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In My Kitchen… July 2016

It’s July and it’s cold. We had the longest summer ever in Brisbane but in the past week, winter has arrived. Sure, it’s not snowing like it is in some parts of Australia but when you live in a wooden house without central heating, 8c is a pretty frosty start to the morning. On Monday we had our one official cold day of the year where it reached 15c but the temperatures are thankfully creeping up again. Why am I so fixated on the weather? Because next weekend we are having an Exteno Unveil Party for 50 people and I need them out in the entertaining area, not crowded inside!

Winter is Here meme telling guest to dress warmly for a party

I created a hilarious Game of Thrones meme for those who may be coming to the party. Gosh I’m a jokester.

In my July  kitchen…

Square baking tin

…is some new kitchenware. My sister-in-law gave be a voucher for Victoria’s Basement, located in Sydney. You can order online but it’s not the same as fossicking through the shelves so when I visited Sydney for work a week ago, I made time to browse the store in the QVB building. These types of shops are very dangerous – everything your heart desires at rock bottom prices. I am on a major push to declutter my life so I actually had some difficulty spending the voucher. I questioned each item I picked up and thought about whether I already had something I could use. In the end I went for a mix of things that has been on my list for some time as well as a couple of treats. I am particularly happy with the square tart pan which perfectly fits a piece of shop bought puff or shortcrust pastry into it.


In my kitchen…

piles of crockery, plates and cutlery

…are piles of crockery and cutlery for the party. Life’s too short to be eating off paper plates and I have yet to meet a plastic fork that can successfully manage a piece of chicken. Besides that, there is no good reason to contribute to landfill when there are perfectly serviceable plates in our cupboards. Pulling together kit from ‘everyday’,’entertaining’ and ‘picnic and camping’ meant I had nearly everything I needed. Who would have thought that I had 50 bowls? The small amount extra that was needed was just bought from an op shop and will be returned to them when I am done.


In my kitchen…

a carton of 6 eggs

…are some fresh, backyard eggs from a friend. She lives a few doors down and has gone away fro a few days so I go down each day to say hello to the girls and collect their eggs. There were seven today. These days I hear quite a few chickens squawking behind fences as I walk around the neighbourhood. Everything old is new again.


In my kitchen…

a bottle of wine and a bottle of bundaberg rum

…we are reacquainting ourselves with red wines. On the go at present is some Ulithorne Familia Shiraz from McLaren Vale.  Ulithorne are a low yield winery where the emphasis is on quality rather than quantity of grapes. I can’t argue with them there. We picked it up for a song on Vinomofo, and are so happy with it that we went back for a second case. Also new to the kitchen is a rum liqueur. I can’t stand dark rum but Mr Tiffin loves it so he was very chuffed when his niece picked up a bottle of cellar door only Bundaberg Chocolate Rum Liqueur for him. I can think of nothing worse but he seems happy.


In my kitchen…

Lengths of colourfully printed fabric from Kenya, Indonesia, Tanzania and Fiji

…are many, many lengths of fabric that I have collected on my travels. Ostensibly they are tablecloths and indeed, some do make it on to the table but most are just pieces that I could not resist. Of course, they should be made into something but I can not bear to cut them. I gave a piece to my Mum, who quilts, and she put her piece to good use but I am remorseful to this day. There are pieces from Bali, Maasai Mara, Zanzibar, Lake Victoria and Fiji.

lengths of brightly printed fabric from tanzania and zanzibar showing manufacturing stampsWhen I look at them, they remind me of the places I have been and the people I was travelling with. These are just the lengths of fabric. Don’t get me started on the tea towels. I have recently re-folded all of these to be stored in my walk in pantry in hopes that I may use them more often. This is an insight into my attempts to decluttering vs treasuring.

In my kitchen…

bags of frozen meatballs

…I hand rolled 150 Thai turkey meatballs for the party. That’s a lot of meatballs. Luckily I had Mame on the TV to entertain me as I rolled.

In My Kitchen is part of a monthly round up from cooks all over the globe. It is hosted by Maureen, The Orgasmic Chef. Though she is taking a break from hosting, I still wrote a post as many readers have said this is one of their favourites each month. Now I have to go and make enough sourdough for 50 dinner rolls. It’s a big undertaking to have a party of this size but it’s been nine years since we had a blowout of this magnitude so it’s time.

