In My Kitchen – April 2014

In my kitchen:

Are three passionfruit.  These are my first ever passionfruit and I am very excited.  When we first named our block Passion Fruit Garden we would regularly get asked whether we grew passionfruit.  “The name is Passion Fruit not passionfruit” I would explain but after a while I noticed the distinction was lost on a lot of people so, to keep it simple,  I would indicate a future intention to grow passionfruit.   Then a reader (Debra) offered me some passionfruit cuttings.  I started out with 6 cuttings which eventually produced two viable plants both of which are now huge and producing a moderate amount of fruit.  I am anticipating great things next year. 007copy1

They are not the most juicy specimens when cut but they taste fine and we grew them so I think they are wonderful.

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In my kitchen:

Is my last head of broccoli for this summer.  We ended up with nine plants and they all did very well considering I didn’t even know you could grow broccoli in summer.  I was amazed how few bugs got to the plants.  It appears the bugs are also unaware you can grow broccoli in summer.  I have just planted some winter broccoli seeds so I will let you know how they go.

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In my kitchen:

Of course … of course …. there are tomatoes and lots of them.  I cannot believe how many we have had this year, though, they do appear to be slowing down.  We are picking a bucket load twice a week whereas it was every two days not long ago.  I will send Maus out tomorrow to see how many she can give to the neighbours.  I refuse to preserve anymore.

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are …. cucumbers.  I haven’t been boring you with the cucumber saga this summer but lets just say we have had lots and lots and lots of cucumbers.  These will also be distributed to the neighbours tomorrow.

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In my kitchen:

Was some amazingly expensive terrine.  Maus was going to the shop and I asked her to buy some paté for lunch,  thinking she would come back with run of the mill chicken liver paté.  No such luck, nothing less than hare and Armagnac terrine will do for her.  This tin was tiny – 70g in total.  I did query Maus’ wisdom.  She responded by saying that this was all they had and she couldn’t be bothered going to another shop, mmmmm …

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In my kitchen:

Is another Maus purchase, but this one was a little more appreciated.

Maus declared on my birthday that she was going to make me pancakes with maple syrup. She sped off in the car in search of maple syrup only to return empty-handed. I cheered her up by saying lemon and sugar on the pancakes would be equally nice.

The next time Maus was at Kakulas Sisters she bought me some maple syrup promising she would soon be making the promised pancakes. A very short time later however, she asked if she could have a wee bit on her ice-cream. No way, José!   I did not want to create a precedent before sampling the aforementioned pancakes.

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In my kitchen:

Is a doorless oven.   Did the door hinge break when Maus and I were home alone munching on a salad?  Of course not!  We had friends to dinner and four dishes to bake, two of which were half-cooked when I decided to check on them.  The door came off in my hands! What followed was a frantic flurry to try to fix it , then resignation when we realised we couldn’t, then more frantic flurry to determine how I was going to bake four dishes without an oven.  We eventually decided on – one in the electric frying pan, two in the convection/microwave oven and one in a toaster oven.

We think a spring has sprung or something similar.  As we doubted our chances of someone from Ilve coming to Bridgetown to fix it, Maus suggested bringing the door back with us.  Hopefully, we can get it fixed and reattach it ourselves.

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In my kitchen

Is a rather large bunch of dried sage.

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It produced a very large jar of crushed sage. I was wondering if anyone knows whether I can use it in soap because it smells great and is a delightful colour.

If not, I don’t know what I am going to do with it all. I decided to trim my sage bush and dry the trimmings. Little did I know how much I would end up with.

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Now, here is a question for you.   What do Glenda and Queen Elizabeth II have in common?  I am pretty certain that this question also extends to the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles.  Any ideas??

Ta da ….

We all have a set of these beautiful Harris and Son teaspoons.  These spoons are the reason for the lateness of my post.  I was looking for something in my drawer a couple of weeks ago and came across them.  I immediately decided to feature them in this post.  I polished them and put them in my bag (so I thought) for Bridgetown only to discover when I went looking for them that I had grabbed a set of six cake Splayds instead.

I received these spoons as gifts for my 21st birthday.  I remember mum asking what I wanted for my birthday and me requesting these spoons.  What 21-year-old wants spoons as a gift ?  I must have been a weird 21-year-old!  Anyway, mum must have organised the relatives and I received seven individual gifts of a spoon – six teaspoons and a sugar spoon.  The flowers from the back are: Red Flowering Gum, Crowea, Kangaroo Paw, Spider Orchid (check out the little spider on the stem), Boronia and the Flannel Flower. IMG_8162copy The flower on the sugar spoon is the Golden Wattle.  These spoons are hand-made in sterling silver by the jewellers, Harris and Son, a Western Australian jeweller established in 1921.  Their site advises that the Queen has a set of the spoons.  I also remember either the Western Australian or the Australian Government’s engagement present to Diana and Charles included a set.

