In My Kitchen – May 2012

In my kitchen:

Are these 2 butternut pumpkins my sister, Sandra, gave me from her garden.  Now that I am back from all my travels, I am going to make pumpkin soup. I have a great recipe.  I will share it with you when I make it. 


In my kitchen:

Is my Clear Jel that just arrived in the post.  Clear Jel is modified (precooked) corn starch.  It may not be very interesting to my American friends who can buy it whenever they wish but to me, its arrival was very exciting.  You cannot buy it in Australia so I had to buy it from the States.  It cost about $6.00 for the 2lbs and nearly $30.00 for the postage.  I know that makes me seem loopy but que sera.

 Clear Jel, for those who don’t know, was developed by the commercial food industry to withstand the heat necessary to process products such as canned pie fillings, eg apple, apricot, cherries, etc.  It does not break down during the canning process.  It is clear and tasteless and stays liquid when hot.  It reaches its maximum thickness upon cooling.  Because of these characteristics, it is the only product recommended for home canners by the US Dept of Agriculture. 

Instant Clear Jel is used in commercial products as a thickener.  It thickens without heat (unlike corn flour) and is clear and tasteless. 

I am assured there is nothing nasty in them, just corn starch.  I can’t wait to try them both.


In my kitchen:

Is this wonderful tray/cutting board I bought at the quarry markets in Willunga whilst I was in South Australia.  It is the top of an old  wine barrel.  All the bottom of the tray is stained red from the red wine that has been stored in it.  You can’t see it in the photo but it still has the coopers (AP John Coopers) stamp on it.  I love it. I am going to use it to cut pizzas on. 

In my kitchen are:

These 2 lady graters.  Both were gifts.  I think they are so lovely I want the whole family but when I checked them out on the internet, I could only find the taller variety and not this size.  Oh well, they will have to remain orphans.

In my kitchen:

Is my chestnut kit.  It was a gift from my sister, Sandra. 

The pan has large perforations which allow for flame contact, enhancing the roasted smoky flavour. 

The knife is manufactured by Lamson & Goodnow who were established in Shellburne Falls, Massachusetts, in 1837.  The knife is designed specifically to score chestnuts prior to roasting.  The kit came with 2 little calico bags.  I have no idea what they are for.


Last year I bought 2 chestnut trees and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I noticed they had chestnuts on them.  I am so excited that I will get to use my chestnut pan in the first year.

 In my kitchen

Is this bowl and plate I bought in Bali.  I like to buy at least one thing when I go away and the lady in the shop assured me this bowl and plate were made in Bali – I am not so sure (they have no markings on them). I thought they were nice so bought them anyway.

In my kichen:

Is this beautiful jug.  It was a gift from my Aunty Margaret more than 30 years ago.  A Spode representative was visiting Perth and she was the maid looking after his room.  He gave it to her as a gift.  It is Italian Spode Design C1616. 

The Blue Italian design was launched in 1816.  It is now one of Spode’s most collected ranges.  It is still made today.

The Spode website advises that in 1784,  Josiah Spode I perfected the process of underglaze printing on earthenware with tissue paper transfers made from hand-engraved copper plates. Initially, the designs were sympathetic reproductions of Chinese porcelain that had been incredibly popular during the 1700s, but soon Josiah I launched original designs such as Willow (c1790), Blue Tower (1814) and Blue Italian.

If you have enjoyed finding out what is in my kitchen, please check out Celia’s blog at figjamandlimecordial.  Celia hosts ‘In My Kitchen’ each month.


15 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – May 2012

  1. Pingback: In My Kitchen – July 2012 | Passion Fruit Garden

  2. Glenda, what an incredible amount of loveliness you have in your kitchen! I love it all and would not be able to decide on just one favourite!
    Thank you again for popping post my little spot in the blogosphere.
    🙂 Mandy

  3. Hi Glenda,
    It was so lovely having you and Maureen over for dinner last night. Love reading your blog, you write really well…particularly like your wine barrel tray, good to see it made it to Perth in one piece! love Sharmila x

    • Hi Sharmila. Thanks for dinner last night, it was great. I love the wine barrel tray, too. It’s great when you have a ‘find’ when you are away. I also love my $2.00 books.

  4. Glenda, you always have the coolest things in your kitchen. I LOVE the wine barrel chopping board, and the clear jel is new to me, thanks for sharing it with us. And a chestnut kit! I’ve never heard of one before! Does it make them easier to peel? It really is pumpkin season, isn’t it? Lovely stuff.. 🙂

    • Hi Celia, I am so glad everyone likes the chopping board. It was so difficult to bring home because of its size but when I saw it, I had to have it, no matter what. I have no idea about the chestnut kit. I will tell you once I try it. You must check out Redback Trading Company. I am sure you would love that site. It has everything to do with preserving.

  5. I am in love with your new cuting board- I love it when things are re used and conditioned for futher use- and the bottom is dyed red from wine? Wonderful!
    Actually- I really love everything you shared today- you have such a collection- a little history, and a whole chestnut kit from tree to scoring knife to roasting pan-
    Thanks for sharing- I enjoyed the tour !

    • Hi Heidiannie. I love it too. When I saw it I had to have it notwithstanding its size. It is so big. Not an easy item to bring home as hand luggage.

    • Hi Misky. If you read any American canning books, you will come across Clear Jel and I can’t read about something and not have it.

  6. Thanks for having us in your kitchen
    You have interesting things in your kitchen,I love the 2 graters they are
    unique. 🙂

    • Hi Sponge
      They are great, aren’t they? As I mentioned, both were gifts from different people. It suggests that my friends know what I like, which is nice.

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