In My Kitchen, November 2014

November already.  This year really is racing to a close.

In my kitchen I have Dick Smith Food products.  When I heard a few weeks ago that his business was in danger of closing due to not enough sales, I rushed to my local supermarket and bought as many of his products as possible.  Dick Smith didn’t need to start a food company but he did because he could see that increasingly, our supermarkets are stocking more and more foreign owned goods and less and less brands by Aussie companies.  Dick Smith believes we need as many job opportunities in Australia as possible and wants to see Australian farmers supported so they can stay on their farms and continue to grow foods for our nation.  As well as having great motives, Dick Smith also gives a percentage of every sale to charity and so through Dick Smith Foods, over $6 million dollars has been donated to worthy causes.

Dick Smith foods

Dick Smith foods

In my kitchen I have a case of mangoes.  Mangoes have been in the stores for a while now but not at an affordable price.  Hooray, prices are now reasonable and I was able to buy a tray of Kensington Pride mangoes that worked out at around $1.50 each.  I see my days starting with a banana and mango smoothie.

Kensington Pride mangoes

Kensington Pride mangoes

In my kitchen I have new blue plates and bowls that I bought from an old wares store that we visited when we were in Robertson.  I’ve had them for a few weeks and they’ve already been very well used.

New china

New china

In my kitchen I have nuts and dried and glace fruits marinating in orange juice and brandy.  Yes, it’s that time of year where the Christmas baking begins and this mix will be turned into Christmas cakes.  Usually I start the process of making my cakes in October but October ran away from me and so today was the day of beginning my Christmas baking.  My November 1 kitchen already has an aroma of Christmas.

The start of my Christmas cakes

The start of my Christmas cakes

In my kitchen I have a gin and tonic.  As it’s been 38C (100.4F) here today, I thought a cooling drink at the end of the day out on the verandah was necessary.  See the gin bottle?  I bought that in January from a duty free store.  I can tell you that in all honesty the G&T I had today was the third one I’ve had.  Can you see the gin bottle is empty?  As I only pour myself single shots, clearly in this house, what’s mine is theirs.

Bye, bye gin

Bye, bye gin

Not in my kitchen and not even outside my kitchen window are two elderly ladies enjoying some recreation on the water.  They do love being taken on an outing and every time Rosie knows she’s coming along with us she’s so excited she squeals.  Her excitement levels dropped when I put her in the water but despite the harrowing experience of getting wet she’s still telling me it was one of the best days of her life.

Two elderly ladies with my daughter and I'm swimming away in the distance

Two elderly ladies with my daughter and I’m swimming away in the distance

So that’s what’s happening in my kitchen this month.  If you’d like to do an IMK post, please link to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial by November 10 and let her know when your post has gone live.

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  1. I hope more people support Dick Smith – I seem to remember the products were around the same price as imported ones anyway. That’s a hot start to November isn’t it? Shame about your gin stash going MIA though!

  2. I LOVE that emporium in Robertson! Lovely bits and pieces in your kitchen, Charlie xo

  3. It so nice Charlie when the mangoes arrive, and I like your idea of going for a case full. And of course the gin! Bring on summer.

  4. G’day! There’s something very wrong when companies such as Dick’s is in strife Charlie!
    Good on ya for buying up, like I did with Spring Gully products too!
    While you no longer have the gin, it is a beautiful bottle! 🙂
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view also!
    Cheers! Joanne

  5. I love those plates and I think they featured in your melting moments post 🙂 I would by dick Smith products, but honestly the tomato sauce is really the only thing I need that I eat…. And I normally make my own… Just buy the dick smith stuff for BBQ’s. I feel your pain with the alcohol, but it isn’t Gin in my house that disappears it is the Vodka!!! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

  6. Those old plates are so lovely. I can imagine a very elegant afternoon tea displayed on them… quickly followed by a Bombay Sapphire G&T.

  7. Good on you for supporting Dick Smith – I hadn’t realised the company was in such trouble but as you say, it is one worth supporting. I always enjoyed that bush cereal too! I’m also glad your mango season has arrived, and think that with 38’C, days on the water and G&T drinks are quite indicated.

  8. Love that blue china and that you’re trying to support Aussie produced food.

  9. Hi Charlie, your plates are gorgeous! and your elderly ladies are adorable!

  10. I’m thrilled that it’s mango season. Rob called and wants to know if we’re bringing some over. We’ll do that tomorrow. I love your blue plates.

    I agree about Dick Smith supporting farmers. I wish more people thought the same way. Our food security is nothing to mess around with.

    The girls are adorable.

