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In My Kitchen – January 2014 (yes! 2014)

Well here we are….January….a new year. There will hopefully be lots happening in my kitchen this year as TIFFIN is getting a new kitchen. Follow my bite sized kitchen adventures each month as I travel from optimistic and excited through delays and disappointments via budget blow out and scaled back expectations and onwards to rising excitement and jubilation. With a side of sarcasm and a sprinkle of cinnamon for good measure. Meanwhile…I have a theme again this month. It’s ‘friends’.

In my January kitchen…

…is a bonanza of Christmas gifts from Canberra friends, keen to show off the local produce. There’s La Barre lemon infused olive oil; cool climate wines from Shaw and Wallaroo estates; and, Huntley Berry Farm jams. There are also Poppa’s freeze dried cherries dipped in chocolate. And you know what they say…’once you pop…’  Thanks Lucy, Anton and Liz for these delicious treats. I hope one day you will visit us in Brisbane and we’ll be able to share some local and regional specialities with you.

In my kitchen…

…is this cute matrioshka apron and wooden honey drizzle from my Mum. She’s a bit of a globetrotter and amongst her many forays this year she visited Russia and Greece. As you do. She bought the apron in Russia and the honey drizzle from Greece, is made of olive wood. For an amusing take on what to do with this implement, visit here. These days we don’t exchange Christmas gifts, preferring instead to donate money to a worthy cause but she did have a little packet for me anyway, just before she headed off to Christmas in NZ (and NYE in Sydney). Yep – she gets around!

In my kitchen…

…is this pineapple pin tray from Michelle. The Owens clan visited NYC last year and in their adventures, Michelle spied this dish and thought of me. Earlier in the year they had given me this gigantic melamine serving platter with this super fab print of pineapples.

Then, at Easter, I received a pineapple print green bag from them. Anthony continued the motif by insisting we buy this naff wooden tray from an op shop. I suspect it housed crystallised ginger or other tropical treats as a souvenir of the Big Pineapple.

By New York, they were warming to their theme. I love the story behind the dish as much as I love the dish itself. Oscar, Tony and Michelle happened upon a block party as they explored the neighbourhood. People enjoying their community and a lazy summer afternoon. Music, dancing, food and a sidewalk flea market. When Michelle spied this tray for sale, she knew who its intended recipient was. Me! A great travel story and souvenir without even leaving the house.

Pineapples are literally the flavour of the month at the moment. You can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing a witty rendition of them. I started a Pinterest board dedicated called ‘Pineapple Magic’. It goes without saying that there are hundreds of boards dedicated to ananas.

In my kitchen…

…is this bar of delicious sounding chocolate that came from Jenny. We have been friends since I spied her folder with the cover of the Rio album on it and bounced up to her at and asked her if liked Duran Duran. She said yes (of course – who wouldn‘t like DD?) and a lifelong friendship was formed, now stretching 30+ years. A lifelong friend knows that you like chocolate in combinations with peanut butter or chilli and panders to that taste.

In my kitchen…

….is this wooden knife from Estonia. My friend Josie is also a globetrotter. To the point where it’s very difficult to keep track of where she’s been and where she’s heading. Apparently she went to Estonia this year. All kidding aside, Josie is a wonderful friend to both Anthony and I. We go out and stay in together. She lives in the same suburb so we can walk to her house for dinner. And, as was the case on New Year’s Eve, also walked home to work some of her fabulous hospitality off. I use this knife for curd cheese and labne.

In my kitchen…

…are a pair of single serve saucepans. These are my Secret Santa present. This was a Secret Santa with a twist. As your name was drawn out, you could select from the pile or, take the gift of the person before you, who then chooses again. It’s sometimes called the ‘present snatch’. I snatched these from someone else. Thanks Santa. These were just what I was after!

Finally, in my kitchen is a ‘to do’ list as I transfer my blog to a self hosted site.  If you are a regular visitor make sure you have subscribed via email so I can take you with me to my new location. If you are in the TIFFIN Fan Club via Google, please also subscribe so I don’t lose you!

In My Kitchen is hosted on a monthly basis by the Sourdough Svengali, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. It’s an opportunity for bloggers to talk about what’s happening in their kitchen and their lives and maybe include a few things that they haven’t had time to blog about. If you visit Celia’s blog, you can read about other In My Kitchen enthusiasts.

