Thursday, 13 October 2022

In My Kitchen, October 2022


When I start writing In My Kitchen each month, I have to really think about what I've been cooking, baking, and where I've been that's noteworthy. The weeks fly by. I've looked back at my photos for the past month, and they tell most of the story. However, we've been travelling quite a bit during this last month and haven't been home very much, so here's a rundown of life in my kitchen in between and during our travels. I've also purchased a few nice things along the way that I found quite serendipitously. 

I made a batch of these Portuguese Custard Tarts in Cairns, after being inspired by the tarts we ate at the Gallery Cafe in Chillagoe, where we travelled for the weekend just recently. My recipe is based on Jamie Oliver's Portuguese Orange Custard Tarts recipe and these were delicious. 

The next photo showcases a beautiful linen table runner which I bought at the Cairns Art Gallery and is based on the Fruits of the Rainforest Art Collection, painted by William T Cooper. This particular one is called Myrsine. I also bought a smaller runner, and a tea towel from the Sauropus range, which will make lovely Christmas gifts. I was fortunate to see William Cooper's beautiful Rainforest Collection paintings at the Cairns Art Gallery at the beginning of the year, but they had sold out of the manchester range in the gallery shop. Luckily it was back in stock a few weeks ago so I took advantage of it. William Cooper is one of  Australia's most proficient and talented botanical and bird artists, and his works are meticulously based on many birds and plants from Far North Queensland, where he lived before he died in 2015. I believe his wife still lives on the Atherton Tableland, and manages all of the exhibitions and merchandising now.

Mr. HRK is a twitcher, a bird watcher, so I bought him this fabulous Black Cockatoo tea towel, also based on an artwork by William T Cooper. He looks how I feel somedays ha, ha., but with a lot to say.

I also found a waterproof Mexican Oilcloth tablecloth at the Chillagoe Gallery shop, perfect for our outdoor courtyard table setting, which is subjected to a lot of heat in the North Queensland Summer.

I wrote a post recently about our beehive, and how just before we left on our road trip for Sydney, we harvested some of our own honey. We were thrilled with how delicious and clear this batch of honey is. If you missed the story, you can find it at this link.

Removing the honeycomb from the beehive frames.

I hosted my book club meeting and I took the easy option with a tried and true recipe and made my Ginger Syrup Cake which is always delicious. I added thin slices of Tropical Stem Ginger in Syrup which we make each year from our homegrown ginger to the batter, and combined with the Ginger syrup which is added when the cake is straight out of the oven, this cake was delicious and full of sweet and spicy ginger flavours.

Stem Ginger slices in syrup added to half the batter, before adding the remainder of the batter carefully

Ginger cake straight out of the oven

I also made my favourite Lemon Crispy slice, because I just happened to have a packet of Corn Flakes in the pantry, which is the basis of this quick and easy but delicious biscuit slice. I only buy Corn Flakes so that I can make these Lemon Crispies. I've given the recipe to so many of my friends, and they all love it.

Unfortunately the nasturtiums are finished in our garden now.

Anybody reading my blog knows that we can never have too many cookbooks. I bought "Jam Drops and Marble Cake" at the fabulous Christmas Village near chilly Stanthorpe, along with a few other Christmas decorations destined for overseas. I love to support the iconic Australian institution, the CWA. The Christmas shop in the Village specialises in selling their homegrown Christmas trees but it was too early to buy one of those, and it wouldn't have been easy to bring one home in the car on our road trip anyway, except perhaps on the roof, much easier to bring home a new cookery book.

We had a fantastic road trip to Sydney, and we haven't even been back a week yet, so I'll write another post at a later date and share some of our memorable experiences with you, mostly related to food of course. However, the highlight in Sydney for me was attending the Phantom of the Opera stage musical at the Sydney Opera House. An iconic show in an iconic venue, it doesn't get much better than that. On a cold, windy day, with showers clearing, we caught the Light Rail train from Surrey Hills to Circular Quay for the afternoon performance. We were very fortunate to acquire those tickets as they have been sellout performances, and we could also enjoy a glass of champagne overlooking the beautiful panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.

Paul Tabone played one of the leads as Ubaldo Piangi. He was a Music Theatre student at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Mackay when one of the hats I wore was the Music Librarian for the Con. He has had quite the illustrious career overseas, and it was such a thrill to see him perform in the Phantom in Sydney. He's put the North Queensland town of Ingham on the map, being from there.

Taking a selfie on our way to the Opera House

Very tall and stately Giraffes at Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney, they have the best view of all of Sydney Harbour.

This is my October submission to the #IMK series hosted by Sherry from Sherry's Pickings. Each month bloggers from around the world gather to share what is new in their kitchens. Today is the deadline so I must post this tonight. Then I will enjoy reading what all of the other bloggers have posted to this series about what they have been doing this month in their kitchens.

Thanks for dropping by,

Warm wishes


  1. wow lots happening here pauline. We love stanthorpe! and i always love a christmas village or shop. Love portuguese custard tarts too. why are they so delicious? :=) We saw the Phantom many years ago in london, along with lots of other shows. So good. I love tea towels; i love cookbooks. i try to buy local ones too. CWA etc types are always great. Thanks for joining in this month. cheers sherry

  2. Grrr, my very long comment I started on my iPad would just not work! I hope you are feeling better. And that was a very long road trip to Sydney. I saw Phantom in New York in the 80's - truly magnificent. I must look if I have any William Cooper runners - I know I have some Ken Done ones :)

  3. Thanks Tandy, worthwhile having one of his table runners or tea towels I don't have any Ken Done ones. I'm starting to feel a lot better thanks. No doubt that we encounter so many bugs during a trip like that one, it was fantastic though.

  4. I must make your lemon crispy slice. I love making slices and we've been bestowed some home grown lemons by our tree!

    1. Thaks Lorraine, the lemon icing on this slice really tops it off beautifully with a mixture of sweet and sour.

  5. I enjoyed my visit to your kitchen, Pauline. October looks to be a very good month in your house.

  6. Like Tandy, my iPad comments get tossed into the ether. Sigh. Those custard tarts had me from "hello!" I love seeing the Mexican oil cloth. I live less than an hour from México, and I love the color our close neighbors bring to our tables - with their textiles, food, and traditions! Also love the photo of you and Mr. HRK at the opera. Lovely.

  7. Thanks so much David, how interesting living so close to Mexico. So much colour and amazing food. We just loved the Phantom at the Opera, a wonderful experience.


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