Sourdough fun and frustration.

As regular followers know, I love playing with sourdough and making bread. It’s times like now, when I want to seriously play that I get incredibly frustrated with my limited oven capabilities. I have to keep reminding myself its nearing an end. I think knowing that makes it all the harder.

I started making bread at least 35 years ago. Back then it was all yeasted and things were done the hard way. Dough was beaten, bashed and kneaded for a good 10 minutes to get the gluten to develop, enabling the bread to have structure. These methods are still applicable at times, but the newer approaches such as stretching and folding the dough over a period of time has made things a lot easier and also offers you much more flexibility to schedule your baking.

I had dabbled with sourdough on and off over the years but about 5 years ago I got back into it seriously. I think we have only bought about 3 loaves of bread over the last couple of years and that’s usually when on holiday. I must admit that I’m a sucker for a cheese and tomato toasted sandwich on fluffy, white supermarket bread. This is diminishing too though ( I don’t want the plastic bag!).

There are millions of different people baking bread all over the world. All have different methods for making their breads, their starters, the flours they use and their baking regime, all are right, all give different results. This is why it can be really hard for beginners to know where to start. I’ve found now that I tend to stick to a basic recipe  (Chad Roberston’s Country Loaf) that I know will give good results for everyday bread. I do however love experimenting and trying other concepts to see how they work, to compare the results and continue to learn more and more.

Today I baked a loaf based on a recipe I found on one of my favourite bread blogging sites.  Maurizio has a blog called The Perfect Loaf, not only is it filled with great tips, advice, recipes and information, but you can feel the passion he has for this craft as  he writes. To match this his photos are stunning. It’s worth having a look at his site if only for the photos. You may just come out wanting to bake bread!

Here is my today’s loaf based on Maurizio’s recipe for his “Best Sourdough Recipe” It’s pretty,

IMG_3585but it isn’t nearly as pretty as Maurizio’s.

theperfectloaf-mybestsourdoughrecipe-11My dough was 80% hydration not 86% as was his. I didn’t leave it to retard in the fridge for the 15-16 hours he suggested, mine only got about 8. I didn’t get a crumb that was as  open as his (I’m a little heavy handed when it comes to shaping) but it isn’t too bad. This loaf tasted wonderful, really good crust and soft flavoursome crumb.

IMG_3591I’d wager that Maurizio’s looks so much prettier  because he has an oven, a real oven that can bake above about 210 degrees celsius max. An oven he can create steam in with his ingenious tip of using lava rocks. I am using this,

Toy ovendon’t get me wrong, this little oven has done some amazing things over the last couple of years, but I am really looking forward to seeing what I can produce in a proper oven.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who share their wisdom and skills for others to benefit on this wonderful medium. Go and have a look at The Perfect Loaf, it’s a great site.

Thanks Maurizio!

Post Christmas Musings

Considering I didn’t really give Christmas much thought this year, I seem to be doing a really great job of needing to recover from it. Yes, I did party way too hard on Christmas Eve, yes, I did eat too much and yes, I had an awful lot of dishes, tables, glasses, bottles and paraphernalia to cleanup, but nothing like we usually deal with. I like to think it is because its been a big year and we now have the opportunity to slow down, so I have. Yesterday was a day of getting up, having a shower and then getting straight back onto the couch. Justification was that I could do some research on kitchen cabinets, tiles, window coverings and all sorts of things for the exteno. I also managed to read a really good book!

Christmas came and went. We had about 25 family and friends gather here on Christmas Eve sharing food, laughing, singing and generally letting loose. I do recall at some time one of the kids made a comment that the tables had turned and they were now watching the oldies do what we used to criticise them for doing. Fun times! This was taken very early in the evening, before everyone had arrived and the fun began. Goodness, I wonder whose rude children they are giving the camera the finger?

Back Yard Xmas EveSome of the food we shared included a platter of assorted roast veg with marinated mushrooms, roasted red capsicum and almond dip, tomatoes baked with sumac, olives and assorted crudite.IMG_3479 Smoked trout served with assorted sourdough crispsIMG_3477 Indian Vegetable Pakora. This is always a standout favourite and is requested at most family get-togethers, I use a lot of cauliflower in these and the batter is made using besan (chickpea) flour and beer. Served with mint yoghurt sauce.IMG_3496 I made some vegetarian ricotta, feta, kale and chilli rolls, wrapped in filo pastry and served with sweet chilli sauce.

