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In My Kitchen October 2016

September In My Kitchen has been crazy. Firstly we finally had the painters in to finish off the kitchen and freshen up the rest of our rundown home, then with the arrival of school holidays, our darling Granddaughters arrived from Melbourne to stay. October is shaping up to be just as frantic kicking off with a one year old’s birthday party.

Mini Quiches

Mini Quiches

In My Kitchen is the makings of bite sized egg and bacon tarts for the One Year Old’s picnic birthday party. I used the unconventional but amazing shortcrust pastry recipe without adding the chia seeds. I’m pleased to report there is no discernible difference in the quality of the pastry with this adjustment.

Prawn head stock

Prawn head stock

Stock from a package will never ever match a homemade product for purity of both content and flavour. I’ve been restocking the freezer with stocks. This week I’ve made 2 litres of chicken stock, 1 litre of rich fish stock which set to a firm jelly and 1/2 litre of prawn head stock for a deliciously rich paella.

Land of Fish and Rice by Fuschia Dunlop

Land of Fish and Rice by Fuschia Dunlop

After hearing an interview with provincial Chinese food expert Fuchsia Dunlop on Australia’s Radio National, I was determined to get my hands on her latest publication “Land of Fish and Rice” which focusses on the food of the southern Yangtze region. Her early book “ Sichuan Food” is well loved in my kitchen. Having assessed my local library’s copy of her latest work as a cookbook worthy of space in my library, I’ll be investing in a copy very soon. Expect to see deliciously rich slow braised meats, simple barely adorned steamed vegetables, a variety of soups with rice and noodles and the classic Shanghai soup dumplings.

origami puppy

origami puppy

In My Kitchen is this cute 3cm tall origami dog made by talented Grand daughter, creator of things extraordinaire, Miss E. She’s also been madly folding 100s of brightly coloured butterflies too but more about that in a few weeks time.

100%Spelt Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls

100%Spelt Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls

In My Kitchen is sourdough spelt a coffee scroll experiment. They may look ugly but they tasted delicious, like the classic Aussie 1960s bakery scroll so this is definitely a recipe in development, I want finesse and flavour. The warmer days have given my sourdough extra bounce, I’m still experience a frisson of excitement each time I pull a loaf from the oven.

Inspired by“Almost Italian” Francesca who showed us her collection of silver serving spoons, I thought I’d show you some of my collection of old fashioned silverware too. I inherited some pieces from my Grandma, some from my Mum and a few I’ve bought just because I loved their quirkiness. Ornate but utilitarian cutlery is a reflection of times past. My inherited pieces reflect my working class family’s aspirations, like a “best dinner service” and a rarely used dining room. The bone handled cake knife which I inherited from my maternal Grandma is very special.

The lovely Liz at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things is now our IMK host. Click the link to her site to see what’s happening in bloggers kitchen all around the world, better still, why not join in, you have until the 10th of the month.

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

45 comments on “In My Kitchen October 2016

  1. dunelight
    October 23, 2016

    I haven’t done much in our kitchen as I have been working on projects, some paid. As I grow older I realize I will need a kitchen that I can work from a wheelchair as so much cooking is too tiring now..thats neither here nor there nor something I’ll post on my own blog but I know that you will understand how life is different for all of us, we play the hand we’re dealt. I do not cook or bake as much as I used to because of the physical challenges. The baking..oh my, we just sit and gobble down whatever it is that I take fresh out of the oven. We have no control when it is so good and homemade.

    That said…I LOVE a one pot meal simmering on the back of a stove while I work on other things. I LOVE homemade stock. I wish to try my hand at a nice homemade fish stock someday and maybe I’ll have a chance to do it when we are in Florida this winter. I have found a local butcher who will supply me with just about any thing I’d need to start a great beef or chicken stock, alas, no veal knuckles. (Yes, I am conflicted about the veal. I will not eat it but those knuckles make a stock that turns everything to magic.) Why is there little fanfare for pork stock? Is there such a thing? I do like roast pork and make up pork stews.

    Sorry..it is free association Saturday here in the dunes. I’m sitting by a fire warming my petty pains and enjoying a cup of tea while streaming old shows on TV and following blogs on my computer. I always save yours for last visit because I like to linger over your posts. I enjoy my foodie friends immensely, even though I am not a rabid cook myself. I have an IRL friend coming over for a wine dinner at a local club here in December and we are playing with the idea of making stock or one pot meals while watching foodie movies.

