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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In My Kitchen, April 2015

So many things happen in our kitchen, here are just a few snippets from the past month.

Homemade pasta just feels good, especially when the whole family joins in to make it. This batch started out as spirals but some pieces were more spiral-ish than others.  It all tasted good with a tomato and meat sauce and plenty of fresh basil that my daughter trotted off to pick, midway through her spirals.    


Hat care and maintenance happens in our kitchen every few weeks.  A friend with vast experience in these matters shared some hat care knowledge with us and since then I have been steaming and re-shaping the kid’s hats regularly.  The hat is held over a pot of steaming, simmering water and gently pushed back into shape.   When the desired shape is achieved a spray of metho keeps the felt stiff, in shape and ready for action.  

Once the hat is back in shape fancy hat bands, feathers and hat pins while not essential are highly sought after, it seems.


I found this pretty little cup at our local Lifeline tip shop.  It caught my eye amongst mountains of other cups, saucers and plates leaning precariously on the trestle tables.  It is my observation that the op-shop world is almost drowning in crockery.  Where does it all come from and where does it all go? 


This recipe belongs to Emma from My Darling Lemon Thyme.  On her blog she featured perfectly presented, healthy treats in neat balls.  My mixture would not hold together so I pushed it into a slice tin instead.  I am the first to admit my cooking is not always completely healthy, but this was delicious and free of my usual best friends, butter and sugar. 


The quinces are starting to fall off my trees.  It just feels too warm and too early to be cooking quinces but of course these were cooked, I wouldn't dream of wasting this precious fruit. 


Biscuits, there are always biscuits.  There just also happened to be some pretty ribbon lying around and who doesn't love a little bundle of biscuits?  For me, having biscuits in the freezer feels like a safety blanket.  It means I am always ready for hungry visitors, farm workers, small folk and the occasional sweet craving.  Ok, so the sweet cravings are fairly regular.  


I wonder, are you shaping, baking, op-shopping or harvesting?  I hope so.

As we head towards Easter and the school holiday I say, bring it on my friends. 

As always I am linking up with my friend Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  

61 comments :

  1. Beautiful and inspiring as always. An as always I sigh enviously over your homemade pasta.
    Biscuits are a great safety net, and besides that it is just a nice feeling knowing there is a jar full of bikkies sitting the the pantry, I think.
    I intend to join the In My Kitchen rounds this month, perhaps on the weekend.

    Enjoy the rest of the week and have a happy Easter!
    Sarah x

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    1. Thank you Sarah, I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend.

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  2. Jane, I do wonder if I'd ever remember it was quince season if it wasn't for your posts! I love that you've made your own spiral pasta - do they hold they're shape once they're cooked? And I think I have to send you our hats - they're all looking a bit rubbish at the moment. It didn't help that a trombie bled sap all over Pete's Akubra...sigh.. :)

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    1. Hello Celia, some of these spirals held their shape once cooked...some didn't. Trombie sap on the hat, a sure sign of a dedicated gardener! x

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  3. Your kitchen always looks so homely Jane. Your pasta looks wonderful (and one to copy) and I totally agree about biscuits as a safety blanket. I've recently discovered that making an enormous biscuit is an ideal base for a cheesecake and much better breaking up and reforming bought biscuits. Why did it take me so long to realise?
    Have a relaxing Easter holiday. A x

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    1. The cheese cake idea is pure genius Anne! I hope you have had a relaxing Easter break too x

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  4. Great idea to press the mixture into a slice! I hope you enjoyed it xx

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    1. I am so pleased you called in Emma! x

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  5. The hats look superb!! We call op shops, charity shops in the UK and a friend of mine refers to the process as thrifting - which I do regularly! There does seem to be a lot of china around and you seemed to have scored a very pretty teacup and saucer! The pasta looks lovely as do your balls-turned-slices!! Thanks for the look round your kitchen!

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    1. Thanks so much, thrifting is fun I agree!

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  6. Jane, those biscuits look divine! You've photographed them so beautifully too.

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    1. Thank you so much Christine, lovely to hear from you.

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  7. What a warm and welcoming post! Love your photography!
    Thanks for this month's kitchen view also!

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    1. Thanks Joanne, always so nice to hear from you!

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  8. Making my own pasta is on my to-do list, the simple spirals looks the thing to do! I love old crockery and kitchenalia and often wonder the same thing about op shops etc... so much of it would have been well loved and well used at one time. It often finds its way into my house!

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    1. Thank you...I agree, every op shop piece has a story behind it!

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  9. Ah sweet quinces, just beautiful... and another gorgeous post from you Jane... how's that book coming along! xx

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    1. Oh thanks Lizzy...still working on the book! x

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  10. The pattern on the cup is just gorgeous - very retro. Funny how all the patterns from my childhood are all trendy again. I've never considered that hat care even had to happen but it makes total sense - and now I know how it happens:)

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    1. Thanks Nancy, honestly hat care is rather new to us too. But now that we are doing it, the process makes total sense!

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  11. I suppose the crockery comes from people who buy things cheaply at Ikea and the $2 shop so think nothing of getting rid of it when something else takes their fancy. Your cup however is a thing of beauty. I love it when you find a pair with flair. Adds interest to life. I rarely buy new crockery these days. A truly delicious tour (excluding metho!)

    PS: shut up about those quinces! I am so jealous….

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    1. Thank you Fiona...sending a big brown box of virtual quinces your way!

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  12. I love that cup Jane! What a great find and the quinces...oh my! It must be autumn

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  13. Love your fresh homemade pasta. They are as pretty as a picture.

