In My Kitchen, March 2015

And just like that, summer was over.

But not exactly.  Because here in Sydney the first day of autumn was a scorcher with temperatures soaring to 36C (97F).  With February being so short, when March arrives the seasons don’t cooperate.

Last day of summer

Twilight on the last day of summer

In my kitchen I have two passionfruit.  Yes, just two but these are homegrown and from my own garden.  I was hoping for greater abundance but they have been taking individual turns at ripening so the daily harvest amounts to just one.  Yes, these are golden.  And that confused me for a while as when I bought the vine it had a ticket on it advising it was the purple variety.  No matter the colour, these organic passionfruit are divine.

Golden passionfruit

Golden passionfruit

In my kitchen I have a lovely jar of bread and butter pickles handmade and hand-delivered to me by Maureen.  She travelled down from the Sunshine Coast with these in her luggage and gave them to me when we caught up for dinner a week ago.  I really love bread and butter pickles and these have nostalgic qualities as my mother used to make them when I was growing up.  They were always a favourite of mine and if I could be dissuaded from eating them straight from the jar, I would enjoy them on a rare roast beef or ham sandwich.

Maureen's bread and butter pickles

Maureen’s bread and butter pickles

In my kitchen I have a jar of very special balsamic vinegar.  It was given to me by Tania when we met with Maureen for dinner.  A very unexpected but greatly appreciated gift as you can never have too many bottles of quality balsamic.

Balsamic vinegar from Tania

Balsamic vinegar from Tania

In my kitchen is a tomato and labneh salad that I dressed with the balsamic vinegar Tania gave me.  The sweetness of the balsamic was a wonderful contrast to the sourness of the labneh.

Tomato and labneh salad

Tomato and labneh salad

In my kitchen is a pot of stock I made using the turkey carcass from Alfie’s birthday lunch.  I did intend to use it immediately by making a mushroom risotto but it’s just been too hot to stir a pot of boiling rice.  I will freeze the stock and wait for a drop in temperature.

Making stock

Making stock

In my kitchen there is Archie taking the girls to the groomer.  While Rosie can walk, Ruby is too arthritic so she is travelling to her salon appointment in an overnight bag you would think was purpose-made.

Off to the groomer

Off to the groomer

In my kitchen I have sweet Rosie who is road-testing her new bed.  The old beds had height challenges for girls with dwarfed arthritic legs and it was time to find something less vertical and more horizontal.  The bed is cuddly and snuggly and is machine washable.  Unfortunately I was only able to buy one as that was all that was in stock but the shop has ordered me a second for Ruby.  Due to the heat, both girls are choosing to sleep on the lino rather than their beds but I’m sure as the weather cools, the new beds will suit them just fine.

A new bed

A new bed

In my kitchen it’s ‘home sweet home’ for Miss Arabella who came home after a week in hospital.  She is managing the stairs (slowly) and discovering there are limits to what she can do on crutches.  I am wearing my nurse’s hat and assisting with showers, dressing, washing of clothes, meals, boosting morale and finances.  Just like autumn, it’s a new season.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

If you’d like to take part in an IMK post, be sure to link up with Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

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  1. Danielle says:

    I see a kitchen and home filled with love and happiness… your sweet friends’ foodie gifts, Rosie and Ruby looking adorable, and Arabella home where she belongs. Not to mention that gorgeous looking passionfruit!

  2. So glad to hear your daughter is home now. Congratulations on the two passionfruit…. I am envious xo

  3. I love B&B pickles too, if I recall correctly, they were the first pickles I’d ever made!
    The balsamic is lovely, I have a few really special vinegars in my kitchen too.
    I can’t believe Arabella was hospitalized for a week! Really makes you realize how precious life is. She’s very fortunate to have you to help and take care of her.

  4. Your kitchen is delightful. You are so lucky to grow your own passionfruit!

  5. Poor Arabella – I hope her time on crutches is limited. You have your hands full helping her by the sounds of it! I love your top twilight photo and think a passionfruit a day is just right to give you a steady supply. I hope they keep coming for a while yet 🙂

  6. That last shot of poor Arabella making her way down the stairs on her crutches is so sad. I hope her recovery goes well. Archie and Ruby are so sweet together and I can relate to arthritic legs. I wish I could find someone to carry me. 🙂 There’s nothing better than a snuggly bed, even for two legged old ladies.

    Your kitchen is full of goodies this month but the passion fruit on the froggie plate is my favourite. One day, I’m going to have to open my jar of passion fruit jam from Hawaii and give it a try.

  7. Thanks for the reminder that I have turkey carcass in the freezer that needs to be made into stock. Great to Miss Arabella, home and up and about!