    And Silver..I love silver. I bought my own crystal and china after 20 years of marriage as no one had the money to gift us any when we were wed. I always wanted a good set of sterling but my oh my..how dear they are.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 23, 2016

      Thanks for the nice words. We sound alike, I can’t resist fresh baked good either. I sometimes add pork bones and trimmings to chicken stock. It makes a delicious broth suitable for Asian noodle soups. I hope you get to make a fish stock, the flavour is intense and delicious. A cup of tea and some quite time is bliss

      Like

  2. missfoodfairy
    October 12, 2016

    I just had to pin your ‘unconventional’ shortcrust pastry, it sounds perfect Sandra. I’m so glad you had a beautiful time with your grandkids for school holidays. You have me intrigued with Fuchsia Dunlop’s books – I can’t believe I’ve never heard of her before as you know I love my Asian cuisine. Now I must get my hands on them immediately 🙂 Thank you for sharing these books & the other goodies for IMK. It’s lovely seeing you again, missed you xx

    Like

    • missfoodfairy
      October 12, 2016

      Where can I find the Sichuan Food cookbook, do you know?

      Like

      • ladyredspecs
        October 12, 2016

        Try Books for Cooks at the Vic Mkt or look online, it should still be in print 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • missfoodfairy
        October 13, 2016

        Thank you, I was thinking of heading there tomorrow 🙂

        Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 12, 2016

      From what I understand Dunlop’s recipes err closer to authentic than fusion, or even contemporary

      Liked by 1 person

      • ladyredspecs
        October 12, 2016

        Sorry, accidently posted before I finished, intended to say traditional and like most cookbook writers worth their salt she gives a fair bit of social context to the food. Yes it’s good that IMK is back on track, missed you too

        Like

  3. mae
    October 11, 2016

    Fuchsia Dunlop’s memoir of her life in China was an extremely good book, which I read a few years ago. I don’t know if I have the patience to use her cookbooks, though the newest one does appear to be good.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    Like

  4. Gretchen
    October 9, 2016

    Love the silverware, it’s something is always wanted. I’ve got a cool,e sets of cake forks and tea spoons from flea markets in London and Paris but I’m wanting more. The cinnamon scrolls look delicious. Hope the birthday party went well.

    Like

  5. Michelle
    October 7, 2016

    I can’t wait for the new Fuchsia Dunlop book. I don’t think it’s out here yet.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 7, 2016

      It’s worth waiting for Michelle, planning to cook from it tomorrow😀

      Like

  6. Kim Bultman
    October 6, 2016

    “A frisson of excitement”, Sandra? Heavens yes! What a fun post. (And fabulous term!) Hope you’re keeping ahead of your grandkiddies. 🙂 Loved the origami pup, cinnamon scrolls, and your silverware treasures, too.Take care, xo.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 6, 2016

      Hi Kim, sourdough really is wonderous! Kids have returned home after the school term break so calm has returned for a little while.

      Like

  7. ChgoJohn
    October 5, 2016

    So much activity must mean that summer is on the horizon, Sandra. Here, things are beginning to slow down. You are so right about homemade stock of any kind. Store bought may be more convenient but there is no comparison. I bet your paella is a thing of beauty when made with that prawn head stock of yours. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 5, 2016

      Yes, I make good paella even if I say so myself. Spring has well and truly sprung, the days are already warming up and we have a wedding on the horizon which is keeping me very busy…😀

      Like

  8. Moya
    October 5, 2016

    Gorgeous silverware in your kitchen Sandra and love the cake knife. The egg and bacon tarts look very homely and am sure went down a treat. Love the little origami puppy your grand daughter made 🙂

    Like

  9. Glenda
    October 5, 2016

    Sandra, that cake knife is delightful. No wonder you treasure it.

    Like

  10. Conor Bofin
    October 4, 2016

    Busy is an understatement Sandra. Keep at it.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 4, 2016

      I work harder now I’m retired and receiving no salary than before, 10 hour days are the norm…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda Duffin
    October 3, 2016

    Goodness, you are one busy woman! I’m with you on home-made stock and the family (or not family) silver. I don’t like cleaning it either so mine usually sits in a drawer and makes an appearance at Christmas, with the exception of an enormous and very beautiful set of carvers inherited from my husband’s great grandparents.I like decanters too!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 4, 2016

      I tend to think even everyday food requires fair effort so it should be celebrated by using the best silver, that’s the theory anyway, wish it were self cleaning…

      Like

  12. i have a cake knife very like yours sandra which i bought at an amazing Antiques shop full of silver run by a very old man. I imagine he has passed on and the shop has been closed by now. such a good idea to have lots of stock in the freezer. i should do it more often. those little egg and bacon tarts look delish.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      Thanks Sherry, I treasure my inherited silver although it’s only used on special occasions because I hate polishing it. Antique shops are a temptation, I also like decanters…

      Like

  13. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    October 2, 2016

    Beautiful silverware, Sandra. It makes me yearn to be back in my UK kitchen where most of my “stuff” still is. We exist here in Athens with a few kitchen items I specifically brought with me in a big institutional kitchen that functions solely as mine on the weekends. You had me drooling with the cinnamon rolls. I have to make a batch again soon. And, I am glad to hear that the amazing shortcrust pastry does well without the chia seeds.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      It must be tricky not having your own exclusive space Debi, esp when you love to cook. Most of my silverware is Victorian English, it’s a very British thing..

