In My Kitchen, May 2014

I’ve been given a hamper!  And the even bigger bonus is that it was never actually meant for me.  It was bought for a couple who left the country before it could be given to them.  It sat in my husband’s office for a couple of months, gathering dust, before he finally did the right thing and brought it home for me.  It comes from Fourth Village Providore and their website says they are ‘an award winning family owned food market and restaurant offering the finest fresh ingredients and homemade delights.’  This sounds like my kind of hamper!  

My hamper

My hamper

So…in my kitchen I have…Extra virgin olive oil and a baby fig and balsamic vinegar reduction.  Can you ever have too much olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar?  I don’t think so.  These bottles will be well loved and frequently used.

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar reduction

In my kitchen I have Organich Pasta.  An organic handmade penne pasta made in Italy.  Like olive oil and balsamic vinegar, you can never have too much pasta in your pantry; it is just so handy and convenient for quick family meals.

Organic Penne Pasta

Organic Penne Pasta

In my kitchen I have home made tomato and basil pasta sauce.  It looks like I have the sauce base for my organic pasta.

Tomato and basil pasta sauce

Tomato and basil pasta sauce

In my kitchen I have two jars of marmalade, blood orange and mango and ruby grapefruit marmalade.  One of the jars spells marmalade, ‘marmalade’ and the other jar spells it, ‘marmelade’.  Never mind.  Anyway, my husband’s favourite breakfast is marmalade on buttery toast so he will get through these two jars without any problem at all.  I’ve never had mango and grapefruit marmalade before so it will be lovely trying something new.

Marmalade and 'Marmelade'

Marmalade and ‘Marmelade’

In my kitchen I have a jar of eggplant antipasti.  The eggplant is seasoned with garlic, chilli, oregano and fennel seeds.  Sounds wonderful.  This will be lovely on a torn off bit of baguette with a hunk of cheese and a pre-dinner drink.

Eggplant antipasti

Eggplant antipasti

Speaking of pre-dinner drinks, in my kitchen I have a packet of olive flavoured stiratini.  These are very thick, crunchy and light bread sticks that go very nicely with a glass of chardonnay.



In my kitchen I have a wonderful looking bar of ‘Torrone alle Mandorle’ which is Italian for ‘nougat with almonds’.  I just love nougat!  It says on the packet that this is made with fresh honey, nuts and eggs and hand cooked for 12 hours to achieve the silkiness and sweet taste of nature.  There’s only four ingredients in this nougat with the fourth ingredient being potato starch.



In my kitchen I have a bar of Cioccolato alle Nocciole which is chocolate with hazelnuts.  This is a very dark chocolate with no less than 50% cocoa mass and it’s made in Sicily.  This will be the first time I have tried Italian chocolate.

Hazelnut chocolate

Hazelnut chocolate

In my kitchen I have a packet of Biscotti Tipici della Contea di Modica which I believe roughly translates to ‘modest biscuits’.  These are almond biscuits flavoured with pistachios.  Something special to enjoy with a strong coffee at the end of a meal.



I’m very happy with my unintentional gift.  Sometimes hampers can be full of a whole lot of things that nobody wants but this hamper is completely filled with things that are useful and things I  will love cooking with or just enjoy straight from the packet.

And it wouldn’t be an ‘In My Kitchen’ post if I didn’t show you how the girls are travelling.  Here they are resting after a dinner of chopped bar-be-cued chicken with a sprinkling of dried dog food (25% less for Ruby because she’s on restrictions), washed down with a bowl of filtered water.  As you can see, best friends like to stay close together.

Best friends

Best friends

If you’d like to do an In My Kitchen post, just link up with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it!


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  1. Nice hamper! But the pic of the two girls stole my heart. They look so relaxed and content 🙂

  2. Danielle says:

    Lucky lady you! Such lovely treats…I bet most of them won’t last long. Beautiful pic of the girls resting.

