In My Kitchen. May 2014

“But at my back I always hear,

Time’s winged chariot hurrying near”

and before you know it, it’s time for another In My Kitchen post. The wonderfully generous Celia kindly hosts this every month. Click here to have a look at other kitchens on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

The chooks are back on the lay. Young chef Daisy likes to collect the eggs, but is a little worried that she doesn’t know how to write the numbers on them!

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JA and Bren collected these quaint quinces from their tree in Bacchus Marsh.  Cotogna in Italian, Coing in French-  quince is an ancient fruit that has regained favour in Australia. Will I make Membrillo paste or a heavenly Stephanie Alexander tart?

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The chillis in the garden are finally turning red. On one side I have a few dried ones, ready to make Celia’s chilli oil which you can find here.

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My favourite bread book, The Italian Baker,  by Carol Field, is never far from the kitchen bench. We now use the recipe from this ‘bible’ to make Pizza and Ciabatta. We have pizzas once a week, and Mr Tranquillo enjoys whipping up a batch of dough.

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Some found objects from second-hand stores are often floating around the kitchen. I couldn’t resist this silver plated bowl for $7.99.

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40 thoughts on “In My Kitchen. May 2014”

  1. Lovely post Francesca. I’d love to get my hands on some quinces. I think I’d have to make some classic quince paste to go with a cheese platter…yum 🙂

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  2. Delicious assortment of good things in your kitchen Francesca. The quinces are so good this year, no?

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  3. The Greek family, from whom we used to live across the street in Darwin, served sweetened quinces with coffee. She would quarter or 1/8th them and boil in water, drain water, add sugar syrup that had been boiled with cinnamon and perhaps clove, I can’t quite remember.. it was the most heavenly little sweet thing to have with Greek coffee. I have about a cup of chilies that needed harvesting, what a good idea to make them into chill oil. Thank you!

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  4. Quinces have had a starring role in my kitchen too. I made quince curd the other day. Wouldn’t bother again, the flavour got a bit lost though the texture was lovely. I really like The Italian Baker too. It’s a brilliant book!

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    1. Good to know. Hate the idea of lovely quince flavour being diluted. I feel the same about quince custard, featured in the Cook’s Companion. Maybe we should get Leah to stick the Italian baker on her list.

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  5. Wonderful post Francesca! It’s so nice to see what other cooks are loving and experimenting with in their kitchens. Maybe I should join this ‘in my kitchen’ series… it’s always nice to have another excuse to connect up with other bloggers. LOVE that Italian Baker book! I need to buy it, just so I can keep staring at that ciabatta on the cover! xx

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    1. Please join in. It is a great way to connect with others and it really is such a pleasure to photograph a few things in the kitchen. Get the Italian Baker- it’s a gem.

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  6. All your IMK offerings are divine but I am most captivated by the silver plated bowl. Pre-loved kitchenalia and household goods have a special place in my heart, and home. Whenever I indulge in [yet] another ‘find’ I wonder if one day someone will think of it and say oh I wish they kept had that old…

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  7. Hello Francesca, is there anything more delicious than quinces? I have so many bread books…but not The Italian Baker. It looks great. In fact, after looking at your photo I feel like baking bread, again! Lovely tour, happy cooking to you.

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  8. How lovely to have fresh eggs! And you have inspired me to make pizza dough too…I too love ‘thrifting’ – my latest find was a cast iron skillet – something that was actually on my list for a change!! Lovely IMK post…

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  9. Pizza once a week is a favorite in our house – the dough making experience as much as the eating. Am going to check out that book – does it have a good sourdough recipe? That is my latest goal in my kitchen! Any advice on a great recipe for started would be appreciated! Xx

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    1. Hi Rach, I don’t think the book deals with sourdough but it does explore all Italian breads from region to region and has great advice on the ‘biga’, the Italian starter. The recipe for ciabatta is excellent. If you want advice on all things sourdough, check out Celia’s blog- fig jam and lime cordial. Pizza dough making is such fun for kids.

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  10. Think I would love your bread book and how lovely to have your own “home grown” eggs.
    Sadly our second hand stores are very expensive. Not sure why though.
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

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  11. Love those quinces – mine are only in blossom! Can’t wait. Whatever you make with them, they’ll no doubt be delicious. I have to look up The Italian Baker. Blogging has certainly increased my activity on amazon. 😄

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  12. G’day! I can almost smell your pizza from here! YUM!
    I have never made anything with quinces….you have my curiosity today!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view too Francesca!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  13. Francesca, thank you for all the kind shout-outs! Those quinces are indeed very quaint and old fashioned, I’m sure whatever you decide to make with them will be superb. Our chilli oil is getting spooned onto all sorts of things – last night it was on pasta soup. And The Italian Baker – I’ve looked at that book on and off for years, but never bought it. I think it’s available on Kindle now, so I might take the plunge! Thanks for the prompt! 🙂

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  14. Hi Francesca
    I love your eggs. I really want some chickens but I can’t have them until I decide where I want to live. Oh well, you can’t have everything. Maybe you can give Daisy some stickers to put on the eggs.

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  15. Isn’t Celia wonderful to host this idea. I love having a sneak peek into others’ kitchens, and yours is delightful. I am in love with your silver bowl, and what a bargain! I love quinces because they are so seasonal. I usually just stew them and have them with our breakfast fruit.

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  16. My vote is for membrillo. I love it. Though I’m also partial to the poached quinces that Nigella makes, based on Stephanie’s recipe. How lucky that they grow near you. No such luck up here in Brissie. Thanks for the tour!

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  17. Francesa, apologies for coming around so late to your May IMK post… crazy month! Loved your photos and thoughts on the chook eggs, qunices, peppers, and PIZZA! What I wouldn’t give for a slice of that now… 😉 I’m also admiring your silver bowl — aren’t second-hand stores the best?!

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