IMG_3497A surprising hit of the night was a chick pea dip I made at the last minute. Purely a can of drained chick peas, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil zapped together in the food processor. Served with some olive oil drizzled over it and some turkish bread. This got lot’s of yummy!

Chick pea dip Dukkah served with sesame and rye ciabatta. I cooked this bread on the barbecue and was really pleased with the result. I added black and white sesame seed to the dough which worked really well with the dukkah.IMG_3474 Some mini chicken tikka kebabs served with a vietnamese style dipping sauce.IMG_3489 There were only four of us here for Christmas Lunch (which turned into tea due to our Christmas Eve shenanigans!). We went to our sons for breakfast and after that decided it might be best to do tea rather than lunch. I am a bit of a sucker for traditional Christmas fare, didn’t take any photos but we had pork, turkey that I had brined before roasting (that went well), ham, roast veg with all the trimmings, pudding and it was all lovely. All cooked on the barbecue to perfection. Who needs a kitchen?

Garden catch up

Today I was back up and rearing to go so I got stuck into the vegetable garden. It’s the first time I’ve focussed on it since our open garden weekend and it was in dire need of some TLC. With more hot weather forecast, I put up extra shade protection around the tomatoes. The late afternoon sun is ferocious and I noticed there has already been considerable damage to some flowers which will reduce the yield dramatically.

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Shade cloth overhead

I also hung some netting on the north facing side of the bed to reduce the impact of the afternoon sun.

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Light netting along north facing side of wicking bed.

The winds have been awful and the wicking beds have been struggling to keep up. I think mostly due to evaporation from the surface of the beds so I have placed a really thick layer of mulch on the surface. Hopefully these measures will assist in the tomatoes coping with more extreme heat. I trimmed off the growing tip on a few to allow the side shoots to take off. These will have many more new flowers which will hopefully set fruit and not get burned off.

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To assist in pollinating the tomatoes, I have for a few years now used an electric toothbrush. You just start-up the toothbrush and touch the stem of the flowers, the vibration shakes the pollen onto the stamens. Much easier than going around with a paint brush or shaking the trusses that can be too rough on the flowers. If you look closely you can see the pollen. A bit like fairy dust to me!

Pollinating tomatoesThere are still a few raspberries to be found if you look hard.

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The grapes are going really well, looking forward to those.

IMG_3529Tonight we had the first bruscetta of the season. The tomatoes in the greenhouse have been producing well and we have been picking these since mid November. Tomatoes, basil, feta, olive oil on top of grilled wholewheat sourdough that had garlic and olive oil rubbed into it. Heaven!

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Tomorrow it’s back into the reno I think!

 

 

 

Gingerbread House Blues

Question: What’s the best way to feel cheated when you look forward to the annual smashing of the gingerbread house?

Answer: Having it self implode without any help from anyone!

For years and years (34 I think) I have made a gingerbread house that gets taken to wherever Christmas is celebrated and at the end of the day great delight is taken among the group coming up with ways to demolish it. For the last few years I videoed the smashing and we were all working on ways for the demolition to happen this year.

This what the gingerbread house usually looks like sitting in pride of place at the Christmas venue.

gb house 2014

I made a decision this year to try a different gingerbread recipe. Not sure if it was this or the fact the house was sitting in a spot that captured the morning sun to cause this happening…..

1421109_10153888428939455_989080835971192103_oThis was taken with my dodgy phone, apologies for the grainy shot. It went from that to this in a very short time. Wish I had thought to use time-lapse photos.

Self destructing!
Self destructing!

We had a gathering of friends over on Christmas Eve and as I was starting to set up, smarty pants son (who likes to push my buttons and knew I was a little upset) asked sarcastically “why don’t you bring the gingerbread house out mum and put it at pride of place at the table?” So I did!

IMG_3483As much as I was disappointed with the unassisted demise of the GB house, I must admit the gingerbread tasted nicer than the original recipe and it was the first time in years the kids actually got stuck into eating it! Here are 2 of them picking at it and the lollies.

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Much to the disgust of  ‘Smarty Pants’ son, I didn’t react at all to his barbs and quite enjoyed the fact it created such a good talking point. I did miss the planning of how to smash it though!

Merry Christmas to all the Around The Mulberry Tree Followers.

It’s been a fun year and big things await us in 2016.

