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Friday, February 6, 2015

In My Kitchen, February 2015

Hello friends, welcome to my kitchen.  If you have not visited before, it is lovely to meet you and I hope you return one of these days.

Our large kitchen table is once again covered in a tangle of paper, stationery, spelling words and other distance education paraphernalia.  This can only mean one thing, the school term has started and I now find myself teaching both of our children.  Kitchens need to be versatile places don't they?  

For a long time the ABC Radio has provided the soundtrack to our days.  But lately I have needed some extra motivational background sound to get me over the line.  This song by Flume and Chet Faker is new to my playlist.  I am thinking about sharing some more music in this space.  

Of course, between the music and the schooling there is also plenty of food.  

Iced coffee is my mid morning drink of choice in the summer months.  As the temperatures start to climb hot coffee makes me feel overheated and anxious.  I like espresso, milk and plenty of ice in a cold glass.  No cream, ice-cream, sugar or sweeteners, thank you. 


We do not eat a lot of seafood, simply because we live so far from the ocean. But, sometimes our coastal dwelling acquaintances trade time spent on our property for seafood.  On this particular occasion we were given a bag of bright, shiny crabs.  They were fascinating for the kids and quickly devoured in a flurry of shells, claws and spiky body parts. 


A batch of simple, chocolate chips biscuits just out of the oven in the early morning light.  It is these little moments in the kitchen that I love.


Anzac biscuits take me straight back to the outback kitchens of my childhood.  In the book Backyard Bees by Doug Purdie, there are some delicious honey recipes including these honey Anzac biscuits.  Can a girl ever bake too many biscuits I wonder? 



Happily, I have been picking a steady supply of tomatoes from the garden.  The book Whole Larder Love is one of my favourites for home grown inspiration and this month I tried the tomato based Atomic Kasundi recipe.  My batch is somewhere between sauce and chutney and is perfect on a sandwich or biscuit (cracker) with cheese.  



Are you growing or baking or trading things with other people? 

As always I am linking up with my friend Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Happy Friday, friends.  

40 comments :

  1. Just gorgeous Jane. I am always fascinated by how distance education works with all the other stuff going on in the kitchen and on the farm. I'd love our girls to spend a year or two at home but they really aren't keen and I'm always worried that I'd leave the formal stuff in favour of reversing a trailer and fencing and other important life skills. Maybe I might just get my chance later this year. Oh and that's how I drink my summer coffee too. There is nothing quite so refreshing as the tinkle of those ice-blocks in the glass. Happy Friday lovely. xx

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    1. Hi Kate. I am going to send you a quick email, distance education has some wonderful points but it can also be a very difficult juggle! Happy iced coffee drinking to you x

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  2. So beautiful and inspiring as always. I love the peacefulness of your posts. I've seen lots of people online refer to Whole Larder Love, and say they love it, perhaps it is time I had a look at it?
    No, a girl can never ever back too many biscuits. I might put in a batch later today.

    Sarah x

    PS Your new blog template looks lovely!!

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    1. Thanks Sarah. Definitely check out Whole Larder Love, it is a great book for basics, real food and using up home grown produce. Thanks for your feedback on the new template, it is still a work in progress! x

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  3. I love the look of your bottled tomTomatoes!
    And once again lovely photos!
    I have to confess I've given up the biscuit baking, except for an occasional thing, I've decided for me they are to time consuming, and our summer humidity turns them to stale and bendy within a day :( cakes slices and muffins however are always on high rotation around here.

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    1. Thanks Cheryl, we have to adapt our cooking to suit our households and climates don't we?

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  4. My tomatoes just started dying for an unknown reason. They have stopped ripening and it's so frustrating. But I do have capsicums and eggplants. Although the possums trampled by vegie patch overnight.

    Iced lattes is my go to at the moment too.

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    1. Tomatoes can be frustrating cant they? I had a terrible season last summer with blossom end rot and general bad plant health! Enjoy those cold coffees!

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  5. Hadn't realised you did distance ed, or maybe I'd forgotten:) and you grew up in the Outback:)

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    1. Thanks Erin, yes I grew up in the outback and now I find myself back in almost exactly the same position!

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  6. I love 'Whole Larder Love' too. The blog is looking beautiful by the way. I could do with one of those biscuits and an iced coffee right about now...

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    1. Thank you so much, lovely of you to call in!

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  7. Tomato chutney yum :) Recipe please :) Regards, Ewa

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    1. Thanks Ewa, I hope life is good in Poland!