      Like

      • Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
        October 3, 2016

        It is sometimes difficult having to share the kitchen (luckily with only one staff member who produces food for receptions, cakes for teas, etc). You may have noticed the number of recipes I blog about have gone down in the last year since we have been here in Greece, so I compensate with other things. I do love anything Victorian and repeat, your silverware is very beautiful.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. EllaDee
    October 2, 2016

    It pleases me to see vintage & retro kitchenalia well loved and used still rather than in cupboards & drawers, or worse forsaken in op shops etc. It’s so easy & inexpensive to collect, and useful… which are my 3 op shopping guidelines. Sadly none of my treasures came from my own family but they are no less prized.
    When we get back home stock is on my list, followed by tomatoes as it will soon be the season.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      I laugh to myself in the op shop, so many outdated fads and fashions lined up like a museum of domesticity. Home made chicken broth is the panacea of all ills in my opinion.

      Like

  15. ardysez
    October 2, 2016

    You ladies are so inspiring. I’m lucky to have chicken stock in my freezer, let alone much else. I have a few pieces of silver too, but most of it was not family owned, just gifted to me by an Aunt who loved to rescue it from the local ‘treasure mart’. I was going to make your rosemary and lemon cake this weekend and realised I have gotten rid of my ring tin. I may try it with two small loaf pans instead…if I can muster some energy. That cinnamon scroll looks wonderful and I’m sure there was a little squirt of saliva in my mouth when I saw it! Thanks Sandra.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      The scrolls were based on the basic loaf, will post when I’ve improved through their looks. I thought the cake batter looked a bit runny for a springform, but any shape should do…

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Shari from GoodFoodWeek
    October 2, 2016

    I hope that you had a blast at the first birthday. We just held a second birthday party and are eagerly awaiting the birth of our third.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      Just home from the Teddy Bear’s picnic. The birthday boy loved being the centre of attention.

      Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      PS Good luck with bubs No 3, I’ll be watching on insta for the news

      Like

  17. Liz - Good Things
    October 2, 2016

    Love the look of your scroll, Sandra. Thank you kindly for the shout out xx

    Like

  18. Eha
    October 2, 2016

    Well may Mrs E tell Miss E that that origami puppy is my favourite part of your g’mom’s IMK this month!! Oww: haven’t tried origami for years!! And > Booktopia to see how much the previous FD’s book on my favourite Szechwan cooking is: yep, managed three new biographies this week and feel positively guilty!! So does the sound of that prawn head stock! Beautiful!! Happy Sunday: Summer Daylight Saving time here of course, came on whilst last night’s crowd was still having after-dinner coffee!! How does one spell ‘sleepy’ 🙂 ?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      Grrrr Qld is ridiculously stubborn about daylight saving. Miss it so much, esp when the sun rises so darn early. I’ll pass on your complements to the folder of origami. Enjoy Fuschia Dunlop, I think she’s an excellent writer

      Like

      • oh no you wouldn’t like it here sandra. daylight saving is horrible in the long hot days of queensland.. you really don’t want it staying lighter and hotter than it does already. and yes i know there isn’t any more actual daylight but there is in the evening which you just don’t want.

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        October 2, 2016

        You adjust to daylight saving, it works for me….

        Like

  19. Francesca
    October 2, 2016

    I’m absolutely drooling over your silverware Sandra, especially that fish knife with the lovely etching and the sweet cake knife. Also good to know that the pastry works well without the chia seeds, although I did invest in some: will try it both ways.Also keen to take a look at Dunlop’s new book. I might ask our library to get it in. I have had too many Booko purchases this week. I am with you on the use or prawn head stock- it’s so useful to have a stash in the freezer.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      Thanks for the inspiration, just realized I didn’t add a link, I’ll do that right now. Dunlop’s book might be a bit meaty to be useful to you, but it’s well worth a look. Prawn heads make the best ever….

      Liked by 1 person

    • ladyredspecs
      October 2, 2016

      Glad I went back to add the link, saw I had 2 photos the same, now there’s more silver to drool over 😀

      Like

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This entry was posted on October 1, 2016 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , .
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