  8. Wow Charlie a whole week in hospital I sure hope that knee goes back to it;s uyoung and working self fast. Your poor little dogs. Those little fellas (dashaunds) sure can jump when they are young so it is no wonder their legs stop working as they age. Glad you are enjoying that vinegar Charlie x

  9. Would love to visit your kitchen any day, Charlie! Congratulations on cultivating gorgeous passion fruit. Ditto on your sentiments about pickles =) And love your doggy, Rosie!

  10. Perfect catch up post! I want to come to Australia and have lunch with you and all your wonderful blogger friends. I’ll bring cookies—I promise! Glad Arabella is home. What a few weeks you’ve had!!! xo

  11. I love seeing what is in your kitchen–always fun. But I do confess to a bit of envy that your dogs don’t eat and destroy their beds. I just bought two new ones. One lasted 15 minutes, the other overnight. Arghhhh…So glad to see Arabella up and moving. A week is a long time to be in hospital–am sure she is thrilled to be home, and you as well.

  12. good to see Arabella is home again. wow who could believe a week in hospital? 4 days was way too much for me when i had my op a few years ago.:) not the nicest places to be are they? lucky you with the passionfruit. i have an olive tree that needs picking so i will be up a tree today!
    loved your IMK this month charlie! x

  13. Such love.
    I adore the pup in the bag!!
    Archie is really cute, too.
    I want, need, must have that salad! OH, MYyy. xxx

  14. So thankful Arabella is home.

  15. My “purple” passionfruit have all been yellow too! I have enjoyed the few left after the possums have feasted on them.

  16. G’day Charlie and I too feel a kitchen full of love and friendship and glad Arabella is on her way to recovery and Maureen’s pickles bring back a lot of childhood memories and one can never have too much balsamic vinegar!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view also!
    Cheers! Joanne

  17. I’m so glad Arabella ‘s home and doing better, even though it means more work for poor old you! Some yummy goodies there to be sure, home made is always a treat and I’m glad your passionfruit are delicious. Our aircon broke down last week and it’s been well over 30* in the house so I understand your reluctance to stand over a hot pot with risotto – here’s to cooler autumn weather! Xo

  18. Hi Charlie, I see everyone in your family working together to keep everything running smoothly, such a wonderful family you have!!

  19. being a mother is hard work but sure sounds rewarding! hope your daughter recovers quickly!

  20. So glad your daughter is on the mend. Your golden passionfruit are a real prize. And speaking of prizes, Maureen is a treasure for bringing you those bread and butter pickles. My mother in law used to make them and I love them on a corn beef sandwich.

  21. Oh poor Arabella. I can’t believe all that from helping someone out. Just doesn’t seem fair! Maybe the universe is telling her she needs to slow down? Although I’m not sure increasing your workload is the way to send the message! How lovely that the first day of Autumn was nice and warm. I bet that stock will come in handy in a month or two when the heat is a distant memory.

  22. Ruby in that purse!!! SO CUTE!!! I can’t even! HA HA HA AH HA!!!

  23. So many nice things in your kitchen. Love the look of those golden passionfruit.

  24. Glad to hear that Arabella is on the mend! And hehe I just looked at the temperature in Scotland. It’s beautifully sunny and 2 degrees! 😛

  25. how lovely to have passionfruit off the vine and the plate they are on is rather cute too! lovely gifts and so lovely cooking – ruby looks so cute in that bag – Archie really needs to be wearing a snappy suit to go with the bag 🙂 and glad Miss Arabella is on the mend though the crutches must be driving her a little crazy.

  26. I hope your daughter recovers quickly, crutches are not so much fun. It sounds like you have a very full and loving household.

  27. To add to the last line ‘AND writing totally fantastic blog posts at the same time’. You are marvellous, and this post is refreshing. So glad your princess is home.

  28. A great post Charlie- love the stock simmering with all the herbs and gorgeous balsamic blessed salad.

  29. Have never seen golden passionfruit before, and they normal purple ones are so expensive here, not unusual to pay $20 – $30 a kilo here in the supermarkets and thats in season lol. Roll on June when I am back at the Gold Coast, eating lovely summer fruit, for a fraction of the price we buy them here in New Zealand in season 🙂

  30. So glad to see Arabella at home at last. I do hope she is not making too much work for her nurse.
    I recently planted a passionfruit vine for The Bloke, who loves them to bits, but it’s a way off producing fruit yet, so I’m a teensy bit envious of your lovely fruit.

  31. The last day of summer looks so beautiful! What a treat that you got bread and butter pickles from Maureen and the tomato salad looks so tasty! Wishing Arabella well and she is so lucky to be in your wonderful kitchen! And Rosie looks so adorable in her new bed!

