In My Kitchen – February 2014

008copy1

In my kitchen:

Was a bowl of Bizzy Lizzy’s Watermelon, pomegranate, lime and mint salad.  It was lovely: very light and refreshing.  I added feta (Liz said you could).  I love feta and watermelon. The next day, I had some more without the feta and it was also very nice.

I love it when I find out someone has tried a recipe I have showcased on this blog.  I figure others like it, too, so I try to tell other bloggers when I have tried one of their recipes.  (Hint, hint: if you try a recipe, please, let me know.)

011copy

In my kitchen:

Are some freshly picked capers and caperberries.  We have lots and lots of both.  We don’t bother picking a great amount as there are only so many capers one can eat or give away (and the buds turn into the most beautiful flowers, if you don’t pick them).  Ants seem to love them, too.  I hate ants, they bite me, so that is another deterrent.  You have to flick the ants off each branch before you pick the capers.  Oh! The trials and tribulations of living in the country.

024copy

Here are the caperberries separated from the capers.  It is normal to pickle caperberries with their stalks.

027copy

Here are the capers with their stems trimmed and ready to be pickled. I don’t see any reason why the stems have to be removed but, traditionally, capers are preserved without their little stems, so I sit in front of the TV and snip them off.

072copy

… And here they are, all pickled.  If you don’t know what a caper plant looks like, here is a link to a detailed post I did on the caper plant and the recipe for pickling them.  They are very hardy, very attractive and produce lovely, lovely capers (just ask the ants).

083copy

… And here are the berries.

015copy

In my kitchen:

Is this lovely cruet.  I am sure, once, it was part of a set.  Maybe there was a mustard pot or salt and pepper shakers to go with it.  It used to be my mum’s and before that, it belonged to Lila Scally, one of my mum’s neighbours and very good friend.  My mum was given the little cruet when Lila died (I don’t know by whom but it was a lovely gesture).  When we were going through my mum’s stuff, I didn’t want to throw this little guy out.  I have fond memories of Lila and climbing trees with her son and my best mate at the time, Shane.

076copy

In my kitchen:

Is a new trivet.  My sister, Sandra, bought if for Maus for Christmas.  It is handmade in Turkey.  It is very cool and makes a stunning photo.

034copy

In my kitchen:

Is a big tub of copper cream.  Maus, the copper cleaner of the house, has been trying to buy copper cream for ages.  She has had an order in for months with Kitchen Warehouse but, for some reason, they can’t get it.  Maus only likes cream as she thinks the powder scratches the copper.

Anyway, one day I suggested we try on-line:  you can get everything on the internet.   I found Wright’s Copper Cream on an Australian site but the cream was shipped directly from the States. This is a big tub, but it was, ounce for ounce, very much cheaper than buying the small tubs and the postage wasn’t that much more and … we have a lot of copper.

092copy

Maus tried it out the other day and was very, very impressed.  Without too much effort you can go from this ……to this !!

086copyIn my kitchen:

Is a new macaron sheet, a birthday gift from my friend, Emily.  It is a silicon mat marked with round shapes into which you pipe the macaron mixture .  I did mention to Emily that I was not very good at making macarons and referred her to my post on the subject.  She said that she was aware of the post and decided I needed some more practise  … Mmm, poor me!!

003copy

In my kitchen:

Is this lovely jug I bought in Tasmania about 20 years ago.  Until a few hours ago, I had no idea who made this jug.  It is stamped PILVEN on the base.  I have just been on-line to find out the artist.  Eventually, I found a teapot with a similarly-drawn cat on it.  The artist’s name is Janine Pilven.  She, her spouse, Peter, and daughter, Ruby, appear to be very well known Australian potters and jewellers.  This is what I love so much about doing these IMK posts. The jug has all the more meaning now I know who made it.

017copy

In my kitchen:

Is the beginning of my tomato crop.  I was determined this year not to have anywhere near as many tomatoes as last year.  I pulled up all but four self-sown seedlings.  I wanted two cherry and two Roma tomato plants. I checked the seedling leaves to ensure I had two of each but, alas, I ended up with three cherry tomato and one mini Roma plant.  The mini Roma is a cross between last year’s Cherry and Roma plants. How cool is that?  It is reminiscent of Celia’s cross between a butternut pumpkin and a tromboncino.  So no roasting Romas this year .  Next year, I will grow Romas and one cherry tomato plant.

