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Friday, November 1, 2013

In My Kitchen, November 2013

Welcome once again to my kitchen. 

After a recent trip away the first thing I wanted to do once we had arrived home was refresh the sourdough starters and bake bread.  I set aside a Friday afternoon, lit the wood oven and made white loaves and pita bread. This really is my ideal afternoon and a perfect way to feel settled again after being away from home.


We have a big mulberry tree in our garden which usually produces far more fruit than we can use.  One way I put this soft and tasty fruit to use was in an easy mulberry frangipane recipe from Lizzie.  Perhaps it would have looked more attractive in a round tart or pie dish but I cooked this in the wood oven which required a heavier baking dish. As Lizzie said, any berries would work perfectly in this.


After waiting impatiently for the recommended two years I am finally harvesting asparagus.  I made this simple lunch with homemade sourdough, asparagus and salad from the garden accompanied by our own olive oil.  No matter how simple the meal is it always tastes better when it is entirely homemade or home grown, excluding a little black pepper. 


Our first little harvest of Kipfler potatoes.  Previously I have harvested all of my potatoes at once but this year I plan to dig them up as I need them.  I am hoping they will store better in the soil than they will in my pantry. 


Kind and generous Celia sent me this bread stamp which I am looking forward to testing soon.  The robust chopping board was a recent lucky find at our local Lifeline shop for $3.00.  The elderly volunteer lady behind the counter asked me who I was going to whack with it!


Years ago a generous aunt gave me the recipe for these Monte Carlo biscuits.  I don’t often make them as I find the icing a bit fiddly and it also adds an extra layer of sugar that we don’t really need.  However, recently I have been thinking about the strong women in my family and their unique and individual characters.  They all have a story to tell as they navigate farm life, town life, health issues and life in general.  The time seemed right to make a batch of these delicious biscuits.  Annabelle declared them the best biscuits ever, I couldn't argue with that.  


Do you cook sentimental recipes sometimes?
What is happening in your kitchen at the moment?

Joining in with Celia and her friends as we take a tour of some interesting kitchens from around the world.  

64 comments :

  1. Well, did you whack anybody with it!? Great find - and my great find today is that frangipane recipe from you (thanks for sharing it!) -- I've still got a freezer full of plump farm picked blackberries. Sounds like a match made in heaven!

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    1. No whacking yet Amy but you never know!? Lovely to hear from you x

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  2. They really do look like the best biscuits ever Jane! Yum...there really are some strong and colourful women in our collective trees aren't there?

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  3. what a lovely post jane..everything looks amazing as usual..those biscuits are a work of art! x

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  4. Oh I do relish your kitchen tours Jane - it always looks so yummy and wholesome and just like a lovely place to be!
    Happy Friday,
    Sarah xx

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    1. Thank you Sarah, it is a lovely place to be...most of the time :) x

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  5. Your kitchen looks amazing as always. I cannot believe anyone finds baking relaxing...it literally sends me to tears! I wish I was a baker (and a candlestick maker)! LOL. Your monte carlos look SO GOOD!

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    1. Thanks Mel, we all find different things relaxing don't we? I only find it relaxing when I have time to be organised and enjoy the process, otherwise it can be a chore :)

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  6. Hi Jane, thank you so much for popping by! I have been a neglectful blogger and have actually missed the blogging community.
    your kitchen and garden creations look amazing as always.
    are you on instagram?
    keep on creating yumminess x

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    1. Good to hear from you Cathie and great to see you back on your blog. No, I am not on Instagram. So far I have resisted it as I am not sure I need any more distractions in my life. I am very tempted though!

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  7. ooh the bread looks amazing! ive been making a lot of bread larely too, i tihnk its about time i get back into cakes and bakes!

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  8. i have another year to go for my asparagus, jane... yours looks deliciously green! and speakign of green, i am very envious of that perfect cutting board. $3!!! have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks e, your asparagus will be worth the wait, trust me :)

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  9. A real beauty you have there with the chopping board.
    Your kitchen produce always looks amazing. x

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    1. Thank you Zara...occasionally I get a bit of luck in the op-shops x

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  10. Lovely post, Jane! I love cooking a recipe with a history and a story to tell! And how nice to see your sourdough is back! Enjoy all your lovely homegrown produce! x

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  11. What a gorgeous post Jane... Your bread making always inspires me! What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon as you settle back into your 'home' routines... Your mulberry tart sounds super delicious - I must plant a mulberry tree very soon, I love this fruit!!!

    Monte Carlos, yum-o, a real favourite of mine!

    I have a lot of recipes that I simply make for their sentimental value; passion-fruit slice because it reminds me of my grandmother, jam drops because it's my mums very own delicious recipe that I enjoyed often when I was a kid, curried egg sanga's because they're my nanna's favourite, curried neck bone stew because I love that my dad taught me the recipe - I could go on and on... :)

    Have a gorgeous weekend enjoying many a moments in your kitchen and beautiful garden with that gorgeous family of yours Jane... xx

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    1. Thank you for your comments Jodie...I love the sound of all of your family recipes, especially the curried neck bone stew, yum! x

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  12. Jane those Monte Carlos look fabulous - sometimes we are allowed to be a little decadent. That is a great idea about the potatoes. How long are you hoping they will last in the ground? And everything else? Perfect.

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    1. Thank you Glenda, I hope the potatoes last a month or too, I will keep an eye on them!

