Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next

In My Kitchen

On my kitchen bench are two hand woven pandanus leaf baskets. Indigenous women in Arnhem Land in Northern Australia collect the strappy fibrous leaves of the pandanus palm, dry them then dye them various colours using native plant dyes. They then weave baskets and dilly bags for the fine art market. No two baskets are alike, each an expression of the artistic sensibility of the weaver. I had often admired pandanus leaf baskets in art gallery shops, but was deterred by the huge price tag. We travelled into Arnhem Land in 2010 to visit rock art shelters with an indigenous guide. At the Injalik Art Centre at Gumbulunya the source of pandanus leaf baskets, I was fortunate to find my treasures without the mark up value of a big city shops. I keep tomatoes in one as it allows the air to circulate, and in the cooler month the other basket holds walnuts in the shell and a nut cracker.

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In my kitchen I have eggs, real eggs, layed by free ranging chooks who scratch and feed on an organic farm. The eggs have traces of poo and bits of straw from the laying box stuck on their shells. As a city apartment dweller it’s a big bonus to be able I buy fresh hen eggs at the farm gate, eggs fresh enough to poach, too fresh to boil and peel, eggs that make deep golden omelettes, rich custards and crisp meringues. Thankfully, I regularly drive past his wonderful farm gate.

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In my kitchen I have a well organized, well stocked spice drawer. Spices have an important role in my kitchen and I’m fussy about their source. My favourite supplier is Herbies in Sydney who sell the freshest and best, easily procured online. My mantra is buy small and use quickly for a robust and true flavour. Spices should be stored in sealed containers away from the light to maximize the shelf life. Most of the dried herbs I cook with come from Wild Dog Biodynamic Herbs at the Saturday morning market in Apollo Bay. I saved dietary supplement bottles over a long period to create my alphabetical storage drawer. Does this look a little OCD? Maybe, but I can easily find what I’m looking for quickly and nothing gets pushed to the back and forgotten.

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On the wall of my kitchen is a framed Mother’s Day greeting card lovingly made by my eldest daughter Leah ( sharing the food we love ). It’s a work of art and each time I look at it I think of my beautiful girl who lives 2000 kilometres away. It was Leah who got me into this blogging lark!

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Out of my kichen I look west to the Melbourne city skyline. I love to contemplate the city with my morning wake-up cup of coffee. On clear mornings late summer through to early winter, I see vibrantly coloured hot air balloons in my view. In winter, mist, fog and rain present me with a wall of white and approaching storms turn the backdrop blue-grey, fire works often light the sky at night. I see the sun set behind the tall buildings, I see the sunrise reflected in their mirrored glass. I love my home town for its multicultural population and the exciting food culture it brings with it. I love the vagaries of our weather, the four distinct seasons. I love the vibrant arts culture, the fantastic shopping, the trams, the plethora of events, but mainly I love it because it’s home.

tullo west

Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial host a monthly global “In My Kitchen” feature. Hop on over and see what’s happening in other cook’s kitchens and why not think about joining in the fun yourself!

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

26 comments on “In My Kitchen

  1. Francesca
    December 4, 2013

    That skyline looks VERY familiar! I love Melbourne too for all the same reasons. and I also love your very organised spice drawer!

    Like

  2. Pingback: A Cook’s Things | Transplanted Cook

    • ladyredspecs
      November 22, 2013

      Oh, me providing inspiration? That is a buzz! Thank you so much!

      Like

  3. dontboilthesauce
    November 17, 2013

    your spice drawer is nothing short of inspirational!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 17, 2013

      Thanks, it’s grown out of my frustration of poor organization leading to forgotten spices going stale, double ups going stale and not having a vital ingredient to hand. None of that happens now!

      Like

  4. Oh, I love it when the dots connect! You’re Leah’s mum! πŸ™‚ Beautiful baskets, and there’s nothing quite like fresh eggs, is there? I’m so glad you have access to them! And Herbie’s Spices are the best!

    Like

  5. G’day love your woven pandanus leaf baskets and am a big fan of Herbie’s Spices too!
    Thank you for this month’s lovely kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Celia’s IMK!

    Like

  6. What a fabulous view. I like your organised spices – that’s what mine is supposed to look like but everybody throws the jars in randomly. I suppose I should learn to put away as I cook. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 13, 2013

      Thanks, we love our view. Ha, yes the key to organized spices is returning them to the right place. I don’t always have the discipline to do that😫

      Like

  7. dedy oktavianus pardede
    November 12, 2013

    wow, your spice coolestion made mine looks nothing at all….
    i guess i can barely taste your passion through culinary stuff!

    Like

  8. ohlidia
    November 11, 2013

    Love those baskets. The colours are just gorgeous! And I love the scene outside your kitchen window! I could frame that photo and hang it in my own kitchen… pretend I’m over there, in Melbourne.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 11, 2013

      Sorry if you just got a blank reply, this cursed IPad app keeps crashing! What I was about to say is I’m sure you have an equally interesting view out your own kitchen window, but Melbourne is a good place to pretend to be!

      Like

  9. Karen
    November 11, 2013

    An alphabetized spice drawer…I love it!

    Like

  10. Antonio Caggiano
    November 10, 2013

    Great Kitchen, great pictures, great job πŸ™‚ Have an awesome weekend

    Like

  11. chef mimi
    November 10, 2013

    What a fabulous view from your window! So fascinating! Thank you!

    Like

  12. Transplanted Cook
    November 9, 2013

    Absolutely lovely! The spice jars – reminds me of a well stocked “pharmaceutica”. The baskets are marvellous and make a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 9, 2013

      Thank you, every kitchen has something special reflecting the cook therein

      Like

  13. Fae's Twist & Tango
    November 9, 2013

    – What a lovely post! I enjoyed reading it, and thank you for sharing your kitchen. I think it is a good idea, and I wouldn’t mind writing one too, even considering my kitchen is 4 or 5 steps from one end to the other. πŸ˜‰ It reminds me of the posts we did on the cookbooks we own, in April 2013.
    – I have the same sentiments about my spices too. After one of my friends made a suggestion 30 years ago, I keep my spices in the door shelves of my freezer. I have a written list/inventory of my spices so I don’t forget what I have.
    – The photo of the view from your kitchen window is amazingly interesting with attention demanding colors.
    – Your quality baskets are gorgeous, but your daughters artwork is after all, priceless! πŸ˜€

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 9, 2013

      Thanks Fae, I had fun putting this post together. It’s nice to share some of my special things in the kitchen.

      Like

  14. Leah
    November 9, 2013

    Yum! love fresh eggs. That sky over Richmond and the city looks incredible, must have turned into a great storm. Can’t wait to do IMK next month and maybe you’ll be in it for real! πŸ™‚ x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 9, 2013

      I almost took another photo of the sky the following day when it was clear blue. Looking forward to being in your kitchen! Xx

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 9, 2013 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , , , .
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