004copy

In my kitchen:

Is lots of rocky road.  Maus loves rocky road, so I decided to make her some.  I used unsalted roasted peanuts, mini marshmellows, little sweetened coconut squares, Turkish delight (which I cut into little cubes and rolled in icing sugar) and 1 kg of 58% deZaan couverture chocolate.  My tempering still leaves a lot to be desired, but we sure are enjoying the fruits of my efforts.

IMG_0523copy

In my kitchen:

Is this little saucer I bought  from a Chinese grocery shop one day.  It is so cute and it only cost $2.00.  I thought it was a bargain at the time but I am yet to use it.  Does that make it a waste of money?  I think not.

And, finally, ….

abc-3057

In my kitchen:

Is a new cookbook – I have already added it to my list!  It was a late birthday present from the lovely Steve and Al.

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.

63 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2014

  1. Hi Glenda, noticed your photo of the freshly picked capers with all the stems, we roll the caper towards the stem as we pick and they come off clean. The Eureka does have a tough stem but early morning picking makes it a bit easier. Id hate to have to destem a days pick of several kilos, our woofers would probably object so we teach them how to pick clean. Good luck with the capers, cheers, Barry Porter. kolophoncapers.com.au

  2. Glenda, your IMK posts are like touring an art gallery — love your photos! I also love capers and was enthralled by your picking & pickling. (Thanks for contending with the ants!) Also enjoyed the story behind your cruet and the cat pitcher. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. Glenda- you live in paradise- I already envy you the olives and now you have capers, as well!
    Thanks for sharing so much information and pictures- thoroughly enjoyable reading.
    And your rocky road chocolate bars look marvelous. I love the turkish trivet- so very pretty!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Heidi, it is like paradise in winter but in summer it is hot and dry and there are ants everywhere. At least Bridgetown cools down at night, Perth stays hot day and night.

  4. Great to see those capers and caperberries (also ejoyed your other post on the subject). And you’re very snazzy with your labels. Also interested to read about your jug and research. Years ago my brother gave be a blown glass vase. I found the certificate the other day and typed the makers name into the search engine only to find out he’s very well known. I would never have been able to do that before the arrival of the internet! Thanks for the tour Glenda.

    • Hi Fiona. The internet is wonderful. I love finding out the history of something I own. I also love the fact that you usually can replace broken items of china

  5. Hi Glenda, I just never thought of capers growing in the garden. I know they do in Europe so why not Perth, I suppose. I know how they are made and all about the bushes because we sell amazing ones in EVO at work but I have never seen them in there raw state before. There is an Australian company selling Australian grown one but they are significantly more expensive than the imported ones and so have struggled to do well. I would love a caper bush for sure. It’s very nice to have a funny little piece of your past like the cruet of your Mums, it just gives you that nice little feeling each tin=me you see it. Happy February.

  6. How beautiful is that cruet? And I’ve never really seen a freshly picked caperberry– the only capers I’ve ever seen are the pickled, jarred ones at the supermarket, so thanks for sharing those pictures.

  7. Your rocky road looks like beautiful mosaic. Mine always looks a mess (maybe because I’m not Australian!). As I read about the capers I had lots of questions, but just checked out your old post. I imagined that they’d grow on a bush and didn’t realise they had such pretty flowers. Bit of a trade off I should imagine – flowers or berries. Thanks for all the info Glenda; it will make me appreciate the capers next time I sling a handful into my cooking.

    • Hi Anne, It must be that you are not Australian, I am sure if you immigrate, your rocky road will improve!!.

      That little jar of capers is a lot of work, trust me.

  8. So many beautiful things in your kitchen I don’t know where to start! I’ve been meaning to try Liz’s watermelon salad, perfect thing in this current heat wave! Your garden harvest looks incredible. As does that Rocky Road!

  9. I’m an macaron consumer not a baker although your marked sheet sounds like it would make the process a lot easier. I always assumed caper berries were big capers now I’ll have to check out your post.

  10. You must have been listening in to our conversation here. My husband was just asking me what capers are – like where do they come from. I honestly didn’t have a good answer other than saying that they’re some sort of plant. Now I know and I’m very impressed that you put them up yourself.
    I love your Mum’s cruet and have odds and ends of things from my mother’s house that I wish I knew where they came from. Some I know were wedding gifts to her which makes them very special.
    Beautiful rocky road, haven’t had that in ages.

