Saturday, August 31, 2013

In My Kitchen - September 2013

That's right folks, it's September, and my first "In My Kitchen" post since January. Actually only the second post since Blossom was born. I've been busy, very busy. In the few weeks after Blossom's birth we bought one and sold two houses, Chicky started school and I started running again. We moved into the "new" house (which is actually about 50 years old) in March and while I have been mostly working on rearing three little and very individual princesses, Hubby has been working on making the house our home. There is plenty of time to talk about that, as the renovations will likely go on for the next 25 years. Needless to say something had to give, and that was the blog. I'll ease myself back into things by telling you about what is in my new (read: old and manky) kitchen in September.

This is the oven that was in the house when we bought it. 

The only thing it's got going for it is the lid. It has a hinged lid that closes over the 5 (who needs 5??) burners. The kitchen is short on usable cupboards and bench space so I often use the top of the stove as my main prep area. Both stove and oven are gas, which is fine. I'd never used a gas oven before and had no idea what "gas marks" meant. Where I was looking for a temperature gauge I found the numbers 1 through 8 plus a star. The element is at the bottom of the enormous oven, and while it is fan-forced, heat circulation isn't even. I burned the bottom of everything for the first few weeks. Long and low seems to be required for even cooking. I much prefer quick so I'll be opting for a smaller electric oven when we do eventually re-do the kitchen. And while I do like a gas stove, the burners seem to have way too much gas coming through. There is no such thing as low, and simmering looks more like boiling. While I seem to be doing a lot of complaining, I am making do and it has helped me to figure out what I want out of a stove/oven.

In June a friend of mine asked me to make her 3 year old's birthday cake. This was an egg-free, dairy free cake for a child with allergies (recipe to come). I thought it was about time I bought a cake board as I have been wrapping my chopping board in birthday wrapping paper if ever I wanted to display a cake in the past. This pretty thing was only a few dollars at my local supermarket.

It had been a long time since I had done a chocolate order, and while I was making do with buying odd bits of decent quality chocolate at the supermarket when needed, I was running out of cocoa so it was time to replenish stocks. In my kitchen is a dangerous amount of Callebaut and Sicao chocolate.Well actually there is a little less than what is pictured as I got stuck into making some banana choc chip muffins, chocolate ice cream and choc chip cookies as soon as it arrived.

The online store I buy my chocolate from also had these cute chocolate transfer sheets on sale. I've never used a transfer sheet before but look forward to prettying up some chocolate soon.

My birthday was in June and instead of buying me a token gift, my mum asked me to buy something I wanted and she'd reimburse me. It took me a couple of months to decide what I really wanted but settled on a 30cm Cuisinart Saute Pan. I didn't actually know such a thing existed until I went shopping for a "deep frypan with a lid", only to be told I meant a saute pan. Sure, call it what you like, this puppy is awesome. I use it for pasta sauce, curry, stir-fry, anything really. I always make enough dinner for the 5 of us plus leftovers so this pan gets a workout most days. And it's so shiny! Thanks Mum!

The final part of my kitchen I will showcase this month is a gift from my local Maternal and Child Health Nurse. At Blossom's 3 month check-up she asked how we were doing and how everyone was adjusting to the new addition. I explained what a whirlwind the last few months had been and maybe she saw something I was trying to suppress, as she reached into her filing cabinet and handed me "Top Tips to Help You Reduce Stress". It lives on my pantry door and I consult it daily. I think we're doing ok.

There are a few more exciting things in my kitchen, but I'll save them for next time. Head over to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what's going on in some other kitchens.