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  13. I wonder where they Monte Carlo biscuits got their name. They sound very exotic and look delicious. I have lots of named recipes like Gran's Shortbread or Granny's Lemon Pudding; somehow cooking them keeps a link with the past and I always think of them when I pull out the recipe card.

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    1. I am sure you have a great collection of family recipes Anne!

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  14. Those biscuits look delicious! Bite sized yumminess. Last night we had a great roasted root veggie salad, all with veg from the CSA box. Different season up here in Pennsylvania, so no asparagus now. Butternut squash, beets, garlic, and onions, roasted with olive oil and sea salt and then served on a plate of salad greens. My husband topped it off with a good sweet balsamic dressing. Some goat cheese would have made it marvelous.

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    1. Can you tell me what the CSA box is Katie? Your meal sounds perfect, thanks for calling in :)

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  15. Hi there Jane... I am in awe of your wood-fired baking skills... and your home grown asparagus! Yes, I bake sentimental recipes sometimes too xo

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    1. Thanks Lizzy, the wood fired cooking is still very much an experiment but in time it is improving!

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  16. Jane, I am always so envious of your kitchen posts and this month is no exception. Just beautiful!

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  17. Love the mulberry frangipane! Sounds so exotic to me here in the Midwestern US. And home-grown asparagus. Your homemade/home-grown lunch is quite impressive and a fine-looking treat! Your Monte Carlo biscuits look delicious. Love your thoughts about the strong women in your family (all our families, for that matter), with important stories to tell. :)

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    1. Thanks very much Marianne, great to hear from you!

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  18. Hi Jane.
    Most of my cooking is done from recipes that were handed down. And I can spend hours looking through all the hand written recipe cards remembering the dear ladies who wrote them out for me.
    Your bread is beautiful- I feel the same way- baking bread centers me and welcomes me home.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Centers me...perfect description Heidi Annie, your kind comments are always appreciated!

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  19. G'day Jane!
    Love mulberries, true!
    Love cooking and baking nostalgic recipes as they have very special meaning behind the recipes...love your Monte Carlos too!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Viewed as part of Celia's IMK

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    1. Thank you Joanne, lovely to hear from you :)

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  20. Great to read that I'm not the only who finds baking a perfect and settling afternoon, though I have to confess the cleaning part can ruin it for me. I love the biccies but I do have a sweet tooth!

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    1. Thanks Muppy, yes there is always the cleaning up isn't there?

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  21. I could look at pictures of your gorgeous bread all day Jane! Great find at the op shop too. I love a sentimental recipe. It never fail to lift spirits. Your biscuits look stunning.

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    1. You are very kind Kyrstie. Wouldn't it be lovely to meet up again at another EDB? Next year maybe :)

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  22. Hi Jane, everything in your kitchen looks just so inviting! Beautiful photos.
    cheers
    Jason

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  23. I'm very jealous of your fresh produce from your vegetable garden, the asparagus and potatoes both look super tasty. And this month I too and feeling super sentimental and thinking particularly of my grandparents and their influence on the foodie me. They are going to have to be a part of my kitchen roundup I'm writing at the moment. A great kitchen roundup for November, thanks for sharing. Leah @ sharingthefoodwelove

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    1. Thank you Leah...I understand about grandparents and sentimental food. It is a big part of our lives isn't it?

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  24. You have been busy! That bread looks absolutely gorgeous! The flatbread of my dreams, for sure!

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  25. sentimental recipes, what a completely lovely expression. I've got a few recipes like that, and I'm sure they taste 100% better for the associated memory or thinking that goes along with it. (Not mention those monte carlos look damn perfect Jane!)
    Have fun with the bread stamp, it's a good one. I love using it :-)

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    1. Thanks so much Brydie. I still haven't used the bread stamp...soon I hope :)

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  26. Thanks for finding me Jane, what a treat your blog is. Love the pics you took of your recent beach holiday, so lovely! My MIL always makes us a mulberry pie as she has a tree, I love frangipane better. Gorgeous food pics, feeling a little hungry now.

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    1. Thanks Simmone, I really need to explore your blog further one day soon!

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  27. That mulberry tart looks divine. I love mulberries and have been coveting a tree in the local kindy but alas, the little blighters go to them first. No doubt there were some messy hands and shirts. But tell me, what is a bread stamp?

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    1. Thanks Fiona. Celia is the bread stamp guru...I am still learning all about it!

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  28. Everything looks soo good Jane. The Mulberry Frangipane Tart looks delicious as does all the other food - the bread and asparagus. Love that you were thinking about all the strong women in your family and decided to bake your Aunt's biscuits.

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  29. Jane, I hope you're feeling settled in after a session with your sourdough starter and wood oven. Sheer bliss! Also, your patience with asparagus yielded a beautiful (and tasty-looking) lunch and I'm still smiling over the lil' ol' lady who asked who you were going to whack with your new chopping board. ;) Sounds like you're carrying on the tradition of strong women in your family.

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  30. Lovely to meet you Kim, thank you so much for your comment!

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  31. Every month your bread and garden goodies make me want to come and do a farm stay at your place!! So lovely. xx

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    1. Thank you JJ, you are very kind. You would welcome to come to our farm...I have often thought of a farm weekend for my blogging friends, it is a shame we are so far from Sydney :)

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  32. Oh, you made my mulberry frangipane - it looks good. I often make them in rectangles or squares its what ever dish i can find first really. Truly inspiring what goes on in your kitchen.

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane