In My Kitchen: August 2014

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen August 2014. This month, in my kitchen are …


Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours: sundried tomato and basil, rosemary and roasted garlic, and basil and Parmesan. I wrote a review about them.


I’m also trialing Spiral Foods sugo range, which comes in garlic and basil, primavera, and arrabbiata. They are very versatile and we’ve used it in casseroles, baked chicken and curries. Of course, it is packed full of flavour and only made from natural ingredients.


I bought this Spiral Foods rice syrup to try in a few recipes that I had kept. It is very mild tasting, so you could use it instead of honey or golden syrup in a recipe.


I’ve loving this organic, grass-fed butter which we get as part of our organics delivery (Farm Fresh Organics) every couple of weeks. It’s from Organic Times.


Matt likes this organic sauerkraut from Eden Foods. It is fermented using traditional methods and only using cabbage and sea salt. We tried making our own, but it didn’t work out, so this is the next best thing.

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for organsing In My Kitchen August 2014. Thank you Spiral Foods for providing samples.

In My Kitchen – August 2013

Thank you Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for allowing me to participate In My Kitchen August 2013. This month, in my kitchen are …

Loose Leaf Tea House

I tried three teas from The Loose Leaf Tea House, with English Breakfast being my firm favourite.

Herbies spices

Fragrant Sweet Spices by Herbie’s Spices. I have used 1/8 teaspoon in a mug of hot chocolate to give it a lovely warm spicy taste. You can also add 3 teaspoons to a cake mixture – I tried it with some gluten free chocolate brownies.

I recently interviewed Ian Hemphill from Herbie’s Spices.

Melinda's Red Velvet Cake

Melinda from Melinda’s Gluten Free Goodies allowed me to try some of her delicious products. My favourite was the gluten free Heavenly Chocolate Fudge Brownies. The Decadent Red Velvet Cake is the last one I have to try – but I’m saving it for a special occasion.

San Remo Spelt Pasta

We have been having San Remo spelt pasta and using spelt flour instead of wheat, as spelt is one of the more tolerant gluten grains. Both are easy substitutes and we have hardly noticed the difference.


This nifty little device is called a JarKey and it helps lift off the lid of bottles and jars. It’s invaluable and every kitchen should have one, especially if you have arthritis in your hands or you do a lot of preserving.

We are giving away plenty of passionfruit to family and friends.

Posted for In My Kitchen August 2013 hosted by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

The Garden Share Collective: August 2013

Garden Share Collective

Welcome to all the new readers and hello again to my faithful long-term readers. I’ve decided to join the Garden Share Collective as a way to track the progress we are making in our garden and as a way to motivate us to get out there and make the most of the our backyard.

Our garden

We have been gardening for 6 years now, and learnt many lessons along the way. The garden is based on permaculture ideas and we use organic methods and inputs. We try as much as possible to use open-pollinated, heirloom seeds. Around the perimeter of the garden is planted out with natives to attract wildlife and provide a wind break.

We have four beds for vegetables, where we practice no-dig gardening. At present, Bed 1 is mostly fallow with some self-sown parsley and Queen Anne’s Lace.

broccoli seedlings


Bed 2 has some broccoli seedlings, cauliflower and kale from Northey Street.

Bed 3 has some Egyptian spinach which is not doing anything. It was recommended to us from Annette McFarlane in a talk at the Queensland Plant Expo.


Bed 4 is doing the best, but we aren’t exactly sure what we have planted. The seedlings were gifted to us from Matt’s Mum, and we think they are either purple cauliflower, broccoli or kale – they are a brassica of some kind! We also have two lots of heirloom beans which all came up.


We have about 11 herbs in pots, and 19 fruit trees and vines in big pots which we are gradually putting into the ground. Matt planted our two free plants from the Brisbane City Council along the fence line. They were both Buckinghamia Celsissima (above) and they have the most interesting shaped leaves. Matt also planted into the ground a sea grape, peanut tree and a pomegranate.


There is lots of new growth on the lillypillies and black sapote.

Highlights from the month


We recently pulled up all of our tumeric plants to harvest them and got a bumper crop. We got lots of inspiration and ideas from The Queensland Garden Expo and the highlight was meeting Costa. With some recommendations from Jerry I wrote about Plants for honey bees.

I was fortunate to interview Marion Grasby and also Ian Hemphill, Herbie’s Spices.

To do list

I must confess I’m not very good at planning the garden month to month, so this month is just going to be to plant in some more fruit trees into the ground and plant some seeds in the two empty beds. I’m also hoping to attend one of the free tours on a Tuesday at Northey Street City Farm.

I’ll be happy if I keep better records and I hope blogging for the Garden Share Collective will motive me to do just that.

Post for the Garden Share Collective challenge hosted by Stayed Table

Produce in season for August in Australia


Vegetables in season for August in Australia

artichoke (jerusalem), avocadoes, beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chinese greens, fennel, garlic, ginger, kohlrabi, leek, onion, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, shallots, silverbeet, spinach, swede, sweet potato, turnip

Fruit in season for August in Australia

apples, custard apple, grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, melon, oranges, paw paw, pineapple, rhubarb, tangelo

Photo by Jan