Monday 2 October 2017

In My Kitchen: October 2017

The start of October finds me in the middle of the school holidays, enjoying some fine spring warm and looking forward to heading off on holidays tomorrow.  Much happier than this time last month but still tired, albeit from a day of baking in preparation for our trip.  (Isn't baking great procrastination when the house needs cleaning and the suitcases need packing!)  We are still a little disoriented from daylight savings starting yesterday but at least it not the day before school term starts.

Regular readers will have noticed my recent overnight baked sourdough doughnuts on the blog.  Sylvia is a tad obsessed with these holey fritters.  We took the above yeasted doughnuts down to my parents for Father's Day.  Sylvia and her cousins decorated them when we arrived.  Both E and my dad love doughnuts so they went down well.

Here's a few of E's father's day presents.  The King Dad packaging on the Toblerone amused us.  So did the Numpty figurine from the Dumb Ways to Die railway safety campaign.  The dinosaur dad that most amused us on the card Sylvia chose was the snoozasaurus!

Interesting things that have come into my kitchen are some Tana French novels loaned from my mum.  Once I have finished The Ministry of Utmost Happiness they are next.  I really loved these floral bowls from an op shop.  And I bought these lasagna sheets for a recent lasagna just because they were "corrugated".  They did look really cool in the lasagna and I think the corrugation means more pasta.

As well as doughnuts there have been quite a few bread rolls in the kitchen.  I've been experimenting with making rolls of my regular overnight sourdough bread dough.  It works really well.  So recently I had a go at making bear faced rolls.  They tickled my fancy!  I think I ate more for work lunches than Sylvia because these were made at the start of the holidays.  But she has been enjoying sourdough rolls for her school lunches.

Earlier in the year, I send a little Aussie gift pack to Shaheen of A2K with both some of my favourite products and a few unknowns.  One of the unknowns was some Outback Spirit Tasmanian Pepper Salt mix.  She raved about this salt so much that I had to buy it and agree it is a really nice seasoning mix.  Now I have bought some for my mum too.  When looking at Aussie products I also came across mio muesli which we have been eating regularly for a while.  What goes around comes around!

Just before the holidays we went to the Wallace and Gromit exhibition at ACMI and enjoyed looking through the giftshop.  I purchased this Harry Potter mug.  It is the third Harry Potter mug in the house.  One was E's dad's and got chipped in transit.  One is a Marauders Map one where the map appears when you put boiling water in.  I am reading the fifth Harry Potter book to Sylvia.  Harry is such a moody teenage boy in this that it does not seem so appropriate for an 8 year old but once you start, you can't stop!

A random easy meal we had one night after Sylvia's swimming lesson when more of my energies had gone into grocery shopping than cooking dinner.  It was ravioli with bottled pasta sauce, with rocket and red pepper and some garlic bread.  We rarely have garlic bread but I had a sudden yen in the supermarket (or rather was swayed but clever product placement)!  A rather pleasing quick meal.

Some snacks Sylvia bought at the supermarket with E.  I can't remember the names of the biscuits but she only bought them because they looked like doughnuts.  It strikes me as odd that the under the sea shapes biscuits are flavoured cheddar rather than seafood but perhaps this reflects kids' tastes.

I saw an idea online for no sew doughnuts made from socks, felt and fabric paint.  Sylvia has enjoyed making these with me and they look colourful in her "doughnut den".  I might share more about these if I can find some time but meanwhile, here is a plateful for you.

I took this photo of a few random groceries in order to express my outrage at Heinz new larger tins of baked beans.  The tin of lentils beside it is there to show what size they usually are.  I would not mind if these was a new option but in our supermarket you can no longer buy the 400g tin an now I think the tin is 550g which just does not fit in my cupboard as well and seems part of our supersizing culture. 

I did enjoy the Chickpea Corn Chips with Spicy Tomato Salsa (65% cornmeal and 5% chickpea flour so mostly corn chips).  And I have been eating lots of canned peaches because summer fruit is still on the way thought berries and pears have been great to eat too.

I am also most displeased with my electric kitchen scales malfunctioning.  They are just over 2 years old which does not seem that old.  Suddenly they have gone into ounces and refuse to go back to metric.  I do not do imperial measures.  My sourdough is suffering as I am not sure how much to feed it and my overnight sourdough bread dough seems either too sticky or too dry because my conversions never seem quite right.  Time for new scales unless I have the energy to contact the manufacturer.  (Yeah right!)

