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In My Kitchen… January 2016

New Year. New IMK Host. New Kitchen. Yes, finally I have my new kitchen. It was touch and go in the days leading up to Christmas but I’m not a Project Manager for nothing. Thanks to everyone who held their breath, stuck their tongue out and crossed their fingers that it would be ready in time. I’m sure the builders were glad to see the back of me. It’s not quite finished but enough work was done to allow us to host Christmas lunch so that’s a win in my book.

In my new January kitchen…

11 vinegar bottles sitting on a shelf

…it would appear I have a vinegar collection that rivals my salt collection. In moving items from my old to new pantry, I counted 11 bottles of vinegar. OK, one of them is a vin cotto from the Barossa but it’s sharp and tangy so I’m including it. To say that’s a lot vinegar is a bit of an understatement. My vinegar of choice is Cornwell’s Apple Cider Vinegar. I bought a bottle recently and note in what is no doubt a cost cutting exercise, they have moved from the traditional heavy glass bottles with ceramic lids to thinner plastic bottles and lids. I am holding on to my glass bottles. Cornwell’s, still Australian owned and made, is known for the Skipping Girl on the label. For many years the neon Little Audrey skipped over inner city Melbourne. She’s still skipping though it’s not the original. Read more about the history of the Skipping Girl sign. I do get through vinegar quite quickly but new bottles seem to replace empties just as rapidly. It’s not an addiction, it’s an affliction.


In my kitchen…

Jar of Dallmayer Mustard from Munich

…is this attractive jar of olive and citrus mustard, a travel gift from friends Robert and Bronlynn. It comes from Dallmayr in Munich which is billed as Germany’s most famous and traditional delicatessen. Apparently it rivals the Harrods food hall and has been going since the 1800’s so they probably know a thing or two about mustard. I had never heard of this place so it seems I need to add it to my food pilgrimage list. I only received this jar a couple of days ago so have yet to open it but am sure it will be delicious on leftover Christmas ham.


In my kitchen…

Two modern ovens side by side in a kitchen

…are two new ovens. One for baking, one for everything else. I was happy to compromise on many things in our renovation but two ovens was not one of them. Most people make a plain cake to test a new oven. I made a pavlova for Christmas Day and could not have been happier. To me, the ovens seem slow but I believe they are accurate. It’s just that I have been cooking with a fast oven for the last dozen or so years and have instinctively adapted recipes. I’m looking forward to trying favourite recipes in them. The pyrolytic cleaning function is an added bonus.


In my kitchen…

A pile of mangoes from western Queensland including one marked with 'Bx' meaning 'Bowen cross'.

…is a bag of gifted mangoes. All the way from my friend’s uncle in Western Queensland. I think the ‘Bx’ stands for Bowen cross, meaning it is a cross between a Bowen mango and another breed. These are destined for smoothies, desserts and freezing. You know summer is here when people are giving mangoes away!


In my kitchen…

Attractive glass candy or biscuit jar with ornate glass lid alongside a bag of pfeffernusse gingerbread.

…is this delightful biscuit jar, a gift from my youngest brother Edward and his partner Anita. Not only did they provide the jar but also two bags of pfeffernusse to fill it. He knows the way to his sister’s heart. The jar will be an excellent addition to future festive tables.


In my kitchen was last month’s before shot…

Kitchen Renovation in progress

…and this month’s money shot.

Newly renovated kitchen.

As I said, there is still quite a lot to finalise, not the least of which is a splash back behind the stove. The builders start again on 11th January so there will be more dust and no doubt more frustrations but we are on the home stretch.

Our new host for In My Kitchen is Maureen at The Orgasmic Chef. I met Maureen a few years ago now when she, Mr Tiffin and I were the only three people to turn up for a menu launch at Alfred & Constance. We had a lovely evening and have crossed paths many times since. Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hasn’t gone anywhere. She’s still blogging but has handed over the IMK reigns to Maureen. Make sure your take a look at what’s happening in Maureen’s own kitchen as part of the monthly IMK catch up.

41 comments… add one
  • The Hipsterette January 5, 2016, 6:52 pm

    How great is your new kitchen – can’t wait to see ‘what’s cookin’! Thanks also for the link to the Skipping Girl site – very interesting.

    • Fiona Ryan January 6, 2016, 9:01 am

      I had hoped to be baking this Monday and Tuesday but it was pouring, as you know, but today is looking better.

  • Pamela Hayward January 5, 2016, 6:57 pm

    So envious of your TWO ovens…..and your kitchen☺

  • Anna @ shenANNAgans January 5, 2016, 8:24 pm

    2 new ovens *squeeeeeee that is amazing! How wonderful you were gifted with mangos, almost unheard of in the Berra. And your kitchen is coming along beautifully, fingers crossed the dust and frustrations are minimal. 😀

    • Fiona Ryan January 6, 2016, 9:03 am

      The dust…. THE DUST! Terrible dust – like the Simpson Desert. Hopefully it will all done my next month’s IMK (she says optimistically).

  • Glenda January 6, 2016, 1:48 am

    Gorgeous kitchen, Fiona. Free mangos? In my dreams 🙁

    • Fiona Ryan January 6, 2016, 9:04 am

      But you have the cherry tomatoes Glenda. What more could you want for? ; )

  • Jan Rhoades January 6, 2016, 6:31 am

    Nice post. Nice kitchen. Wonderful achievement in ‘doing’ Christmas. A lovely day and enjoyed by all. Like you, I can’t wait for it all to be finished for you/

    • Fiona Ryan January 6, 2016, 9:05 am

      I should have mentioned the sparkling windows that you cleaned.

  • Heather January 6, 2016, 9:07 am

    I love the splash of red, it’s beautiful! Congratulations x

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:33 pm

      Belated thanks Heather. Of course, now everyone wants to give me red homewares. It’s a splash of red – not everything red!

  • Francesca January 6, 2016, 10:48 am

    Two ovens- how nice Great for mass catering events too. I ‘m glad it was ready in time for Christmas. Enjoy the next stage. decor, stools, splashbacks, clocks—-

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:34 pm

      Yes – two ovens. And a few months on, they work very well and we have stuck to the ‘baking’ and ‘other’ system so the baking oven is pristine!

  • Mel @ The cook's notebook January 6, 2016, 11:42 am

    YAY! So pleased the kitchen is finished (well, nearly). Can’t wait to come and have a look – love the red. You must be beyond excited xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:35 pm

      Well a few months on it is all done so come on over!

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime January 6, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Wow, it’s looking amazing. Love the cooker and the colour scheme xx

  • the hipsterette January 7, 2016, 5:39 pm

    Hi Fiona

    Thought you might be interested in the latest update about the Skipping Girl sign – it is at risk of being obscured http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/skipping-girl-vinegar-sign-may-soon-be-partially-hidden-by-apartment-block-20160104-glywmd.html

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:37 pm

      Thanks for the link. I didn’t know about that. She certainly is much loved and subject to fierce opnions.

  • Veganopoulous January 9, 2016, 5:38 pm

    Congratulations on your new kitchen! I love that you have two ovens. It’s such a fab idea. My mum kept her old electric wall oven when she had her new kitchen installed and now when she has family events on, she uses the new oven in the kitchen and the old oven in the garage 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:46 pm

      It makes sense for us at least (only the two of us) as it’s more cost effective to use a smaller oven on a day to day day basis rather than heating a large 90cm oven for one zucchini slice. It’s the way of the future.

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef January 9, 2016, 7:08 pm

    I LOVE your new kitchen and the double ovens make me so jealous! (in a nice way). I’ve never had anyone give me mangoes – I get them the pay as you go method so I swoon at the thought of mangoes for free.

    Thanks heaps for being part of In My Kitchen! You and Mr. Tiffin are always in my thoughts when I think of blogging adventures.

  • Ania @ milktoastandhoney.co.uk January 10, 2016, 8:06 am

    Happy 2016 Fiona! Love your new kitchen – and the two ovens, great idea! And that jar is beautiful – big brownie points to your bro 🙂 xx

  • sherry from sherrys pickings January 11, 2016, 1:34 pm

    oh yes i still have pfeffernusse in my kitchen. love them. your vinegar collection is somewhat like mine but i think i have only 6 or so. such a shame that cornwells got rid of their lovely glass bottles. i only have the plastic ones now. glad to see your kitchen is up and running. 2 stoves?! sigh. i have one crazy gas one which you need to turn up 30 degrees higher than a recipe states as the door doesn’t shut properly and the heat escapes. have a great new year.

