This wee blog of mine is nearly 4 years old and I have been doing In My Kitchen posts for all that time. The concept was Celia’s from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and I was quick to jump on board.
For the last few months, I have been thinking, “Surely I have run out of new and exciting things in my kitchen to write about. Surely, this will be my last In My Kitchen post.” But as each month comes and goes, I seem to be able to gather up some new things (albeit, not necessarily exciting) to showcase. And so with this month, which was a little easier than most because it was Christmas and I have generous family and friends.
Now, as I write this, I realise I have something else new that I forgot to photograph whilst I was in Bridgetown. Oh, goodie!! I have, at least, one new thing for next month.
First cab off the rank in my kitchen for this month:
Is/Was a lovely stollen given to us by our neighbour, Renate. Renate has been giving us a Christmas stollen for many years now. Lately, she hasn’t been so well so we didn’t expect, or even dare hope for, one this year but when we arrived in Bridgetown just before Chrstimas, there it was, hanging from our coat rack in a Christmas bag. It looked like Santa had been and couldn’t get into our house to leave it under our chimney so he left it in our mud room. Very thoughtful.
Maus is a very nice person (unlike her partner). When she notices our busy neighbours have rushed off to work and forgotten to put their bins out, she will go and do it for them. And if she notices any unloved bins in the street after their bed time, she tucks them in. This year when we arrived back in Perth, there was a bottle of red wine on our front mat. The card was unsigned. It was addressed to the bin fairy. That is just what Christmas is about.
Is/Was this fabulous rocky road cake made by my friend, Emily. I tell you it tasted as good as it looks. Maus loves rocky road so I did have competition for it but I made sure I got my fair share (not that anyone could imagine I wouldn’t). Thanks, Em. Em also made us orange clove pomanders which was a lovely idea.
Whilst we are on the topic of gifts, in my kitchen:
Is this wonderful hand-painted Turkish bowl I received from my sister, Sandra. I know it is hard to gauge the size of a bowl without anything in it (if it was tiny, I would have just taken a close up shot) but, let me tell you, this bowl is big. It is the perfect size and shape for a fruit bowl which we didn’t have in Bridgetown. It is sitting on our bench top waiting to be filled. Thanks, Sis.
Talking of bowls, in my kitchen:
Is this lovely bowl. I actually bought it last month but couldn’t show case it before because I also bought one for my sister, Juanita. I spotted them and thought, “Juanita would like that”, and picked one up. I then hesitated. I really, really liked it and thought there was a danger that Juanita wouldn’t get the bowl. To solve the problem, I bought one for me too. 🙂 Easy peasy. It is made by Wedgewood. The design is Intaglio.
Is some roasted hazelnut honey which looks very enticing. My sister, Sandra, bought it, along with lots of other goodies, for Maus. I guess the hazelnuts flavour the honey. I have my eye on those hazelnuts – bugger the honey 🙂
Is a bunch of goodies that we have been given over time that I have taken out of the pantry to focus on. We are lucky enough to be given some lovely food items but I tend to put them in the pantry and forget they are there. I decided it was time to consume this little collection. Maus had the cranberry and burgundy sauce and I sampled the Cumberland sauce with port on the left over Christmas turkey. Very nice indeed. I opened the rosemary and garlic jelly and basted the left over turkey, giving it a lovely sweet flavour and keeping it from drying out. The jelly is made from apple juice so I am thinking it would be great basted on lamb or pork. I have both in the freezer so am sure that jar will be empty soon.
Are two new cookbooks. Both came from the Op Shop. The Buy West Eat Best book was a Christmas gift from my friend, Deb, who likes to present me with her Op Shop gems. In this case, though, I think she got ripped off. I only paid $2.00 for the Great Barbecue Food book whereas Deb paid $4.00 for my gift!!! She really does need to lift her game!!
In my kitchen:
Is a new Scanpan cheese set that I jackpotted in a Christmas Kringle. It was one of those Secret Santas where, if you don’t like your gift, you can swap with someone else’s but I was very happy with my cheese set. I have plenty of boards that Maus has made to use it with.
In my kitchen:
Is some beer, but not just ordinary beer. This beer was crafted by Maus’ nephew, Dale. Dale won a competition and the prize was having his beer brewed, and sold, by the Gage Roads Brewing Company. Maus is, justifiably, very proud of Dale. She tells me it is very nice beer – check out the description on the back of the bottle and the snail, Dale’s knick name.