15 comments… add one
  • Francesca July 1, 2016, 5:59 pm

    All the best for the party Fiona, you look pretty organised and well prepared. I’m linking you up to my IMK- let’s call it an informal link up for the month. Cheers, Fra

    • Fiona Ryan July 5, 2016, 10:09 am

      Thanks for linking Francesca. Always appreciated. We are as ready as we’re ever going to be. I like to think it’s all done but I’m sure I’ll still be in the kitchen for much of the night.

  • Mandy July 1, 2016, 6:19 pm

    I haven’t participated in an IMK post for a couple of months – too many things happening and changing all too quickly for my liking. Will get back into it.
    My Pete also loves bringing home pieces of fabric from all over Africa and he usually get my mom to make him pants (he is known for his funky pants) and table clothes too.
    Have a super day
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Fiona Ryan July 5, 2016, 10:11 am

      Ha ha – I’d like to see a photo of those funky pants Mandy. I bet there are some loud pairs. I’m sure you will come back to IMK when there is time or inspiration. xxx

  • Heather Scott July 2, 2016, 9:39 am

    Can’t wait for the sourdough bread rolls 🙂 I’ll have two please

    • Fiona Ryan July 5, 2016, 10:08 am

      Ahhh… I don’t think they will be making an appearance…. I’m doing garlic bread for the masses. whoops!

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime July 2, 2016, 3:33 pm

    Love the fabric and maybe you can find a way to showcase them all. We don’t have central heating in South Africa and this winter has been so cold that I bought a gas heater on Thursday to warm our house. That and two dogs on my lap helps a lot. Have a super party 😀

    • Fiona Ryan July 5, 2016, 10:12 am

      I think the way I’ll be show casing them all is to fling open the cupboard and say ‘ta da’. Yes, it’s a cold one for us this past few weeks. We do actually have a reverse cycle aircon which we put on in the evening but it goes off when we go to bed.

  • Lisa July 4, 2016, 7:14 pm

    I am a collector of fabric and tea towels too. Lately I have been consciously trying to use them instead of saving them ‘for good’. I still get antsy when Mr Fork actually uses them for something dirty though!

    Good luck for your party. I shall send warm vibes! It has seemed rather chilly lately, but I’m sure good food and company will help keep the guests warm!

    PS: when reading about your 50 bowls, the line from Frozen ran through my head about “Who knew we owned 8000 salad plates”…. ok, possibly I have watched that movie too many times, but I *am* impressed you have enough crockery and cutlery to cater to your party crowd!

    • Fiona Ryan July 5, 2016, 9:49 am

      Ha ha – there is no getting away from Frozen is there? Wet today but a fine weekend predicted. Still, what possessed me to have a party outside in July?

  • sherry from sherrys pickings July 5, 2016, 5:29 pm

    wow 150 meatballs!? good on you. i guess your guests will be a bit cold as were ours last weekend in our carport for our movie night. love all the fabrics and yes i am a huge tea towel collector too. i can’t drink rum in my old age. it makes me sick -literally tho i used to drink it like a trooper/trouper. we had a scottish theme for our party – why? cos i am a bit scottish! i keep meaning to get one of those square baking tins – one day….

  • Liz July 5, 2016, 9:50 pm

    Cold schmold. Come down here gal!

  • mae July 7, 2016, 9:18 pm

    I like your new word “treasuring” to oppose obsessive decluttering. I don’t have fabric lengths though I love fabric, but I also have lots of tea towels. However, I use them, and in fact they are getting pretty worn looking. As I said in my kitchen post this month — all my possessions bring me joy!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan July 11, 2016, 12:50 pm

      Yes, it’s about using and enjoying what you have!

  • Miss Food Fairy July 11, 2016, 5:34 pm

    I just had a thought for all your fabrics Fiona, for you to appreciate your amazing fabrics from all over the world, why don’t you ask your mum to make a large quilt for your bed or spare room bed, that way you get to enjoy them everyday! Good luck with the rest of the food for your party, your meatballs sound delicious – I know what it feels like to spend weeks preparing for a party, you’ll have the best time I’m sure 🙂
    IMK https://missfoodfairy.com/2016/07/11/in-my-kitchen-july-2016/

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