In My Kitchen – November

As you know, I was away in Adelaide for three days over the weekend.  I haven’t had a great escape too often in the past (only once) for premonitions that the wheels would fall off and I would arrive home to an utter disaster.  My fears for this weekend were heightened because Arabella wasn’t going to be there either as she would be away with friends leaving three bachelors to fend for themselves.  On the camping scene they’re pretty resourceful and organised but on the home front; not so much.

On my return the house was in a very sorry state and the cupboards were bare, the washing was piled to the ceiling and the overall cleanliness in all areas had sunk to new levels.

But there were no hospitalisations and there were no injuries or accidents to speak of and Carl had taken Alfie rock climbing on Friday, to the beach on Saturday and kayaking on Sunday.  Everyone had a happy time and so I’m calling my ‘time-out’ a success.

In my kitchen there is a fruit bowl and I did top it up before I left but this is how it was on my return…

Nothing much there

Good if you like and can create something with lemons and garlic and on the positive side, clearly, while I was away they must have eaten some fruit.

In my kitchen I now have (after my repairs and maintenance)…

Newly improved fruit bowl

a much better looking fruit bowl.

In my kitchen there is a mini-bar fridge.  It was full before I left but on my return I checked to see how it had survived.

Empty fridge

Nothing but an almost empty bottle of cinzano and some rosewater syrup.  Today I fixed it…

All better now

I did want to know what they did for food.  I left them a chicken I had stuffed and roasted and all they needed to do was heat it up.  They didn’t have it on Friday night because they ate takeaway.  They didn’t have it on Saturday night because they ordered pizza.  They ate it on Sunday night and told me it was, ‘really good’.

‘What did you have it with?’  I asked.

‘The stuffing’, said Carl.

And I was confused because I thought that was just the basis for the roast and not the entire meal so there needed to be a few accompaniments.  But Carl thought that as the stuffing had quite a few ingredients including quinoa, chorizo and mushrooms, that all the necessary food groups had been covered.

The remains of a seasoned roast chicken

In my kitchen I have a new cookbook.  A few weeks ago I had some of Carl’s family to a dinner party.  A few days ago I received this cookbook in the mail as a thank you gift…

A Spirit House Cookbook

I cook from Spirit House cookbooks all the time and this is their fourth cookbook and it all relates to cooking on a bar-be-cue which is so seasonal right now with us coming into summer and wanting to cook more and more outside.  I hope to bring you some of these recipes over the summer season.

In my kitchen is a bunch of roses.  These were delivered to the door unexpectedly and I couldn’t wait to find out who they were from.  They were sent by Sarah.  Remember she is the client of Carl’s we took out for dinner who had that amazing life story.  No matter how much you give to some people, they always out-give you.

Beautiful roses

In my kitchen (well…not exactly, but just outside my kitchen window) there is a jacaranda tree in full bloom.

Jacaranda tree in full bloom

These trees always come into flower in November and are so pretty with their violet petals.  It’s a pleasure to look out the window and gaze on these trees.

So I am now back from the conference in Adelaide and am putting the house back together.  The bachelors all got on well and they all had the best of times; it’s just they overlooked the domestics.

I’m still calling my weekend away a success.

So that’s it for what’s in my kitchen this month.  If you’d like to join the fun just link your post to Celia’s blog at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Oh…and by the way…I know I’m a bit behind the times but I’ve just joined twitter.  Do let me know if you’re on twitter too so I can follow you.

And if you liked this post, why not like me! 



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  1. Wonderful post and how I love this amazing trees, I wished to have them in here too. Thank you dear Charlie, have a nice week. Love, nia

  2. That was a bit harsh. I thought we did quite well looking after things while you were in Adelaide….

  3. I’m so glad that everyone survived unscathed!! DEFINITE success.

  4. Ah, boys… The flowers on that tree are beautiful and you are making me a bit envious as my world here in Minnesota is gray, just plain gray. We are transitioning into winter.

    I do hope you will “report” to us on the blogging conference.

  5. Not bad for a bunch of bachelors and you got a weekend away (too bad your hotel wasn’t the greatest). I hope you had a great time at the bloggers conference; I’ve never been to one but am starting to entertain the possibility in the near future. I just wish we lived closer so that we could meet up at one.
    Please keep posting your beautiful spring photos…it’s so grey and dull here and on the weekend we turn the clocks forward an hour so it will be pitch black by the time we go home this evening. So depressing. The sun peaked out for about 10 minutes on Saturday but not long enough.
    What a lovely thank you gift. My parents generation used to send flowers after a dinner party. I send a hand written card while most of my friends email a thanks.

