In my kitchen – July 2015

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In my kitchen:

Are snow peas.  This is the first year I have grown snow peas so I am pretty excited.  I must admit, they are not the most prolific of crops but, in a way, that is a relief.  We can, at least, keep up with them.  We had a lovely stir fry last week and will, again, tomorrow night.  It’s funny how “summery” they seem, compared to wintry roasted root vegetables.

022copyIn my kitchen:

Is spinach.  I needed a change from cooked vegetables so I went out to the vegie patch and picked some spinach to make a salad.  Even though I have pulled out the tomato plants, I still have a big bowl of cherry tomatoes ripening in the kitchen.  They, along with the spinach, a Lebanese cucumber, parsley and red onion went into the salad.  Not typical food for a cold winter’s night but a welcome change.

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In my kitchen:

Are two pumpkins.  They have lots and lots of friends, thirty two, in fact.  We have eaten three, two rotted before I picked them and I have given one away.  All up, thirty eight pumpkins.

IMG_2492copy Not bad, since we grew them in two tubs made of zinc alume, jammed into the side of an embankment.  The diameter of each tub was just 60cm.  We filled the space with compost and I planted 4 x 2 seeds in each. When they were about five centimetres, I pulled out 4 seeds (which nearly broke my heart) so we ended up with eight plants.  The plants were allowed to overflow and grow down and up the hill.  It worked perfectly.

I took the above photo about two weeks ago.  Last week, the frost arrived and the plant just shrivelled up.  I picked all the pumpkins and took them out of the weather.

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Here they all are under the house.  They are so easy to grow.  I didn’t even buy the seeds.  They were from one of the pumpkins Merle, my sister’s friend, gave me. With any luck, these guys will last the whole year.  They are not, usually, stacked on top of each other like this.  I had to squeeze them up for the photo.  They are back to being in a single layer on mesh, with air circulating around them.

025copy In my kitchen:

Are two spicy pumpkin loaves.  It is my latest favourite cake.  There will, definitely, be a post on this cake.  [Here is the post] I love it and it is so easy to make.  I made one yesterday.  It was perfect – nice and moist and not too crumbly.  Alas, we, with a little help from a friend, demolished it so I decided to make double quantity today.  I am going to freeze one.  I am still getting huge cracks in my cakes and don’t know why.  Since it tastes so good, I don’t mind.  The cake is perfect, slathered with butter.

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In my kitchen:

Were two loaves of bread proving.  They are pumpkin sourdough loaves.  Are you noticing a theme here?  I always make the same recipe (this one) but, yesterday, I decided to make an effort and tackle something new.  This recipe is from Teresa Greenway’s Discovering Sourdough.

042copyIn my kitchen:

Are two beautiful loaves of bread.  Don’t they look gorgeous?  I have only just taken them out of the oven so I don’t know what they taste like.  If they taste as good as they look, I will definitely do a post. [Here is the post]

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A couple of month’s ago, I said the silliest thing.  I explained the lack of a haul from our Melbourne trip with the quip, “The kitchen is full”.  That was a really silly thing to say.  “What about the garage???”,  I hear you saying.  “That is not full.”  With my new soap making hobby, there are so many things to buy and Maus has relegated me and my soap making paraphernalia to the garage.  There is so much room out there.

In my kitchen (garage):

Are three very cute mini spatulas that I use to get into all the nooks and crannies of little containers containing colours and fragrances and additives and all sorts of soap making stuff.

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In my kitchen:

Are three small whisks that I use to stir colours, fragrances and additives into the soap batter.

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Are three teeny weeny mini whisks that I use to mix up colourants, etc.

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Is my latte mixer.  Perfect to whip up a storm in a cup of coffee or oil with titanium dioxide.

129copyMust admit, I wouldn’t like this latte frother in my coffee.  It is all green and gunky from soap making:)

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In my kitchen:

Are a set of twelve silicon cup cake moulds.  Maus was amazed when I brought them home.  “Don’t you have enough cup cake papers?”, she asked.  “These are silicon,” I pointed out.  They are for when I want to make cup cake soap.  Everyone, eventually, makes cup cake soap.  Now I have the moulds for when I get around to it. 🙂

121copyIn my kitchen:

Is a cheese slicer.  It is to make soap curls.  It works pretty well.  It may also be ok at slicing cheese but I am yet to try it for that.

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In my kitchen:

Is an extra wide peeler.  I think it also may be good at making soap curls.  If not, I have another potato peeler for the (real) kitchen.

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In my kitchen:

Is my Japanese mandoline.   We have a Börner in Perth, which I think is fabulous, but Maus wanted to try something different in Bridgetown.  We bought this guy in Sydney from Chef’s Warehouse.  Until recently, I haven’t been particularly enamoured with it but, just last week, I discovered it is perfect for finishing my soap.  It shaves a very fine slice off the soap, leaving it nice and smooth and professional looking.  So, until Maus makes me a soap planer, I have appropriated the mandoline for my soap making.

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.

57 thoughts on “In my kitchen – July 2015

  1. Love all the fresh produce! Wow, what a haul of pumpkins. So far we got one lonely pumpkin from our plant. We’ve planted more for later in the season so hopefully we’ll get some more. Pumpkin muffins are probably my favorite. Your pumpkin sourdough looks fantastic. Quite a few soap finds you’ve got this month!

  2. Great produce Glenda – what other ideas do you have for using your pumpkins? I’m always looking for new ideas to use pumpkin – I’m pinning your pumpkin sourdough now 🙂 Love all your kitchen gadgets too – very handy & has given me some ideas of what else I’m missing in my kitchen 😉 Have a lovely month

  3. I love snow peas, one of my favorite things to eat. I’m looking at your pumpkins (congratulations on the pumpkin haul by the way) and they look a little different from what we have over here. Do yours turn completely orange? I notice one has an orange tinge but it also has a variegated coloring whereas ours are solid green then turn orange when ripe.

    Nice move on taking over the garage for the soap making and finding some cool gadgets for it too. We have a 2 car garage under the family room of the house and with the cars and lawn equipment plus snow equipment there’s no room for anything. I keep thinking how awesome it would be to build a 2 car garage with a craft/sewing/art studio above it. Just thinking mind you because I’m also saying that we need to dowsize. Maybe we need to downsize but with the right rooms that I need.

    • Hi Diane, We have all sorts of pumpkins here. These are Kent pumpkins and they stay a variegated green. The flesh is bright orange. We also have the orange variety you are referring to. Maybe what you need is a small house with a big garage. 🙂

  4. Our snow peas are struggling this year. I doubt we will get a crop 😦 Glad to hear the pumpkins were all edible.

    You can tell you are a true soaper now! When you start looking at everything and assessing it for soaping, you are well gone. Don’t forget to save all your trimmings from the mandolin for confetti soap 🙂

  5. Glenda I am always amazed at your garden produce… 38 pumpkins, that’s a lot to get through. Your pumping spiced loaf looks so delicious and I love the crack at the top… would love a slice right now with my cuppa 🙂

  6. Wonderful produce – I love your pumpkin particularly – I once went to a house I had told had a vegie garden and all it had was an out of control pumpkin vine which amused me – and the sourdough bread sounds great with pumpkin. Also am amazed at all your soap gadetry – perhaps that is a reason not to start soap making because we really don’t have space.

  7. Your posts are always so warm and welcoming Glenda! I have fond memories of picking snow peas when I was little! I love your gadgets and can almost smell you pumpkin loaf from here!
    Thanks for sharing your kitchen this month too!

  8. What a bounty, all those pumpkins! I love the photos of all your kitchen utensils and the symmetry of them.

  9. Hello there Glenda. What a glorious haul of pumpkins you have! I can’t wait for your post about the pumpkin loaves, they sound very good. I can’t believe you have snow peas! I guess veg gardening in the harsh Canberra (-6 tonight!) winter seems months away from the spring time fresh veg that awaits us. Perth must be getting all the good sun. Cheers, Kirsty xx

    • Hi Vicki. If your soap is all one colour you don’t need so many whisks but more often than not people make multi-coloured soap in which case the soap is divided and different colourants are whisked into each portion.

  10. Love the “moo” handle on the latte mixer! Please post on the pumpkin sourdough bread! Always looking for more uses for the starter. I can’t believe you got 38 pumpkins. Hope they last the year!

  11. Those pumpkins are seriously impressive Glenda! I look forward to the pumpkin loaf recipe, they look delicious. Pumpkin sourdough sounds interesting…yum! Happy cooking to you.

  12. Your soaps are so very lovely Glenda – I can understand you’re ‘froth and bubbly’ about them – I’d really like to try it myself and your blog is now a wonderful source of information – but your soap curls intrigue me. Chocolate curls, butter curls – but soap curls – hmm.

    • Hi Jan. Check out my post ‘Show and tell’. The soap curls are in the green soap. A lot of people decorate their soaps with them, especially if they make look-a-like cakes and cup cakes. If you want to try it, I recommend Anne Watson’s Smart Soapmaking. After that, there are hundreds of YouTube videos. I am really getting into it.

  13. So the pumpkins won’t rot if you leave them under the house with plenty of room for circulation? I’m looking forward to your pumpkin sourdough recipe. Your soap hobby is hilarious – it’s taking over the whole house.

    • Hi Nancy, I have no idea about storing pumpkins (I should Google it) that was just me using my nous:) The pumpkin sourdough is next. The soaps sure are taking over the house. They are all lined up in the study curing.

  14. You have some awesome stuff in your kitchen, Glenda…. love the greens!!! In case I don’t pop in as often as usual, I am travelling o/s xxx

  15. Ooooh, annexing the garage for project studio and storage space sounds like a great move… and what wonderful gadgets you have for soapy projects!

  16. Love it just like being in a toy shop!!! Best get back to work. XXXX

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  17. I know what you mean about needing salad or different veges in winter, me too, but I do envy your pumpkin glut… we love them, and your garden seems so productive all year round. I don’t usually eat tomatoes in winter but have been buying gorgeous cherry toms at the markets and baking them… lovely.
    I dare not mention your post to the G.O. re the annexation of the garage. I have temporary use of his new shed for storage, and maybe a corner in the longer term but no more as I apparently have the whole house at my disposal!

    • Hi Ella, only a corner! That is so unfair. I am so worried as soon as I run out of cherry tomatoes I will want some and have to go and buy them. There were thousands on the bushes but it is really too cold for them now.

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