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In My Kitchen… October 2016

In my kitchen this month finds me in a very different world to last month. When I wrote the September post, I was working for the Australian Public Service. A month on, I have left my employer of 28 years and am footloose and fancy free. Unexpected but not unwelcome. Eventually I will need to join the real world but in the mean time, I am enjoying some down time.

This week I put myself through my own blogging bootcamp where I set myself a number of posts, tasks and skills to complete over the course of 5 days. The blog had become a little flabby and needed some tidying and trimming after a few hiccups. As we are taking a short holiday in November, I wanted to make sure the blog was in tip top condition and operating well.

One of the new skills I learned was how to do Facebook Live, which is a live streaming video. It’s not meant to be polished or perfect but a way of connecting with people and talking about what’s happening ‘in the moment’.  You would have no doubt noticed that videos are the most popular way of sharing ideas or information these days. I thought I better get on board as I fear that in another few years, people may have lost the ability to read altogether! Here’s one of my videos so you can listen to what I have to say and hear what I sound like in real life.


In my October Kitchen, it’s all about the equipment…

Food Processor with accesories

…I have a new food processor. Though the Breville Kitchen Wizz is still going strong 30 years on, it’s bowl is not overly large. I decided I would treat myself to a new ‘I just left my job’ one with a larger bowl. I didn’t need to buy one as my friend Sam gave me a brand new food processor that her mum had bought and never used. Sam was worried that it may not be up to my exacting standards. Ha! As you can tell, I like to get the most out of my appliances so there was no fear that this new food processor would be an upgrade on the old one. It’s super duper and even has a mini processor as well. Thanks Sam!


In my kitchen…

Stick Blender with box

…is a new stick blender. Stop me if you’ve heard this before but I have had my stick blender for 30 years and it is disintegrating, with gaffer tape being pressed into service to hold it together. I decided to treat myself to a new stick blender but Sam was also coordinating the office farewell collection so she saw to it that I got what I really wanted. It’s super duper too. It has a whisk and a mini food processor (so now I have two). Thanks Sam!


In my kitchen…


…are these offset spatulas. I have been after these for ages but they are actually quite hard to get a hold of. All the usual places seem to have them permanently out of stock. My sister in law has also been looking for herself and has had no luck. There is an offset spatula drought. Luckily for me, there was leftover money from the office collection so I received these as well and of course, they are super duper. Yes, Sam orchestrated this too.


In my kitchen…

food dehydrator

…is a dehydrator. I bought it 2nd hand off Gumtree and can tell that it has only been used once. The one time they chucked the box and book, used it and decided that didn’t like it. It’s not as powerful as a commercial dehydrator but it wasn’t as costly either. I have been able to download the book from the website so I’m good to go. I have previously spent a lot of time checking the power usage of these but it’s quite difficult to find any helpful information about the impact on power bills. I’ll just have to make sure I use it at night, when we are not feeding electricity into the grid via our solar panels.


In my kitchen…

Photographic lightbox with lights and backing panels

…is this new lightbox. Truth be told, it’s actually beside rather than in my kitchen as it’s much larger than expected. It’s a pop up lightbox that came with four different backgrounds and a couple of lights. All up it was $50 including post, on eBay. I thought I was buying something the size of a large fruit box but it is much larger. Oh well! It’s collapsible so storage won’t be a problem. This is the first lightbox I have ever owned and whilst I will never be a Lord Lichfield or even Princess Kate, I think it will assist when I’m in those high pressure, low light situations that seem to occur at dinner most weeks. You can see I have given it a quick trial in the photos above. Now I just need to iron the creases out of those backdrops!

In My Kitchen was originally hosted by Celia from Fig Jam & Lime Cordial and then Maureen from the Orgasmic Chef. This month Liz from Good Things has taken up the spatula and will be hosting the IMK get together going forward. Visit the Good Things page to see who has joined in. In the mean time, here are some regular IMK participants that you can visit to see what they are up to in their own kitchen.

Francesca – Almost Italian
Celia – Fig Jam & Lime Cordial
Gretchen – Feeding My 3 Sons
Sherry – Sherry’s Pickings
Napoli Restaurant Alert

26 comments… add one
  • Francesca September 30, 2016, 6:56 pm

    I like the look of that light box- I am always struggling with getting the light right at night.

    • Fiona Ryan October 1, 2016, 10:50 am

      $55 on ebay! and, my photos didn’t even use the small lights as I have a bright overhead light over the bench.

  • Dean Weber September 30, 2016, 7:17 pm


    All the best for the next step in your career path! Not that you will need it!

    Kind Regards
    Dean Weber.

  • Elizabeth September 30, 2016, 9:12 pm

    Seriously…. Every time I use my offset spatular… I think, how did I bake without these amazing pieces of metal… AND I OWN A THERMOMIX!!! 😜😜😜 really you will love them!
    I hope you are enjoying some free time… Maybe you could show me your favourite coffee shop… Late October…??? As I can’t believe we live so close but haven’t meet in real life 😘😘
    Liz xxx

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:48 pm

      Liz – a coffee would be great. I will be around so please follow me up,. Today I watched an episode of Spring Baking Challenge and there were spatulas galore!

  • Tandy I Lavender and Lime October 1, 2016, 2:36 pm

    I wish you all the best where ever life takes you! Enjoy all the amazing new goodies in your kitchen 😀

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:49 pm

      Thanks Tandy. Happily, I will have some time on my hands to use them.