  6. Sounds like your time away was a great success. The boys had some good time together and no one was injured. 🙂 And now that you’re home it looks like they’ll be well-fed again too.

  7. At least they ate their vegetables and fruit!! The state of the mini-bar fridge is funny. Doesn’t it feel so good to fill it all up again?

  8. Glad you had a nice few days away and that your house and family managed to stay in one piece in your absence 😉 You can follow me on twitter though I never post anything…@elephanteats 🙂

  9. Bahahah! Love it! Stuffing as the vegetable side. Golden.

  10. Welcome back! Loved the before-after pics 😉

  11. I was trying for ages to get into your blog but was too thick to realize how – so sorry! Love this post.

  12. What a fun post. You make it all so real and so enjoyable, Charlie. Your guys sound a lot like my own. The book looks interesting (I just checked it out on Amazon) and the tree is just splendid. It looks like the jacarandas that we have here in Mexico and in Florida too–but for us, of course, they bloom in March!

  13. That’s a sad looking kitchen before you swooped in to the rescue, Charlie 🙂

  14. I hope you really enjoyed being with the other bloggers! I think ou deserve to get away more often. And since the guys managed to avoid injury, the trade off is a good one. You got things in order with precision, and they are hopefully very appreciative! I am glad you’re now on Twitter…I’m so awkward with it, but I have fun. I’m going to try to find you and will enjoy following you that way, too! 🙂 You might want to see if you can add a “follow me on twitter” button? I see them on other blogs, and it avoids following the wrong person! LOL! Hope it feels good to be home. The jacarandas are gorgeous. We have those beautiful trees, too, but they aren’t in bloom right now. I always look forward to the times they are in full flower! oxo

  15. Success everyone survived my friend (except for the fridge…) 😉

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. Glad to hear you had a great weekend away, Charlie! I just figured out that we need a beverage refrigerator just like you have! My fridge is too crowded with extra 2 gallons of milk and all kinds of stuff. Great idea.. 🙂

  17. I also chuckled at the stuffing as veggie/sides to the roast chicken. So typical of the male gender. I also struggle to get my nephew to consider a vegetable (even just frozen or canned corn or peas) as part of a dinner plate. Or a simple salad. And don’t even get me started on soup. I make wonderful hearty and tasty soups. With cheddar biscuits … a filling lunch. He constantly turns his nose up at it.

    Oh well, the house is still standing and there were no hospital visits. So it was a GOOD trip away. 🙂

  18. I’m making roast chicken tonight…great minds =)

    and I had no idea that those trees were so lovely and violet….so pretty!!

  19. Look at all that FOOD in your kitchen, Charlie! 😉 I’m teasing, but lovely post, thanks for playing, and nice to know the boys managed to look after themselves for the whole weekend! Looks like you’re well and truly restocked now! You didn’t really expect Carl to cook veggies to go with the roast, did you? 😉

  20. I definitely think your time away was a success 🙂 The boys managed! WOO HOO the house may not be in very nice state when you came back but at least you everyone had fun ~ And i’m sure Alfie would have had the most fun ~ YAY! Thank gosh you made them Roast Chicken before you left and Carl is so funny lol I would’ve thought he’ll make some pasta or something to go with it 😛

  21. I suppose your household relies on you too heavily, Charlie 😛

  22. Dear Charlie,

    Good fix on the contents of the fridge. I need to do that for Melbourne Cup today 🙂

    I love the jacaranda and it’s beautiful looking at district views around Sydney in November when there are so many patches of magenta all over.

  23. Well at least they survived Charlie. I’m not too sure about Will. I emptied the dishwasher before I left on Friday and when I got home there was a plate, a knife and a fork and spoon in there. No idea what he survived on but he sure wore a lot of clothes!
    Are you going to visit the Spirit house when you’re up at Christmas?

  24. Looks like while the cat was away the mice played a little…guys! I can think of a few things we could make with that garlic and lemon, starting with pasta……Love your yellow roses – it is one of my favorite colors for a rose.