  11. I love snooping around your kitchen, Charlie.
    Wonderful photos.
    ahhhhhh, the scent of Christmas. xx

  12. It’s always a nice treat to see what’s in your kitchen each month. I have a single blue bowl (soup) like the plates and bowls you are showing. I believe it’s the classic “Blue Willow” pattern or at least a version of it. The legend of the two lovers escaping together and being transformed into swallows. The blue bottle of Bombay gin reminds me that I keep intending to buy and try that particular alcohol. My Indian friend in university was a big fan of her ‘gin and tonics’. I wish I lived close enough to be on the list of recipients of your Christmas fruit cake. The lovely parting shot out your kitchen window of the three floating ladies, young and not so, was a great treat as well.

  13. I always love your “In My Kitchen” posts!

  14. Oh, mangoes, seldom have one these days, they are not grown in NZ and ones we get generally don’t look great – oh well, did enjoy them when we lived in Sydney.

  15. I love your new blue dishes! They’d look lovely in my kitchen, too. That’s my dad’s favorite brand of gin…and you’re so nice to share 🙂 Your girls look so sweet in the water. xo

  16. Charlie, thank you SO much for bringing the Dick Smith cause to public attention! The difficulties have been going on for quite some time but many people still are not aware, not just of what he has hard time accomplishing but the all over importance of his cause in Australia!! I do not use too many of his products either but do certainly buy them whenever possible to ‘buy Australian’ 🙂 !

  17. Ooh, time flies! Now it’s time for Charlie’s Christmas cake preps! Need some listing and planning, to do, too! Thanks for reminding me, Charlie!!!

    Gourmet Getaways

  18. Charlie, great minds think alike. I too recently heard about Dick Smith Foods being close to folding. I saw his interview on the Sunrise show. I also bought up a number of his jam products with thoughts of doing some baking and taking it into work to share. I took this a step further and approached my work Social Club for them to back an organisation wide ‘support Dick Smith Foods day’. We have over 1000 employees. They quite liked the idea, and are raising it at their next meeting. I did not realise that DS gives his profits to charities. Gifting $6mil is certainly a noble gesture. Also, I am planning on a ‘boozy’ Christmas cake and will start my rum soaked fruit monster soon. Happy baking! Kirsty

  19. A lovely G&T to celebrate the warm weather always makes me smile

  20. I love supporting local where I can. Your blue bowls and plates are gorgeous!
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  21. I hadn’t heard about Dick Smith being in trouble with the grocery business – what a shame – and I feel bad that I support the idea but have only tried the jam and wasn’t so keen on it so I haven’t been a great supporter in practical ways.

    I used to have a dinnerset of blue and white china – have regretted giving it away quite often – and the dinner set I kept is one I am no longer so enamoured with – sigh! yours looks very stylish.

    And good luck with the heat and christmas baking – they don’t don’t go together but hopefully you have had some cooler days like we have

  22. I wish mangoes were that cheap here! Jealous! 😛

  23. I love your in my kitchen posts!
    Those blue plates are simply gorgeous – what a find! Mangoes are starting to get pricey over here – switch of the seasons I reckon. And your Christmas Cake mix looks very familiar to the Christmas Cakes my parents made over the years. As my dad passed away this summer, I volunteered to take the cake off my mom’s hands – and I cannot wait! Hoping you post a recipe for yours too Charlie!

  24. Hehe I just met with a ship’s captain that said that he stayed with Dick Smith when he was in Sydney and called him the most patriotic Australian he has ever met! 😛 Lovely purchases Charlie!

  25. I love Dick Smith and all he’s done for our country too Charlie, I’ll definitely have to go buy up and show my support as well. Beautiful Willow ware, and the fruitcake mix looks so yummy. What a beautiful happy snap of your gorgeous girls, what a lovely way to spend a day! Xox

  26. Aren’t the mangoes absolutely awesome now? They are GIANT 😀
    Great peek in your kitchen!

    Choc Chip Uru

  27. Love your post this month. I hadn’t realised that Dick Smith’s business was in trouble, will go out and get some peanut butter in the morning! The blue plates are so pretty. I’m a G&T fan too, especially on a hot day. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen.

  28. So sad about Dick Smith he is an amazing Australian. I’m on the Absolut at the moment and thankfully there rae no leaks in my bottle. I wonder if I will have time for making a cake this year?

  29. I’m not sure about the ozemite but I will buy some Dick Smith products next time I see them. We definitely need to support Aussie businesses. Love the girls on the water!

  30. Thinking of Christmas already is making me anxious, where did the year go? Your blue plates are gorgeous! We have similar issues in Canada that all of the manufacturers and jobs are being exported and we have so little left. Buying local products is a fantastic way of showing support.

  31. Ooh….I love the marinating dried fruits and nuts. I think I could just eat them as is!! Have you posted your Christmas Cake recipe?
    I guess your weather is very similar to where I am. While not 100 degrees this weekend, we will in the 80’s for the rest of the “winter”.

  32. I love your new china plates. Just gorgeous. I eye blue and white patterns at the Farmer’s markets every year. One of these times, I’ll buy myself some. 🙂

  33. Those dishes sure are pretty! You need to hide the good gin or fill that one up with water and see if they notice 😉

  34. Beautiful dishes, I just love blue and white dishes. Enjoy the heat, we are finally over it and so I am more I to not drinks like coffee with Bailey’s.

  35. Your two elderly ladies in the care of the one beautiful young lady are certainly enjoying themselves! And I’ve been noticing your Blue Willow plates for a while now. They look beautiful in your photographs. I have quite a few pieces myself. I used to collect it and it was very popular at one time. I always enjoy your IMK posts! Very fun!

  36. Thanks for the heads up abour Dick Smith’s difficulties. He deserves our support. There are a plethora of small Aussie Gin distillers coming out of the woodwork too, their products are clean, high quality and unique. We should all buy local products when we can.

  37. I’ve just bought my first mangos of the yea at, they’re pretty tart down here but still wonderful! I really need to start my Christmas cakes too!

  38. I love that the bush food is locally made, and locally supports charity. I hope my dogs love the water as much as yours do. Love your taste in Gin 🙂

  39. Charlie, yay for supporting local! Thanks, too, for the reminder about Christmas cakes — I truly hadn’t thought that far ahead. Time to get marinating… the ingredients, not me. 😉 (On second thought, your G & T is pretty inspiring!) Glad you got some swim time in to beat the heat, too.

  40. I adore Dick Smith. I can’t speak highly enough of the generous man. Buy up big people!

  41. Blue willow dishes are some of my favorites. My in-laws used to have a lake house where we used those dishes every meal. Seeing them brings back great memories. We actually have the dishes at our house now but rarely use them. I should get them out.

  42. I inherited blue willow plates from my grandmother, they are a cherished part of my collection.

    I lived in Florida for many years and never really got used to the hot weather at Christmas.

  43. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits! I really should buy a case of them when they’re in season here — I agree they’re wonderful for breakfast. You’re really getting some heat! And it’s still rather early in the season for such heat, isn’t it? Better stock up on more gin!

  44. Good on you Charlie, I’m sorry to hear Dick Smith is in trouble! I hope his business survives, but I have to say that I’ve never seen any of his products on sale at the supermarkets we shop at! Your blue plates are beautiful and I can almost smell your fruitcake mix from here! Hide the booze from the young adults next time! 🙂

  45. Oh gosh, reading that your Christmas baking has begun (and late at that) just caused a wave of anxiety to wash over me… is it so close?? Need to start organizing Xmas cards and daughter’s birthday, that so conveniently falls right before Xmas, plus all the rest… aaaaaaah!

  46. Good for you for supporting an Aussie food producers.
    Bad, bad kids for stealing mummy’s gin. So not fair!

  47. I love that you’ve taken a stand to support our Aussie food producers – standing behind them really does make a difference. With Christmas rapidly approaching I’m going to follow your lead and get the fruit for my Christmas pudding soaking this weekend!

  48. I’ll have some of those mangoes on one of those gorgeous plates with a G and T please! Karen (Friend of GG and followed you over from her site!)

  49. I love your blue willow, I have some myself along with other antique blue and white patterns. Thanks for the reminder…I need to start my Christmas cake process also.

  50. It’s lovely seeing all the summer fruits arrive, and mangoes seem to be coming in quite early this year. I love your G&T, I’m partial to a couple myself, and thanks to my partner’s travelling, I’ve got three bottles of gin as back up, so I think I’ll be right for the season 🙂
    Your dried fruit looks lovely, I’ve got my fruit soaking too, and it’s always a nice way to start off the season…

  51. Looking through your post has made me realize I need to start my Christmas baking. Is that the willow pattern on your plates and bowls? My mum may have had some of those and she gave me a cake stand. Thanks for sharing your kitchen 🙂

  52. Hi again Charlie, I was hoping you could let me know a bit about Dick Smiths peanut butter & ausmite – they’re good tasting? I’ve always been scared to try them in case I don’t like them but I want to keep as many Australian jobs in Australia so I should just take the plunge. And I love your old-school plates & bowls, remind me of what my nanna used to have. Thank you for sharing IMK

  53. i love the colour of those gin bottles. tho i do prefer a slug of vodka myself:) Those plates are lovely too. we are having the extended family at our place for xmas- i haven’t even begun to think about it yet. EEEk!

  54. Ooooo I didn’t know about the Dick Smith possibly going out of business – I will go and get some next grocery trip because I think he did a wonderful thing to create truly Australian food products.
    I’ve also been enjoying the mangos now they are affordable! 🙂

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