 

 

Garden Heat Stress and Christmas Planning

Last Saturday night we were sitting in front of the open fire warming ourselves from the chilly return to winter we were experiencing. This week has been a complete turn around with temperatures for the last three days going between high 30’s c to low 40’s c, this level of heat combined with the most horrendous winds has caused stress on every living thing.  It is at times like this we all tense up in fear of what bushfires will hit where and hope against all the odds that no one, or their property will become a victim of fire. I can only imagine how it must feel for those who have lost loved ones and property in previous bushfires when these appalling conditions present.

Garden Stress

Despite deep soak watering, wicking beds being filled and shade protection put up, there have ben some casualties already from this very early heat and wind attack. Two seasons ago I lost the complete corn crop at pollination stage when temperatures soared to 45 degrees and we were away. I planted early this season and think we will get a reasonable crop but there are cautionary signs showing. I have increased the covering of shade cloth so it also acts as a windbreak as well as protecting the crop from harsh sun.

Heat stressed corn

The rhubarb is scorched and the comfrey looks as if Autumn is nearly over, causing it to die down.

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Heat stress comfrey

 

 

 

 

The raspberries and tomatoes are on the droop

Heat stress raspberries

heat stress tomatoes

We have made sure the bird baths, water feature and some extra buckets have plenty of fresh water for any birds, bees and any other hot and thirsty creatures that may like a pit stop to escape the heat.  Mr ATMT refilled one of the pots and by the time he walked to the tap to turn it off a magpie appeared. He managed to snap a pic of it on his phone.

IMG_0623 We are concerned about the chooks. For a couple of weeks we have been worried about Hilda, the oldest one and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she (despite all the frozen treats) just finds it too much and falls off the perch. We are doing everything we can to minimise the impact of the heat on them so with luck they will be ok. There is only so much we can do and taking them to the pictures where it is air conditioned isn’t part of that plan.

Christmas Preparations

These days, Christmas tends to be a very low key affair. With shift workers, kids having to share time between families and a very conscious decision not to get bogged down by consumerism and hype, we focus on making sure we spend time with those we love, enjoy good food, relax and laugh a lot. Gift giving has almost disappeared apart from a few little bits and pieces that I make which are usually for thank-yous and to offer as a token if we visit people. I haven’t even made a pudding this year as I still had one from last  year in the fridge. It will be fine!

I’ve got a bit of a reputation for making some pretty good pickled onions and I usually make a batch about now. I posted about these quite a while ago, the recipe is here Grandma’s Pickled Onions recipe – Best Recipes. I also add some ginger and mustard seed to the spice blend.

IMG_3444 Pickled Onions

I am also having a go at making some finishing salt or flavoured salt. I have heard that this is great for a whole range of uses, in particular putting on barbecue meats before cooking and adding to salads.

The flavour base I am trying on this first one is red wine, lemon zest and thyme. The bottle of red wine is simmered until reduced to just about nothing, added with other flavourings to the salt (I’m using sea salt) and then allowed to dry. You can zap the blend to the required fineness but I’m leaving mine pretty much normal size and letting the recipient zap it to whatever they need to use it for.

IMG_3446 Flavoured salt.

Once the salt blend is dry I will bottle it into pretty little jars, label and tag. I hope it works well as it’s lovely finding easy to make food gifts that are easy to do with my limited kitchen facilities.

We have some respite from the heat tonight and tomorrow, so I’ll make the most of it and do as much prepatory work as I can for the Christmas Eve gathering we are having here. I love making food for that night as everyone is always in fine fettle indeed. Just the way we like Christmas, good people, good food and good cheer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

asd

When I can’t be bothered-I should be! Plus week 4 exteno update. Baby awaits….

Today I did something I rarely do, and I mean rarely. I bought pre-prepared chicken ‘nibbles’ from the supermarket deli. These were labelled as being in an Indian marinade, ok, let’s try. I have been so under the pump lately I thought I’d give them a shot. I know I’m a bit fussy when it comes to food,  but I won’t do it again. I had harvested some of our beautiful, beans, potatoes, lettuce, eggplant, last of the broccoli, garlic and had the last of last year’s pumpkin and sweet potato that needed to be used so I thought a chicken salad with roasted veggies would be nice.

