In my kitchen – September 2015

008copyIn my kitchen:

Is Maus’ new raclette grill.  As I mentioned in my last IMK post, it was Maus’ birthday at the end of last month.  One of her presents was a raclette grill from the dogs.  OK, I accept that most dogs aren’t capable of buying presents, but ours can, and have done all their lives.  They, usually, only give token gifts but this year they went all out.

Our neighbours in Perth have invited us to two raclette grill nights and Maus really enjoyed herself each time.  Maus admitted afterwards that what she enjoyed most about the first evening (apart from the abundance of red wine) was the fact that there was no raclette to be seen.  Maus is not a fan of raclette.  She vividly remembers the smell of over-ripe raclette emanating from the back seat of our hire car as we travelled around southern France.  She assures me the mere memory is enough to make her sick.  The relief of its absence was the highlight of the evening for Maus.

For those who have never experienced the pleasures of a raclette grill, it is just a table top grill, with lots of melted cheese.  Traditionally, raclette is used but any good melting cheese will work just as well.  Vegetables and meat are grilled on the top and the cheese is melted in the little pans.  It is then tipped over the grilled food.

The dogs bought it for Maus because they heard she really enjoyed the evenings and  I wasn’t really enamoured with the idea.  They bought it from the Re Store in Northbridge.

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In my kitchen:

Are six raclette spatulas.

When having a raclette grill night, you need wooden spatulas to push the melted cheese out of the pans and onto the grilled food.  Often, raclette grills come with wooden spatulas but Maus’ didn’t.  As we were having trouble buying a set, I decided Maus could make them.  She did a fantastic job.  They are better than any commercial ones I have seen.  The wood is Jarrah and they are finished with olive oil.

045copyIn my kitchen:

Is a set of six mini tongs (even though there are two red ones, it is supposed to be “a set”).

We decided each person would need their own mini tongs to turn their food as it is cooking.  I found these silicon-tipped tongs on ebay for a song (if it wasn’t for the postage).  I love them (except the fact that there are two red ones!).  Being silicon, the ends should be OK on the grill.

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In my kitchen:

Is a second raclette grill.

I thought one grill was too small if Maus wanted to dine with more than a couple of people so I decided she needed two.  Each grill is supposed to serve eight but they are pretty small and, on a large table, some people would be quite a way from the grill.  I bought the second one on ebay.  With postage, it was about the same price as the one the dogs bought.

In my kitchen:

Are some terracotta tiles.

Then I decided that we needed something to protect the table from the heat.  The grills are resting on four terracotta tiles I bought for my bread baking. They are perfect for the job.

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In my kitchen:

Is a cardboard tablecloth.

Next consideration was the tablecloth.  I didn’t want one of our tablecloths covered in oil from the grill and, equally, I didn’t want guests worrying about any spills so we made a tablecloth from a cardboard box we got from the local electrical/hardware store.  We cut it out to fit the table and Maus painted it white to look like a real tablecloth.

In my kitchen:

are painted placemats.

We didn’t want our placemats getting all dirty, either, so I decided to paint place mats onto the cardboard tablecloth.  Perfect!  The table is protected from the heat and we have a fat-proof tablecloth and mats.  We are ready for a night of debauchery.

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In my kitchen:

Are two more tongs and the start of two more spatulas.

Since we now have two grills, we decided we could have eight to dinner so we would need two more tongs and two more spatulas.  I went to Kitchen Warehouse today and bought two extra tongs.  As luck would have it, they are exactly the same as those I bought on ebay (except they are branded Maxwell & Williams) and I was able to get two colours we don’t have (the green is different).  Maus hasn’t finished the spatulas.  She is yet to sand and oil them but she is onto it.

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In my kitchen:

Is a lot of cheese.

Clearly, we will need a lot of cheese so we bought plenty.  The raclette is the one with the yellow rind on the left. I tasted it and really love it.  I sliced a bit off for Maus.  I assured her it was not strong but she couldn’t even bare to taste it.  Some memories are powerful.  Most of this haul came from Kakulas Sister in Nollamara but we had to go to the Re Store in Leederville to get the raclette.

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In my kitchen:

Are a lot of sausages.

We will also need European sausages.  We bought these from Adriatic Butchers in Balcatta.  They have an amazing array of European sausages, most of which I have never heard.  The trick is to buy something different each time you go.  We have here: from back left, Italian,spicy European and smoked Romanian sausages, then from front right, Cheese Kransky, Macedonian Hot Leek and dried Italian sausages.  Maus has also ordered some Bratwurst from our local butcher.  They are making them, especially, for her.  She tells me she requested them 100mils long.  How cool is that?  Sausages to order.

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In my kitchen:

Is a jar of gherkins.  It appears they are also essential for a raclette grill night.

062copyIn my kitchen:

Are some chocolates.

Next door to Adriatic Butchers is this great shop, Kings, which sells all things European. I bought these sweets for after the grill.  Also, in the same strip of shops, is the best cake shop I have ever come across.  It is so good.  Maus and I had doughnuts from there today.  It was the best doughnut I have tasted.  Sorry, no photo. They disappeared in the car outside the shop.

Now we are all set for Maus to try out her raclette grills.  With red wine in abundance, we are sure to have a ball.  Now to some produce…

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In my kitchen:

Is asparagus.

The broccoli has finished.  It seemed to come and go in a very short period of time.  We froze one large bag of it (I now have a couple of recipes in which I don’t mind frozen broccoli).  The snow peas are still producing but they are nearing their end.  We have frozen two large bags of snow peas but have been able to eat most of the crop as it ripened.

The season is changing and we have just picked our first asparagus. Soon, it will be asparagus this and asparagus that but, at the moment, we are cherishing the first few precious spears.

239copyIn my kitchen:

Is our first avocado for the season.

Avocados don’t ripen until they are picked and they only ripen if they are not picked too early so it is a bit tricky to know when to start picking them.  You, basically, have to pick one and wait to see if it ripens.  If it does, it’s all go!  This one did.

253copyIn my kitchen:

Are two passionfruit.  I am not certain whether these are the first of the season or the final of last year’s fruit.  We have been getting a small number of passionfruit throughout winter but they haven’t been ripening.  I don’t know how these two ripened.  Maybe we had a warm day or two that I didn’t notice.

121copyIn my kitchen:

Is this lovely Wedgewood plate. The design is Blue Elephant and was released in 1992.  I loved the design at the time and I still do.  The elephant reminds me of India, a country I love.  When we were in India, we bought a number of paintings of elephants on silk which are quite similar in design to this plate.

023copyIn my kitchen:

Is a mug of the same design.  I bought the mug for Maus.  I  can’t remember if I bought the plate for her as well.  I hope not.  I hope it’s mine 🙂

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In my kitchen:

Were baby brioche, proving before they went into the oven.  I  bought these little pans ages ago in anticipation of making individual brioche.  On recommendation from Anne, at Life in Mud Splattered Boots, I made Richard Bertinet’s recipe.  It worked a treat.  They looked gorgeous when I took them out of the oven but I am not so sure I like brioche that much.  It is a bit eggy for my taste.

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.

62 thoughts on “In my kitchen – September 2015

  1. a fabulous post. how clever is Maus to make those spatulas (I keep calling them paddles in my head). the brioche looks great i must say. and how lovely to have your own produce. have fun at your raclette party. i have never seen or heard of a raclette grill before. love that indian plate.

  2. Glenda, what a fun, flavorful IMK post! Your recycled tablecloth and placemats are entirely clever, as were Maus’ beautiful handmade spatulas. (Thanks for the link to the David Lebovitz post, too — amusing read — and oh, how I want to try raclette after reading yours and his!) Your sausages and gherkins (and chocolate and homegrown avocado, and, and, and…) also made my heart flutter. LOTS of good things — great things — going on in your kitchen!

  3. What a great dinner party idea Glenda, having raclette grills in the middle of the table & letting everyone enjoy the experience! I’ve never heard of them before but they sound like lots of (messy) fun 🙂 Thanks for sharing something new with me. Loving all your fresh produce and I’m getting (really) hungry after seeing all your cheeses and sausages.

  4. I had a raclette grilled meal in Belgium that I just love – thanks for the memory!! Your dog’s have great taste 😉 I’m super impressed with your asparagus and would you mind me asking, how long til your avocado tree fruited? We are thinking of planting one in a full sized wine barrel but have read it can take 20 years to bear fruit!!! I’m kind of patient but not that patient!! heheh Cheers to raclette and plenty of red wine, Jan x

  5. On rare visits from Poland during the Communist era, my aunt, uncle and cousins would bring us Polish chocolate. Let’s just say we grinned graciously as it was the thought that counts. I’m sure things have improved a lot now. What a fascinating look into making a raclette party. My friend lived in a block of apartments in Switzerland where there was a special room for people having a raclette party. It wasn’t allowed to be served in the flats!

  6. Wow!! Loved reading this month’s “In my Kitchen” ! What a wonderful raclette set and accessories you have (I mean Maureen has!!). Have fun with it and hope to see you in Perth soon x

  7. Love raclette… my friend has one and every time we dine at her house I say I must buy a raclette. A few weeks ago I did plan on getting one but unfortunately have not found one yet. Glenda, Maus is so clever making those lovely wooden spatulas and your dogs are wonderful gift givers 🙂

    • Moya, I am still not convinced on the raclette grill. I think we might use it a couple of times and then forget it. Maus is not an excitable girl so when she was keen I thought, “What the heck”

  8. Love love love all the raclette spread! I have had a raclette grill for ages and enjoy using it in the winter. My mom has one too so we will put both on the table for 7 of us, just makes things run smoother. Back when I got my grill I don’t ever recall seeing mini tongs, I will definitely be ordering some soon.m as for the cardboard tablecloth, also brilliant. Maybe I could even let,the boys paint and have some fun with it. I usually just put the grill on the table with no tablecloth or placemats, grease splatters are easier to clean that way. The chocolate with plum sounds fantastic, the perfect end to a long night of wining and dining.

  9. I have no problem believing that your dogs ordered the raclette grill & my dog is welcome to use the computer all she wants – it’s that damn cat who’s trouble! Never give a cat your credit card number because all kind of things show up at your house.
    As they say Glenda, you don’t do things by halves – when you do something, you surely do it right & these grills sound like such a fun idea. They haven’t really caught on over here just yet but I’m sure they will since we’ve got a restaurant in Boston that does it. I have a feeling it’s soon going to be on everyone’s Christmas gift lists.

    Maus did do a fantastic job on the spatulas – very nice (lots of talent there). And, I love the idea of making a cardboard tablecloth! Talk about taking the worry out of having a fun dinner.

    Very nice Wedgwood too – I’m sure you bought the plate for yourself…yes, no doubt it yours.

    • Hi Diane, good to hear from you. You haven’t been around much lately. How are the wedding preparations going? With three dogs that means three more presents at Christmas and birthdays 🙂 I could just visualise oil all over the tablecloth and I wasn’t having it.

    • Hi Liz, we could have bought a paper one but they would probably have been all for kids birthday parties. This one was made to measure and cost zilch.

  10. Glenda! I really really want to have some raclette debauchery too 🙂 You are both so clever and clearly so ready to party! Great choice with those Polish sweets, the plums in chocolate are one of my favourite ones but the cherries are always top of my list. Hope the hangovers don’t last too long – if they do, there is only one cure for them. Do it again!

    • Hi Ania, thanks for the heads up on the chocolates – I should have known you would know. It the actual chocolate any good? I am with you re plums and chocolate, it is a great combination.

  11. Always so many interesting things in your kitchen Glenda. I miss having avo trees.
    On a side note, my Pete wants to start with some soap making this week while he is home. Please will you help with a nice easy recipe for him to get going. Thanks very much Glenda!
    Have a wonderful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • No probs Mandy. What oils do you have, or can get, and what is the size of your mould? Pete could easily make a mould or …. a great free one is a wooden box that a nice bottle of wine came in. If it is has holes in it for a handle just fill them in with wood stop.

