In My Kitchen – December 2012

IMG_0915 copyIn my kitchen:

Is my Weihnachtsmann Räuchermänner.

Räuchermänners (smoking men) are carved, wooden figures from the Erzgebirge, Germany. They are hollow and come apart in the middle so that an incense cone can be placed in the lower half of the body and lit. Smoke then billows from the mouth, as though the figure is actually smoking.

My little guy was a gift from Gerlinde, a friend from Berlin.  I was thinking of Gerlinde the other day (we are going to visit her and her family next year in Portugal) and I decided to get the old fellow out early so I could include him in this post.  I love this shot showing Weihnachtsmann blowing a smoke ring.

IMG_0905 copyIn my kitchen:

Is a copper kettle.  My sister came to visit a couple of weeks ago, asked whether I would like a copper kettle and proceeded to pull this little number (coincidently, it was made in Portugal) out of her bag.  Would I ever!  I was so excited!  I must tell you why I was so excited.   It is not that I am short of kettles!!

IMG_0912 copyYears ago, I went to a clairvoyant who told me I was going to get a copper kettle!

As I may have mentioned before, I don’t like to waste money and, as time passed, it appeared the cost of my visit to the clairvoyant may have been a waste, for no copper kettle was forthcoming.  (I know I could have just gone out and bought a copper kettle, ensuring the clairvoyant correct but … even to me, that seemed a bit pointless.)

IMG_0942 copyIn my kitchen:

Is my Thermalux Gourmet Cooker.  For years, I was intoxicated with the idea of having a wood oven IMK so when we built our country home, we bought one.  It sits in its little enclave, waiting patiently to be used.   I have used it once to bake bread and I will use it again soon …

IMG_0951 copyIn my kitchen:

Is this bottle of ridgy didge vintage port from Porto, Portugal.  It was a gift from Gerlinde’s (of Weihnachtsmann Räuchermänner fame) husband, Alex.  Alex is Portuguese and he gave us this bottle when he came to stay with us a few years back.  We haven’t opened  it yet, but we will. (It will not suffer the same fate as my balsamic vinegar which is destined never to be opened).

The drop in the glass is also special.  It is a family reserve Semillon that was bottled especially for Maus’s nephew’s (Damian) wedding earlier this year.  Damian’s wife’s family have Liebichwein Winery at Rowland Flat, Barossa, SA.  It is absolutely delicious.

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In my kitchen:

Are piles and piles of silverbeet, rainbow chard, Swiss chard or whatever else you like to call it.  This is just one day’s pickings.  I have mountains of it.  I have cooked and frozen so much, the freezer is at bursting point.  My poor dogs get silverbeet and something for dinner each night:)   No, I am not that cruel but… I have been adding silverbeet to their big pot when I do a cook-up for them.

Here is a pic of the silverbeet, all washed and ready for blanching.

In my kitchen:

Is a jar of cumquat syrup I made.  It is ready to pour over yoghurt, icecream or panna cotta.   I haven’t made much cumquat stuff this year.  I have been too busy in the garden.  Renate, my neighbour, keeps saying, “Help yourself to the cumquats,” and I want to but…  I usually glazé them and then coat them in chocolate.  They are so good.  Maybe next week.

In my kithcen

Is my baguette tray.  Maus made it.  It is a piece of zinc alume cut to just the right size for my oven.  I coated it in olive oil and then seasoned it before using.  It is perfect for proofing the baguettes and then plonking them straight into the oven.  It makes lovely long, skinny baguettes.

In my kitchen:

Is my chopping board which I really, really love.  This chopping board has a history.

About 12 years ago, Maus and I noticed, on our way to work each day, a hunk of wood resting against a lamp post at a busy intersection.  One of us noted (I am sure it was me) that it would make a good chopping board.

Each morning as we drove past it, one would say to the other, “It is still there.”

Now, this is where our recollections differ.  My version of the story is: one day, whilst Maus was stopped at the lights, I jumped out of the car, grabbed it and then jumped back in just as the lights turned green.  Maus’ version (which is infinitely more likely to be true) is: one day when I wasn’t with her, she parked the car, enquired at a few shops in the vicinity whether anyone owned it and, when the answer was “No”, picked it up and brought it home.

Anyway, when we examined it we found it to be much more battered than it looked from the car. It was two bits of splintered wood held together by two old rusty bolts.  The wood was very dry and cracked.

Maus took the bolts out, sanded them and painted them black.  She then glued the two pieces of wood together and reinserted the bolts.  I filled all the holes in the wood with woodstop, sanded it all down and then oiled and oiled and oiled it.  It is still being used years later.  Maus obviously did a good job gluing it together.

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In my kitchen:

Is this beautiful Christmas plate.  Last month, I showcased a plate that an old friend (with whom I have since lost touch) gave me on her return from a trip to Africa and the Middle East.

Sheryl also bought me this wonderful plate.  It is from the Utsuwakan Collection and is made by Maebata.  Each year, I take it out of its box and then, at the end of the festive season, I wrap it up again for next year.

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It looks like someone thinks it is already Christmas; they have helped themselves to the chocolates.

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

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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.

30 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – December 2012

  1. I’ll start from the end – I LOVEEEEE Rafello, I make a cake inspired by it. For another day. I love ALL the contents of your kitchen. I am totally inspired by the zinc baguette tray. How awesome is that. And your kettles are gorgeous. I could go on and on.

  2. I did smile at your IMK post Glenda. So many good things – healthy looking chard, funny smoking man and I want a baguette tray like yours. Isn’t it fab? And I’d like the chopping block too. And the cumquat syrup. Well, everything really.

  3. Glenda that little German man is so ridiculously wonderful! Love, love, love it.
    I also love your chopping board. A good chopping board is hard to come by and it looks like that one is a cracker.

  4. I too enjoy your “What’s in my Kitchen” post you have some amazing things and I love the stories behind them. I find it incredible that the little Weihnachtsmann Räuchermänner doesn’t catch on fire especially being made of wood and his woolly beard! Maus did a great job on the chopping board I love metal incorporated with the wood.
    There are some great carpenters down south of WA that make chopping boards with metal if Celia is interested I can ask my sister in Dunsborough and find out where. The only problem the post could be expensive.

    • Hiya Gail. That little Weihnachtsmann Räuchermänner is a ripper isn’t he? Maus is very good with wood. I have many a chopping board that she has made.

  5. Cumquats, swiss chard, baguette trays….these are words I rarely hear…it’s such an adventure seeing what you write about. The cutting board turned out nicely…lot of work but it has a lot of memories attached (more than one version apparently which makes it all the one memorable.).

  6. Darling, you know, don’t you, that you always write the best (not that it’s a contest) IMK posts. 🙂 I always find myself oohing and aahing over every single item. I’m on the hunt for a really good wooden board to use for serving (a la Jamie Oliver in his new series). Do you know what sort of wood your board is made from?

    We too have rainbow chard coming out our ears – isn’t it glorious? And I love the politically incorrect smoking Santa. But you did make me laugh a lot about the copper kettle and the clairvoyant – most people who go to see them get the usual spiel about future romances or impending doom – you get told you’re going to get a copper kettle one day? 😉

  7. I know I’ve said it before, and so I’ll repeat myself, just love seeing these posts and the stories that go with the items ! Smoking man is a gem, and the kettles are gorgeous, chard – yes we’re eating it too 🙂 and what a great find the bread board is !

    • Hi Claire – everyone seems to have chard at the moment. Our iron levels must all be good. That smoking man sure brings a smile to your face.

  8. I love your little smoking man. He’s gorgeous and what a cool trick! And I would love a bunch of that rainbow chard – it looks amazing and how wonderful to have a freezer full of it (but I guess you’re at capacity if you’re feeding it to your dogs!) And thanks for visiting my blog. Lovely to meet you xx

  9. So many beautiful things. I have to say that syrup does look good. Your kettle is a stunner . You really are very luck to have all those great things.

  10. Hi Glenda! I am intrigued by your kumquat syrup. The color is just so gorgeous. I bet it would make a nice holiday gift too. Your baguettes look absolutely delicious as well. You are such a lovely baker 🙂

  11. What gorgeous pictures – I love your kettles and you Räuchermänners. I’d never heard of the latter but love the idea!

    • Hi Kari, thanks for visiting. I had never heard of them either, until I had one. It’s nice to receive something unique to the country of the giver, isn’t it?

  12. Hi Glenda
    I love your kettle collection. I have several kettles, too- but I have not used them lately because my son bought me an electric kettle and it is just so easy.
    The bread board is perfect. And Maus did do a great job with the gluing – as well as in shaping the baguette pan. Your bread is beautiful- I love those long thin loaves!
    Thanks so much for sharing- I always enjoy seeing what is in your kitchen.

  13. Oh wow, another kitchen filled with amazing goodies. I love your copper kettle and the story behind it, Glenda. My favourite copper ‘things’ are a fluted cake tin that belonged to my mother and a bowl that I bought for just $9 at an op shop! Actually, they could go into my IMK post this month. The cumquat syrup looks so pretty, is there a recipe somewhere? The baguettes… yum. And the chopping board… another wow.

    • Hi Liz. I don’t really remember the proportions of sugar to water I used. I think this was based on Maggie Beer’s recipe but I doubled the syrup as I find her recipe has too much cumquat in it. People just want a few pieces on their plate. I have posted MB’s recipe. Wow a $9 copper bowl is pretty impressive. I love everything that was my mum’s.

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