In My Kitchen – February 2018

Hello, hello, hello!

I know there is not supposed to be anything new in my kitchen but I have been on holidays (in Tasmania) and when you are on holidays, everyday rules like – nothing new in the kitchen unless something goes out – do not apply.  So … I do have quite a few new things in my kitchen.   

In my kitchen:

Is a new milk jug which I bought in Richmond, Tasmania.

Years ago, I bought this (left photo) fabulous milk jug in Richmond but I recently broke it. Technically, therefore, my new jug complies with the rule of nothing new in the kitchen unless something goes out.  I must say, I like my old one  more than the new one but there was limited choice of milk jugs in Richmond this time.  I settled for the best available.

I am worried about its pouring ability. It doesn’t have a convincing spout.  (Maus reckons all jugs drip).  Time will tell if the new one is as good as the old.

In my kitchen:

Is my new rolling pin.  I know … “enough rolling pins, already” but this one is made from Huon Pine and I don’t have a Huon Pine rolling pin 🙂  Huon pine is a beautiful wood and smells amazing.  The fragrance is from methyl eugenol

If you ever go to Tassie, make sure you bring some Huon Pine back with you.  I have written a bit about Huon Pine in a previous IMK post.  Check it out here.  The trees grow in World Heritage areas so are not allowed to be harvested. The only wood that is allowed to be sold is salvaged from rivers and only one company has the right to salvage the wood.  They collect it, mill it and sell it to craftsmen to make small objects.  I bought this rolling pin from the one private licensed salvager.

In my kitchen: 

Is a piece of Huon Pine that Maus bought to make a trivet.  I will be nagging her incessantly to sand and oil this piece.  I will show a photo of the finished product.  Don’t hold your breath.

In my kitchen:

Is a Huon Pine trivet.  Alas, it is not mine – it’s Colette’s.  Happy birthday, Colette!!  I hope you like it.  I think it is fabulous.

In my kitchen:

Are some coasters I also bought for Colette’s birthday.  As soon as I saw them, I was impressed with the craftsmanship.  They are made from local Tasmanian wood.  Each one has a strip of Myrtle, Huon Pine, Sassafras and Blackwood.  Again, I hope Colette likes them as much as I do.

In my kitchen:

Are some more coasters.  These are ours!!  Interestingly, I bought Colette’s at Richmond, one of our first stops in Tasmania and Maus bought these at Salamanca Markets on our last day and … they are by the same artist.  I only noticed this when unpacking them.  When we were at the markets, Maus drew my attention to these coasters indicating they were well made.  I agreed and she bought them.  We clearly have similar taste.

In my kitchen:

Are some more gifts – lots and lots of jars of berry jam.  You can tell we come from a berry deprived place.  The jam is not for us (though we may keep one).  They are gifts for our siblings.  After my dismal effort in Iran to find gifts for my family, I was determined this time not to come back empty handed.  We have silvanberry; mingledberry (which is just a combo of berries); tayberry; blueberry; blackberry, fig and balsamic; blackcurrant; and cherry jam.  Hopefully, the jams are a cut above what you find in the supermarket, otherwise, we have carted them back for nothing.

In my kitchen:

Are souvenir tea towels, again, gifts for our families.  I am still on my “we have enough” kick but you can never have enough tea towels.  There are wombats, platypuses and echidnas featured on the tea towels.  All the designs are by Tasmanians. In my kitchen:

Is some freeze dried blackcurrant powder.  After my shock at the price of freeze dried raspberry powder in Perth ($12.95 for 35 grams) before Christmas, I couldn’t resist this relatively cheap blackcurrant powder.  It was an absolute bargain at $9.00 for 50 grams.  Now I just have to come up with a use for it.

In my kitchen:

Are seven jars of corn relish.  It was still hot when this photo was taken.  It is a Sally Wise recipe and a beauty.  If anyone is interested, here is a link to the recipe.

We came home to cucumbers, beans, corn, silverbeet and rhubarb galore.  We picked all the cucumbers and Maus gave a large box  to the Bridgetown Gardens gardener to distribute.  I have spent a decent percentage of today blanching silverbeet and beans and making this relish.  Tomorrow, I will preserve the rhubarb.  The rhubarb is turning out to be quite useful.  I make a banana and rhubarb smoothie most mornings.  It is great as it covers us for our daily intake of fruit and dairy in one go.

I have a serious offer.  Last year, I collected kiwano seeds (Cucumis metuliferus, otherwise known as horned melon, African horned cucumber or melon, jelly melon, hedged gourd, melano or, as we used to call them, prickly cucumbers) from one Colette bought me.  I planted about 10 seeds and they all grew.  The plants have taken over my vegie patch and are beginning to flower.  Come late summer, I am going to be inundated with kiwanos.  If there is anyone out there who lives in the South West or Perth and likes kiwanos or who fondly remembers eating them as a kid, let me know.  When I have bucket loads of them, I will be more than happy to hand them out.

In my kitchen:

Is my latest Op Shop bargain. This book cost me $2.00.  It is two of Sally Wise’s cookbooks in one, Slow Cooker and Slow Cooker 2.  I started tagging recipies to try but gave up after a few pages because I was tagging every page.

I know there are a lot of slow cooker advocates out there.  If you are one, you will love this book.  The instructions for most of the recipes are: put the meat in the slow cooker, add the vegies, add the liquid ingredients, cook and, if needed, thicken. There is no browning whatsoever.  Even if you are not a slow cooker fan, you could make these recipes in a quality casserole dish on the cook top, or in a casserole dish or Romertopf in the oven.  I am absolutely confident it will be used this winter.

In my kitchen:

Is a new cookbook.  It was a gift from my mate, Colette.  There is a theme happening here.  Last year, Colette gave me Palestine on a Plate by Joudie Kalla.

I have only had a chance to cook one thing out of my new book, spiced seeded crackers (right in above photo).  I made three types of savoury biscuits over the festive season and these seeded crackers were the most tasty of the three.  They were, however, a bit short/crumbly, so not that good for dips, etc. 

In my kitchen:

Is another new cookbook, also a gift from Colette.  I had read about this book on Eat Your Books and told Colette about it.   The two young authors interviewed Syrian refugees and recorded their stories and recipes in this book.

I haven’t had a chance to cook anything from it but have earmarked two recipes,  Turmeric cake (Sfouf) and sesame biscuits (Baraazek).  I have never made turmeric cake but it has fascinated me for ages.  This is the first time I have come across a recipe so I am going to try it.  And I have been on the look out for a good Baraazek recipe since we tasted some absolutely fabulous ones in Lebanon.  The young man who sold them to us said they came from Syria.  The recipe in this book sounds and looks just like the ones we had in Lebanon.  My previous attempt at making them did not measure up.

If you would like to see what is in other bloggers’ kitchens this month, visit Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings.  Sherry now hosts In My Kitchen each month.


24 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2018

  1. HI Glenda, my name is Shayne Howe Smith I was just browsing the internet and noted our echidna tea towel ‘tea for two’. I am pleased that you added our towel to your story. There’s actually a story behind each of the tea towels i design. That lil’ chap walked onto our 6 acres and our grandchildren spotted it. I quickly grabbed my camera and followed him. He stood on a rock for a moment and i decided to draw him on the tea cup instead. Once he got out of our house yard, he walked over to another fence line and nestled restfully in a narrow trickling water course that continually flows along the edge of our property. Thus the property is called ‘Springbank’. There’s more to the story but it gives you a little back ground. Have a nice day-our Echidnas do!
    oh yes, I just noted you are in Western Australia…I moved from Morley to Tasmania in 1982 :0)

  2. I love the kitty milk jug… how sad it broke. The new one took me back to the nineties to a plethora of hand painted pottery items I was obsessed with. Then one day, not. But they found a good home with someone else who took up the mantle!
    I am gradually broadening my pickling repertoire, and corn relish is a favourite of mine. Sally Wise is my go-to for pickles, etc.

    • Hi Ella, I gave a lot of earthen ware pottery away too and now I am buying it again. It all comes around doesn’t it. I loved that jug too, it is a pity I broke it.

  3. what a co-incidence. we just got back from tassie too. i am going to show my tassie stuff in the next IMK, tho I was very restrained and hardly bought a thing.:) Thanks for joining in! cheers S x

  4. Great post. Love new things in my kitchen – and, I follow the rule something in, something out. Yesterday Mezzacuna Chopper.

  5. Great post Glenda. Thanks for sharing the link to the corn relish recipe. The one recipe I’ve attempted a while ago was horrid. Huon pine IS gorgeous, I have a well loved rolling pin, it’s a joy to use. I’m really tempted to buy “Syria” too…

    • Hi Sandra, Syria is a nice book but if you have a lot of books from that general region there is not a lot of new stuff in it. The corn relish recipe is a breeze to make and tastes fab.

  6. Loads of lovely stuff from Tassie. I also love Huon pine and have a 2.2 metre long Huon table – the top only is made from Huon- and was once a shearer’s sorting table. Lovely pale wood. Sounds like your veggie patch is booming again. Busy time in your kitchen.

  7. I love my Huon pine rolling pin my cousin who lives In Tasmania gave me about 30 years ago- very special – hope Colette happy with her presents!

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