Sunday, 17 June 2018

Mum's Kitchen

Today I have some photos of my mum's kitchen to share.  There is a bit of nostalgia involved in some of the old items that I remember from my childhood and just some sharing what is like my second kitchen.  Regular readers will have caught glimpses from time to time.  I found some photos I took a few years ago and have noticed that the fridge  and oven are both updated to a more modern silver now but otherwise not too much has changed.

The kitchen my mum has is not the one I grew up with.  In fact most of my childhood was in different houses but I did spend a few years in this house before I moved out.  Back then it was a bright blue kitchen with the table in the middle, and 4 doors, including a door to a scullery where the sink was and a door to a large walk in pantry.  Great for hide and seek.  Less good for socialising.  While the kitchen was the heart of the house, doing the dishes and cooking could be lonely when everyone else decided to watch the telly.  The only part of the kitchen that was kept when my parents did a renovation about 10 years ago was the wood stove.  It doesn't get used heaps but looks lovey and is fun to use occasionally.  The oven used to be beside the wood stove where the cupboard now is.

In this corner you will see some of the things that makes my mum happy: chooks (hens), music and tea.  Mind you this is her teabag collection for visitors.  She drinks proper loose leaf tea brewed in a teapot.

The current pantry is smaller than the old one.  It isn't big enough any more to have a window but is very handy between the oven and the sink.  It always has dried biscuits (crackers) and usually some home baking, just as it did through my childhood.

We have always had calendars.  My mum often exchanges calendars as gifts with people overseas.  When I was younger my dad used to recycle calendars.  You know how every so many years the days and dates will match up the same.  So as a teenager I sometimes used to see calendars that had my kindergarten noted on them.  It was very odd.  But I miss it sometimes.

My mum loves chooks.  When we were young and lived in the country there was a chookhouse in the backyard.  When we moved to Geelong my mum seemed determined not to have chooks and one year my dad brought her some.  Now she loves them.  They are great for scraps and eggs.

There are a lot of chooks above the mantelpiece.  Mum buys little chooks as souvenirs or is given them as presents.

And of course there are quite a few cups featuring chooks.

My mum has lots of nice crockery.  This teaset is special because it belonged to her mum.

This dish probably could be called retro as my mum has had it ever since I can remember.  I think she might have used it for casseroles but I remember it being used for desserts like apple sponge, apple crumble and chocolate pudding.  The pomegranates are from the garden.

My mum still keeps the icing sugar in the same old coffee jar she has had ever since I can remember.  The top can be a bit difficult to undo but it has given great service.  (According to this discussion Pablo Instant Coffee was horrible.  The jar is quite large and it seems odd for a couple who were never big coffee drinkers.)

I love the thrift in my mum keeping kitchen utensils for so long.  She was given things for her 21st birthday and her wedding and then bought some when they moved out and a lot of this was not replaced for a long time.  This old plastic lemon juicer dates back to my childhood and I have a feeling it is now left the kitchen in disgrace as it had got old and bendy.

Another wonky old piece that goes back to childhood is this fruitbowl.  Looking back I admire my mum for keeping it shiny as well as full of fruit.  It looks a little medieval, which our kitchen never was.  I think this also has gone out, never to return.

We had these white plastic measuring cups all through my childhood.  I helped with lots of baking so I used these a lot.  In the background you can see some of the more modern measuring cups my mum has purchased more recently.

This spoon was a favourite when we were little.  The little dog at the top was called Susie.  We also had a dog called Susie, who my mum ran over while rushing to the school sports on a hot day when the dog was sleeping in the shade under the car.  Then we have a sister called Susie.  I am never sure which Susie came first but we might have told my sister once or twice that she was named after a dog!  (Sorry Susie.)

These pottery salt and pepper shakers were always on the table when we ate dinner together as kids.  I remember the times we accidentally put pepper on our meal and cried and my mum swapped meals with us.  I don't remember regularly salting meals but perhaps we did.  These days we don't have salt and pepper on the table in our household.

