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In My Kitchen… August 2017

Well, here we are again. I still haven’t got my blogging groove back yet, but as I cast my eye over the calendar, the call of writing my regular In My Kitchen post is strong.

Our overall grocery bills aren’t too bad as I rarely succumb to impulse purchases (Digestive biscuits aside) and make the most of mark downs. And let’s not forget my concerted efforts to work my way through all of the bottles in my pantry. Still, I’m keen to minimise costs further so this month’s IMK has a bit of theme going.In my August kitchen…

fresh indian paneer cheese in a cloth

…is homemade Indian paneer cheese. At the supermarket recently, they had several bottles of milk drastically reduced to clear as the use by date was the same day. I grabbed a two litre bottle for the princely sum of 30c to bring home and make paneer. It’s easy and quick to make and very satisfying to know that the milk was not wasted. I’m regretting not buying more bottles. I will share a post on how to make it soon. Waste not, want not.


In my kitchen…

a bunch of picked fresh spinach leaves

…are spinach leaves from our garden. Like anyone who grows vegetables, it’s a feast or famine situation. One minute there are tiny leaves that wouldn’t fill a sandwich and the next minute you have a pith helmet on and are hacking through the undergrowth with a machete. I harvested a huge amount of silverbeet on Friday to make spanakopita but a mere two days later, it was taking over like a Krynoid. The same with the spinach. We will certainly be topped up in iron and chlorophyll.


In my kitchen…

a meal of stir fried spinach and indian paneer cheese

…was this quick Sunday lunch using some of my newly created paneer and the newly picked spinach. Put some oil in a hot pan and sizzle a chopped onion, ground, turmeric and a spoonful of panch phoron. Add in the leftover cubed cold baked potato and tear in the paneer. Toss and allow to heat through before adding in the chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper, allow the spinach to wilt and it’s ready to go. Less than 10 minutes from chopping board to bowl.


In my kitchen…

three tea towels

…are more tea towels. Three very special tea towels sent to me by my Aunt after she read about my tea towel hoard last month. Well to be exact, two tea towels and one table-cloth (the orange check). She writes ‘An amazing treasure trove as it turned out, because in the mix was the tablecloth I am sending you. I remember it from our grandmother’s home in Rudd Point!’. ‘Our grandmother’ of course being my great-grandmother. Thanks Aunty Lyn for this spirit booster and little piece of family history.


In my kitchen…

winter fruit salad in a bowl

…is a winter fruit salad. I got a great buy at the Wednesday farmers market in the city with a punnet each of blueberries, raspberries and strawberries for $10 for the lot. They are misshapen seconds that wouldn’t be selected for the supermarkets but are fine as far as I’m concerned. A nice sharp Granny Smith and Aussie navel orange made a large bowl of fruit salad for work lunches in the coming week.


In my kitchen…

frozen cubes of passionfruit pulp

…are 12 cubes of frozen passionfruit pulp. Every day I walk past a primary school where I noticed a vine growing wild over a tree in the car park. I’ve been watching that vine for months and finally, the passionfruit have ripened. As they have started dropping to the ground, I realised that no one was interested and they would rot. I collect a quite few each day on my way home from work and have started freezing the excess. These will be great for cocktails in the spring. I love a bit of urban foraging. Waste not, want not.

In My Kitchen is hosted by fellow Brisbane blogger, Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings. She always out and about and has the biggest collection of wooden spoons that I know of. Make sure you swing past and take a peep.

26 comments… add one
  • Pamela hayward August 1, 2017, 7:34 pm

    I have thrown milk out as it has been seriously past it’s use by date so will look forward to making your paneer. I have the biggest collection of tea towels (and cake tins. …)
    Love ‘ Waste not, want not!’

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 2:07 pm

      I’ll post within a fortnight. It’s so easy and can be done with any volume of milk. I am very controlled when it come to cake tins so I am glad someone else has taken up the challenge!

  • Lyn August 1, 2017, 10:35 pm

    You are very welcome Fiona! Love the photo,

  • Glenda August 2, 2017, 3:14 am

    Hi Fi, I often comment on how cheaply you can eat if only you know how. Your lunch would have cost virtually nothing. I love foraging too.

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 5:11 pm

      I’ll tell you what though Glenda – those passionfruit (not your fave I know) are pretty tart!

  • Jan rhoades August 2, 2017, 9:04 am

    Were you able to,pick out your little brother’s drawing on the St Bernard’s tea towel? Nice post

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 5:12 pm

      I will have to go and take a look. It didn’t occur to me.

  • sherry from sherrys pickings August 2, 2017, 7:41 pm

    yum yum that sunday lunch looks so delish. Well as you may remember we don’t grow herbs and veg anymore due to turkeys and possums and bugs etc. i wish we could or that i had a proper greenhouse type thing. love the tea towels. hope you get your groove back soon:) I know how hard it can be. I am still having trouble checking out your posts as they don’t appear on your Home page. i have to go into the tags to see them.. very odd.

