Day to Day Stuff

In My Kitchen – February 2015

Welcome to my Kitchen for the month of February.

The holidays are over, Tweenie started high school, Buddy started pre-school, we returned to dreary old work, and the world goes on. Easter is the next big event on our social calendar, and I’m trying to get out and experience new places to eat with friends to eat with. Not a lot happening on the home front, the garden was a miserable failure, and the chooks got gobbled up by Mr Fox. So, onwards and upwards, we shall start all over again! Hopefully the remaining year of 2015 in our backyard is a little more prolific and productive.

So, what’s in my kitchen for February?


First up, here’s my little Buddy on his first day of preschool, getting a brain freeze from frozen strawberry and chocolate thickshake. He’s so cute.

In my Kitchen this Feb is this fabulously large sourdough loaf of bread. My first ever loaf of bread, courtesy of the Bread Queen, Celia from Figjamandlimecordial. She’s an absolute legend of bread making and she thoughtfully sent me a little sachet of her 8 yr old starter, Priscilla, to which I was to breathe life back into and name accordingly. The tradition is to name the starter after Priscilla, so I’ve named mine, Hugo A-Weaving, son of Priscilla. Get it? Lol. Hugo rose to the challenge like a legend and produced the most amazing loaf of bread I’ve ever made.


We have to slash with panache. And as you can see below, my slash made little impact, so I’ll wield my knife with more brute force for my next loaf. Which is rising beautifully by the stove as we speak.IMG_9802

According to all those who are in the know, the “crumb shot” is the “money shot”. And, although, I missed two steps from Celia’s tutorial, and then cooked it all in one go, rather than halving to bake, it still cooked beautifully. To the untrained eye, my crumb is good. Those at work who ate my bread, warm with butter and vegemite believe that I am a true guru of bread baking. Little do they know, and I’m not about to educate them 🙂


I bought these quaint little pears from Woolies. I thought they were really cute and pictured the pear clafoutis or tarte tartin that I’d bake with them. But, frankly, they were useless. 80% of the tiny pear was pips and the kids nibbled round the edges and chucked the rest. They make a good photo prop, but that’s about it.


I keep seeing this enamel bakeware everywhere, and felt it was about time I was joined the bakeware party. Woolies had 30% off all their enamel bakeware and it looks exactly the same as Falconware that I’ve seen in the cooking shops, assuming it’ll work just as well. Time will tell. Stoked with the bargain, so I bought 4 tins.

They do photograph well, don’t they?


On the weekend SO, and I took good friends and all the kids out for a drive to the Brindabella’s. This view is 40 mins from my house, which is in the middle of Canberra. Incredible that this in on our doorstep, I just love Canberra. Blackberries are a weed and are sprayed prolifically, but there are patches way up in the Brindies, that aren’t sprayed. I think we picked about a kilo to bring back home, and I have spent the last couple of days roasting and baking and stewing. Love fresh blackberries! SO loves 4wdriving so it a was a win win.


There’s that beautiful enamel bakeware again! Now, just what did I do with the blackberries?


Blackberry streusel cake was one such thing. I’ll put the recipe up for this one soon, after I do a bit of tweaking.

IMG_9962And along with the most beautiful basket of figs from SO’s cousins garden, the recipe options were endless! A cooks wet dream, a bucket load of fresh blackberries and a basketful of fresh figs. Drool.

IMG_9968The first thing I did was to fry two fresh figs in brown sugar and lemon agrumato, for a treat at 10.55pm. I could probably do this over and over again til all the figs were gone, but I held back.


I roasted figs and blackberries in balsamic glaze and lemon agrumato, (again!) slowly, for two hours til they were sticky, caramelised and sweet, sweet sweet.


Just look at the beauteous things all aroasted and burnished. Yum. Seriously yum


These then became roast fig and blackberry brownies, which almost fell apart on cutting, but were so damn delicious who cares? The figs were like little glistening candied  morsels that popped delightfully with each bite.

IMG_9784 Tweenie gets a mention this month, as this is the Nigella Lawson brownie recipe that Nigella personally suggested when I put the call out to Twitter, asking what the 12 yr old could cook on her own. She made them herself and was nearly beside herself when I showed her Nigella’s personal message, saying she hoped my daughter enjoyed the recipe. The woman is a legend, I reckon.


This wine isn’t in my kitchen, it was in a mate’s kitchen. Two Paddocks Pinot Noir is now my fav Pinot Noir and I found them on Twitter and Instagram and told them so. And you know who owns it? Why, Sam Neil. He’s happy that I like his wine. Sweet. 

That pretty much wraps up what’s in my kitchen, I’m off to see what’s in everyone else’s!

Head over to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what everyone else is up to. See you next month.

10 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2015

  1. Had me chuckling at your intro, what a cutie! I chant “slash with panache” as I build up readiness to score. Yours looks great in the dough and that loaf looks gorgeous. Blackberries, figs ooooh, salivating. I’ve just frozen BB’s for winter pies. Thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. Delicious post! I think sometimes that people really don’t know what affect they have on others with their words of encouragement. I bet your daughter will remember the kindness Nigella sent forever!


  3. My oh my, just look at those blackberries and figs! We are so lucky to live here in Canberra aren’t we Fran 🙂 Your creations all look delicious indeed but I’m sorry you didn’t have much joy with your garden and chickens 😦 xo


  4. Oh those figs…I shall dream about them tonight! Love the enamelware too and how fabulous did your bread turn out?! What an utterly gorgeous corner of the world you live in though I do hope you have better luck with the chooks the next time round. Your daughter looks so proud of her delicious brownies – how lovely to have been messaged by Nigella Lawson – great round up!!


  5. I have to say snap! to a lot of your month Fran, as we also have been devouring piles of figs and blackberries (got ours from the Cotter Dam catchment area at Uriarra) and also had Miss Lego starting high school – she was very excited heading off on her bike with her new phone 🙂
    I’ll have to tell her about your Nigella encounters and suggest she tries making the brownies – is this the recipe in Domestic Goddess?
    Congratulations to Buddy too! I love how thrilled preschoolers always look – it’s not till a couple of years down the track that they start groaning at the thought of school 🙂


  6. All you Canberrans and your blackberries! I rarely ever get jealous of anyone or anything, but you have given me a twinge of longing! And your bread was a stunner – given the hilarious circumstances (really…no really…I was still giggling hours later) – what a gloriously perfect humungous loaf you turned out! I reckon you could probably bake bread with your eyes closed! Lovely to see your gorgeous kids, thanks for sharing Fran! 🙂 xx


  7. well you are really on a roll – hobnobbing with the celebs on twitter and wowing them at work with your amazing bread and I just love the sound of those fruity brownies – all looks gorgeous (now I am wondering if I missed seeing the enamelware at woollies)


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