In My Kitchen – July 2012

In my kitchen is:

My balsamic vinegar.  I cannot believe that this is my 5th ‘In My Kitchen’ and I haven’t show-cased my balsamic vinegar.  I bought it in 2006 when I was holidaying in Emilia Romagna, the A$ was worth €0.50 and, as I remember it, this bottle (100 mls) cost me about €80.  The sad tale is:  I am too tight to open it. 
This bottle was matured 25 years in the barrel.  I bought it, along with a 12 year-old (which we have nearly finished), but I can’t bring myself to open this one. 

In my kitchen are:

Macadamia nuts from my tree.  To be honest, they have been in my kitchen a long while for they (and I) are waiting for a macadamia nut cracker to break their amazingly hard shells.   What I usually use is a Jarrah (a Western Australian hardwood) wedge, drilled with holes of various sizes to fit the nuts but I broke it some time ago.  My woodworking enthusiast has let me down regarding a replacement.  Maybe in August In My Kitchen,  I will be able to report the demise of my nuts.

In my kitchen are:

These three cows.  They were my mum’s.  She had a collection of cow milk jugs but most of them had, somehow, been chipped through the years.  Thankfully, these have survived.  They are very special to me.

In my kitchen are:

These four mini springform pans that Maus bought me one day because they were on special at Kitchen Warehouse.  They are cute but I have never used them.  That is the trouble with buying things just because they are on special.

In my kitchen are:

These beautiful Fitz and Floyd coffee mug and cake plate I bought Maus many years ago, long before I realised I was the one who appreciated fine china.  They are the Geisha design which was produced between 1982 and 1996.  I bought the set around 1982.

In my kitchen was:

This apple pie.   The pastry was more fragile than I would have liked (that is blog code for: it fell apart) but it is the filling that I am most proud of.

The apples were the ones I preserved in March.  At the time, I had more syrup than I needed to cover the apples so I processed the excess syrup in separate jars.

When making the pie, all I did was drain the apples and put them in the pastry case.  I then measured out 3 cups of syrup (which, by the way, was too much) and added Instant Clear Jel to it.  I added 2 teaspoons at a time until I had the consistency I liked  (I used about 11 teaspoons for the 3 cups of syrup).

Maus sprinkled in the Instant Clear Jel over the syrup whilst I blitzed it with the stick blender.  It is recommended that you add the Instant Clear Jel to other dry ingredients but I didn’t have any other dry ingredients.  Where that is the case, you’re advised to mix the Instant Clear Jel into the fluid with a stick blender.

The texture was perfect and it is clearly the secret (pardon the pun) to a delectable apple pie.

If I’d had my Clear Jel at the time of processing the apples, I could have processed them with Clear Jel and then I would merely have had to do pour the contents of the jar into the pastry shell.  Maybe next year.

In my kitchen are:

My new cookie stamps.  Aren’t they just wonderful?  I bought them from

My first mould is for making Speculaas.  This piece was the impetus for my purchases.  I was put out when I made my Speculaas because I didn’t have a windmill mould so I got onto the net to find one.  I came across Gene Wilson’s site and looked no further. Gene hand makes all his moulds.

This rag doll is so cute.  She is for when I make gingerbread.  I have never made gingerbread but with a mould like this in my cupboard I am sure to.

This mould is for when I make Springerles.  To be honest, before I visited Gene’s site, I had never heard of Springerles, but I was on a roll and you know what happens when you are on a roll.  According to Wikipedia:

“Springerle is a type of German biscuit with an embossed design made by pressing a mold onto rolled dough and allowing the impression to dry before baking. This preserves the detail of the surface pattern. They are most commonly seen during the Christmas season.

The name springerle means “little jumper” or “little knight”. Their origin can be traced back to at least the 14th century in southeastern Germany and surrounding areas.”

That being the case, I had to have a mould to make some.

Did I say that I was on a roll?  What is a woman to do when there is so much choice?  These little pieces come from Gene’s cookie stamp range.  Top left is a Scottish thistle for making shortbread.  The one top right is a partridge in a pear tree.  I bought it just ‘cos Maus liked it.  The other two I bought just because I liked them.

I can see many posts based on these moulds.  Stay tuned:)

So what is in your kitchen this month?

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.


34 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – July 2012

  1. Pingback: In My Kitchen – August 2012

  2. Hi Glenda,
    Touche ! I just realised I hadn’t seen your IMK either !! Love your fresh macadamia nuts but they are such a pain to crack. I once made the mistake of buying a bag unshelled. Good luck with them, and hope you enjoy the fruits of your labour getting the little suckers out.

  3. Hi Glenda,
    Loved seeing your speculaas moulds. Having Dutch heritage (and still a lot of family in Holland), I have a beautiful long speculaas mould hanging in my kitchen. It’s been a part of my life for so long that I never even thought to include it in my own blog post. You’ve inspired me to include it in my next In My Kitchen blog post.

  4. I completely understand your reluctance to open the balsamic vinegar but at least you know it will last. I have the most fantastic bottle of rum that’s so strong I only use if for cooking and have been incredibly mean with it. Now I’m down to the last tablespoon and then I’ll only be able to sniff the cork to bring back the memory of it!

    • Hi Anne – it’s funny, but I get a lot of pleasure just knowing that I have the bottle of balsamic. For some reason, I don’t need to use it. If I did use it then that pleasure would go.

  5. Your kitchen this month is lovely! I adore aged balsamic. I used to run a specialty olive oil and vinegar shop, and we got to sample all kinds of aged vinegars for ‘quality control.’ Rough job, eh? How lucky you are to have a macadamia tree right in your backyard. What are you going to use them for? And those cookie stamps are absolutely gorgeous. It’s 100 F degrees in NY right now, but those molds have inspired me to bake something!

    • Hi Emilie, thanks for visiting.
      Do you know whether my balsamic will keep indefinitely in the bottle?
      I usually make a tart out of the macadamia nuts. Enjoy baking your biscuits.

      • Hi there,
        Your unopened bottle of balsamic will keep indefinitely. The natural acidity of the vinegar preserves it, so do not worry about it going bad. Once opened, your balsamic will last you pretty much forever, as they do not expire. Store in a cool dark place. Over time, the color might change a little (which is completely fine) and it might separate slightly (also fine). Now go ahead and get yourself some crusty bread and open up that bottle! Enjoy!

  6. Hate to admit but I have a bottle of balsamic from 1999 a friend gave me as a gift that has yet to be opened. 😉 Great cows! I am envious you have a macadamia nut tree. Love your post!

  7. Glenda, as always, such treasure! I adore the speculaas moulds and have eyed the ones on Gene’s site before – so glad to know he’ll ship to Oz! My problem is getting the moulds to work – when I’ve tried in the past, the dough sticks like crazy to the one wooden mould I have. I shall have to try your recipe.. 🙂

    I can understand completely your reluctance to open the balsamic. I think I’d struggle with it too. The pie looks wonderful and the cows are obviously very special, thank you for sharing them with us! xx

    • Hi Celia
      Gene provides a little recipe book with the moulds. I thought I would try one of Gene’s recipes first. I think they are on the dry side to prevent sticking. Also in the little book Gene gives hints to prevent sticking. I will report back.

  8. Try the balsamic out with some of your olive oil and dukka that way you will only use a little at a time and it will last longer. Other than that we can pour it into your coffin and it may preserve you forever and ever!!! Oh what a thought?

  9. I would open that vinegar in a moment and soak up the flavor on a good hard crust of French bread.
    But then I hoard other things- so I can understand how you feel.
    I love all the wonderful molds and stamps- I colllect them when I find them at garage sales and thrift shops.
    Your pie looks delish and I’ve never seen macadamias in their hard shells!
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Love your idea of sharing items in your kitchen…may have to use the inspiration to try something similar myself sometime…it’s fun seeing what other people care about and treasure enough to have in their homes.

    • Hi Glenda
      It was Celia’s (from idea. She welcomes everyone to join in. Just do a post and then tell Celia and she will put up a link on her website to your post. A lot of bloggers participate. It is fun.

  11. I echo Dr whatever-his-name-is! 🙂 Open the damn bottle!
    Great IMK, as you are not using them lovely little spring tins – send them to me!

  12. I’m proud of you, Glenda. Most bloggers would not be so honest. But I did laugh my ass off at your trepidation at opening the balsamic – perhaps it could be the centerpiece of your funeral service, and all those present could share a little taste in remembrance. For god’s sake, girl, enjoy it while your taste buds still function!

    • Doc, what is one to do when one is a tight arse?:( Just laugh at oneself? It would be justice if I died before I tasted it, wouldn’t it? Serve me right.

      • Actually, I laughed because I do it so much myself – the dumbness is that for most stuff, having it sit on the shelf instead of using it just makes it go bad before you even remember it. But maybe the balsamic is getting better the longer it sits – hey, write it into your will.

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