44 comments… add one
  • Rachi January 7, 2014, 5:07 pm

    LOVING all the Canberra foodie goodies! You are practically a local now anyway 🙂
    Happy NY Fiona!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:37 am

      Thanks Rachi. Yep, first visit on 21 January. Particularly thrilled with that Wallaroo Red Sparkling.

  • Mary @ beyondjelly January 7, 2014, 5:23 pm

    Hehehe! I love the pineapple theme! I can just imagine pineappley objects finding their way to you from all over the world!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:38 am

      I thought the same thing and think you are right. I'll have to have a Luau Party.

  • Kari January 7, 2014, 7:39 pm

    Oh gosh, so much good stuff! I love the idea of dried cherries in chocolate, and of that chocolate with chipotle – yum! Gorgeous pineapple bag and wooden knife too 🙂

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:39 am

      Hi Kari – yes, can't wait to try that chipotle chocolate. Thanks for visiting.

  • Anonymous January 8, 2014, 12:51 am

    Hi Fiona, You certainly got some lovely gifts this year. Have a great year. Glenda

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:40 am

      Considering I don't exchnage a lot of gifts, it was quite a haul. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Anne Wheaton January 8, 2014, 4:16 am

    Your mother sounds like mine! I love the pineapple pin tray.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:41 am

      She tells me she's off again to China, later in the year. There is definitely no inheritance left!

  • Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things January 8, 2014, 6:52 am

    Hi Fiona, happy new year! There are so many good things in your kitchen, I barely know where to begin… those chocolate covered cherries caught my eye! I love the La Barre products. Very nice. The pineapple theme is quite fitting for a Queensland girl. And your apron, what fun!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:42 am

      Hi Liz – I'll be cracking open the oil for some zesty salad dressings once I go back to work next week. A girls got to have something to look forward to!

  • Shannan January 8, 2014, 7:49 am

    I loved reading this post! So many great gifts. I love that version of Secret Santa. We call it Stealing Santa. Happy New Year!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:42 am

      Hi Shannan – 'Stealing Santa'? I'll be stealing that name for next year. Thanks for being a regular visitor and reader.

  • Joanna @ Zeb Bakes January 8, 2014, 8:02 am

    Happy New Year to you! How about staying here if you ever visit Scotland – it would fit in with your pineapple theme http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/pineapple-10726 ;0

    Love your post and all the gorgeous things in your kitchen!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 10:14 am

      That's awesome! Of course, those pictures have gone straight onto the Pinterest board. Why have I never heard of this place? Will have to visit next time we come to the UK. Thanks for opening up my world Joanna.

  • Mel Kettle January 8, 2014, 9:13 am

    Happy 2014! Love all the pineapple themed gifts, but mostly I love the matrioshka apron. I have one too, but quite different to yours.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:44 am

      Hi Mel – I meant to get a photo of Justin Man Mountain wearing it the other night but was having too much fun and forget. See you around the 'burb! F xx

  • Jan Rhoades January 8, 2014, 9:17 am

    So glad to see that the honey drizzler from Greece is keeping company with the knife from Estonia. And in the pineapple theme, tell me, do you have a pineapple peeler/corer from the days of The (original) inventors…I don't think they came in any colour other than yellow – Thank you Bubbles Fisher!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:46 am

      No, I don't have a corer but I bet you do. Remember, I'm not collecting these, they were thrust upon me. Speaking of that corer, if you take a look at the Pinterest board, towards the bottom is a metal corer in a RNA photo from many years past. It look suspiciously like a prototype.

  • celia January 8, 2014, 9:25 am

    Fiona, what a bounty you have in your kitchen this month! AND you're getting a new kitchen, how exciting! Absolutely love your new babushka apron, although I'm puzzled by your beautiful new pineapple tray – surely it's not for holding sewing pins? And how fabulous that you and Jenny have been friends for so long – we have a few 30 year friends, and they're worth more to me than

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 9:48 am

      Hi Celia – I'm looking forward to the kitchen but have already had to ring the builder to remind him to visit me this week. If I was reading the signs… Yes, very lucky to have a friend in Jenny and our enduring love of shoulder pads and eyeliner on boys.

  • Sally - My Custard Pie January 8, 2014, 1:15 pm

    Loving this round up especially the matrioshka apron, wooden honey drizzle and that magnificent pineapple silver dish. Your Mum gets around doesn't she. Love the name for Celia – Sour dough svengali…brilliant.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 2:38 pm

      Thanks Sally – yes, we are a bunch of World Travellers. Celia is indeed the guru of many things!

