Saturday, November 9, 2019

In My Kitchen - November 2019

I have been inspired by Sherry at Sherry's Pickings, to join her monthly In My Kitchen blog series, so that I can share some of the activity, excitement, new additions, gifts and general news that are all part of my daily life at home in my kitchen. It has been one of those busy weeks, with a lot happening but no time to write about it until now. I have been sitting on this post since our daughter's wedding, when with a little time up my sleeve after the wedding I went shopping and found some delightful and interesting products, all produced in the Far North Queensland Cairns area. It really is a hive of activity up there with produce from the Atherton Tablelands being used in lots of the cottage industry and commercial products. So some of these products are now in my kitchen,

The Spice Girls, inspired by the singing and dancing kind,  have an amazing variety of herbs and spices to be found on the shelves of the independent suppliers in Cairns and on the Tablelands. Beautifully packaged and reasonably priced I couldn't go past the Sweet Paprika.

The Daintree Spice Co. products make wonderful gifts for friends and south of Cairns their products are hard to find. The Daintree  is a beautiful and peaceful part of the world which brings out the hippie in a lot of people, including me, not that I was ever a real hippie, honestly. I love adding the Lemon Myrtle salt and pepper when I am cooking up a batch of chick peas from scratch and lots of other things as well.

I bought Charley's Chocolate at Jonsson's Farm Market in Cairns, a Market in a building, but only supplying local produce. It can be a bit expensive but the quality and diversity is superior.

I love these fruit vinegars that I found at Jonnson's and a local Cairns butcher's shop. Delicious with strawberries as is a delicious Balsamic Vinegar  when I have it.

No Worries Mate, the packaging sold these lollies to me, what a clever marketing idea, however truthfully the lollies weren't great, not that I'm an expert on lollies. The Espresso Coffee ones were the best. Nice and catchy for the tourists though, and they make great gifts.

I had a lovely surprise a couple of days ago when this wooden shortbread mould arrived in the mail.  It comes from Scots Connection in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and took less than a week to ship. P& J very generously bought it online for me as a surprise after they just happened to visit Mr. HRK and me for morning tea on the day that I baked my first batch of shortbread and I wrote a blog post about it. How very thoughtful of them and now I need to practise using the mold to produce authentic looking Scottish shortbread. No pressure though.

This Garlic Braid was also a gift from a good friend last week as a thank you for hand pollinating her vanilla bean flowers each morning for her over three weeks whilst they were on holidays. She just lives around the corner from us so it certainly wasn't an imposition and we enjoy doing it. It's good to keep our pollinating skills up as I hope our vanilla bean vine decides to flower again one day. The garlic is grown organically up in the cooler mountains of Eungella, inland from Mackay and the braid is cleverly made by the Holistic Pantry. We are always very excited when Eungella garlic appears at our local market.

I lovingly started making sourdough bread again this week and this is one of the loaves made from mostly rye flour. I made two others in loaf tins as well. I was a bit rusty but the bread tastes delicious so now it must be a weekly ritual.

My kitchen isn't complete without one of my orchids to keep my company. This phalaenopsis has been out in flower for a few weeks already.

I could keep writing but it is a very hot day here today, the hottest we have had so it's time to find a cold drink, a cool spot and a good book to read and perhaps a nap. I am thinking of all the poor folk who are affected by bushfires at present and my heart goes out to them.

Stay cool and hydrated my friends and I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Thanks for dropping by.

Best wishes,



  1. hi pauline
    so lovely to have you joining in IMK this month. ooh i love aussie garlic, rather than the chinese stuff. I usually buy it from patrice newell's farm in the hunter but due to lack of water, she has none for sale this year. so hopefully i can get some at a market etc. love your thistle shortbread mould. what a thoughtful gift from your friends. i love raspberry vinegar which i normally buy from stanthorpe. i must get myself to one of the local delis that sell it. boy it has been hot the last couple of days, hasn't it? and so dry and smoky and dusty. what is the world coming to? have a great month. cheers sherry

  2. Thanks Sherry and whilst it was a bit of a rush, glad I finally joined IMK. The hot weather is changing my cooking habits for the moment, that's for sure. You have much more smoke than us I think, which isn't pleasant. At the moment I am happy to be living in my part of the world though.Cheers, Pauline

  3. Pauline, I hope you don't have any fires near you. Stay safe. I haven't made sourdough for a while as my new stove is a bit hard to work out and I need to experiment a bit more with it. Yours looks great though. Well done!

    1. Thanks Chel, no fires around here, touch wood. Eungella Mountains are the worry but ok so far. Good luck with your oven, sourdough bread really only needs a hot oven,I'll be doing all of my cooking early or late now as it is getting too hot. Take care, Pauline

  4. What interesting things you got! I'm not much of a lolly eater unless it is hard caramels which I adore :)

    1. Thanks Lorraine, my teeth don't like hard caramels anymore but they taste great.
      I'll stick to fudge, ha, ha.

  5. I have just got back from two months overseas and catching up with everyone. This sounds like and interesting assortment, all bought from my neck of the woods, as I live an hour north of Cairns. I just got a sourdough starter from a friend yesterday so am going to venture into new territory. We dont eat a lot of bread, and I am hoping to just bake one loaf every week or so. Do you throw away the extra mixture as it seems such a waste to me. A whole new learning curve.

    1. That's exciting that you are venturing into making sourdough bread, I never stop learning about the process etc. I don't throw away the extra mixture either as I hate waste and generally make two lots of dough at a time. This can make a large high top loaf of bread, or two smaller ones which we go through in a week or I just freeze some of it sliced, which lets me off the hook if I don't get to it the next week. I made my first rye sourdough loaf last week and it turned out really well. Good luck with it and enjoy, Best wishes, Pauline


(c)2014-2024 Copyright on articles and photographs by Hope Pauline McNee.
Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I love hearing from you.
If you would like to receive follow up comments, simply click the "Notify me" link to the right of the "Publish" and "preview" buttons.
Comments containing personal or commercial links will not be published.