  32. Aww glad to see that Arabella is on the mend, slowly but surely!! I’m so jealous of your homegrown passionfruits!!

  33. Happy to hear Arabella is home. Sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you! It snowed here last night and we are dreaming of summer. Supposed to get high 60’s next week. I can live with that!

  34. There is nothing sweeter than your home grown produce. Two passionfruit and better than none and next year you will have twenty. Thank goodness the nights are getting cooler, the days will follow slowly but surely. You do have a busy household, the time will pass quickly for your daughter, crutches are no fun and your life is temporarily put on hold. Such gorgeous puppies, they are obviously showered with affection. Great balsamic and home made cucumber pickles, what wonderful gifts for you 🙂

  35. Poor Arabella – and poor you too 🙂 I’ve never seen yellow passion fruit before. That pot of stock with all the keg and herbs in it looks tasty. We’re just starting to warm to here – the chill has gone we’re just cold now. Bring on the summer I say!

  36. Looks busy at your place Charlie Louie that’s for sure.
    Ruby looks super cute in that little bag even if the reason for being in there isn’t so great.
    I hope the recovery period for Arabella (and you!) goes quickly…super quickly.

  37. I love the look of that salad! And you are very fortunate to have such good friends who travel to you with delicious goodies! I’m so glad that Arabella is home, but I still can’t get over how long she needed hospitalization. What a nasty accident! You are one busy household! ox

  38. I remember from many many moons ago that one can get quite whizzy on crutches, so hopefully your Arabella will not feel too restricted. Hope she recovers soon.

  39. When we lived in Florida we had a passionfruit plant. Rarely got fruit, though, because it was part of a butterfly garden — so the caterpillars would strips the leaves off the plant! The leaves would regrow, but we almost never got fruit because of that. Anyway, fun stuff in your kitchen this month! Great pictures — thanks.

  40. The passion fruit look wonderful, better than none at all! I so look forward to tomato salads, yours looks quite delicious. Wishing your daughter a speedy recovery.

  41. Charlie, sweet kitchen! I’d like to plop right down and have a cup of tea with you. I’m ashamed to say that last time I roasted a turkey I did not make stock–it was a hot day, I was overheated (and overtired) AND I couldn’t even freeze the carcass for later because my freezer was full! But I felt wasteful.

  42. I’ve been parked on your blog for ages. Great to catch up with you again xxx

  43. Catching up on my reading and am amazed at how much has been going on in your life… I had some clues from Instagram, but still, whoah! Hang in there!

  44. Charlie, I LOVE the way you write. (Take note agents and publishers!) I’m undergoing bread & butter pickle envy… (printed off Maureen’s recipe for later this summer here)… SWOON to rare roast beef sammiches with homemade bread & butter pickles. So glad you gals got together! Also got a kick out of your customized dog carrier and vertically challenged bed solution. (I need one of those — the bed, not the carrier.) Your stock pot of simmering goodness is also inspiring me. Many thanks! xo

  45. You can tell how good that balsamic is by how thickly it pours over that lovely salad. So glad that Arabella is home, and your girls are adorable.

  46. So glad the beautiful daughter is home and recovering well. I know what you mean about the heat. It’s ‘only’ 29C before 10am but it feels like 40 already. Ugh.

  47. mmm, balsamic vinegar is perfect on salads! I also enjoy it on strawberries and with parmesan. yum!

  48. Busy times for you this month! I’m glad to hear that your daughter is on the mend. That salad looks delicious and as you said perfect for your new balsamic! Very sweet dogs.

  49. Tonette Joyce says:

    I pray that Arabella is completely mended now.

  50. Tonette Joyce says:

    I am so sorry,I was negligent in reading all of your posts; I didn’t realize the extent of Arabella’s injuries. I will still pray that she heals well…and quickly. bless her heart!

  51. So glad to see your daughter up and about! Love that big pot of stock — just did that with clams!

  52. Oooohj, that salad looks gorgeous, tempting in any season!

  53. You grew passionfruit?! #awesome
    Great to see Arabella home, you are an amazing Momma looking after her the way you do. I love that, hope she is feeling better.
    Maureens bread & butter pickles, all the yes.
    Puppy in a purse, too funny.
    Fabulous roundup, love all the delightful things happening in your world.

  54. I’m glad that Arabella is home safe and sound… it is always hard after an operation, because now she would feel better, but can’t do everything it must be very frustrating! I hear your pain about the passionfruit, but at least you can eat them delicately and not be a glutton!!! LOL! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

  55. Best wishes to Arabella for a speedy recovery. Lots of wonderful food happening in your kitchen and hopefully you will have more passion fruit next year! Thanks for a lovely look around!

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