  3. Danielle says:

    Ha that’s funny, Lorraine’s comment was not showing yet when I wrote mine, honest 😉

  4. What a fun surprise!! Yes, it was definitely the right thing to bring it home to you. 🙂 I can’t imagine anyone who will put it to better use. 🙂

  5. What a delicious hamper- it all sounds so delish! and appreciated by it’s new owner. Enjoy! Oh, love your kitchen companions too- very cute xx

  6. What an awesome hamper Charlie. So pleased it never went to waste and that Carl brought it home for you.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  7. I want to come and cook in your kitchen you have so many delicious treats. I bet your puppy is one happy camper and just hoping each day your drop something delicious for him.

  8. That is one of the best hampers I’ve ever seen. Fig & balsamic vinegar… Want! Massive score for you. 🙂 Have a rippa weekend, stay warm, we are expecting snow in the Berra. Should source me a hamper like yours to get me through the winter.

  9. What a great gift, it really doesn’t matter why or what the reason was that you got it. I totally want the EVOO and Balsamic. I’ll never forget my first taste if balsamic right in Modena, Italy, but that’s a great story for the blog so I won’t spoil it. The girls are adorable.
    BTW, your photos are showing up sideways on my iPhone.

  10. oh how kind of you to give meaning to the hamper – it sounds like it was meant for you – though if you don’t want all the nougat please send my way – sounds lovely

  11. Clearly your definition of a “hamper” is different than ours here in Minnesota. We define “hamper” as a container in which to place dirty laundry.

    I like your version much better.

  12. You’re in for a treat with the Italian chocolate – they really do it well. I think you are very kind to not give your other half a serve for taking so long to give this to you. I think he owes you a nice bottle of bubbly to go with all this loot.

  13. G’day! What a great hamper Charlie! I can wait to see what you create!
    Love your four legged family photo! Thanks for this month’s kitchen view too!
    Cheers! Joanne

  14. You sure have lots of yummy treats Charlie…looking forward to see what you will make with it.
    Hope your are enjoying your week 😀

  15. Sounds like some Italian type dishes to me. What a great hamper!

  16. Fun hamper, but that photo of the dogs is the best ever!

  17. I have to say, I’m quite jealous of your hamper, Charlie! I would really love that chocolate bar! And that nougat sounds lovely, too! Your doggies are just the cutest! 🙂 xo

  18. Bonus! Love all the goodies in your hamper Charlie. Thanks for the update on the puppies too! xox

  19. Ooooh, love surprise gifts, especially if they were meant for someone else 🙂 That hamper really is great, all the things are so useful especially for a person who likes to cook and entertain. Carl did the right thing 😉

  20. Charlie, this is such a great hamper I would like someone to surprise me with one 🙂 waiting to see your creations. Nice pic for the girls.

  21. That hamper is full of goodies that anyone would enjoy but I’d start with the chocolate bar. 🙂

    The girls need a nice nap after that yummy dinner. Cuddled together is even better.

  22. Score! Lucky you indeed Charlie, it’s chock full of such yumminess! The girls look like they’re content with their treats as well. my dog also drinks filtered water- it’s filtered through the algae and mosquito wrigglers in our water trough. I think they must give the water added bulk and flavour 🙂 xox

  23. What a wonderful hamper! Thank goodness Carl came good and brought it home for you – how terrible to think of those products languishing in an office for months.

    The girls look gorgeous too 🙂

  24. Oh, my! Such treasures in that hamper…lucky you!!! And your photo of the girls made me smile 🙂

  25. Your doggies are just gorgeous! So sweet. And I would say in your kitchen you have a ton of deliciousness. So many fabulous meal options. I especially love the baby fig balsamic. It’s one of my favorites.

  26. Nice hamper!! Look at those two beauties…the BEST in your kitchen!

  27. What a great collection of goodies in that hamper. Those girls tell me your kitchen is the best place to be.

  28. That’s the best hamper I’ve ever seen – lucky you. And of course the girls get gourmet dinners I wouldn’t expect anything less of you.

  29. Lucky you. The only hamper I’ve ever had two good things and the rest of it was tins of stuff I’d never use. I could happily eat my way through the entire contents of yours.