    • Fiona Ryan January 12, 2016, 8:24 pm

      Time to get a new oven Sherry! As David Bowie has shown us, you need to live life to the fullest.

  • Kim | a little lunch January 14, 2016, 5:57 am

    Fiona, your new kitchen is fabulous and I’m SO glad for you! (I’m sorta partial to red accents, don’tcha know?.) 🙂 Sorry to reiterate on what so many others have already said, but… double ovens… WOOHOO! Glad to hear they’re proving true to temp. Pavlovas can be a bit persnickety. Sounds like you have them handled and your upcoming “finishing touches” and vinegar stash, too.xo

    • Fiona Ryan January 16, 2016, 7:58 am

      I tell you what – I love those ovens already but they are taking some getting used to. The day I pressed publish, someone gave me four mini bottles of flavoured vinegar!

  • Kim | a little lunch January 14, 2016, 6:02 am

    P.S. Heartfelt thanks for the IMK calendar, too… my hubby LOVES IT as much as I do because it starts out with MONDAY as the first day of the week. For some reason “U.S” calendars have gravitated toward the “Sunday thru Saturday” time frame (much to our confusion, lol.) Thanks for straightening us (and our sense of time) out! xoxo

    • Fiona Ryan January 16, 2016, 7:59 am

      Oh yes, I hate the Sun start! I got to choose the format so I chose what I like. You’re very welcome : )

  • Maree January 15, 2016, 7:39 am

    Beautiful, nice to see some renos do progress! Congratulations for getting to ready for Christmas stage. How did we ever survive with just white or brown vinegar? I too have different ones for different things and they are wonderful. Ahhhh, mangoes. Yep = Summer. 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan January 16, 2016, 8:00 am

      Thanks Maree. We have some more red in our kitchen now but that’s enough. I love it but don’t want overkill. cheers!

  • Sandra January 16, 2016, 10:38 pm

    I’m a tad envious of your ovens. What brand did you choose? L’il Audrey was still skipping when I left Richmond. The City of Yarra is tightening up on planning which interferes with views to landmarks, so there is hope.

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:52 pm

      A very tardy response from me Sandra – The ovens are Electrolux – they rated very highly in a Choice test last year. We only intended to buy one pyrolytic but were able to negotiate to buy two pyros for the cost of 2 non pyros. The cooktop is a Bosch – which is what I previously had and was very happy with the perfromance (and this one too though the burners can be a bit fierce).

  • Miss Food Fairy January 19, 2016, 3:35 pm

    Happy 2016 You must be very proud of your gorgeous new kitchen Fiona, it’s fantastic! Foodies are jealous all over #IMK!! I just love your new ovens & stove top, which brand are they as I would love a self clean oven one day 🙂 I’m intrigued with the olive & citrus mustard too – please keep us updated with flavours & the goodies you ate with it xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:51 pm

      The ovens are Electrolux – they rated very highly in a Choice test last year. We only intended to buy one pyrolytic but were able to negotiate to buy two pyros for the cost of 2 non pyros. The cooktop is a Bosch – which is what I previously had and was very happy with the perfromance (and this one too though the burners can be a bit fierce). It had some small scratches on it so they knocked quite a bit off so all in all, a great deal.

  • tableofcolors January 21, 2016, 8:20 pm

    Your new kitchen looks every so lovely and fresh…as do the ovens! I think I could use two ovens quite often as well 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan January 23, 2016, 9:15 am

      Yes, it’s very different from how it was. Lots of light too. I always marvel at how much light you have in your own kitchen Laila, given how far north you live.

  • Elizabeth January 27, 2016, 11:26 am

    I have a vast collection of vinegar too, AND my kombcha is now at vinegar too so I have more 🙂 LOL!
    I am so jealous of your oven, what I wouldn’t give for two 🙂 and you must be so happy with your new kitchen it looks gorgeous… I hope they got back to work on th 11th and it is all finishes with all the dust clean by now!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Liz xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 13, 2016, 2:48 pm

      They did get back on time Liz. There was much heartache in relation to the paving outside but that’s now done and looks superb. We are just waiting on one screen on an upstairs window but that is in the wind (fingers crossed).

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