    • Hi Diane, did you check out my old post? It has photos of the plants. They grow very easily in a Mediterranean climate.
      I tagged the post with my old tree climbing buddy’s name. If he searches his name one day he may notice I have his mum’s cruet. It would be wonderful to give it back to him.

      • I was looking at those plants and wish I could grow them here (I think we’re a little too cold for them). They’d make great ground cover for some areas that I have in my yard.
        Wouldn’t that be interesting to hear from your tree climbing buddy. I was just talking to someone who adopted a girl from Russia – she’s now a teen – and through Facebook and social media she found her twin who was adopted by an Italian family. Sometimes this social media can be good.

  11. Glenda, when you come to visit, can you please bring me a jar of capers? Is that rude to ask? 🙂 But they look so amazingly gorgeous, and I’m so impressed you grew them all! LOVE your Turkish plate – I have a trivet which matches the tulip part of the design. And your mini Romas sell for a fortune here – they call them “Bella Rosas” – and they’re absolutely divine. I’m never sure how well hybrids will reproduce – if I could grow the butternut trombies again, I’d certainly give it a go!

    • Simple as anything, put them in and forget them but, alas, I don’t think they would be happy in England. Greece, Spain, Italy, Australia … now you are talking. They like it hot and dry.

  12. I’m another one jealous of your caper plants. They grow wild in Mediterranean countries and then we have to pay for them here! Not fair.

    I love your trivet as well. Such lovely colours ~ actually I like all the things you have featured!

    More green envy that you are just starting to harvest tomatoes. We have sun at the moment but it is blowing a gale and only just above freezing. Never mind, we’ll have summer later.

    Cross fingers 🙂

    • Hi Pat, yes your turn for summer will come soon and we can be envious of your tomatoes. Perth’s climate is very similar to the Mediterranean countries so it is perfect for capers.

  13. I’m loving the capers! You have so many lovely things going on this month from the kitty jug( How neat you know who made it now) to the trivet what fun! I feel I could pull up a chair and share a delightful cup of tea.
    I am going to try to grow capers this year!

  14. Glenda, firstly thank you ever so much for the shout out on the salad. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Another thing you can add if you like it more savoury is some caramelised sliced French escahlots.

    And you grow capers!!! Oh my gosh… I am in complete awe of your garden and your talents. I used to sell jars of fat capers with their stalks on. Yours look amazing!

    That rocky road looks to die for… I’m going to the gym every day at present and under the guidance of a personal trainer who wants me to keep a food diary, so no special treats like this… bookmarking for later. Love the trivet too!

    • Hi Liz, Maus bought the mince to make your meat loaf but never got around to it. What do you think the best substitute is for the black sesame seeds, nigella seeds or white sesame seeds? There is no way we would get black sesame seeds in Bridgetown.

  15. So many wonderful things in your kitchen again this month Glenda. I absolutely love your kitty jug. I have not been down the macaroon road yet, not sure I will either, I shall leave it to you. 😉 Your little bowl is gorgeous – I was so tempted to buy a few exactly like it when we were living in Mauritius and now seeing yours, I am quite sorry I didn’t. Oh well. I’ve never known anyone to grow capers before – yours look so pretty in the long jars and I would love to nibble on a piece of your rocky road with a nice cup of tea.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Hi Mandy, Thanks so much for all you complimentary comments. I love it so much how you can go on the web these days and find out just about anything … like who made my jug.

  16. I remember Shane Scally, he was in my sister’s year, blond curly hair, smiler. She used to call him Scally-wag…of course! Didn’t realise they lived near you. Lovely “bits” as usual, I’ll try the salad before summer ends. Which gives me plenty of time ha! x

    • Hi Jane
      I changed it so it says Jane, rather than anonymous.
      Yep, blond curly hair, that’s him. I used to call him Scally-wag too. He was my climbing tree buddy when I was really, really young.

  17. I love all your things – especially the hand-painted pitcher. Jealous that you have capers in your garden. Not something easily grown in Britain. I always associate capers with ruins in Greece since they seem to grow wild on the old tumbled down buildings. Clever adding Turkish Delight to your Rocky Road!

    • Hi Debi, Capers are so tough, they grow with virtually no water and no attention – my type of plant. Britain would be much too wet and mild for them, I would think. Thanks for stopping by.

Please, leave a comment - it makes me feel loved.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s