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  8. A girl can never bake too many biscuits, though this girl can certainly eat too many! Another beautifully calming IMK post Jane.

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    1. This girl can certainly eat too many also Anne!

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  9. I love trading. There is not nearly enough trading in my life!
    Gorgeous pics Jane. Have a good week lovely. xx
    ps. And no. Surely a girl could never bake too many biscuits? Surely not!

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    1. I knew you would agree on the biscuit situation Brydie! x

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  10. What lovely photos! And home schooling - very impressive, though I gather a necessity if you are remote.

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    1. Thank you for your kindness but home schooling is not really impressive...however, it is a necessity!

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  11. I love all your biscuits! I have the book, Backyard Bees, I got it for my birthday in September and am still yet to read the whole way through it!

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    1. Thank you Clare, it is a lovely book isn't it?

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  12. your biscuits look so good jane..as does the chutney..up until last week my tomatoes were healthy and productive but the sudden burst of heat we've had looks to have been too much for them..x

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    1. So lovely to hear from you Jane. My tomatoes are getting close to the end too, although they are still producing the plants are starting to 'flop' and look a bit frazzled. Happy Sunday to you.

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  13. Jane's homemade tomato saucy stuff + jane's homemade sourdough bread must surely= heaven!
    I love the lok of those little yellow cherry tomatoes. What a beuuftiul harvest - and what beautiful tings happening in your kitchen, jane.

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  14. I switch over to iced coffee as well in summer - but it's rarely *that* warm that I need to add ice, as long as the milk is cold, I'm happy! I love the sound of your kasundi and how glorious is that crab? Fabulous!

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    1. Thanks Naomi, hooray for iced coffee I say!

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  15. Im slowly going nuts not being able to grow food, Jane:( Your photos are filling a spot though! I guess one day I will have water...killing for a shower where I smell cleaner coming out, than I do going in. One day, maybe. Good luck with SOTA this year xx

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    1. Thanks for calling in Kylie. You are not alone in the water situation...our house tank is very low and smelly too...that is why I am pouring it onto the garden. When it is gone, it is gone. We might need a bit of luck with SOTA this year :)

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  16. Hey - new look on the blog I see. Looks good. Yes, I revert to iced coffee in the summer too. I freeze some of the coffee in cubes to make sure I don't dilute the coffee! That honey in the ANZACS looks quite dark so must give a real boost to the biscuits. Thanks for the update. Fiona xx

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    1. Thanks so much Fiona...and for the good Twitter vibes also. I have heard of the coffee freezing cubes before, great idea!

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  17. What beautiful images of a very busy life.. c

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  18. You write the most gorgeous posts, Jane! Your big harvest of tomatoes looks mouthwatering and whenever I look at a photo of your bread, I feel like I'm actually in your kitchen with you (I know that sounds strange!). Your cookies are perfectly round - I need to make some more, I haven't baked cookies in ages and Small Man's been asking for them. Magazine-worthy photos, as always, lovely! xxx

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    1. So kind of you Celia, thank you for taking the time to call in x

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  19. Hi Jane, just stumbled across your blog and have really enjoyed a late-night read of your stories after the kids went to bed. My family is from Alice Springs and whilst I now live on a property in the snowy mountains (bit of a contrast) I yearn for the dry inland country and it is rare to find someone writing (and taking such beautiful photos) which portray such a deep affinity for that part of Australia. I especially loved your stories of bringing the community together through home-grown food. We recently did a home-kill of cows/sheep and a couple of pigs with a number of neighbours and lots of kids. It was such a great day - of packaging endless cuts of meat, making sausages, and ending with fresh steak and ribs on the outside fire. We passed through your part of the world last year on a big road trip up through western NSW to the channel country and up to the Gulf. We loved exploring western NSW (https://kidsinthebush.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/road-trip-into-the-interior/ )and are planning on a return trip in winter this year. I also loved your little stories of evening expeditions with your family to the dam for a fire, some dinner, and marshmallows - we do exactly the same thing often here and it is one of the great joys of living in the bush!

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    1. Thank you so much, how lovely to hear from you and receive your thoughtful comment. Your home kill day sounds wonderful! We occasionally have big sausage making days too, although at the moment we are waiting for the weather to cool down so we can do it again.

      Your trip to the Gulf sounds amazing.

      I look forward to exploring your blog further :)

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  20. Jane, thanks for sharing that music video -- what a fluid dancer! (Amazing!) Your produce photos and early morning light biscuits were a delight, too. Yes to favorite times in your kitchen!

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    1. Thanks so much Kim, great to hear from you.

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