      • Oops, wasn’t finished. I can get hold of any essential oil so guess it will be up to taste?

        Pete will quickly put a box together so that won’t be a problem, although I do have one ready to go. 🙂

        • Hi Mandy I meant base oils. Do you have, or can you, get olive, palm and coconut oil? Shea butter is also good. Also, I will need the internal dimensions of your mould. That way I can come up with a recipe that will just fill it. The first time you make soap I wouldn’t use any essential oils. They will just complicate things. I am going to Bridgetown tomorrow where all my gear is so I will be able to send you a recipe tomorrow night. Make sure you line your mould (if it is wood) with baking, or freezer, paper. Cheers.

          • Haa haa. It is obvious I haven’t made soap before! Right, now that I am on the same page and understand what you were asking… – I have olive and coconut oil. I will get Pete to finalise which box he is going to use (probably start small) and will get that to you ASAP! Really appreciate the wonderful help. Thank you!
            PS. We also have a lots of little pieces of left over soap.

  12. I’d hazard a guess there would have been a few laughs while dining around that table! What a sensational concept. Obviously you are both very talented and extremely creative. I’d buy those spatulas and if the placemats were on fabric I’d ask where you sourced them! And that Elephant plate, well…….. 🙂

    • Hi Maree, thanks. Maus loves her wood work. I guess retirement is about being creative. All your work life you follow rules, now is the time to make your own.

  13. Snap! I have the same chocolate plums in my kitchen. How weird and random is that??! I love how you just go all in when you’re into something – I imagine lots of laughter and fun will be had around that table. And a few hangovers too I think.

    • Hi Nancy, I saw your chocolates but didn’t realise they were the same as I haven’t opened ours. Are they good? I picked them because they were different and they sought of went with the theme. Life is for living ….

    • Hi Anne, Is brioche supposed to be sweet? This recipe is not overly sweet, is it? I could actually taste egg when eating it, is this normal or do I just have a very sophisticated palette? 😀

      • Very sophisticated palette! I’ve never noticed an egg taste, though that may be due to copious amounts of butter and jam on my brioche. The supermarket brioche over here is almost cake like in sweetness and texture so I prefer this less sweet version.

  14. How interesting about the passionfuit. I grabbed the last of our vine. One very dire dup which I’ll keep for spare seeds, and another than looked quite ripe & edible… at the end of August but we’ll see, I have no expectations unlike the neighbours in situ who have eaten the rest and had the hide to complain they were sour… it’s the vine’s first year and it was running late so I’m not surprised. Avocado season is my favourite, I think, and I’ve been enjoying the first from the NSW north coast from the famers markets. I was most annoyed to see NZ avocadoes in the local co-op supermarket at Macksville last week.
    Regardless of it they are used for raclette grills (which I’d never heard of) the silicon tipped mini tongs are really handy. I have several pairs.
    I love the inventive way you made up the table for the raclette experience.
    I’m tempted to buy some mini brioche pans…

    • Hi Ella, What are the spare seeds for? If you want to propagate your passionfruit you can take cuttings now (whilst you are pruning it). Take bits about 45cm long, cut off most of the leaves and put them in some potting mixture. Most will take. I just went to the shop to buy some asparagus (to go with our 5 spears)and the only asparagus was from Peru – and its asparagus season grrrrrr…..

  15. My God I wish you were our next door neighbour, we have had a rachlette for years and it goes unused because my FM (favourite man) hates it; I love it and the ceremony and comradery around the table when cooking. Years ago when in Brig, Switzerland, bought large rachlette shoved it in back back then went sightseeing complaining all the while about the constant farting of other tourists around us; wasn’t the tourists it was our rachlette!

    • Hi Robyn. It does stink, doesn’t it? I am with FM but you can’t have everything your own way. Maus is no great shakes as a cook so it is a good way for her to host a gathering. I don’t think ours will be used that much but I don’t care.

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