HarvestI roasted a red capsicum, last weeks eggplant, potatoes, sweet potato, a zucchini, pumpkin and a head of garlic. I then cooked the chicken, tore up the lettuce zapped the broccoli and beans for a minute in the microwave. I made a dressing by blending the roasted eggplant, roasted garlic and some greek yogurt plus a little of the roast capsicum. The vegetables and chicken were  assembled on my favourite turkish bowl and dressed with the sauce before eating.

IMG_3402Loved the veggies but I wasn’t thrilled that I’d taken a shortcut buying this chicken. For so called Indian flavour there was a lot of coconut milk and not much else.

4 weeks in to the exteno.

Well, the exteno has been going great guns. Thrilled with our builder and his team, this makes the whole process so much more enjoyable and less stressful. Unfortunately we are hitting that time of year when everything stops for a while. The frame is pretty much done,

exteno frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The side verandah brick pier has been bricked and the column that was on the rear verandah has been reused on this new section.

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A fairly large portion of the eave lining has been done.

Timber eave lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There has been a lot of site clean up, covers put on the lining so it isn’t as exposed to the elements and old flooring from side veranda removed to make way for replacing. We just have to wait patiently now for the New Year so it can hopefully continue in the same positive way.

And speaking of waiting…..

This time 29 years ago we were watching an Elton John Concert following one of the funniest ever Hey Hey it’s Saturday episodes. It was an anxious time awaiting the arrival of our first baby, due to be born on the 15th December 1986. At 2.07am on the 15th December I went into labour and later in the day our beautiful baby girl came into our life and stole our hearts. She has been there since that moment and we now await the birth of her first baby due on 3rd January. I am so proud of her (and the other 2, have to be fair!!!) and if she’d given me permission, I’d stick a photo up but I haven’t had the go ahead so I will put up a picture of the nursery that awaits some little person to fill its spaces and I’m sure my daughters and husband’s hearts as she did ours. Happy birthday Embo, Love you to bits!

NurseryUpdate, here is the beautiful mum to be!

Embo

 

 

Stuffed vine leaves-using the garden castoffs.

It’s not often these days I get the chance to ‘wing it’ with creating food dishes. I have fallen into the trap of mostly using (usually tweaking) other people’s recipes. Don’t get me wrong, we have discovered some brilliant food this way but I do miss just playing and seeing what evolves.

I spent a few hours in the veggie patch today and one of the jobs was to trim the grapevine in the berry house. It was overtaking everything and reaching for the stars. I also had to trim the lemon grass in the greenhouse, so thought I’d have a go at using the trimmings somehow in tonights dinner. First thought was to make dolmades but I couldn’t find my trusty greek cook book. So here’s how it went.

Selected about 20 vine leaves,

Grape vine leavesRinsed them. then blanched for about 4 minutes in boiling water. Lay on tea towel and rolled the towel up until filling was ready.

Blanched vine leavesI’d decided on a filling of chicken, pork, rice and spices:

The following were all mixed together

  • 250g minces pork
  • 1 finely chopped chicken fillet
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tspn fennel seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 and a half cups of almost cooked rice. I used carnaroli that I had cooked with stock and a small bunch of thyme then let cool.
  • 1 small handful (in total) of chopped parsley and chopped mint

I placed a dollop of filling onto vine leaf. Note, the positioning is important and the veins should be facing up.

Stuffed Vine Leavesthe bottom of the leaf  folded up and over the filling,

how to fold stuffed vine leavessides folded in

how to roll stuffed vine leavesThen roll them up as you would a spring roll. Place into pot with seam down.

The lemon grass trimmings were put in the bottom of a cast iron pot and a little of the sauce I made spread over it.

Stuffed grapevine leavesThe sauce was made by sweating a chopped onion in a pan, adding the same spices as in the filling but at quarter strength, 1 litre of tomato passata (puree) was stirred through. A  little was spread over the lemon grass and the rest spread over the stuffed leaves.

IMG_3336Lid on and onto the gas on low for about 20 minutes. I set the lid ajar after 10 minutes to avoid too much liquid building up.

Served with greek yoghurt and chopped mint and parsley.Stuffed vine leaves

Verdict, the flavour very nice and the spice mix was great but the leaves were quite tough. Maybe they should be cooked longer or have some acid added to break them down a little more. Maybe I should have selected much younger leaves! I have only ever used preserved vine leaves before and I find the taste of them a bit heavy.  I was really pleased with the subtle lemon flavour that came from using the lemon grass in the bottom of the pot. Quite often we only use the thick bottom bits but there is quite a lot of flavour in the grassy tops.

