last two to flower and I wanted a record of all my 2015 flowers, therefore, … one last post.

The top photo is a Clivia my sister, Juanita, gave me earlier this year.  It is proof just how hardy they are.  I visited Juanita one day and she asked whether I wanted a Clivia.  The plant was in a bucket, without soil.  I don’t know how long it had been out of the ground.  I took it home and wrapped the roots in wet paper.  The next day, we drove to Bridgetown and, the day after that, I planted it.  The plant is now huge and has the biggest cluster of flowers of all my Clivias.  It is a delightful specimen.  As you can see, it is a brilliant orange, the flowers are exceptionally large and open quite flat (see the flower, centre left).  Fantastic, thanks, Sis. Continue reading

Orange pork fillet


I needed some reading material the other day so I reached into my bookcase and, as luck would have it, picked up this great book my mate, Emily, gave me last Christmas.  It is “fifty recipes to stake your life on“, by Charles Campion.  It was first published in 2004.  I have no idea where Em found it.  I have never heard of Charles Campion but, as it turns out, he is an entertaining writer.  I have really enjoyed reading the book.  Each chapter is a long preamble, building up to a recipe. Continue reading

Chocolate and walnut slice


I first saw this slice on Jane’s, (The Shady Baker) July 2015 In My Kitchen post.  I was immediately smitten by the idea of it.  In my view there is no better combination than chocolate, walnuts and rolled oats.  It is a combination made in heaven.  I commented that her slice looked and sounded wonderful and Jane generously emailed me the recipe.

I can assure you the slice did not disappoint.  It is to die for.  I mentioned to Maus last night that I don’t think I should make it again as it is so good, I can’t get it out of my mind and, subsequently, I am eating  much more of it than my waistline would suggest is wise. Continue reading

Espresso panna cotta


This dessert is for coffee lovers only.  I love coffee and I love panna cotta so this dessert is definitely for me.  It is my idea of heaven.

The recipe is dead easy except for the fact that it has gelatine in it and it is always tricky to know just how much to use.  The amount required by the recipe never seems to correlate with the amount the gelatine container states is required to set the amount of liquid in the recipe so… doubt sets in. Continue reading

My new Clivias


As you would all know by now, I am an excitable woman.  And this week, I am really excited about my new Clivias.

My sister, Sandra, put me onto a fabulous nursery, Clivia Classiques, in Forrestdale.  We went there last week and I was extremely impressed.  They have a huge enclosure, exclusively dedicated to Clivias.  There are thousands of Clivias.  I could not believe my eyes.  When we were there, most of the Clivias were just in bud but, in a week or two, the whole area will be amass with blooms. Continue reading