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.


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.


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.



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?






28 Replies to “3 weeks in to the exteno and IMK December”

  1. So exciting to see the exteno progress! Celia has inspired so many of us and through reading all the IMK posts my world has been opened even more. So many tips, tricks, gadgets and other fun discoveries. It would only be appropriate for the gingerbread demolition this year to have something to do with the exteno. Maybe use a sledge hammer or drop it from the edge of the roof on the new slab. As for the artwork I think I can guess what your friend saw in it!


  2. The exteno is coming along nicely Maree: those blokes are doing a great job. It is so odd, but if you came to my verandah, you would see the same view of garlics hanging from the same old clothes airer. As for the kndle, I use mine more on holidays then I don’t have to drag the books in my luggage and have reverted back to ‘real’ books at home. The kindle does, however, come out at 3 AM in bed- when the whale of doom visits.
    What- no picture of you and Celia? I heard on the grapevine that you caught up and was anticipating another portrait fo the two of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the tip of using the clothes airer to dry garlic. I was about to throw out one that’s seen better days but now I’ll hang onto it in the hopes of one day having a bumper garlic crop.
    I love seeing progress pictures of the exteno… can’t wait to see the end result.
    I agree, Celia & IMK are wonderful, I’ve been so inspired by the peeks into many kitchens.


  4. What a garlic harvest. I’m very jealous. And I would love some sourdough starter, if you have enough to go around. email me at beksbackyard [at] gmail [dot] com if this is possible. I even have a name in mind 🙂


  5. Looks like things are in full swing with the exteno Maree!!! Can’t wait to watch the progress…yes it’s a wonderful series isn’t it – I too watched on for some months before I joined in for the same reasons as you – silly really! Can I ask why the gingerbread house isn’t eaten? I’ve never made one….Merry Christmas!! Jan x


    1. Hi Jan. We usually eat the busted bits once smashed. Didn’t last year due to the rubbish bin though!!! It’s just evolved that everyone seems to enjoy the smashing more than the eating 🙂


  6. Good to see work happening on the reno, how exciting! I remember watching the gingerbread house hurtling down the driveway on the skateboard, perhaps this year, as Gretchen suggested it should be dropped from a great height onto the freshly laid slab. Much more exciting to see garlic drying on the clothes horse than the family’s smalls…..


  7. Amazing – I always thought garlic is notoriously hard to grow and you have an amazing pile of it! Exteno is looking mighty impressive too 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful December and a healthy Christmas grandchild to cuddle x


  8. There is nothing like the smell of a fresh garlic harvest. And the knowledge that you have something so tasty to add to dishes for months to come. One of my favourite harvests of the year.

    I would love some sour dough starter if you still have some to send. Bread making in my kitchen seems to more resemble bricks you could use in your renovations!!! So Priscilla and her offspring would be very welcome here.


  9. There is nothing the smell of a fresh garlic harvest. And the knowledge that you have something so tasty to add to dishes for the months to come. It’s on of my favourite things to grow… and your crop looks fantastic.

    I would love some sour dough starter is you have enough to go around. Bread making is something I can’t seem to master so Priscilla and her offspring would be very welcome.


  10. Glad to see all the renos going so well!!! I’m a bit jealous of that falcons are pan real gorgeous! I really need to get off my bottom and work with my starter 🙂 I know have a dehydrator, so I could do the same and start posting!!!! January project! And I will be checking out that dumplin video as when you see them make it in the shops, they make it look so easy 🙂
    Liz xx


    1. Very highly recommend the dumpling sisters. Mine do not however come out nice and neat due to my dodgy hands but I’m not fussed, they taste great. Their tip of a little baking soda and I think it was cornflour in the filling (I used fine rice flour) seems to really make a difference. Lucky you with a dehydrator! I keep borrowing my girlfriend’s, I think I’m actually the only one whose ever used it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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