I was pleased that we ate sausage rolls, doughnuts and lemonade while watching the AFL Grand Final and all were home made.  Though we had some packaged bbq shapes because I didn't finish the sausage rolls until 3pm.  I got caught up watching the pre-match entertainment with Sylvia and my neighbour.  (Can anyone tell me why the banners don't rip to tatters these days?  And why were only a handful of people on the oval watching the Killers why everyone else stayed in the stands?)  We had lots of sausage rolls leftover to take down to my parents' house the next day to hear about their trip to India.

Sylvia has been spoilt with a few gifts lately.  The fish purse and chopsticks are from a school friend who went to Japan last term.  I partly think the gorgeous chopsticks are a reason to teach Sylvia to use them and partly think they are too good for her and I should just use them!  The Tangled cookie is from her cousin Stella's birthday party.  And the bejewelled bangles were bought for her by my parents in India.

As I mentioned at the start of the post, I am off on holidays tomorrow.  We are staying the Grampians for the rest of the week.  This is a part of Victoria I loved as a kid and am looking forward to seeing again.  Here is some of the baking I did today - cheese muffins, gingerbread biscuits (with doughnut icing) and some pear muffins that I will share soon.  The blog will be quiet while I am away but I will be back with holiday photos and more doughnuts and lots of fun stuff soon after we return.

I am sending this post to Sherry of Sherry's Pickings for the In My Kitchen event, that was started by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial,  If you would like to join in, send your post to Sherry by 10th of the month.  Or just head over to her blog to peek into more kitchens. 


  1. It looks like you have been busy in your kitchen! The bear faced rolls are very, very cute and the chickpea corn chips sound great, even if the chickpea component is low. I'm sorry about the scales though - how frustrating.

    1. Thanks Kari - the scales have been really frustrating as is the idea of having to replace them every 2 years if this is the planned obsolescence date. I really loved the bear rolls but they did take a lot longer.

  2. Your comment about the Harry Potter books makes me contemplate why these books are so likable by readers (or listeners or movie-goers) at any age. They were written VERY long after my moody teenage years and yet I love them. My husband, daughter, and son-in-law, also far from being teens also loved them. And my granddaughters were initiated before they could read, and continue to love them as they grow up. We saw several of the movies together, in one case holding hands when it was too scary. Your daughter sounds like a kindred spirit with us!

    Enjoy your holidays.

    best... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae - I agree that there is a lot more than a moody teenager to these books - it interests me how he ages through the books but more than that is some of the emotional intelligence in the books - some real wisdom like having to talk about a traumatic experience to get over it (at the end of book 4) and how his experience of his parents death makes him react to difficult situations in a different way to others (book 3). I think this is what makes them more than just a kids book. Though the books also have lots of fun ideas and great characters too. Glad you and your family also love them - it is really interesting to read them to sylvia as I read them first years ago as an adult too.

  3. hi Johanna
    thanks for joining in IMk this month and the mention. i love the bear faced rolls- so cute. hope you are enjoying your break at the Grampians. I didn't know heinz had upped the size of their tins of beans - how damn annoying is that! So if we want 400g, we have to buy 2 small tins which cost more I bet! yes 2 years doesn't seem at all long enough for your scales to be malfunctioning. booh hiss to the makers. have a great october. cheers sherry x

  4. You should say in my and Sylvia's Kitchen :)
    I've been considering doing felting recently myself and have the fabric, its mostly foodie things that have inspired me, but your doughnuts look so cute - you should def. share more details around it.

    ah if only you lived near, I have two scales and you would be welcome to it - one was given to me as a gift and still in its box. I am pleased you got your own stash of Tasmanian Pepper Salt, I am going to be making popcorn with it tomorrow for Friday nights movie.

  5. Wow, you have some fun things in your kitchen. Loving the doughnuts(edible and otherwise!). However, I was very taken with the bear rolls - adorable!!

  6. Those doughnuts look to pretty and tasty and the bear roll are so cool! I think they look perfect.
    I'd totally rather be at Hogwarts right now too. :)

  7. Ah what a wonderful post with so much cute stuff! Those dougnuts are beautiful and I also like the cute father's day presents. But those bear rolls must be the winner, well done, they look great! And those sausage rolls I would eat in no time. Such good stuff in your kitchen.

  8. Johanna, I hope you're enjoying your holiday! Amusing thoughts on baking "procrastination." :) Your donuts -- real and sewn -- are appealing and your "bear buns" are cute as can be.

  9. I'm sorry to hear your scales have busted Johanna. Get some new ones to continue your great doughnut cooking as they look so good. Footy GF and sausage rolls go hand in hand :) xx

  10. Wow - those doughnuts look so good. I think that my boys would really like to give those a go.


Thanks for dropping by. I love hearing from you. Please share your thoughts and questions. Annoyingly the spammers are bombarding me so I have turned on the pesky captcha code (refresh to find an easy one if you don't like the first one)