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Thursday, January 9, 2014

In My Kitchen, January 2014

Hello friends and welcome to my kitchen for another year. 

Just before Christmas my friend Paula gave me a baguette tray that she and her husband picked up at an auction, as you do.  I get very excited about proper bread equipment and couldn't wait to experiment with a batch of semi-sourdough baguettes from the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook.  This was my first attempt and I was pretty happy with them.  My technique needs a little fine tuning which is a perfect excuse to make another batch.


A little rockmelon from my garden alongside a chook egg, just for scale.  These rockmelons are a miniature variety, raised from seed.  Although I didn't expect them to be quite this small they smell and taste magnificent.


I am having mixed success with garlic storage so have decided to experiment with freezing whole cloves.  So far so good and an unexpected bonus is that the individual cloves are much easier to peel straight from the freezer.


Homemade nectarine and peach ice cream topped with honey and flaked almonds.  This is a simple and healthy ice cream option adapted from this recipe


 Lastly, a little paper bird that my daughter, Annabelle, gave me for Christmas.  I love the fact that she chose it herself and was so excited about giving it to me that she spilt the beans weeks before Christmas.  Bless her.  


Every month Celia hosts this kitchen tour through her blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Celia's blog is full of information on food, gardening, good living and so much more. Just recently I turned to Celia for advice on upgrading my food processor.  So much valuable knowledge can be gained from the blogging community, it continues to amaze me.

What is happening in your kitchen this month?
Are you cooking or experimenting or taking a break? 

58 comments :

  1. Hi Jane, your baguette tray looks almost as delicious as your beautiful baguettes! What a good idea to freeze the garlic cloves, I must give that a try. I just love your little birdie and the excitement it caused in the family.

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    1. Thanks Jane, is can be the small things that cause the most excitement, wouldn't you agree? Great to hear from you.

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  2. Hello there Jane... I am in awe of your baking... those baguettes look just the way they should and I bet they taste great too! The little bird is so sweet... a real treasure! Your ice cream looks delicious too. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. You are very kind Lizzy, I still have so many things to learn about baking! Lovely to hear from you as always x

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  3. I so enjoy your kitchen tours Jane, and your lovely breads always inspire me to keep baking and trying new breads! Recently I tried making Roasted Garlic & Potato bread from the book Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, and it was so yummy! I plan on trying more of the flavoured breads from this book in 2014 :-)

    Sarah x

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    1. Good luck on your bread crusade Sarah, thanks for calling in! x

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  4. I never even knew a baguette tray existed- I want to grab one of those with a hunk of cheese immediately! Lovely as always Jane.

    xox Lilly

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    1. A baguette with a hunk of cheese is always a great idea Lilly, lovely to hear from you! I hope your family is safe and warm x

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  5. G'day Jane! Love the baguette tray and your paper bird given to you by your daughter made my day, true!
    Thank you also for this month's kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

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    1. Thanks so much Joanne, you are very kind.

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  7. My kitchen is sadly uneventful so far, didn't grow tomatoes because of the water situation and now I am waiting for some ripe saucing tomatoes to come on the market...none so far and I can only surmise that's the weather has been too dodgy... not hot enough. BUT today a friend came and bought 3 bags brimming with the most beautiful tomatoes from a back yard garden in Menindee..... my heart leapt ! at last the sauce can begin!! EWE BEAUTY

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    1. Trish, despite all of my efforts my vegetable garden is completely frazzled. I have also been looking for sauce tomatoes with no luck. I am very interested to know where those Menindee tomatoes came from?? My heart would leap too x

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  8. I wouldn't have known what a baguette tray looked like 'til now. Your first batch looks scrumptious.x

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    1. You are kind Zara, thanks for calling in x

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  10. love the paper bird! your daughter is adorable!

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  11. Oh my goodness - that ice cream looks and sounds dreamy! Even when it was so cold the past couple of days I was wearing my hat and gloves INSIDE, I could have used one of those cones!

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    1. Thanks Katie, it is good ice cream. Oh my, hats and gloves inside...stay warm!

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  12. That ice cream looks delicious, even though it's cold and wet here I wish I could just lift it from my screen and eat it! Love your baguette tray - I was looking at some of our roofing sheets the other day wondering if I could use a small piece for baguettes (I remember Glenda making her own) - but I'd rather have a proper one. What a thoughtful friend you have. Isn't your little bird fabulous. It looks so happy.

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    1. Thanks Anne, I am sure you could make a tray like this. Paula is a thoughtful friend and knows that I will put this kind of equipment to good use. I hope it isn't too cold in your part of the world.

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  13. How sweet is that little bird! And the ice cream sounds simply perfect for summer. Thanks for the garlic tip too. If I haven't said it already, Happy New Year!

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    1. Happy New Year to you also JJ, thanks for calling in.

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  14. your baguettes look fantastic jane..i'm really impressed..you must have quite a large oven to accommodate the baguette tray or did you cook them in your wood fired oven? and fancy having a ripe rock melon already..i've only just planted my zucchini, cucumber and pumpkin seeds..mind you i'm really late this year but i think it will be ok because we've had a relatively cool summer so far..that little bird is so sweet..it's a treasure to keep forever..x

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    1. Thanks Jane, I am fortunate to have quite a large oven that this tray fits in. I have also used it in our wood oven alongside a baking dish containing a lamb roast and they sat side-by-side very happily! Sadly I have only harvested a few of these rockmelons, the vine has now withered in the heat. I am wishing I had been more patient like you and planted my summer crop later. The heat has flattened a lot of my vegetables. Happy weekend x

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  15. I froze our garlic last year - it seemed to do just fine, we just used the last of it. It did lose abit of pungency I think, but I was happy with the trade off for healthy garlic all year :)

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    1. Thanks Becs, I agree. Anything for a supply of proper garlic!

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  16. Jane your kitchen happenings is always so inspiring.
    And hurray for an auction bought baguette tray, oh how I would love one of them!

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    1. Thank you Brydie, if I ever see another baguette tray, at the right price, I will let you know!

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  17. Love the little bird Jane. I would never have thought of freezing garlic - clever idea. I'm attempting to eat less bread and your baguette makes me want to rush down to our local bakery and buy some - luckily they are on holiday for a few more days :) Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Mel, I often think that I should eat less bread, somehow it just always seems to appear in my kitchen!

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  18. Jane, you're very kind, thank you! I can't wait to see what FP you finally end up with! Your daughter's gift was chosen with obvious care, and that is the tiniest rockmelon I've ever seen! On the subject of freezing garlic - we freeze it all the time, broken into cloves, and have found that it's still in good nick a year later. And yes, MUCH easier to peel that way! xx

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    1. Thank you Celia, I should have known that you would have a good system in place for your garlic storage. x

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  19. Freezing whole cloves... I like the sound of that! Will have give it a go too (simpler than mincing the garlic and mixing it with olive oil to freeze in ice cube trays!).
    Love the little birdy from Annabelle. So sweet! :)

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    1. It is a very simple idea Amber! Thanks for calling in.

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  20. Jane, you're so right about learning valuable knowledge from blog world. I didn't know you could freeze garlic cloves and will be implementing that practice straightaway! (Thank you.) The baguette tray was a lovely gift, and that little bird from your daughter was like seeing a first sign of Spring.

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    1. Thank you Kim. We can all learn something from each other cant we?

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  21. That peach and nectarine ice cream looks a real treat, and that bird, it's so sweet. Lovely. Oh, my kitchen. Easy meals from the garden and that don't take much time to prepare. That's what we've been chomping down on. I am thinking about a Chinese New Year do but it's just a loose thought at the moment.

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    1. Thanks Katie, easy meals from the garden sound perfect to me!

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  22. Your bread is always a thing of beauty- and your friends are so thoughtful to get you this pan!
    What a great idea to freeze your garlic in cloves- and your garlic is quite a lovely thing in itself.
    Your photos are always so good- I do enjoy coming to your blog each month, Jane, with such anticipation of what you will have to share. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks Heidi, my friend is thoughtful and generous. I appreciate your kind comments as always.

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  23. Such a sweet little bird - lovely colours. Your daughter has good taste! That little rockmelon is perfect for a serve for one. Sometimes the big ones are such brutes - overwatered and tasteless. Far better to have a mini melon, packed with flavour. I look forward to reading throughout 2014.

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    1. Thanks Fiona, I agree a flavorsome little melon is better than a big, tasteless one. I appreciate you calling in as always.

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  24. Loveliness … all of it. Thanks for sharing … especially your tip about freezing garlic. Must give it a whirl. P.S love your paper bird

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    1. Great to hear from you Rachel, thank you.

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  25. I love my baguette trays but they are not as fancy as yours. I love your little rock melon and thank you for the great tip about the garlic. Will give that a whirl. That little bird is extremely special.

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  26. Delightful photography as usual Jane!

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    1. Thank you for your generous comments as always.

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  27. Wow! How wonderful is that baguette tray? Love it. Our kitchen is a busy place at the moment. We just finished preserving 30kgs of tomatoes in the Fowlers Vacola and now dealing with more of the summer produce.

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    1. Thanks so much. I just took a quick peek at your blog...those tomatoes look glorious!

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  28. the baguette tray is the bomb! and that little paper birdy is so sweet - i can almost hear him singing. what a wonderful post to start the year.
    over the summer time i harvested my garlic and was worried about how best to store it. i'm currenlty hanging it (and it looks kinda rustic as it is) but i was actually wondering if i could freeze it. so thanks for the 'how-to'!

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    1. Hello e, lovely to hear from you in 2014! I agree...garlic looks more rustic and attractive hanging but I feel it might last longer in the freezer. Although, your weather/temperature conditions are a lot different to mine. I have left a little hanging just to experiment. Enjoy your garlic harvest!

      I am looking forward to visiting your blog again this year x

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  29. What a bargain, I bought a baguette thing ages ago it only fits 2 loaves but unfortunately it doesn't fit in my oven at the moment. You are going to have heaps of fun baking with your new toy though.
    Jane that Ice-cream sure does look great. I could handle one of those right now.

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    1. Thanks Lizzie. Ice cream is almost always a great idea isn't it?

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  30. That little bird ornament is so dear - I love it! Our garlic isn't holding up very well as usual this year, so I have frozen some myself. I don't like it as well as fresh, but it's still far better than the store bought stuff. And very easy to peel!

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    1. Thanks Donalyn. I agree, fresh is best but to have your own supply in the freezer is far better than buying it!

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane