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In My Kitchen… March 2016

February gave us an extra day this year but here we are again, March . Our renovations are finished and the builders are gone. Now comes the task of unpacking and restoring order. I’m asking myself about every item as I return it to a new cupboard. Do I really need it? When was the last time I used it? Have I got it, just in case? There are some items that fly through to the keeper (such as the Corningware percolator peeking out below) but I am determined to retain order and control over ‘stuff’. Maureen from The Orgasmic Chef is our IMK host. She lives on the lovely Sunshine Coast. Have you visited her blog? How could you resist with a blog name like that?

In my new March kitchen…

A shelf with coffee pots, plungers, filters and grinders

…I am a collector at heart. Like my father before me, who had an enormous array of highly prized Australian comics (now part of the NLA collection), I can not seem to stop collecting. I have spoken on my vast collection of salt and a few months ago, I showed you some of the vinegar collection that has sprung up in the pantry. In the task of unpacking, sorting and storing in my new pantry, it seems that I don’t mind a coffee or two. So much so that I have a full shelf of percolators, plungers, bialetti and an aeropress. How did I end up with such a variety? You know where to come to if you need a pick me up.


In my kitchen…

Small basket of Kampot Peppercorns from Cambodia

…is this basket of Kampot Peppercorns, from Cambodia. It was a Christmas gift from my friend Michelle and for those playing along, will compliment the veritable salt mine in my pantry. Kampot pepper is apparently some of the best pepper in the world, though I confess to not having heard of it. Kampot in a region in Cambodia which has Protected Geographical Indication, meaning only pepper from that region can be called ‘Kampot Pepper’. According to one website, it has an elegant flavour and opulent aroma. It also has some very good marketing. I will be putting this claim to the test on a watermelon and feta dish.

In my kitchen…

Battered and ripped box for an old food processor

…was this sad and sorry looking box for my Breville Cyclonic Wizz c1988. For the first time in nearly 30 years, I can now have the food processor out the box and on the bench on a permanent basis. Small pleasures. After faithful service, it’s time for the box to finally go into the recycling and as you can see from the water stains and tape, not before time. I still have the book of course and that’s not going anywhere. The Cyclonic Wizz just goes on and on. Fairy claps to Breville. I’d love a larger food processor but I’m not going to buy a new one when this is perfectly serviceable.  The motor is obviously very good and I expect that when (if) it finally dies, its replacement will be nowhere near as powerful. Who knows, it may be the only one I ever own.

In my kitchen (ish)…

A row of cook books on a bookshelf

…is a very practical birthday gift from my friend Sam. It’s a subscription to Eat Your Books. In 2015, I swore off cookbooks and didn’t buy one. I love my cookbooks but I find in this digital age that I am cooking more and more from blogs and the internet so I decided that buying books was a false economy. Still, I  managed to end up with several gifted or complimentary books. With the renovation complete and a desire to resist filling up my cupboards and shelves, I asked Sam to buy me this subscription, to make better use of my books. It was Glenda from Passionfruit Garden who inspired me. I’m determined to cook a dish as wonderful sounding as ‘Widow’s Kisses‘. Not all of the books and recipes are indexed so I’m doing my bit by indexing Bonny Wolf’s Talking With My Mouth Full.


In my kitchen…

two jars or organic chutney - Cherry & Clove and, Tomato & Kaffir Lime

…there is wonky chutney. Eat Me Chutneys are a great business, dedicated to social responsibility. I wrote about them last week and said I’d be opening the cherries next. As it turned out, we opened the Tomato + Kaffir Lime and we can’t get enough of it! Read more about Eat Me Chutneys and their bid to liberate the wonky fruit of the world.

There’s plenty more happening but I just haven’t had any time to take photos or write. I hope I can rectify this by next month. Cheers!


28 comments… add one
  • Francesca March 1, 2016, 7:11 pm

    You can’t go past those old Breville processors. If you ever need spare parts, contact me. I have a section of the boys shed for my own irreplaceable and highly collectable girls tools.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:49 pm

      Well it’s good to know where to go. I hope it lasts and lasts.

  • Mimi March 1, 2016, 11:03 pm

    I loved peeking in your kitchen! My own food processor is so old, that it doesn’t have a polarized plug–which has been required by law for many years now. It weighs a ton, but still works like a charm.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:50 pm

      They don’t make them like they used to. As long as the house doesn’t burn down!

  • Glenda March 2, 2016, 1:49 am

    Hi Fiona. I bet you will love EatYourBooks. You will definitely use your cookbooks more. I have a Breville Professional Whizz which is years old. It is still going strong. I remember it was such a big decision to buy it but geez it has been used and used and used.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:52 pm

      Yes, those Widow’s Kisses have set me on a path. I looked at a new Breville and it didn’t have the heft of this one so I am content for now.

  • Jan Rhoades March 2, 2016, 8:57 am

    In my kitchen is my very old Kitchen Wizz too. I bought a new one because I wanted a bigger bowl. It has since been retired as almost useless and my old Wizz has been reinstated to its rightful place. And yes, mine goes on and on as well. I think it was bought in the early-mid 80s.
    Nice post. Can’t wait for the next installment as you unpack your boxes of bits and bobs.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:53 pm

      I looked too as a bigger bowl would be good but decided against it. Your post has confirmed that I should stick with what I have.

  • Tandy I Lavender and Lime March 2, 2016, 2:06 pm

    In Rands, eat my books works out so expensive! Glad your kitchen is done. Tomorrow they start installing the ceilings in mine 😀

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:54 pm

      I wonder why there is that cost Tandy? Surely it should be ‘relatively reasonable’. I wonder if it’s a copyright thing? Good luck with all of that dust!

  • Gretchen March 3, 2016, 6:32 am

    I need to look into Eat Your Books now. I have not heard of it but could definitely use it. I’m am trying to only buy digital cookbooks and even those not much. Like you I cook from blogs too. So glad your kitchen is done, I’m sure you must be thrilled to be able to use it again!

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Hi Gretchen – I’m already annoyed that every book I have is not indexed (and after all, why would it?). I am already addicted as Glenda predicted!

  • Lisa March 3, 2016, 8:27 am

    There is something wonderful about unpacking and restoring order to a room. I love the sound of Eat My Books, and I definitely love the sound of those chutneys – all of the ones you’ve mentioned sound delicious.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 2:56 pm

      The chutneys are really good. I make chutney too but it’s a lot of pfaffing about and these are just as good as home made. Worth seeking out.

  • Liz (Good Things) March 3, 2016, 3:26 pm

    Fairy claps to Breville indeed! We have two of those, Peter’s and mine… which was once my mum and dad’s… earlier than ’88. Hip hip hoorah for your new kitchen, Fi… and I love the snippet about the comic books, wow.

    • Fiona Ryan March 3, 2016, 6:19 pm

      It’s all coming together Liz. Yes my dad is a bit of a God in geeky comic circles. ; )

  • Beck @ Goldenpudding March 3, 2016, 9:28 pm

    Enjoy the Eat Your Books subscription!, I’ve found it fabulous even though I have a few that aren’t indexed yet…
    I also love the cyclonic wizz box, I remember that being ‘the’ processor to have 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan March 4, 2016, 1:51 pm

      There’s quite a lot that aren’t indexed. I have started indexing a book but it is quite challenging, with many many rules. I think I’ll just do one and leave it at that.

  • Mandy March 3, 2016, 10:47 pm

    How lovely to have your kitchen complete and I too am a bit of a collector in the kitchen.
    Have a beautiful day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Fiona Ryan March 4, 2016, 1:51 pm

      The collections never end. I seem to have quite a few pastry brushes too…

  • Sherry from sherryspickings March 4, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I have an ancient food processor too which keeps on keeping on. I hope it never dies as I’m sure the new ones are not as good as evidenced by the crummy kitchen aid hand beaters I had to buy not long ago. Takes 3 times as long to do anything! I must be stupid. I don’t get the point of Eat your books. I have a free subscription but I have no idea what to do with it Surely I can just pick up the book and look for the recipes in it It just seems odd because it’s only telling you about the recipe but doesn’t give you the recipe Or am I missing something ?

    • Fiona Ryan April 5, 2016, 8:21 am

      Eat your books come into its own when you want to see all the recipes you might have on your shelves that include lemon or walnuts etc. It saves you looking through all of the books and/or might reveal some recipes that you didn’t know were hidden in the pages. It’s a starting point to direct you back to your collection. As others have said, a lot aren’t indexed but it can be a time saver and reveal some gems.

  • Amanda (@lambsearshoney) March 5, 2016, 10:51 am

    I’m so glad to hear your reno is done – you must be thrilled that it’s all over.
    I adore Eat Your Books. I get so much more use from my cookbooks with it.

    • Fiona Ryan April 5, 2016, 8:22 am

      I hope to do the same. I have stopped buying cookbooks but they still appear.

  • Jennifer @Milk and Honey March 6, 2016, 11:54 am

    I don’t know where I’d be without Eat Your Books. I have so many cookbooks, it’s a bit overwhelming trawling through the shelves trying to find a certain recipe without it. I love Kampot Peppercorns. They give a lovely perfume to a curry. Crushed over watermelon and feta sounds divine.

    • Fiona Ryan March 7, 2016, 5:01 pm

      It seems I’m in a club I never knew about! I think most people joining Eat Your Books after reading about it on other people’s blogs.

  • Elizabeth March 11, 2016, 9:15 am

    Oh I think that all food bloggers collect books 🙂 it is just what we do! There is a fantastic place in surfers paradise at the 4217 that sells wonderful salts… It is called “salt, meat, cheese” and it’s fabulous 🙂 next time your are down the coast pop in… Oh and let me know… I will come and meet you for a coffee at paradox roasters!
    Liz xx

    • Fiona Ryan April 5, 2016, 8:23 am

      That sounds like a great idea Liz -thanks for the head’s up and the invite.

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