  30. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says:

    I so do love these “In My Kitchen” posts! The girls are gorgeous! I have 2 dogs and the younger one (Ollie) loves to cuddle but the older one (Tawny) doesn’t…sometimes, when we are watching TV, Ollie will drag himself as close to Tawny as possible but if Tawny senses a hair of his touching her, she will get up and go sit somewhere else!
    I haven’t had a mango and grapefruit marmalade either but it sounds so amazing! Intentionally or not – glad you got your hands on this hamper! 🙂

  31. Is Fourth Village the place we met for lunch the very first time? Their produce was amazing – I’m so glad you benefited from the neglected hamper! It’s like a treasure chest of goodies. Your girls are looking very mellow indeed! 🙂

  32. LOVE!
    you hamper is FAB,
    but my all time favorite …
    is the puppy at the end. Ahhhhhhhhhh. ccccc

  33. May I take the chocolate off your hands? Oh how I love chocolate and hazelnuts! What a score the hamper was!

  34. I will confess that I started reading from the bottom up. Love those girls.

    What a fab hamper. I’ve never gotten a hamper filled with things I could actually use. Well done and lucky you.

  35. Thanks for sharing that generous gift-hamper with us 🙂 Those Biscottis… must be earth-shatteringly crumbly!

  36. I love your “In My Kitchen” posts … I love seeing all the different products and produce that you share … and that Hazelnut Chocolate definitely caught my eye! How do you feel about sharing?

  37. What a win! I recommend caramelised fig balsamic with a light oil like macdamia for an excellent dipping sauce for some crusty bread. As for the torrone…heaven! I made some pickled eggplant and posted the recipe on the blog a while back so if you enjoy the jat you have, perhaps you may want to make your own. Good on pizzas.

    Thanks for showing us around! Fiona

  38. Greetings! This is mt first visit to your site, and i am so glad I dropped in. My, but “the girls” are glorious. And that hamper is brimming with some of my very favorite Food items. Congratulations on your good fortune. What an absolute treasure trove. I can not wait to see what you do with all the goodies! Thanks for a wonderful read, and I’ll be a regular visitor now.

  39. Look at all of these delicious treats 😉 Would love to try some of that Italian chocolate!

  40. What a fabulous hamper. I agree that they usually contain a whole heap of stuff that you will never use. That has got to be one of the best I have seen. Love the sound of the baby fig balsamic. Yum.

  41. That hamper has transformed your kitchen into a little bit o’ Italy, Charlie. So many great items, especially that balsamic. I can’t wait to see what you do with that. I have to admit, though, that this is the first time I’ve seen the word “hamper” used this way. Here, a hamper is used for dirty clothes waiting to be laundered. At first, I wondered why you were excited to get a hamper, especially when you were showing us a photo of a food basket. 🙂
    Have a good week, Charlie.

  42. Fourth Village is great and they do have very good quality ingredients. Lucky you. How sweet are your little girls laying so close together.

  43. Nice hamper to receive by mistake.

  44. What a wonderful unintended gift! There wasn’t one item that qualified as simple “filler.” Each item stands alone as a quality gift. And if not delivered to the original addressee, it is at least going to someone who truly appreciates fine food, and will know how to best enjoy each item. I don’t know Fourth Village, but I’d sure be curious to spend some time on their website. Yum!

  45. Score! After a couple of months sitting in an office though it’s darn lucky that it didn’t actually have “fresh” stuff inside :D.

  46. Charlie, that hamper may have been unintentional, but it found its way to the person who could truly appreciate every item the most — even “marmelade.” 😉 Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

  47. You have never had Italian chocolate…? Oh, I must send you some! Venchi, Amedei, Do Mori comes to mind… Let me know if you are interested (send me an email).


  1. […] was on for the hors d’oeuvres which was very easy.  I already had some olive bread sticks from a hamper I was given so I went up to the deli and bought some prosciutto to wrap around the sticks.  I have to say I […]

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