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In my kitchen,

Are six cake Splayds.  I had no intention of showcasing them this month but since they accompanied me to Bridgetown and back I thought I would.  They are smaller than the standard Splayds.  I don’t know where I bought them.  I have never seen them for sale again, so I am glad I did.

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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

 

 

50 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April 2014

  1. I love passionfruit and planted a vine at the start of the year. It’s crazy but i know they take a while to fruit so I have high hopes. I do not love broccoli. But you’ve got to love the Splayds. I got a set for my 21st and also a set for our engagement. They’re in constant service. Thanks for the tour Glenda!

  2. Eh, Passion Fruit, passionfruit, smashi’ fruit – they look great to me. I’ve never had a chance to try them but have always wanted to just for the name. I wish I lived next door to you because I’d be happy to share your garden bounty – still waiting for that shipment of tomatoes to peg at my neighbor since we’re getting some warm weather here finally & she’s out in her yard a lot.
    That silverware is absolutely stunning. If I had something that beautiful I think I would find a little vase & display them although polishing them might get tedious. I’d guess that the Queen has someone do it for her.
    Now how was the pate? Once you have something like that it might be hard going bad to ordinary old chicken pate.]
    But seriously, what the heck happened with the oven door? I’m sorry to laugh, but really it’s something that I could see happening to me in the middle of cooking Christmas dinner! I imagine though that it would be easier to check on things in the oven without a door. Might have to add a few minutes onto the cooking time, but convenient to just slide things in – no?

    • Whose a comic then? Diane, if only I could send you some tomatoes. I hate to think of them falling on the ground because no one is picking them.

    • Yes … those spoons, so beautiful but so useless. I was showing some friends last night and we decided to eat our sweets with them. They are pretty small so it took awhile 🙂 I am very excited about the passionfruit. I would like some more fruit but I am not complaining.

  3. Strange 21 year old indeed 🙂 But the beauty in those spoons is timeless. Tell Maus that sourdough pancakes are THE best, as I have recently found out; maple doused would be impressive.

  4. Oh those spoons are stunning! I love splayds too, but the Harris and Son set is just gorgeous. Go Maus, no pissy deli counter pate for her! 🙂 Your garden is so bountiful Glenda, can you even remember what it was like back when you had to buy produce? I know I say this often, but you are the most successful relatively new home gardener I’ve ever known. Hope you get the oven fixed, and no idea what you’re going to do with all that dried sage – I know some of Greek dishes use a lot of sage, maybe you can find something on Google?

    • Celia, you are not to encourage Maus and her bad habits. That teeny weeny tin of terrine cost way toooo much 😦 We have today found a man who said he will be able to fix our door whilst we are in Sydney. Luckily it was only the door and we could bring it back to Perth. I can’t imagine ever finding someone to fix anything in Bridgetown.

  5. Glenda-
    Your gardens are always amazing! I may get about 10 cucumbers before my plants start to dry up- I am not generous with cucumbers.
    I’ve only seen passionfruit pulp in cans- so thanks for sharing a photo or two of yours!
    And your spoons are lovely- I think it was very smart for you to ask for them- you have not only a memory but a treasure.
    It is very smart to keep the maple syrup reserved for your pancakes- I find it goes very quickly when everyone gets to use it as they wish. I had been saving some for scones and when I went to make them- the syrup was gone!

    • Hi Heidi, I just knew if I allowed one little taste, the bottle would be gone before I got to taste those pancakes. 🙂 Cucumbers and tomatoes seem very happy in our garden. I think it is the combination of hot dry atmosphere and lots of water.

  6. I can’t believe you are still getting a bucket load of tomatoes – are you sure you don’t want to set up a market stall? You’re pate looks very exclusive and expensive – funny story I hope it was worth it!

    • Hi Nancy, I am afraid not, there was so little we barely got a taste each. BTW I forgot to say congratulations on getting married.