  • Liz (Good Things) October 1, 2016, 3:51 pm

    Ha ha, I love that, ‘taking up the spatula’. Thank you for the very kind shout out and continuing with IMK. Wishing you all the best in your future endeavours. : )

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:49 pm

      Ha – I should have said ‘taking up the offset spatula’ : )

  • Shari from GoodFoodWeek October 2, 2016, 2:59 pm

    Congratulations on your new adventure away from the Public Service. I also resigned from my position {which I was technically on maternity leave from} to focus on raising all these little ones right now. I am so glad that Liz has taken over hosting the IMK link up – so I can keep track of everyone again. I love my Kitchen Wizz – I’ve had it for 5 years and it is fantastic.

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:50 pm

      Whilst I am ready to hand off my old stick blender, there is no way I’ll be giving up that Breville! Must be very close for you now. All the best xxx

  • Sandra October 2, 2016, 5:44 pm

    Maybe the offset spatula drought is due to Ahn Do, he lays paint on canvas with them. Enjoy your down time, it’s a chance to reevaluate, even change direction. Gotta get me a light box, or convince QLD to adopt daylight saving

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:54 pm

      We’ll be long gone before daylight saving arrives here (sadly). Light box from ebay.

  • Miss Food Fairy October 6, 2016, 1:54 pm

    Congratulations on your new life venture Fiona, wherever you go or do you’ll be fantastic but for now enjoy your downtime, you deserve it! Where you off to on your holiday? I’ve always wanted a dehydrator but I still haven’t decided which one I’d like yet – looking forward to the goodies you preserve. It’s great to be back for IMK, missed everyone x

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:55 pm

      I think the dehydrator may be a false economy as it’s not that powerful but we’ll wait and see. I am keen to dry some mango in it, when they are plentiful. Hong Kong is next on the cards for us, looming very soon.

  • Kim | a little lunch October 6, 2016, 2:21 pm

    Fiona (at long last!) what a delight to see, read, and “hear” you. (Wonderful on all forums!) Best wishes on your footloose and fancy free life at present, not to mention your “blog bootcamp” adventures… you have gazillions going on “online” and I wish you success in each & every area. (I learned loads!) You’re definitely well equipped — not only In Your Kitchen, but in curiosity, intelligence, perseverance, and enthusiasm. You’re an inspiration to those of us (me? lol) who lag behind technologically. Go for it!

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:58 pm

      Hi Kim – great to hear from you. I will eventually need to get a job but there is absolutely no rush and I am revelling in my new found freedom. Where did I ever find the time to work?

  • Lisa October 6, 2016, 2:45 pm

    Fiona, all the best for the new road ahead. As soon as you mentioned ironing your lightbox you know I scrolled back up to look at the previous photos. What a great eBay find. How very lovely that your colleagues got you gifts that will be appreciated. I am a big fan of using something until it gives up the ghost… sometimes those older appliances are far superior to the modern equivalents!

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 4:59 pm

      The engine in the Breville is amazing and they just don’t make them like that anymore. I’m lucky that my friends know that a spatula is more useful than a bunch of flowers ; )

  • Marcellina October 10, 2016, 4:07 pm

    Hi Fiona, I have loved listening and watching your video and I have learnt a lot from you! Thanks so much! I also love an offset spatula and my dehydrator – great for mangos. Looking forward to further posts!

    • Fiona Ryan October 10, 2016, 5:00 pm

      Hi Marcellina – thanks for your kind words. I was thinking the same thing re: mango so bring on the trays of cheap mangoes, I say!

  • Jan Rhoades October 17, 2016, 8:48 am

    Off-set spatulas!!! Don’t get me started. I’d been searching since 2009 for one such spatulata after seeing Martha Stewart use them all the time and singing their praises. On my visit to the US in 2009…they were totally unattainable…even in Martha Stewart’s section in Macy’s. Fast forward to 2015 – Martha Stewart ‘shop’, Macy’s Chicago. Aha, success! I found one, bought it and after lugging through my 6 week journey, brought it home.
    It lasted approximately 6 months after which it parted from its handle (which disintegrated by the way).
    So, there you go. I no longer have an off-set spatula. I guess I will have to start searching the internet once again in the hope of finding one online. Wish me luck. In the meantime, enjoy yours. I loved mine while it lasted

    • Fiona Ryan October 17, 2016, 10:59 am

      I tried in Sydney at Victoria’s Basement earlier in the year with no luck. These were from Big W so have a look next time you go.

  • Sherry from sherryspickings October 21, 2016, 1:12 pm

    Now this is so weird I remember leaving a comment at the start of the month on this post it has disappeared ! What the!? As you may have seen I have had endless trouble with my phone and my laptop this month so who knows what’s been going on I love my fairly new stick blender plus bits that does so many fab little jobs. A light box would be a great thing to have. I am afraid I am old fashioned and I call that spatula a palette knife I have some flat ones and one that is angled. I see that you can buy one online from peters of Kensington Oops out of stock I see. How bizarre!

    • Fiona Ryan October 22, 2016, 12:01 pm

      Yes, I have seen your troubles. I just upgraded from an iphone 4 to SE in the week the 7 came out so I’m thrilled how much faster and efficient it is so happy with that. Also bought a new hybrid tablet/laptop – disastrous. Worked well for a few days and now all sorts of problems so we are off to the computer shop this weekend. grrrr

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