In my kitchen, November 2016

Halloween has just passed and the boys’ haul sits on the kitchen counter.  I must say it was so lovely seeing so many children and parents wander around the neighbourhood.  Some familiar faces, plenty of new ones, lots of smiling and such a pleasant community feel to it.  It made me think how nice it would be if it happened more often; the Italians know what they are doing in those little villages with their evening passeggiata.


I found a little surprise in the letterbox the other day.  I was puzzled at first as to what it was, but further inspection showed it to be an antique stamp with the name of the house and the address.   The daughter of house (of the previous owners) found it and thought we might like it; her father had it made several decades ago.  Wonderful!


Meanwhile, over the last few weeks the garden has come alive with colour, there are blooms everywhere.  Our chooks are loving exploring it all.  Though I think I may be overfeeding the girls, they’re getting awfully big and have been producing some whopper eggs – this one weighed in at 79 grams.


The other day I bought some mulberry seeds.  I adore mulberries, but they are quite hard to find and the season is short.  Occasionally I stumble across them at farmers markets.  They will take quite a long time to grow, the Marito and I have to figure out where in the yard they will end up once they graduate from the pots, as the trees do get quite big.


In my kitchen is some granola I bought. Most granolas have dried fruit and maple syrup which automatically rule them out for me as I just find them too sweet.  This one had neither and a just dash of honey, though I did find the cinnamon a little strong for my taste.  I think I will try making my own.


IMK regulars will recall that last month I bought some San Marzano tomatoes that most pizza chefs rave about.  A few of you wanted to know if they were any good. So when I made pizza the other day I gave them a test. “What did you do differently to this pizza?” said the Marito.  They definitely resulted in a more flavoursome sauce (and yes, that is a Lego tablecloth in the background, its from the boys’ birthday party a few years ago).


For all of you IMK’ers who are baking sourdough from Celia’s Priscilla – a party trick for your starter (though maybe everyone knows it and I’m just late to the party) to know that it is ready to turn into dough – put a dollop in a glass of water.  If it floats, you are good to go! If not you may need to wait for your starter to get bubblier or it may need another feed and another few hours.


What’s happening in your kitchen? Thanks to Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things who is now hosting this monthly linkup.

27 thoughts on “In my kitchen, November 2016

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things

    Hello there and happy November! Wow, those eggs. What will you be baking? I love that antique stamper. What a nice thing to have. Thank you for the very kind shout out xx

  2. Amanda

    That Irrewarra granola is delicious – they sent me some early last year and it was a perfect snack while writing.
    Ouch, a 79gm egg! That makes my eyes water.

  3. fergie51

    How delightful to get that stamp! You have given me an idea to try and see if I can propagate some cuttings from our mulberry tree, that will be a project! San Marzano tomatoes are great, if you decide to plant them they are prone to blossom end rot so making sure the soil has plenty of calcium added before planting is worthwhile. Aren’t chooks amazing to turn out eggs the way they d? :)

  4. Mae

    Stories about former house residents connecting to the current owners are always interesting. I’ve showed up at the door of the house where I grew up, and a couple of people have showed up at my house who lived here 30 or 40 years ago, and told me a few memories. I wonder what it’s like when your house is hundreds of years old (the one where I grew up is just over 100 now).

    I like what’s in your kitchen…

    best… mae at

  5. Francesca

    Wow, I didn’t know about that sourdough party trick!! And I must have missed your post on the San Marzano tomato test. So tuo marito gave them the thumbs up? I trust his judgment and so will pay the extra to buy some cans. What a lovely surprise in your letterbox- the little stamp. A treasure. Si` Signorina. Magar, abbiamo anche noi la passeggiata ogni sera.

      1. Francesca

        I now follow your quick no cook sauce. It’s a beauty, though it means adding a bit of garlic to the toppings. Now off to the Mediterraneo in Brunswick for a swag of those cans.

  6. Moya

    How lovely of the previous owner of the house to give you the stamp. Sounds like you have very happy hens :) Thanks for the tip on the sourdough starter will remember this next time :)

  7. shaheen

    those old fashion hand stamps are becoming very popular again, You should update the stamp with your own – be cool for when you post out all those Christmas cards with your own personal stamp, so much more lovelier than a sticker

  8. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, that stamp is a gem (history, family, HOME.) So is your pizza “ala San Marzano.” Looks like a classic Margherita to me, and a delicious one at that. Thanks for reiterating the “float” tip about Priscilla. I’ve been putting off “starting her up” until I’m finally home long enough to give her the attention she needs. (Soon…) Thanks for the inspiration, xo!

  9. SeattleDee

    Just put your sourdough trick to use – what a practical hint! The stamp was a lovely surprise; will you find a use for it or just enjoy the history? Wow, egggggcellent giant of an egg; how do you keep up with the chooks production?

    1. Napoli Restaurant Alert Post author

      Isn’t it a nifty little trick! The stamp appears to be to create wax seals, so need to go buy me some wax! We only have three chooks a the moment (planning to get at least another three) so the eggs get gobbled up as fast as they can lay them!

  10. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons

    Lucky you to get that stamp and how thoughtful of the other owner of the house. Chickens are in my future once I retire, we had them years ago when our son was small, the eggs were amazing. Your own is a whopper! And, i didn’t know about that sourdough trick. I need to revitalize my own, I just haven’t been home long enough to do any baking. And i need to practice, practice, practice. The first loaves didn’t turn out like all the lovely pictures in IMK posts.

  11. Gretchen

    What busy hens! I’ve been using the sourdough tip for a while now, it really does help to have a fullproof test to determine when my sourdough is ready to “play”! Your pizza looks delicious, a classic margarita is our favorite. I try to grow San Marzano tomatoes in the summer and love them.

  12. Lisa

    That pizza looks amazing. Such a lovely gesture with the antique stamp. I too often wish our neighbourhood was more social… it’s very different to how I remember growing up. Different times, different place, but very different neighbourhood vibe indeed!


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