In my kitchen, March 2017

Summer is technically over but the days are still lovely. I’m not looking forward to daylight savings ending, though the mornings are getting noticeably dark.  Meanwhile, there’s been plenty happening in the kitchen.

In my kitchen are dragon fruit (also known as pitaya).  I love them but don’t buy them often as they are usually quite expensive.  But I think there were a lot around for Chinese New Year so quite a few grocers had them on special.  I used them in a fruit salad for breakfast, but I also love to eat them as is.


I read that you can germinate them from the seeds, so I extracted a few, washed and dried them and put them in some seed raising mix, and voila!  After just a few days little green shoots started appearing.  They also grow from cuttings, and a dear friend gave me some cuttings for red and yellow dragon fruit, but I adore the white ones as well, and thought I may as well have all three colours.


I am steeping some vanilla beans in vodka for some new vanilla extract.  The last bottle I made (pictured right) was in mid 2014, and I’ll probably use what is left in the next couple of months.  Given that it needs at least 3 months to steep, I’ve started a new bottle.  It is so much more fragrant doing it this way rather than the commercial varieties available at the supermarket. It is also more convenient than having to regularly buy the small bottles.


Our tomato plants are dying off, so its time for new autumn crops.  I bought some broadbeans to plant, the Marito loves them.


In my kitchen are some fresh tagliatelle, courtesy of Mamma Rosa.  Her tagliatelle rock.


I stocked up on Callipo Tuna when it was on special at Coles recently.  The Callipo factory is actually 20 minutes or so from Mamma Rosa’s village in Italy.  It is my favourite tinned tuna.


In my kitchen is a sign for our new coop, to be varnished and hung. It’s from Castle and Cottage Signs; she made a custom sized sign for me it so it will fit neatly above the door.  Our new coop is walk in which is fabulous, makes things so much easier.

The girls had a very tough time of it during the Sydney heat wave last month, I wasn’t sure they were all going to make it. Operation Chicken Watch was in full swing. Blocks of ice in the water, hosing down the roof to keep it cool, and standing them in ice baths when I saw they were really struggling, were needed. Oh, you’re probably wondering about the name. “Bokens” is a nickname for chickens that the Small People came up with when they were Really Small People.  It was courtesy of an old Lilydale ad which had chickens running around going bok-bok-bok.


In my kitchen is this sauce that a lovely friend got me from this year’s Tomato Festival by Italian chef Luca Ciano.  Look forward to road testing it!


And finally in my kitchen are some Sydney grown Kensington Pride mangoes, from my parents’ backyard tree.  The skin doesn’t colour like those from the Northern Territory or Queensland, but they  ripen inside and taste just amazing.  What I love is that their tree becomes abundant just when all the Kensington Prides disappear from stores.


I hope all is well in your kitchen. Thanks to Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things for hosting this month’s IMK link up.

16 thoughts on “In my kitchen, March 2017

  1. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things

    You are ever so clever, raising the seeds from the dragon fruit! Such a pretty plant. Happy March to you and thank you for that very kind shout out xxx

  2. Johanna @ Green Gourmet Giraffe

    Wow imagine having dragon fruit in the garden – I would be quite excited to have dragonfruit in my kitchen – was tempted by some in the supermarket on the weekend but too busy to stop.

    The bokens is such a cute name for the hens – we used to have a lot of talk about chookens which amused me some years back. Your girls are lucky to have had you looking after them during the heatwave.

    And how lovely to get mangos from your parents.


    Making your own vanilla extract is very impressive. You have so many interesting and delicious-looking things in your kitchen!

    best… mae at

      1. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons

        Thank you for the link, it is lovely…lucky chickens! Looks as if it is only available in Australia but you inspired me to do a Google search. There are a lot more coops available here in the US than a couple of years ago. Chickens are on my list once we finish the house and garden.

  4. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    I had to google dragon fruit trees as I realised I have no idea how they grown. I think you have enough seedlings there for a whole plantation!! I brought my vanilla essence with me in my luggage on our recent move I couldn’t bear to throw it away after 4 years of ‘steeping’ – so much nicer than the commercial ‘fake’ stuff.

  5. marcellinaincucina

    What a great post and delicious things in your kitchen! I love dragonfruit too! I have a plant that flowers amazingly but has only ever produced one fruit! I have never seen that tuna in Coles. I must look out for it. Thanks for posting!

  6. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, your coop sign is darling — so’s the story behind the name. Glad your girls survived the heat wave with your TLC! I’ve never had dragon fruit, but it must taste as beautiful as it looks. Wish I could dive into your fruit salad bowl! Looks like you’ll be enjoying a pasta dinner, too. Lots of good things going on in your kitchen!

  7. Sherry m

    Looks like you may have lots of dragonfruit down the track. I make my own vanilla too. I just keep adding vodka to the bottle and throw in more beans now and then. Poor chooks. Such dreadful heat we had this summer. Yum to the tuna.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.