Saturday, December 7, 2013

In My Kitchen, December 2013

While attending Eat.Drink.Blog a month ago, I tossed aside my shy-self and met some fabulous people. The gorgeous Tania, from My Kitchen Stories insisted that I join the fun of writing an In My Kitchen post each month, and being the obedient lass that I am, here is my first one! For those, like me, who are new to In My Kitchen, it is a way for me to give you a snapshot of my kitchen-life each month, with all the participants listed on Celia's blog so you can jump and see what everyone else is up to as well.

So, for the first time ever, in my kitchen this month is my gingerbread house.

This is the first time I've ever assembled a gingerbread house at Christmas, even though I've had plenty of opportunities to attend gingerbread house evenings at churches in the past. Apparently you can tell a lot about a person from how they decorate their house, but that would mean that I'm a control freak who likes everything to be ordered, symmetrical, and minimal. Surely not!

Also in my kitchen this month, and every month, is this contraption.

Apparently all this makes great coffee. Not being a coffee drinker, I can't vouch for the quality myself, but boy does have a number of new best friends now as a result of his coffee-prowess.

The contraption includes a manual grinder (top), a bike pump (left), and a portaspresso thingy. The seven minute process involves boy grinding his beans, pressurising the canister using the bike pump, placing boiling water in the body, tamping the ground beans into the basket, attaching all the pieces together and releasing the air in a controlled manner so that you get this pretty stream of espresso (right) falling into your cup.

Being completely manual, boy will be able to take it on holidays overseas (coffee-tragic), and in the meantime it sits on our benchtop, taking up a lot of space!

Also on the bench in my kitchen (thankfully, we have ridiculous amounts of bench-space), are a bunch of groceries that I haven't put away yet.

Actually finding its way into the pantry in my kitchen is my spelt flour, for baking our bread. I source this 5kg bag from the Blue Mountains Food Coop, which is located in Katoomba.

And lastly, the newest items in my kitchen are these cookbooks! A good chunk of my birthday vouchers this year went on books, and these arrived a few days ago! I've been poring over them ever since, and am looking forward to some fun cooking days in the near future.

To check out some other kitchens this month, drop by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Want to keep in touch? I'd love to hear from you on twitter or facebook!


Fiona Bris-Vegas! said...

Welcome Mary - I love looking at groceries and have discovered quite a few new things via IMK. My fave being a coconut milk Celia mentioned some months ago. So...I was interested to see that Woolies to an organic maple syrup. If you're going to fork out the $$, might as well try to get organic. I'll look out for it next time I shop. Also love your sparkly gingerbread roof. Thanks for the tour and for joining in!

Mary said...

Thanks for dropping by Fiona! I do try and head towards organic when I shop, although i've still got a way to go! The organic maple syrup is pretty comparable to the regular real stuff, and I usually manage to get a bunch when they're on special. said...

Hi Mary, that coffee contraption looks like too much effort to me, I am much too impatient. Love your gingerbread house.

celia said...

Mary, hooray, thanks for joining in! Tania told us all about what a lovely time you and she had in Perth, so it's especially nice to "meet" you online! I'm looking at the coffee making kit and thinking, "a bicycle pump?".. :)

The organic maple syrup sounds very interesting, and your gingerbread house looks grand. And have fun with the spelt flour - I've stopped using it a bit, but I used to bake with it all the time! :)

Lisa the Gourmet Wog said...

Welcome to the IMK family Mary! You did really well on your first attempt at a gingerbread house! I think it looks awesome!

Mary said...

@passionfruitgarden - it is too much effort! And then if we have guests, it's a chore to make them coffee.
@Celia - it's so lovely to 'meet' you too. :)
@Lisa - Thank you! Of course now I have grand plans for next year's attempt!

Kim Bultman said...

Mary, welcome to IMK! The friendships you'll find here are as warm and inviting as the kitchens, yours included. That "coffee contraption" had me from the get-go :) and your bench-top stash waiting to be put away looks reminiscent of my grocery outings. (Lots of possibilities in those ingredients...) Have fun with your new cookbooks!

Mel Kettle said...

I love your gingerbread house - I've never made one so am always impressed when I see other people's. Love your big bag of spelt flour - not only as it reminds me I need to order some more as I'm down to my last 2-3 cups. Love the cookbooks too - especially the Latin America Street Food book. Will have to check that one out.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Good to see you joining IMK! :D Interesting looking cookbooks I must say!

Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day Mary! Congrats on you making your gingerbread house, true!
Love cookie cutters!
Thanks for this month's kitchen view!
Cheers Joanne
Viewed as part of Celia's In My Kitchen

Mary said...

@ Mel - I'll try some of the recipes and let you know how I go.
@ Lorraine - Thanks! I'm in the midst of a South American phase of cooking, and it looks like Japanese will be my next phase!

My Kitchen Stories said...

Yay!! it's your kitchen Mary. So now I see the coffee thingy you were talking about. Lots of great ingredients waiting for use at your place. South American eh..I love that

Francesca said...

That big bag of Spelt flour is very desirable! Welcome to the IMK fun- I am also a first timer!

Andrea Mynard said...

Thanks for sharing your kitchen with us, I love it all but particularly that gingerbread house. Planning to have a go at one with my daughter this weekend, I fear ours may be a dodgier construction!

Mary said...

@Andrea Good luck with your gingerbread! I'm sure it'll be great!

Anne Wheaton said...

I'm in awe of anyone who just considers making a gingerbread house, let alone finish one.