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  14. This post is just full to the brim with loveliness Jane. From the hats to the biccies and everything inbetween x

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    1. You are so kind Kylie...I hope to see a blog from your part of the world soon x

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  15. Jane, I had no idea about hat maintenance! Thank you for sharing. Lovely photos by the way, is that afternoon light on the quince? Gorgeous pasta shot too. Cheers, Kirsty xx

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    1. Thanks Kristy! The quince shot was taken quite early in the morning...not long after sunrise.

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  16. Love that your whole family pitch in to make the pasta.

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    1. When I can round everyone up and keep them focused, it works quite well!

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  17. Another beautiful and inspiring month in your kitchen Jane - I just adore quinces and your crop looks like a warm, glowing renaissance still life xx

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    1. You are kind Mrs M. I hope you had a lovely Easter x

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  18. Home-made pasta, quinces, that teacup, biscuits = all very good things! Plus, there's nothing quite like fresh basil with home-made pasta, is there? Hope you're having a lovely Easter! x

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    1. Thanks so much Naomi, I hope you are having a lovely Easter too! x

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  19. Re: the hat cleaning & shaping process. What's another name for "metho"? Your post reminded me that we have some hats stored away in their original boxes, out of sight for ages, as well as containers of leather and feathers for hatbands.

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    1. Thank you for calling in. Yes, metho is actually methylated spirits, I don't know it as anything else. As you may know, you can actually buy a hat stiffening spray but metho is cheap and easily accessible from hardware shops. Your hat collection sounds lovely, especially in the original boxes.

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  20. What beautiful photos! I always see saucers at second hand shops, I guess they must be so rarely used these days....

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    1. I agree Cate...so many saucers!

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  21. Jane, I loved "meeting" you and getting to spend this time in your warm and welcoming kitchen. Must ask, what is "op-shopping"? I'm not familiar with that term.

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    1. Thank you Jean, apologies for any confusion. Op-shop is shortened for opportunity shop or charity shop or thrift shop. These shops are run by charities such as the Red Cross or Salvation Army, the goods are all donated and second hand and always very cheap with profits going back to these worthwhile organisations.

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  22. One day I would like to warrant having a hat like that Jane and then I will remember your words and how to care for it. I'm not sure school pick up here in the city is enough of reason though :-)
    Home made pasta is always delicious and quinces I still look at as highly exotic.
    Hope your long weekend has been a good one.

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    1. You just might totally rock the school pick up in a cowboy hat Brydie! Thank you...as always! Thanks for the detailed review on that lovely magazine also. I might have to find it! x

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  23. Jane, other than the gorgeous hats and pasta, my eyes fell upon the lovely rusty Persinware scales, the oozing with character wooden chopping block and that old metal Esky used as a prop behind something. The cup is a lovely find- a bit like those Finnish or Scandinavian designs of the 60s. Gorgeous pics.

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    1. Thanks Francesca, you have a great eye for detail and my old junk! Seriously, those scales came from my grandparents, the big wooden chopping block lived a previous life in our slaughter house and I have a ridiculous collection of those checked/tartan Esky picnic tins. x

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  24. I am trying to use wordpress to comment Jane, but without much success.

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    1. Apologies Francesca, I have no idea about this stuff.

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  25. I love your renegade slice... It looks delicious and I think I prefer it to balls... I see a lot of balls online at the moment (of the bliss ball, coconut, or date variety... of course!) x

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    1. Thank you so much for calling in Pip. There are a lot of balls online and even at my favourite local cafe! Seriously, I am just not going to order balls with my latte, no matter how healthy they are x

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  26. Hi Jane! What lovely homemade pasta, and the biscuits look delish. Thanks for sharing! :)

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  27. Love the old weighing scales and the retro looking tea cup. Homemade pasta and those biscuit slices look delicious. :)

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  28. mum's quince tree is going bonkers at the moment - there's nothing more intoxicating than the perfume of quinces cooking on the stovetop. their magical transformation never ceases to amaze me.
    all that spirally pasta looks so wonderful!

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  29. Here in Buenos Aires we never wear hats, but your explanations are interesting!
    Love your chocolates and your quinces too.
    Thanks for sharing

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  30. As always lots of gorgeous snippets! No doubt your kiddies have the best shaped hats around ;) I have a pile of gifted quinces sitting on the bench at the moment, I really must get them into the oven for roasting. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen! xx

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  31. You have totally my taste when it comes to retro crockery, I adore the design and colours of that cup. I did a post ages ago about my retro crockery collection, mostly from charity shops, and it's grown even more since then. I think it's an addiction!
    Kavey (fellow IMKer)

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  32. I love that pasta Jane! We made some pasta this month too, but I’ve never tried spirals - do you roll them around a chopstick or similar? I love the hat maintenance pic, something you never really think of if you don’t have felt hats, and I know what you mean about quince season - it seems only a couple of months since I was last making quince paste, jelly and everything else!

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  33. Wonderful photos. Lucky you that the whole family joins in the cooking.

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  34. wow so many fab things here. love the cup and saucer- yes op shops are always groaning with them. love the home made pasta too. and your choc slices. you take such clear lovely photos.

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  35. A lovely post. I loved the hat tales. I also love looking at crockery in op-shops. Once, when I was a student, i found the same old mugs that my grandmother used to have. I picked up all three and had them for years.

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  36. Thanks for sharing great article

    Inilah cara memasak capcay dengan cita rasa yang khas, cocok dihidangkan untuk keluarga anda. Jika anda ingan yang lebih enak sebaiknya belajar juga cara memasak cumi karena cita rasa cumi sangat menggoda. Untuk anda yang suka dengan olahan daging sebaiknya belajar cara memasak rendang dengan bumbu khas. Dan untuk masakan simpel anda bisa belajar cara memasak nasi goreng praktis dengan langkah yang sangat mudah sekali.

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