 

 

Wok Tea Smoked Chicken Noodle Salad & Weekend Roundup

After a busy weekend doing a site clean up and moving the last few things that were in the old kitchen to the temporary kitchen in a bedroom, I wanted a nice dinner and as I’m trying to be a bit conscious of healthy eating and maybe even losing some weight (so I can eat up big in Turkey!)  I chose a vietnamese style salad. I’ll come back to this after the weekend roundup!

Weekend roundup.

As mentioned, things are getting serious with the exteno and the last items that were in the kitchen have been relocated to the spare bedroom that we will use until the new kitchen is done. This should work well, the only things I haven’t really addressed is how we are going to manage water and dishes. We can now start on stripping the old chimney with no worries about the mess getting into everything. Not sure why I think that matters? There is mess in everything else! It will evolve, I’m not that worried.

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Fridge and freezer relocated
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Small prep area with my precious ‘toy oven’ in the corner.

A quick wander around the veggie patch and some exciting harvests beginning to come in. Things are a little out of control, but tomorrow I’ll go out with gusto and get stuck into it. You can really tell summer is here!

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Tigerella tomatoes in greenhouse. Should have a couple by Christmas.
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Cucumbers galore!
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So many raspberries this year. That makes me happy!
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Harvest of lettuce, peas, cucumber, potatoes, eggplant, beans, beetroot and look at that little red thing. Yes, first tomato of the season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weeks bread bake was based in Chad Roberston’s sesame country loaf. I used 20% rye and 80% Callington Mill light flour, 70% hydration. This is a lovely loaf! Smells wonderful and I notice that the sesame flavour has developed well from yesterday until today.

IMG_3284Back to the Tea Smoked Chicken Vermicelli Noodle Salad.

I’m trying to use up as many of the things I have in the freezer and pantry as much as possible. I’d spied some Mirboo Pastured Poultry tenderloins hiding in there and thought they might smoke well.

Mirboo Pastured PoultryI marinated (or is is marinaded?) the tenderloins (500ish grams) in a mix of approximately:

  • 40ml soy sauce
  • 40ml Chinese rice wine
  • 1 desertspoon extra fine rice flour
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • a few slices of ginger
    Leave the chicken in the marinade a couple of hours or overnight.

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Lightly sear the chicken, just enough to brown the surface. Tread lightly here as the chicken will continue to cook while smoking. Prepare the vessel you are going to smoke the chicken in. I use a wok for this.

Line the wok with 2 layers of foil, add the ingredients you are going to create the smoke with. I used

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup raw rice
  • ¼ cup tea leaves (I used some I wasn’t sure of what it was and that I would never drink, oolong is popular for smoking)
  •  sliced ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • about a tablespoon of pink peppercorns

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Mix these together so they are evenly distributed. I added the pink peppercorns last minute, after this was taken!

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I use a bamboo steamer for smoking, I line it with baking paper with holes cut out so the smoke circulates well. Like cutting out paper dolls and snowflakes when you are little!

IMG_3297Place the chicken into the steamer, light the gas under the wok (low heat) and when smoke starts appearing, put the steamer with lid on into the wok. Make sure there is a bit of a gap between bottom of steamer and the wok. I let smoke for about 15-20 minutes and this mix resulted in the best smoked flavour I’ve done so far. The pink peppercorn taste take came through really well.

IMG_3299The base of the noodle salad was simply

  • vermicelli noodles (I had soaked these in boiling water while chicken was smoking).
  • 1 long red chilli finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • some peas and beans I harvested yesterday. The larger peas I shelled and left the young ones whole. I zapped them in the microwave for 1 minute.
  • Carrot finely cut
  • A sauce made from lime juice, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar and a splash of soy.

IMG_3300I discovered my mint pot which had been doing well was moved at some stage during the slab stage and it was beyond saving for tonights meal. Lucky for me we have a great local fresh fruit & vegie supplier where I knew I would not only be able to get fresh mint but I could also get organic carrots grown by the wonderful Thorpdale Organics. Never had to buy mint before and like buying lemons, it just shouldn’t happen! Grabbed some fresh limes too, but sadly they didn’t have bean sprouts. That’s my chilli, didn’t buy that!