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 5:14 pm

      I’ll have to investigate Sherry. I have just done a search on a desktop I’ve never used before and can see the most recent posts. Have you cleared your caches? (she says like she knows how to do that)

  • mae August 3, 2017, 12:51 am

    Passionfruit just growing wild is such a delightful thought! Up here in North America it’s hard to find even bottled juice or syrup of that wonderful fruit. Nice seeing what’s in your kitchen!

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 5:15 pm

      Hi Mae – once upon a time (pre indoor plumbing), everyone had a passionfruit vine in their backyard growing over the fence and outhouse. It would have been fertilised well ; ) Passionfruit is still popular if people have the room. I love it.

  • Francesca August 3, 2017, 10:36 am

    I am enjoying your frugal posts immensely Fiona. This is now my preferred approach to eating too. That spinach and paneer dish looks so delicious, could do with a bowl right now. Nice additions to the teatowel collection. They make useful wraps for fresh bread too. Even better when linen.

    • Fiona Ryan August 3, 2017, 5:23 pm

      Hi Francesca – yes they are lovely and soft due to all the washing. I need some practice on the sourdough again. I haven’t baked in months so I h=made a huge double batch. 4 loaves and a set of savoury scrolls – all without salt. D’oh! They are edible, just a bit bland!

  • Kim | a little lunch August 4, 2017, 1:58 am

    Fiona, it’s been far too long since I connected with you. (Apologies…) Your IMK offerings this month are such a reflection of you and your resourcefulness! Loved your homemade paneer, reserve supply of “urban foraging” for spring cocktails, your “pith helmet and hacking away with a machete” spinach analogy :), colorful/flavorful fruit salad (size doesn’t matter!) and beautiful tea towels and tablecloth, replete with family history and memories. Good times! xo

    • Fiona Ryan August 7, 2017, 1:20 pm

      Ahoy Kim – yes, the time just flies. Lovely to catch up via IMK this month. I only posted that story a week ago and the spinach has gone wild (I might add that it’s the middle of winter here!)

  • Shaheen August 8, 2017, 3:17 am

    Passionafruit growign wild must be amazing, agree love urban foraging but I always get wierd looks, doesn’t always help being a person of colour sadly. Still do it when I can without too many prying eyes. Your quick lunch with the paneer looks yummy. I ‘d love to make more paneer, but sadly have limited fridge space. Pls let me know how long the paneer keeps though.

  • Liz (Good Things) August 8, 2017, 8:54 am

    Hi Fi, you have so many goodies in your kitchen, I’m now dreaming of warm weather and summer months. Love that you made the paneer, and so cheaply! And what about that spinach! Home grown and absolutely gorgeous. PS I’m a forager too. Apologies I haven’t been stopping by so often, and thank you for the peek into your August kitchen x

  • Gretchen August 11, 2017, 5:54 am

    I am thoroughly enjoying the summer since I buy so much less veg as I have it right in my garden. I really need to strive to always be better about no waste. I have my moments when I slack…generally when I’m busy and lose my mind! Today’s potato soup became more of a chowder since I also added 3 ears of corn and a head of broccoli. I didn’t want it to go bad since we are leaving town tomorrow night for the weekend. I can always freeze leftover soup.

  • Amanda August 19, 2017, 9:46 am

    Goodness -there’s lots of deliciousness in your kitchen this month. I’m deeply envious of all that passionfruit. We have a huge passionfruit vine, but it’s ornamental. I bought and planted and ordinary one 3 years ago, but it has never fruited either. It’s all been a bit disappointing, really …

  • Miss Food Fairy August 21, 2017, 5:26 pm

    I love the frozen passionfruit pulp idea Fiona. And the good thing with that is you can have all the passionfruit you can enjoy for free!! #wastenotwantnot Paneer has been a cheese I’ve always wanted to make, I’ll get there one day 🙂 How amazing is your Winter fruit salad! Love the colours xx

  • celine October 31, 2017, 1:14 am

    Nice! This is something interesting! Easy to make and tasty recipes 🙂 I love the fruit salad! Passion fruit pulp was something innovative! Thanks for sharing the information! This is really useful!

  • Glenda November 26, 2017, 10:25 am

    Hi Fi, I was just wondering why I hadn’t heard from you. Sometimes blogs you follow somehow stopped being ‘followed’. Anyway, I see the reason is you have been silent. All the best. Glenda

    • Fiona Ryan January 27, 2018, 3:18 pm

      Hi Glenda -I haven’ been bogging as there have been some other things going on in our world that needed managing. Having said that, I think I am ready to join the blogging world again and will writing soon. Thanks for following up with me. Xxx

  • Lyn January 27, 2018, 3:22 pm

    At long last!

    Welcome back Fiona!

    Lots of love…

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