In My Kitchen September

What better way to spend an afternoon (that is absolutely vile), than sitting in front of the fire and catching up on quite a few jobs that can be done while sitting on ya bum? Thought doing an In My Kitchen quick post might fit the bill for this. Thanks to Sherry over at SherrysPickings for hosting IMK, she hasn’t been well, so do a post to give her something to read while she recuperates! Thanks Sherry!

Well I tried a new calamari recipe, this time it was Annabel Langbeins 5 spice salt and pepper squid from her book the Free Range Cook. I didn’t have any 5 spice made up so I just added a little bit of cumin, chilli and coriander along with the salt and pepper. Served on a salad of lettuce, capers, our oranges, tomato and a dressing made from greek yogurt, a blur of mayo  and lemon juice and it was a nice light tea. I never tire of looking at the antique dresser I restored and the spring flowers look right at home on it. I made a peel out of cardboard for loading bread into my oven that is the same size as my steel baking stone. This piece of cardboard on the right has lasted nearly a year but is definitely showing signs of being quite ‘past it’ so I cut out a new one. I had visions of buying a beautifully hand crafted wooden peel but the cardboard works really well, even when you forget to slide the loaves off it and put the whole lot, board  and all in the oven! My daughter has been making some bath soak for the little fella to help relieve his slight eczema. She blitzed oats and Calendula but it was a bit coarse so I’m running it through the spice grinder. It is coming out very soft and fine. Speaking of my daughter, she is due to have her second baby in a week, so I’ve been working on a crocheted bamboo baby blanket. This has been a beautiful project to work on. My hands will take a while to recover, but it has been worth every ache and pain it has brought about.When we first got the kitchen operational, I built a work board out of marine ply. This was for making pastry on, making pasta and gnocchi on, putting pots etc on, pretty much for anything that might cause damage to the timber bench tops and it has been wonderful. It was getting a bit dog-eared so I have given it a sand back and a new coat of Danish oil. This has been an absolute godsend to have! I’m continually working on testing and perfecting making sourdough croissants and these have probably been the best tasting ones so far. Need more proving time but we were having them for father’s day breakfast so they got baked before at their prime state. I’d love to know how they would have been of left another couple of hours as this crumb is pretty good when still not proofed enough!Finally as we sit and listen to the rain absolutely pounding down outside I think of the pretty spring flowers that are probably getting their heads demolished by the rain. This is why we need to appreciate things at the time we see them and not put off the pleasure of just enjoying them. Happy Spring to South of the equator and happy Autumn to those in the north!


22 Replies to “In My Kitchen September”

  1. The antique dresser has turned out beautifully. Isn’t it funny how “makeshift” solutions such as cardboard peels or plywood sheets become essential kitchen items? How clever of you. Your daughter is receiving a treasure in that baby blanket, it will become an airloom.


    1. Hi Liz, yes I’m rather attached to my trusty piece of cardboard now. It was purely because I cut a template of the baking steel to see if it fitted in the oven that I had it and it continued! Thanks, the blanket is special.


  2. The baby blanket you made is a masterpiece! I have no patience for crafts, so I am in awe of anyone who can do that!

    best… mae at


    1. Hi Mae, I wouldn’t call myself crafty at all, in fact I really don’t like much in the way of craft. I do however having enjoy a project to work on in winter sitting in front of the fire on a cold night. I’m in awe of the lady who designed the pattern, now that is amazing. I’m just the drone following instruction. 🙂


  3. Hi Maree, if you ever come to our place or we visit you I will get Maus to make you a peel. I have about 10 in every size and shape you can think of. It is great having a wood worker in the house.


    1. Oh Glenda, that’s enough to make me book a ticket and fly over! I have so many things on the list of what would be good to make from the old timber we have stacked up after the exteno.


  4. Great post as usual! I love the antique dresser…I presume the old mincer is just for show there. I have one just like that; it belonged to somebody’s great-grandmother. I use it to crush eggshells to mix in with the chook’s shell grit.
    The baby blanket is gorgeous. Is your hand problem rheumatoid arthritis? I have it and my hands are useless for any sort of fine work like that. Can’t even play my old school violin anymore.


    1. Hi Bev, I have used the mincer for show but I did use it a few years ago for something (I can’t remember what) but it’s quite past its best! Yes, RA in hands, as well as many other places. I sadly conceded defeat with my cello playing and really struggle at times but I enjoyed doing the blanket so much I persevered. I wouldn’t do anything if I let it stop me, even turning pages in a book hurts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If I had that antique dresser, I would gaze at it too. Great sounding calamari dish – especially the spice mix. Still envious of your lovely sourdough croissants. Don’t know how you manage to pull it off. You must have a light touch with the dough. Beautiful blanket. Bamboo yarn is so soft! I’m sure your daughter will love it.


  6. oh maree
    that beautiful baby blanket. it is a thing of beauty. how clever you are fixing up the dresser and the board. and those croissants look so delicious and gorgeous. thanks heaps for joining IMk this month. cheers sherry x


  7. You are a multi talented women Maree. The restored dresser looks wonderful with it’s display of treasures, the croissants looks super scrumptious and the crocheted blanket too good to use.


  8. Your crocheted baby blanket is wonderful and already has the look of a beautiful heirloom. Considering you made it whilst doing battle with RA, the blanket is a marvel and i’m so sorry you’ve had to give up playing your cello – i find the sound of a cello quite thrilling. I so love your dresser. Here in Brisbane we need rain. The grass is turning to cornflakes and trees are drooping under a relentless sun. So to read of being house bound in front of a fire whilst listening to pounding rain sounds divine to me and coupled with your spring flowers on the dresser is just my idea of complete contentment but i’m sorry for your beautiful spring garden.


    1. Lovely words, thanks Jan. I heard today about how dry it is up North and Summer is predicted to be rather scary on the fire front all over the country. The spring flowers have stood up quite well to the rain!


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