in my kitchen – June 2014

On Sunday, it seemed that summer had arrived. Loaves of bread, a plump chicken and roast potatoes were cooked in the wood fired outdoor oven, we ate outside and enjoyed the sunshine. Now it’s raining and we’re back inside, so welcome to my kitchen.

In my kitchen …


… roses.

The rose arch in the garden is already smothered in sweet smelling roses and before long I shall pick some to make rose petal jelly and jam. In the meantime, a few roses on the kitchen table scent the room.

In my kitchen …

Spruce Cordial

… Christmas Tree drinks

We seem to have hit Christmas tree mode a little earlier than usual this year. Not only have we been using Christmas trees as an art installation but we’ve already sold our first tree of the year. Madness! Our customer wasn’t a Christmas enthusiast getting ahead of themselves but a television production company filming a Christmas episode; they collected the tree early in the morning and then phoned later to see if we could supply them with two ducks as well, which was slightly bizarre.

At this time of year, the Norway spruce trees are having a growth spurt so that the bright green tips of the branches are softer and less resinous than the tougher older part of the branch closer to the trunk.  I’ve been experimenting with different drinks and syrups; so far the favourite is cordial is made with these young shoots, sugar, water and a little citric acid and has a taste reminiscent of ginger.

In my kitchen …

bacon slice

… bread.

As ever. Cheese and bacon slice from Richard Bertinet’s book “Dough”. I made a batch, we ate some and I froze the rest to have on hand for a quick lunch. Unfortunately, when I rushed to the freezer to get a couple out, they’d all disappeared as others had eaten them when I wasn’t there. Such is life in a large family.

In my kitchen …

guinea hen duck egg

… eggs.

Guinea fowl’s egg, chicken’s egg and duck’s egg. One week I’m overwhelmed with eggs and the next week I can’t find any. The guinea fowl sometimes lays under a rose bush just outside my office window but usually I have to search out her eggs in odd places. The ducks had taken to leaving home each morning, walking down the chase, across a paddock and through a hole in the hedge into our neighbour’s garden to lay their eggs. The neighbour didn’t realise she could eat duck’s eggs so left them there for crows or foxes to pick up, which explains why I kept finding broken duck’s eggs down the farm track. The ducks are now kept in a little longer each morning until they’ve laid.

In My Kitchen is hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial where you can find the links to bloggers around the world and add yours too.

56 thoughts on “in my kitchen – June 2014

  1. thegardendeli says:

    While most of us are making elderflower, you’re making Christmas tree cordial! Not sure about the colour, but the flavour sounds interesting. Do you use the young shoots to make anything else in the kitchen?


  2. Selma's Table says:

    Thank you for this fragrant look into your kitchen! Your roses are just so beautiful and that Christmas Tree cordial is very unusual to say the least. Funny about the production team shooting Christmas now – wonder where they got the ducks from in the end…


  3. cheri says:

    Hi Anne, I look forward to your posts, always so interesting. First the rose jam I just pinned, we have lots of roses and petals and they smell lovely. The Christmas tree cordial sounds delicious! The stuffed bread looks wonderful.


  4. My Kitchen Witch says:

    Those cheesy-bacon rolls looked so good, I had a weak moment and ordered the book. The Norwegian Spruce drink is fascinating – is this the same source as your Norwegian Spruce salt? Fantastic use of unlikely produce!


  5. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Those Bertinet bacon rolls are the bee’s knees, aren’t they? They never last here either – they’re my eldest son’s favourite, so he’ll eat as fast as he can (thanks for the reminder, I’ll have to make some more!). Your roses in their little bowls are absolutely stunning, and I love that you have a selection of eggs to cook with, and love even more the thought of you scrambling over hill and dale to look for them.. 😀


  6. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Your kitchen is always wonderful and always innovative, Anne! I think you can use the tips of spruce shoots to flavour biscuits although I’ve never tried it. Never quite sure what variety of fir tree I have in front of me! intrigued by the reference to your outside oven – I’ve been toying with getting one of those but am concerned about the thing being delivered and left immovably some way from its site of destination. Did you get a pre-assembled kit or build yours from scratch? E x


    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      Spruce shoots would be wonderful to flavour biscuits – maybe something shortbread like. Our outside oven came from Lakeland and we had to insert the firebricks and attach the chimney and doors . I can slide a grill shelf in to barbecue or firebricks to use it as an oven or a hot smoker.


  7. e / dig in hobart says:

    i can smell those roses all the way from here 🙂 rose petal jelly – how wonderful! i love addign a dash of rosewater when i am stewing fruit (especially cherries, in the summer time). so jelly – yum.
    and i love the long journey your ducky took to lay her eggs. what a determined girl!


  8. nancy@jamjnr says:

    Christmas tree cordial? I’ll stick with you in an episode of Survivor!! The ham and cheese bread is more my thing:)


  9. Joanne T Ferguson (@mickeydownunder) says:

    G’day! A lovely post indeed today Anne and would love to taste your Christmas tree cordial! Thanks for the visuals as they were EGG-actly what I needed to understand about the sizing and colors! 🙂
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne


  10. Elizabeth says:

    Love your kitchen 🙂 I haven’t done a lot of bread making, but I am inspired after reading so many blogs where people are making it! Thanks for sharing!


  11. Christina says:

    I’ll be back or the rose petal jelly, that sounds really intriguing. I like making jellies. Egg is up there with my three favourite things to eat ever. I could live on eggs. I wonder if supermarkets sell duck eggs and guinea fowl eggs? The photo you made is beautiful btw.


  12. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    Hi there Anne… wow, you sell spruce trees?! How beautiful. Love the rose too!


  13. Lisa the Gourmet Wog says:

    Never heard of Christmas tea drink before, sounds interesting! I’d be tempted to add a splash of vodka or some still drink to it and make it a cocktail! Maybe for December when I’ve had this bub and need pick me up!


  14. Johanna GGG says:

    Wow do you know the show your christmas tree will feature in so you can watch it and feel all proud of your baby 🙂 Maybe even toast it with a little christmas tree drink! (do you make lots more around Christmas?) Love the bread and the eggs – when I was young I had a pet duck who just ran around with the hens – but I don’t ever remember seeing duck eggs – maybe because kids don’t notice anything or because I just don’t like eggs so was not interested in them.


  15. Moya says:

    How lovely that you have a wood fired oven outdoor, the food cooked in it must taste amazing. Christmas does come early for some! Have not heard of a christmas tree drink before and it sounds very drinkable. Thank you for the peek into your kitchen. 🙂


  16. Kim Bultman says:

    Anne, I so enjoyed your IMK post! You lead a fascinating life… a fun life… a flavorful life! (Pity your neighbor didn’t know how delectable duck eggs are — sounds like you’ve come up with a good solution.) Your roses are so beautiful… I’ve been toying with making my own rose water… wish we were neighbors. 🙂 Thanks for the peek in your kitchen!


  17. Gillian says:

    Hi Anne. I really enjoyed this peek into your kitchen and am rather intrigued by the person wanting a Christmas tree in June, how bizarre and fun! But I was just stopping by to let you know that you won my giveaway. If you could get in touch with your address and confirm which sticker you want, I’ll arrange for it to be sent to you. Thanks for entering!

    Gillian x


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