  25. Those tomatoes look great! How funny that it seems as if your family devoured just about everything!

  26. A success. Like you said nobody was seriously injured. And there’s also this: they didn’t set the house on fire!
    Glad you got some “me” time.

  27. Now you can go away as often as you like – just hire the cleaners for when you get back. I love that Carl came in to defend himself. He could have made a better argument for himself though. LOL.

  28. As long as the young one was entertained, had a chance to learn a new skill and spent time with a loving father AND you had a chance to meet all those fab bloggers, I think the weekend was brilliant! Houses can always be cleaned, fridges filled and laundry done but you can’t buy a happy kid.

    My kitchen looked just like I left it. I said, “did you cook?”

    “uhh, I let someone else do it.”

    “You ate takeaway the whole weekend??”

    “No, one night a put a frozen pie in the oven.”

  29. Oh I miss our jacaranda tree. Our old street used to be lined with them. So beautiful. Good to see that you aren’t the only one that gets eaten out of house and home when you leave the men alone!

  30. Well.. I’d say that’s a complete success!! I had the same problem.. I made tons of food for the family but my family didn’t eat any of it! I love your Jacaranda tree.. I’d be in heaven to have that outside my window, it’s so pretty!

  31. I love jacaranda trees – we don’t have one but are fortunate to live in a suburb with lots so this time of year is beautiful. Your picture of the roses is beautiful too, both the flowers and the photography 🙂 I did laugh at the disappearance of your fruit and drinks; but am glad that with rock climbing, beach visits and kayaking there were no injuries!

  32. Considering some of your previous post, I’d say your family did very well while you were away. “… no hospitalisations and there were no injuries or accidents …” for most, that would be an exaggerated comment. 🙂
    Welcome home and thanks for the glimpse into where the magic happens. 🙂

  33. They are such boys aren’t they?! At least they ate some fruit 🙂
    I have that cookbook too, and it it’s certainly full of yummy inspiration, but I certainly envy you your jacaranda tree, no way they’ll grow in or cold weather !

  34. I just finished an audiobook where the main character lived in Adelaide. From what she discribed, I now cannot wait to visit the lovely city! I am happy to hear you had a great trip. AND most importantly, no hospitalizations, a huge bonus! Hugs, Terra

  35. I reckon it is safe to say that you can leave the boys unattended for a couple of days with now major complications…So…when you going away again?
    My twitter thingy is @MandyMLF
    Have a happy week.
    🙂 Mandy

  36. Agree with Carl, you were a bit harsh, after all they ate their fruits and veggies and everyone is healthy. They may have slacked off on the domestic front but that’s because they wanted the house to look lived in.

  37. Eek, I know that feeling – returning to an empty fridge is always depressing… makes me feel so pleased once it’s all stocked up anew! Glad you had a good time away – I love your tree too by the way… is that the tree which bears those tiny little black fruits or am I thinking of something completely different?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Hi Charles, they don’t have fruits but they have little pods that are like really hard discs. They pop open and have seeds in them. The pods mature after the petals have all but finished flowering xx

  38. I love your tree…ours were beautiful colors for the Fall and now they are almost all gone.Thanks for the cheery picture and It’s good to see your fridge is at it’s peak as well.

  39. What a fun post! I can’t believe that you’re fridge was left completely bare! That they had take away two nights you were going and only ate the chicken and the stuffing! Hilarious!

  40. How fun this is! I kinda like peeking into people’s kitchens….and how easier it is when they are actually photographing and posting!! Looks like tummys were filled and happily so with just what they wanted to eat!! I like to send roses too after a dinner invite, makes the hostess feel so appreciated!!

  41. I love the Jacaranda. They are my favourite tree. There are flowering Jacarandas in Perth everywhere.

  42. Oh phew! I’m glad that everyone survived intact and there were no hospitalisations-you never know of course until you get home!

  43. That Jacaranda tree looks beautiful….makes me long for spring and summer as we’re headed straight into the depths of winter.

  44. Such goodies in your kitchen… on your return…. lovely roses, and a fun story! Great to meet you, by the way ; D

  45. Oh, I laughed at the dialogue about what was eaten with the stuffed chicken. All food groups WELL covered. I mean how many people have quinoa stuffed chicken. I love the beauty the trees must bring, gorgeous flowers and all!

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