Thanks again to Celia from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial for hosting this series. Last month was my first post to IMK and it was lovely getting feedback about my kitchen and also seeing so many valuable stories from others who are part of this feed. Lots of friendly banter too about some of us contending for having the worst kitchen! This month I’m showing a few jobs I’ve got on the boil (bad pun I know) while the weather is miserable and making it ideal to be inside.
The wood fired stove:
This wood fired oven that is in the old kitchen space was apparently a necessity just in case of power failure. Because this house was the original Dr’s residence, it was imperative to have the ability to boil water at the drop of a hat (or a baby). Because it takes nearly all day to get it up to heat and uses a massive amount of wood, I don’t fire it up regularly. It also acts as valuable storage space for baking trays and tins in my limited available space. Today I did the annual clean and polish. There is no seal to the chimney so lots of water enters causing rust to build up. No drama, some wire brushing, vacuuming and stove black polish and its as good as new. This oven works beautifully and if I wasn’t at work most of the time it would be going most of winter.
Before the scrub begins- Scrubbed, stove black applied and fired up-Good as new-Can’t waste this great source of heat energy, so on went a pot of potato and leek soup, which we had for tonight’s dinner. Chicken Stock, some osso bucco and a loaf of bread prepared to cook after the other food was done. Osso bucco in the pan browning, thanks again Wayne from Trafalgar Butcher Shop!In my kitchen there are about 10 bottles of opened tomato sauce due to poor management of my labelling system. I bottle my passata in 500 ml cider bottled and 375 ml beer stubbies, spicy tomato sauce usually gets stored in Grolsch swing top beer bottles. Last season I forgot to label the excess spicy tomato sauce I put into cider bottles, so every time we pick what we think is passata it is often spicy sauce. Make a note for next season!We found many old surgical items and equipment here when we moved in, some have been repurposed for jobs that are purely practical. These tongs (I’m sure there is a correct surgical name) are used for opening the stove lids and the fuel box grate. Work beautifully!In my kitchen is a note that was found amongst some old books. It was obviously left for the house-keepers when ‘Sheila’ (the Dr’s wife) was not going to be in residence for a while. I’m hoping to post a page in each IMK over the next few months. It’s makes delightful reading and shows just how organised things were around here. Anyone know when milk was 10 or 11c a pint? I estimate mid 60’s. Sounds like grandfather was an interesting soul. In my kitchen is a basket of freshly picked oranges that we are making juice from daily. The large one on the left is a pink grapefruit that fell during the big wind gusts last week. In my kitchen is an assortment of used coffee cups that I ask people to collect rather than binning. I use them for seed raising and they are serve the purpose brilliantly. In my kitchen are the best knives I have ever had the fortune to use. I used to spend a fortune on specialist knife-ware and these babies cost between $1.50 and $10.00 each at the asian grocers in Springvale. Range goes from paring knives to big cleavers. I still can’t believe how good they are. Light, super sharp and they re-sharpen brilliantly. Kiwi brand from Thailand. I put a few in our pay-and-stay place at Fish Creek because it gives me the poops when I stay somewhere and the knives are crap. Don’t have to worry about them walking at this price! Think I’ll close every IMK post with a pic of this oak tree that I can see from the kitchen. Shows the seasons of change. Almost completely bare of leaves now, but new ones are ready to burst at any time. Looking forward to seeing the other IMK posts this month. Thanks Celia