Tag Archives: recipe books

more inane nonsense from the kitchen of me

is this a lack of more meaningful things to write, definitely. The things to write part, not the meaningful bit.  Life is chugging slowly along here at the moment, very little excitement.

I was cleaning around my new stove top – which means removing everything from that particular bench which gave me an epiphany. See, it doesn’t take much to … everything I was thinking was going to sound dirty.. hmm, keep me happy (will have to do)

That was it, all my recipe books came down, the bench was covered, screw drivers appeared to move cutlery hooks (which was greasy and icky from being under the exhaust fan. Now clean and being used) and oh, about an hour later I had finished.
The stove is practically bare, aside from the major essentials, the recipe books are in my pantry – leaving only the most used ones and chopping boards, paper towel and pot mitts are close but not in the way.  And I like it.
I am surprised by this as I like to have everything near me as I cook, but even I had to admit defeat with this weird little kitchen and do something about it.
The best thing is my walk in pantry. Love it!! So much room.  It would be perfect if I had my fridge (it has to live in the  laundry as we’re using the ‘house’ one – which is as ancient as the house) and a dishwasher. The electric kind! not me, or the kids, and def not hubby. Sorry babe.

Of course now I need to spend a full day sorting and cataloguing my recipes.  All those magazines, and torn sheets of paper.  Maybe I should get real and keep only what I am likely to use.  Bah! there wouldn’t be a book in the house if that were the case.  My boys are all boring!! when it comes to food.

I know someone will be very happy with this, I have too much clutter and stuff apparently, and this person is not regular a user of the kitchen. Can you guess who??






Oh, and I really don’t like the microwave up there either. Aside from me being short, it’s dangerous, but I have nowhere else to put it.

Happy baking 🙂


Quince Jelly.

I grew up eating cool stuff like quince jelly on sandwiches or toast. A rich pinky red colour that was both sweet and tart was perfect for an easy snack.  Fast forward many years and I must have a tub of Quince paste when I do a cheese and fruit platter.  It works so well with all sorts of cheeses and pear slices.
But back to the title.  I discovered a quince tree in my backyard the other day by mistake.  Looking through a window at the right (or wrong) angle I saw a yellow thing hanging the tree and my first thought was “yay, lemons” and “how did I miss a lemon tree?”  On closer inspection, it wasn’t lemons, but quinces.  Even better.  Jelly!

the humble Quince.

A quince is a funny shaped fruit that has a really pretty perfumed smell.  A lightly citrusy overtures, but not the lemon lime smell, more of a tangy apple-pear combination of smell.  If you smell the flesh it is a familiar smell even if you can’t put your finger on it.

I pick the ones that look good and then hunt out other ways to cook them.  Roasting with a lamb or pork in the oven is one I want to try.  And I happen to have both in my freezer.  But with only 5 good ones, I’m starting with the jelly.  And yes, I’ll be the only one who eats it, but I don’t mind – that means more for me!

Hunting out a recipe (3 books & online cooking page  = zip, nil, nada)  I grab the huge Australian heritage cookbook I’ve never actually used.  I then realise I have no jars.  A quick call to mum and I pop round quickly to grab some and also ‘borrow’ some expertise on what I should do. (+ a small container so mum can try some aswell).  This was easy as mum has the same recipe book I was using so we could look at it and not the picture I took on my phone… lol

cut and ready to set on the stove.

As I start this post my quinces are in the first stage of simmering away – for an hour.
I have just strained the juice, and to the pot am adding more water and the mushy fruit flesh then simmering for another 30 mins.

smooshy and gross looking but golly it smells goood!

Then comes the time-consuming part…. (adding sugar and standing there stirring stirring… for around 45 mins).

liquid and sugar ready to cook.

Think I might start working on dinner now while I have time to do stuff.

Some time later….
by the time dinner was ready I was pouring my jelly into jars.  It was certainly ready – it’s more like paste than jelly, and it’s a bit dark.  But I did it!  it’s not burnt, and it tastes divine!

ready for the jar!

the end product - this one ready for mum 🙂

So next time I see quinces on my little tree you know what I’m going to be doing.

Enjoy the cheese platter & paste 🙂

Another small obsession of mine

I like recipe books.
I have a small collection.
Seriously, it is small, not one of those, “yeah I have a few ….’s” and when you visit them there are thousands, hundreds… heaps?
I like to cook, but do not do it often enough to make the most of my collection. I buy two cooking/recipe magazines a month, have an account on the Taste website and if I like something a friend has made I’ll ask for the recipe (specially if I think my fussy, (and when I say fussy, I mean uber fussy) kids will eat it).

I have recipes for Finnish, French, Chinese, Italian and everything in between. Then there are those folders with the cards that come in the mail every month or so.  No, I don’t buy them, I just keep the freebies.  There is a book for ‘cookies, muffins and cakes’, yum, another for Cheese, Pancakes, the Australian Heritage Cookbook, a bunch of those mini $5 books you get from the register at the supermarkets and then folders that I have magazine pages or print outs stuck into…

As if that’s not enough, while wandering round Chickenfeed I picked one up that is just for meatballs!  Well it was only $5, so for a couple of useful recipes it’s not bad.

photo courtesy of Inchmark.


Do I use them all?  Not really, but I use them for ideas even if I don’t have everything that’s required, or hell, I even just read them coz I like food.  Sometimes if I’m after something special I’ll browse and see what’s up… but then I get distracted by the pretty pictures and the smells (in my head) – wouldn’t a scratch and sniff recipe book be great? –  and the fact they are somewhat un-organised and forget what I was doing.

Should I clean them out… probably, but they take up so little room and you never know, I may need one specific recipe sometime in the future…

I should go and have a browse… there may be a recipe for P & H soup that actually tastes good!

Keep smiling 🙂
there is no recipe for success (or is there?) and the proof is in the eating (pudding)….