  • Catherine January 8, 2014, 4:17 pm

    Oh, that matrioshka apron is lovely, and I agree, your Secret Santa is a clever one…

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 6:36 pm

      Ho Ho – I think I need to go into the apron making business. It's a very popular item on this post. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

  • Your honey spoon is beautiful and I love those cherries!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 8, 2014, 6:35 pm

      Thanks. I'm not the biggest lover of honey though Mr Tiffin adores it so it will be used. I know once I crack those cherries open, theyw on't last long at all!

  • Kim | a little lunch January 9, 2014, 4:10 am

    Fiona, I read the side story you linked about the honey drizzle "thingy" 🙂 and wondered if you'll use yours? (I still resort to a spoon, ha!) I also loved your friends theme. This whole post was a "bonanza" (to quote you), and I wish you a very Happy New Year!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 9, 2014, 8:01 am

      I wonder who even invented the honey drizzle/dipper/thingy? Someone with a bit too much time on their hands? Yes, we'll just continue to use a knife I think. Thanks for your visit.

  • Joanne T Ferguson January 9, 2014, 1:14 pm

    G'day Tiffin and Happy New Year to your family and blog too!
    GREAT fun post today and look forward to when we meet in person!
    Loved the dried cherries and your apron!
    Thanks also for this months kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 10, 2014, 10:20 am

      Hi Mickey – thanks for visiting. I always find your posts full of fun and exhuberance. Hopefully we will be able to meet. Maybe at the EDB conference later in the year? All the best. Fiona

  • JJ - 84thand3rd January 10, 2014, 1:39 am

    Love the apron and the pineapple pin tray! Best wishes for a Happy New Year 😀

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 10, 2014, 10:21 am

      HI JJ – originally I was going to get Anthony to model it but missed the chance. As it turned out, it's been the most popular item on this post. Thanks for visiting.

  • saucygander January 10, 2014, 9:29 pm

    Loving the matrioshka apron, and the pineapple theme with stories behind each pineapple! You have a load of gorgeous presents in your kitchen this month, thanks for sharing.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 11, 2014, 4:26 pm

      If I had a dollar for every comliment for that apron, I could have gone to Russia myself!

  • heidiannie January 11, 2014, 5:25 am

    Love all the pineapple motif items! I have some scattered around the house- but then my niece lived in Hawaii for 5 years and she tends to buy local and send to me! ( I have many foods from Canberra right now since she's been living there for the last couple of years!)
    The choc covered cherries are calling to me, as well…
    Good luck with your blog address change- I did that

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 11, 2014, 4:28 pm

      Despite the fact that we have a good deal of chocolate remaining from Christmas, Anthony insisted on opening them. Delicious!

      Yes, moving the blog will be a challenge, particularly as I have so many posts however I am paying someone to do a lot of the leg work so hopefully that should make things easier. I know though, that there will be some hiccups. Fingers crossed.

  • Don't boil the sauce January 12, 2014, 5:25 pm

    Hey Fiona, the perfect apron in case any Russian grandmothers pop over to sing and bake cookies…..we can all dream!
    I love the pineapple theme and I think every Australian household had at least 1 wooden pineapple in the 80's, I remember ours would house cubes of cheese and cabanossi or gherkins and cocktail onions on special occasions lol
    Your chocolate sounds amazing what a

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 17, 2014, 9:17 am

      HI Jason – funnily enough, there was a small piece on the new on Sunday night about the Big Pineapple as they are having another go at turning it in to a tourist attraction. A child of the 70's dream come true. Plenty more wooden pineapples to be had no doubt!

  • The Food Sage January 12, 2014, 8:55 pm

    I didn't have you down as a 'present snatcher'! A great walk-through your kitchen…and life. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 17, 2014, 9:19 am

      To be honest, I normally wouldn't. It just so happened that the person ahead of me in the queue who had selected the saucepans also happened to be the person who had had a bit of a go at me at work in front of a public audience, earlier in the day. Karma!

  • My Kitchen Stories January 15, 2014, 9:40 pm

    What a great lot of things you have. there are some wonderful local producers. I love the pineapple tray and would be very keen on that chipotle chocolate heaven!

    • Fiona Bris-Vegas! January 17, 2014, 9:20 am

      I haven't opened the chocolate yet as we have a lot in the cupboard, left over from Christmas. I'm saving it for when I can really savour it later in the year.

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