In my kitchen:
Is a lot of summer produce. We came back to Perth yesterday and, before we left Bridgetown, checked on the veggie patch. We picked 25 cucumbers, very close to our all-time record for one day of 28 cucumbers. We are experienced at handing them out now. Maus knows the big cucumber eaters in our street. We especially love one young neighbour whose mother assures Maus, eats them like apples. Mum took 8 for her daughter.
In my kitchen:
Are a few tomatoes. I have only one plant this year (so far, he, he). To date, we have had a small number but the quantity is on the verge of exploding. This year, we have the problem of little birds getting in and having a nibble. This is the first year they have done that. If the situation gets bad, we may have to net them.
In my kitchen:
Are beans, and lots of them. This year, I planted dwarf beans because we prefer them to runner beans. They are just as prolific as the runner beans. I am not going to freeze them this year as I have decided I don’t like frozen beans. The neighbours reaped the benefit of this decision.
In my kitchen:
Are Rossa Lunga Di Firenze onions (Cipolla). As the name suggests, they are an Italian salad onion. You are supposed to pick these guys when they are much smaller but I had so many, I didn’t pick them all. Even though they are huge, they are still mild. I gave some of these guys away and then sliced and froze the rest. I will use them in casseroles, etc, when it gets a little cooler.
And, finally, in my kitchen:
Is a bunch of mint that I picked and put in the Esky to bring back to Perth. I hate buying it when I know it is growing like a weed in my veggie patch. If we don’t use it, I will just throw it in the compost bin.
If you would like to see what is happening in other bloggers’ kitchens this month, visit Maureen at Orgasmic Chef. Maureen has taken over from Celia as the host of In My Kitchen.
Happy New Year to all!
heaps of fab things there! i love the turkish bowl and the white one too. i have a bit of a thing for large serving bowls and platters. how lovely to have fresh produce. i tend to just throw herbs in the freezer in a plastic bag – not even cut up or chopped at all then you can just throw them in a soup or stew holus bolus – who cares if they are limp? 🙂 have a great year.
Thanks Sherry and thanks for stopping by.
Happy 2016 to you & Maus, Glenda. What a fantastic crop of veggies you’ve got so far (just a bit jealous!) You’ve certainly had great weather for growing bumper crops 🙂 Love, love, love your new Turkish fruit bowl, the colours are beautiful. The roasted hazelnut honey sounds divine!
Thanks Nicole. I love that Turkish bowl too.
Those bowls are lovely! I heartily agree that you needed one of the white ones for yourself. I’m drooling over the produce and good for your nephew to win that award. The beer looks delicious. The bin fairy made me laugh.
Hi Liz, that white bowl is gorgeous. I do hope my sister loved it, how could she not?
There is a lot going on in your kitchens! And you made me laugh with the story of the bin fairy, you have lucky neighbors. How do you manage to keep the vegetable garden producing when you aren’t there all the time? It’s something I struggle with.
Hi Liz, we have automatic reticulation.
I would miss your IMK’s… you-Maus-they are great inspiration, and although I’m not much of a beer drinker I’m pleased that Dale who shares my real name has had success!
Our mint is also going well… and we brew what we affectionately call “redneck tea” using it and a dollop of honey in a teapot.
Mint and honey sounds great. It is funny when you meet a person who you have only ever known on-line with a different name. Sometimes its hard to get your head that around the idea that their on-line name is not their real name, especially when its a sensible name.
Thanks Glenda for adding me in your blog.
The beer is online available here.
In shops in Western Australia not sure you would have to look around for it not sure how much is left. If you like the style there are a few others that can be found at the more specialized bottleshops. Cellarbrations Carlisle, Mane Liquor Belmont, Cellarbrations Hamilton Hill, The Freo Doctor bottleshop.
Like the saison style check out Saison Dupont the original
Glenda, I’m so glad you decided to forge ahead with another IMK post . It’s always a visual treat, and your stories behind the photos are heartwarming. Cool to learn that you’re one of the IMK originals! Loved the ‘bin fairy’ gift, too — yes, that’s what Christmas is all about, xo. Both bowls are exquisite (glad you treated yourself to the Wedgewood) and your new cheese serving set is technicolor adorable — a party waiting to happen! I especially loved the labor of LOVE that went into Renate’s stollen… what a treasure.
Thanks Kim for all your kind words.
Where do I even start?! Clearly you will always have something for an IMK post. Both bowls are gorgeous. I’m right there with you on the honey soaked hazelnuts, yum. How exciting to have family get their beer brewed! I had to laugh at the cheese set, as I was admiring it the boys walked up and saw the screen. “Awesome knives” is their comment! Happy New Year you and Maus.