Compare this little more recent salt holder to the above salt and pepper shakers.  They are bright, colourful, patterned and allude to other cultures than my anglo-celtic one. I was going to show you a pictures of the fridge magnets on the fridge but it wasn't a great pic.  What I liked about it was all the fridge magnets from around the world reflecting my parents' travel.

My mum has had kitchen beaters ever since I remember.  I think she might have had a stand mixer when I was young but this is an updated stand mixer that gets lots of working out for her popular pavlovas, among other things.

The crockery in my mum's kitchen is quite eclectic, ranging from her marriage to modern day.  Here is a small sample.

This bowl is part of a collection that my mum and my older sister merged which was made by my sister's friend in the 1990s.  I've always loved the bold colourful swirls.  She also has a large wooden sideboard in the living area with lots of lovely crockery in it behind diamond paned windows.

Beautiful ruby red quince jelly is usually to be found in my mum's kitchen.  When we were young she was given quinces by my dad's boss.  Now she buys quinces when they are in season and being sold for a good price.  She still checks quince jelly at markets and shops to check if it is the right colour and consistency.

If I had a dollar for every roast dinner my mum has made I would be a rich woman.  Here is a pan of baked potatoes.  Everyone loves my mum's roast potatoes.

My mum makes lots of sponge cakes too.  They are light and fluffy creations that would make her grandmother proud.  When we were young she sometimes bought sponge cakes from the milk bar at the end of the road but with lots of perseverance she has become a bit of an expert. 

My mum has always been far more keen on spicy food than me.  She embraces new food trends and loves trying new recipes as well as her tried and true ones.  Here is her kimchi.  I confess I have not tried it because it is not really my thing.

She has been baking bread since I can remember but like her sponges, her practice has made it something she produces easily and with great results.  When I made my sourdough starter she took some and has been making sourdough bread ever since.  She bakes it far more than I do and it is wonderful that whenever I stay overnight, my mum's fresh sourdough bread greets me in the mornings.  She uses these bannetons for shaping her bread.

Finally I will leave you with a vase of roses from my mum's garden.  My mum loves her garden as much as her kitchen and usually has flowers around the house.  Her kitchen is a lot larger and a lot neater than mine.  It is often full of activity and visitors.  It is a place where I have always felt at home and learnt a lot.  Thanks mum!


  1. That's a wonderful portrait of your mom through her kitchen!

    best... mae at

  2. I think our kitchens say so much about us and I love how our parents still have the same utensils and crockery that always takes us straight back to childhood.... Clearing out my Mum's kitchen was so nostalgic and terribly hard at the same time.... But I brought home the best knives and spoons and gadgets that although they have been around for 40-odd years are just perfect!
    I'm definitely coveting that wood stove though.... x

  3. We have just inherited a similar fruit bowl. Ours has a glass insert, presumably for ease of cleaning.

  4. That quince jelly looks lovely and my mum has those same plastic measuring cups! :)

  5. this is great, and I especially like the shelving/surface on top of the old oven. We removed the little oven fromour cooking alcove to put in a dishwasher and some shelves, but had no cover and I would have had to do the blacking thing (which I didn't so the top was often rusty!) My mother in law told me to get rid of it because her mother had to work so hard blacking the stove!

    Funny that now that I think of it, nobody I know (apart from my parents) keeps salt and pepper on the table!

  6. I love a chance to hear a good story, and have a look around people's kitchen - this post was definitely one for me! My parents are in the process of redoing their kitchen - the kitchen from when I was a kid - so I'll have to take some photos to preserve it for posterity!

  7. Thanks for this gorgeous post. I loved the peek into your Mum's kitchen and the various memories / experiences you shared too. I also grew up with calendars and they were an easy present exchange for overseas family (easy to post and a nice way of sharing scenes from our parts of the world).


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