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Trafalgar Spud Shed, Thorpale Organics

Bean sprouts are one of those things that I hate buying because it is hard to get fresh ones and they come in plastic bags. You usually only use a small amount from the bag and the rest gets fed to chooks or composted. Whenever I try to grow our own they work well but I can’t seem to co-ordinate having them ready with when I need them. Maybe Tammy from over at Gippsland Unwrapped has some tips of getting these without plastic packaging. Dandenong Market sells them not packed but that wasn’t an option today.

The end flavour of this meal was great. Succulent, juicy, stunning flavour of the chicken and this went together well with the vietnamese inspired noodle salad with loads of fresh herbs and a tangy sauce. I would definitely give smoking in a wok a try, it is easy and the results are sensational!

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3 weeks in to the exteno and IMK December

It is scary how fast this year has rolled around. It has been a VERY big year, loads of joy and sadness, excitement and trepidation, happiness and sadness all going on at the same time. Lets start with 3 weeks in to the exteno, then into IMK.

The exteno (extension/renovation) is progressing very well. Very happy with the way everything is going and our builder is a gem. Works so far have included removal of concrete, removal of old outbuildings and a rear bedroom, slab laid for base of new works, and the frame is taking shape.

Slab is done.

Slab doneFrame is going up

Frame going upThe ‘bits’  (that’s building speak) that will extend out from the existing line of the western wall are talking shape.

Western side

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the photo below shows what will be the wall of our new kitchen/family room. Looks a bit weird at the moment but the roof line will come out and mimic the original roofline. The wall where the ladders are standing is the existing kitchen wall that will be removed.

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So, fingers crossed in the not too distant future my In My Kitchen posts will be from this new space.

In My Kitchen December 2015

I first stumbled across Celia’s Fig Jam and Lime Cordial blog about 5 years ago while researching sourdough bread. I loved the way Celia shared her knowledge without any expectation. I sat in the background for quite a while as I was a little hesitant to risk entering what may have been considered hallowed ground. (I work in a school and there is a lot of territorial ownership at times so I tread carefully!).  After I had my blog up and running I started contributing to the monthly IMK posts and it has been the highlight of my blogging experience. What started out as a diary of our reno and garden has evolved and I have hooked up with some fantastic other like minded, lovely bloggers. Celia has also had a big year so has decided that she will be gentle on herself and hand over the managing of IMK to Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef blog. I have no doubt the fun, sharing of stories and love of food will continue in the same spirit with Maureen at the helm. Here is a handful of just a few things I’ve adopted that been inspired by Celia:

Falcon roasting dish for baking bread:

Falcon Roasting dish
Falcon roaster, just fits in my toy oven!

Spritz cookies & cookie press. Home made vanilla essence. Portuguese sausage cookers, Turkish tiles. Appreciation of family. So many more…

Chefs warehouse. Celia often raves about how good this store in Sydney is and I purchased these clay dishes there when in Sydney in May. Yep, they are fantastic!

IMG_3222Kindle. I now frequently buy special ‘deals of the day’ offered through Amazon for Kindle and have them on my mini iPad. This has been a great discovery and I only read real books when on holiday.

kindle

Dumpling sisters video   I have not bought wrappers since viewing this. Check it out!

Dumpling wrappersCelia is legendary for sharing, hundreds of people around the world have sourdough starter that has come from her sharing some of her “Priscilla” starter. This starter is excellent. Robust and continually performs well. A few of FJ&LC followers are also offering to share some of Priscilla’s offspring. If you would like some along with instructions on how to get it going leave me a message and I’d be happy to send you some. You do have to come up with your own name for it though!

sourdough starterThanks Celia for the fun, I look  forward to reading your future posts and linking in through Maureen for IMK in the future.

Because there is not really anything apart from dust, rubble, sawdust and blowflies in my kitchen I don’t really have anything much to show. I did however harvest this seasons garlic yesterday and it is wonderful.

garlicI now have it curing on a clotheshorse and it should be ready to include in some Christmas gifts,

curing garlic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, Christmas is around the corner and I’m trying to come up with ways of how this years demolition of the gingerbread house will happen. Any suggestions?

gingerbread house

 

 

I wish everyone a joyous Christmas, we are excited that our first grandchild is due Jan 3rd so a healthy babe is about the best gift anyone can wish for.

Finally

Impressions???

We were fortunate to spend some time at the MCA Sydney last weekend and my delightful friend had a very different take on one particular piece. What do you see in this picture?

Whatis this?