Thanks Gretchen, happy new year to you tooooo!!
You had me at the rocky road cake and the beer with the cool packaging Glenda! Your vegetables are very impressive too! Happy days 🙂
I should send this to some of our neighbours, no thanks for the bin fairy here! Love the way we manage to find something of interest when you think you’ve run out of content. What a great thing to happen for Dale, great support and encouragement indeed. Gorgeous bowls and cute little tools to boot. House hopping must keep you on your toes, especially managing gardens and harvests. They keep saying you shouldn’t plant mint out in the garden but seeing this makes me want to ignore that tip. Mojitos need a fair amount you know! 🙂
Hi Maree, If I was you, I would heed the tip. I have mine planted in a zinc alume ‘pot’. I planted it in the vegie patch in year one and have been trying to get rid of it ever since.
My, my…for someone how didn’t think there could be another “in my kitchen”, it seems yours is loaded with interesting, pretty and delicious items. 😀
Thanks Karen, I don’t know where it all comes from.
Happy New Year Glenda 🙂 What a wonderful array of goodies in your kitchen – I’m crushing on both of those bowls especially the white one!! Jan x
Hi Jan, its a beauty. I love it.
I have a weakness for bowls. That Turkish bowl is a stunner. Happy New Year.
How can you think of not doing an IMK post when you have 2 kitchens and there is always something going on in one of them. I would have been straight into those hazelnuts no messing around to taste them. And I smiled at the Bin Fairy story – what a lovely gesture. It doesn’t take much does it?
Hi Nancy. It really is a very nice story. I am smiling now thinking how lovely it was.
Happy New Year Glenda and Maus and hope you both have a wonderful year. The honey sounds delicious and as always your homegrown produce looks amazing. Well done to Maus’s nephew, love a nice beer to drink on a hot day or with spicy food. Great to have a bin fairy too 🙂 🙂
Thanks Moya. I don’t know if I like the idea of living with a bin fairy!
Lots to love in this post but it is the stollen that caught my eye.
Hi Yvonne, I don’t blame you for having stolen envy 🙂
Your fresh produce looks amazing and I’m in love with that beer. Happy New Year.
A great look into your kitchen, Glenda. I love seeing all of the produce, fresh from the market. Nothing screams summer more than they do. 🙂
Hi John we always have a summer glut but it is good to share with our neighbours.
I recommend ottolenghi’s green bean salad with mustard seeds and tarragon for your excess beans glenda (page 196 of ‘Plenty’). It is really tasty- one of my rare successes!!
Thanks Colette, I will check it out.
I didn’t realise Australians needed cookbooks for barbecues!
Lots going on as usual Glenda. One month I think you’ll have to show us your storage system for all your kitchen gadgets and food – my cupboards would be full to bursting.
Ha, but I’ve got Maus whose made me shelves galore 😀
Nice Christmas haul Glenda. We abstained from gift giving this year. It was an all round mutual decision based on the amount of stuff we all own, though having said that, I have serious bowl envy!
There is nothing wrong with bowl envy Sandra.
I LOVE your In My Kitchen posts not only to see what’s in the kitchen (and that’s always exciting) but you give us a glimpse of your life. Lovely Maus being the bin fairy put a smile across my face. The two bowls are giving me a bit of envy I have to tell you. Both are beautiful and so different. Thanks for being a founding In My Kitchen member and Happy New Year to you both.
p.s. where is Dale’s beer available? Any on the East Coast?
Maureen, we bought it from a bottle shop that sells boutique beer. It wouldn’t be available at the big retailers.
The link below will take you to a place online that sells my beer. The price per carton is the same price as in shops over here in Perth.
An exciting kitchen post Glenda, so many things to like. First of all, let me tell you how jealous I am of your bountiful crops. We are struggling this season, due to heat, lack of rain and rabbits. Your sister Sandra ( the real one!!) has excellent taste – love that bowl and I equally love the white one you were forced to buy twice.
Thanks Francesca, We have rabbits galore here but the vegies are in raised beds so they are safe from them. Rats got into the tomatoes last year but this year but we think we have ‘done them in’
Our pests have turned into Houdini, climbing up the side of fruit trees, up to one metre, to do a little ring barking. Today the rain came, and new little things have germinated- there is hope.
Rain??? what is that?
Happy new year Glenda! I love that honey, we used to sell it when I had the cooking school.
Happy new year to you too Liz. I will report back on the honey.
Yes Glenda I think I was ripped off on that Op Shop Cookbook, but I lashed out because it was Christmas.
Oh! Good on ya Deb. You big spender you …