  7. Oh I feel your pain with the oven! I have an oven exactly the same here, I had better treat it with kid gloves! What a bounteous garden, delicious vegies, passionfruits, sweet smelling roses. You really do have green thumbs

    • Hi Sandra, The bloody oven*$#* We have rung the ‘official’ repairer several times today with no response. They are so enticing in the shops but when they go wrong Eeeeek …..Thanks so much for the compliment re the garden. As I am sure you are aware, we only show the ‘plentiful’ side 🙂 on our blogs, though I do have about 20 parsley plants that are yet to feature 🙂

      • Hi again Glenda, just a thought with the oven door. As I said I have the exact same oven. I went to Ilve when it was brand new, they offered free lessons. They showed us how to dismantle the oven, including removing the door for cleaning. Your door hasn’t just lifted off the mount points has it?

  8. Hey Glenda, happy belated birthday to you! I can’t believe you can grow broccoli in Summer. You don’t have green thumbs, you have green hands. Jeez woman, set up a stall and sell your produce!
    I am totally in love with those spoons, what a gorgeous treasure!

    • Hi Lisa, how are you and how is the bub? I do hope all is well. Broccoli in summer? I am with you, I had never heard of it before. Those spoons are special, aren’t they?

  9. Good on you with the passionfruit… they can be iffy… ours was a yellow variety and verdant but extremes of weather have knocked it around, so we;ve replanted it and another type similar to yours I grew from a passionfruit.
    When i think of Passion Fruit I think of Jeanette Winterson.
    Good luck with the oven door. Once fixed you should be able to fit it yourselves. In one way you were fortunate, the spring on ours warped placing pressure on the glass which shattered-exploded.
    I like your Harris and Son teaspoons but the G.O. would love them 🙂

  10. Hello Glenda, your kitchen is productive and interesting as always. I would be excited about the passionfruit too! Your summer broccoli is impressive, as are your tomatoes and cucumbers. There is almost a meal right there!

    Is there anything that is not improved with maple syrup? Your spoons are gorgeous, what a treasure. Your Splayds are a blast from the past. Do you use them? Thanks for sharing your kitchen this month. Happy cooking to you.

  11. Hi Glenda, What lucky neighbours you have, benefiting from all that beautiful produce! Congratulations on your efforts to grow passionfruit – I tried growing it a few years ago and ended up with a vine that went rampant all over my back fence but which produced no edible fruit!

    • Hi Christine, did you ever find out why it never produced any fruit. I think I would get more if I added more fertiliser but I am not sure. Next summer I will do some research.

    • Hi Francesca, it is so easy to dry too many herbs. Last year I made little jars of mixed herbs and gave them away. If you don’t, you end up with herbs that are years old.

  12. What a beautiful abundance of home grown vegetables you have. I’m slightly envious and at the same time inspired as our veggie garden never quite happened last spring. Hopefully this year. We do have a very healthy passionfruit vine though, we are just waiting for it to flower and fruit so we can enjoy the delicious pulp they produce. Happy April & I hope you’re able to get your oven fixed without too much pain. Leah

    • Thanks so much Leah, I also hope the oven is not too much of an ordeal – it is not looking good so far but it is early days. Good luck with your vegie garden.

  13. Hope your oven door is fixed soon. Absolutely love those spoons. I’ve never seen anything like it. Though, being an archaeologist, the flowers kind of remind me of the jewellery from the royal tombs at the Sumerian city of Ur. Brilliant and unique 21st birthday request.

    • Hi Debi, I so hope I can get the door fixed, it is not looking good so far. The spoons are magnificent but they are not very practical. I have no idea why I asked for them.

  14. Hi Glenda, so many good things here I don’t know where to start… but how exciting about your first crop of passionfruit! I adore them… and still envious about your tomatoes and cukes! Mine fried in that heat this summer… and your spoons, wow! How very beautiful.

    • Hi Liz, I think the trick is to keep the water up. These guys are watered twice a day on a timer. During the really hot period they got 10mins x 2 as it is a bit cooler we have changed it to 7min x 2. It seems to work. Good luck next year.

  15. I do wish Maus could just nip around to mine with a bucket load of tomatoes and cucumbers! I hope your oven door is soon fixed especially as these things often appear to be simple but inevitably lead to the complete dismantling to find a tiny screw or some such.
    I’m crossing my fingers that the bugs won’t realise that we’re growing cabbages (very unusual for us) and will keep well away.

    • Hi Anne, I am already getting concerned about the oven. We have had no luck so far trying to find an Ilve repair person in Perth. Growing vegies is so frustrating, there a lots of people I know who would appreciate the produce but I am not going to drive all over Perth just to give it away. The neighbours are close so they will get it.
      I think the bugs already know about cabbages 😦

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