In My Kitchen, March 2018

Autumn has begun but it’s still warm and balmy in Sydney, after an exceptionally dry Summer.   The weather has meant that lots of salads, grilled fish, and omelettes with fresh herbs have been coming out of the kitchen.

In My Kitchen is a monthly link up of kitchens around the world, currently hosted by Sherry at Sherry’s pickings. It has been going for eight years now, started by the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. A few things to share from the Napoli kitchen over the last few weeks:

With the new year in full swing it was time to wrestle control of the pantry.  A lot of the containers I bought sixteen years ago as a newlywed (sixteen years!) were worse for wear or no longer sealing properly, so it was time for some new containers, and also labels to make it easy to find everything.  I ordered a standard pack from Pretty Pantry Labels (product certainly as described!) and a handful of custom ones from The Pantry Label Shop, and we were good to go.

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On a recent trip to Carriageworks Markets, I liked the sound of these eggplant ravioli from Pasta Gallery and bought some to try.  I served them simply, some baby spinach, semi dried tomatoes, spring onions, olive oil and shaved parmesan.  They were delicious.

I also bought these carrots – aren’t the colours glorious?

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In my kitchen is a new apron, butcher style, that a generous friend bought for me at a recent cooking night.

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I mentioned recently that Mamma Rosa has discovered technology.  In her sixties, Mamma Rosa is texting, emailing and YouTubing with the best of them. She loves watching recipe videos in Italian. I discovered that Mamma Rosa and the Small People are now texting each other – pretty much exclusively about food.  Mamma Rosa writes in Italian, and the Small People text back in a combination of Italian and English.  Their funny little conversations are often about special menu requests (“can you please make us arancini”).  One of them was for a batch of “biscotto”, or what the Small People call “crunchy bread”.  Mamma Rosa’s feather light biscotto – also often called freselle – is ideal for a snack with any topping – avocado, cheese, ricotta, tomato.  We all love it.

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Our chooks have been laying well in this warm weather, although we have encountered a couple of stubborn brooders.  The girls are over a year old now, so officially “hens” rather than “pullets” and the eggs are getting noticeably bigger.  We get a consistent stream of 70 gram plus eggs, except for petite and dainty Grace, who produces corresponding cute petite and dainty eggs.  I do have to be careful when I am baking because of the size as it can result in distorted proportions. Don’t tell the others, but I think Rosie’s eggs are my favourite.

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I’ve been spending a good bit of time thinking about kitchen layout and other cabinetry for the renovation and build, which is slowly making progress.  Hafele have some really clever storage solutions for internal cupboards.

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In my kitchen is a great buy from Aldi recently – dual lemon and lime pack! They will be making their way to our new garden.  They also had fig plants but these disappeared too quickly.

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I hope you all have a lovely March!

21 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, March 2018

  1. Mae

    Such beautiful carrots and eggs! Getting things organized in labeled containers is definitely a way to make the kitchen more efficient.

    best… mae at

  2. Sherry Mackay

    i love organising my pantry into clear containers. makes me feel very competent:) your labels are so pretty. i’m lucky; hubby makes mine for me. gorgeous colourful carrots and how marvellous are those eggs. cheers and thanks for joining in sherry x

  3. fergie51

    Hope you don’t ever come and peek into my pantry because am so going to get some of those labels. Gorgeous and just right for my black and white theme. Go Mamma Rose, I hope she’s still recording recipes by hand. Good storage is great, must have a look at their range, always room for extras. The biscotti looks wonderful! Thanks for the peek!

  4. Francesca

    Great to hear that Mama Rose and the small people are communicating in that crazy mix that we all love in Australia- Italian English.Do they learn Italian at primary school?
    Love those labels and need to get some storage sorted so heading for those sites you mention.Signorina, if you’re looking for some great fruit trees to plant on your block ( later- in winter) try Yalca Fruit trees. They send them bare rooted in June. The stock we bought from them 6 – 7 years ago are the best trees we have. They are based near Echuca.

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      Oh thanks for the tip on the fruit trees, will definitely look into that! I really want some Mulberry trees, my seed attempts have been a big fat fail.
      The boys were doing a bit of Italian at primary but at their current school are doing French, so they have an Italian tutor at home.

  5. Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons

    I will look forward to reading about your kitchen redo. And organizing the pantry is a satisfying way to start a new season. I find you can frequently find ‘lost’ items which are then purchased again (I found 3 packages of green lentils in my last organizing frenzy). And why don’t more spice companies label the tops of jars? It makes so much more sense. Lucky you with your own hens, carrots are gorgeous, and I love the new apron.

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      Ha – I also found three lentil packets, part of the motivation! Agree with the spice jar comment, I was picking up four or five jars with identical lids to get to the one I was after (first world problem I know!).

  6. Lisa

    I love the organised labels. What a great find at Aldi with the citrus… I missed that one completely. Also, your carrot colours are glorious! Did you note any difference in taste between them?

  7. tableofcolors

    I love all of your new containers and spice jars. My spice jars are pretty sad looking…it’s been 18 years since we bought ours as newlyweds as well. All the labels are in a sad state. I just can’t believe so much time has passed. and those eggs! We have been thinking of getting a few chickens next summer…certainly would love having our own eggs! Thanks for leading me to your blog.

  8. Moya

    Love all the new herb containers… mine are pretty old and should get some new one. The carrots look amazing and love the different colors, bet the taste wonderful. And to have fresh eggs… a real treat nowadays :)


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