Sunday, January 3, 2016

In my kitchen - January 2016

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen event, currently hosted by Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef.

Happy New Year! 2016 is upon us and I hope the year is treating you well so far. Tomorrow marks the return to work for me (and Mr Bite) and I suspect many of you too. It's a pity we don't get to return to a shorter work week, but then again, after 10 days off, it is perhaps churlish to complain.

While on holiday, my kitchen has seen a jigsaw puzzle I gave to Mr Bite for Christmas. It was made by a company that makes maps into jigsaws, with your home postcode at the centre. Having done the edges, larger towns and main roads, it is proving surprisingly difficult to put together the country areas around where we live...




In my kitchen, there is tropical fruit. This would be odd in English winter, were it not for the magic of frozen foods. The mango in particular is almost as good as fresh.


In my kitchen, and also elsewhere in the house, has been Hilary Mantel's book Bring Up The Bodies. I never read Wolf Hall (the precursor to this book, in what will be a trilogy) but have read so much historical fiction it doesn't seem to matter. It's a deliciously thick book and proving very good.


From my kitchen, I can see some new plants. The left-most collection of pots includes a dwarf apple tree that will go in a larger pot when it arrives; the centre picture is raspberry stems, albeit with a long way to go before raspberries appear. As the pictures suggest, there has been plenty of rain for these new garden additions, although we've been fortunate to fall short of the heavy deluges that have flooded Scotland and the north.


Whilst it has been wet, it has not been particularly cold. The unseasonably mild winter means spring bulbs are sprouting early - there are fully fledged daffodils growing up the street, and some of my own flowers are showing sprouts far earlier than they ought. I am sure the cold weather will come eventually and the flowers will meet a sad end!


In my kitchen, there have been classic winter dishes to go with the rain. Porridge, in particular, where my favourite version always includes apple.


What is happening in your kitchen this month?

38 comments:

  1. Your raspberries bring back such wonderful memories of my raspberries I grew in Wodonga. I had two really long rows of raspberries that fruited twice a year, spring and autumn. I'd start eating at one end and wouldn't stop until I got to the end of the row. Lard arse comes to mind. :)

    Thanks heaps for participating in In My Kitchen this month! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for hosting Maureen! And I have visions of doing just that with my raspberries in time :D

      Delete
  2. Happy new year Kari. Looks like a nice relaxed holiday with reading and jigsaw and the rain feeding your plants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Johanna...definitely different weather to yours ;)

      Delete
  3. I love porridge in winter though in summer I tend to throw the ingredients in to a blender and make a smoothie (not hot though!) I thought the jigsaw puzzle would do my head in but then I realised well I know my local area pretty well, so I think the puzzle would be fun :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely helps if you know your area! We are learning...

      Delete
  4. Happy New Year! I hope you had a good one :)
    We always keep frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies or making a little sauce to go on top of porridge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too Dannii - and I like your idea of fruit sauce!

      Delete
  5. Happy New Year! We've been doing puzzles over the holiday break too - I love them :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're a perfect holiday activity!

      Delete
  6. Happy New Year! I love porridge too, though have abandoned it for the summer.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The porridge looks really good. I think that puzzle looks incredibly difficult! I've heard you're having a mild winter but how amazing that the spring bulbs are already sprouting! Sadly we are back to work tomorrow! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spring bulbs in winter is definitely very odd!! I am sure it doesn't bode well. I hope the return to work goes smoothly...

      Delete
  8. Hi Kari,
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog, it was most appreciated.
    Wow a puzzle, been a long time since I've been near one. I think its excellent have some frozen fruit in the freezer.
    Happy New Year.
    PS I was just looking at a comment of yours on my blog in response to a Cauliflower Leaf recipe I made, made me smile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year to you too Shaheen and I'm glad you liked my comment :-) I'll have to check back at what I said on the cauliflower leaf recipe!

      Delete
  9. Happy New Year. I've been freezing the abundance of fresh tropical fruit for smoothies lately as it's so hot here but your porridge does look inviting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Enjoy the fresh tropical fruit while it lasts :-)

      Delete
  10. That puzzle looks insanely difficult! Also I love historical fiction, I'll have to check out that series. Porridge gets me through the winter as well, though I like mine done as cold overnight oats (despite it being cold and snowy here).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are a hardier soul than I, having cold overnight oats when it's snowing ;)

      Delete
  11. I love that you're already planting for a summer amid all the rain. How great to have a garden! Until the sun comes back enough to enjoy it, Bringing up the Bodies is a good book to stay indoors with!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I try to always have frozen mango and pineapple, it's just so darn delicious! I am jealous of the rasoberries, they don't grow here. My grandma had lots of rasoberries bushes growing up and that was the best part of our summer visits, eating them right off the bush or her out of this world raspberry pie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yum - that is what I am hoping for!

      Delete
  13. I love a good bowl of porridge, even on a hot (42C degree) day. Yours look delicious. Fresh picked raspberries are the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooph, that is hot. I've forgotten what 42'C feels like!

      Delete
  14. Yay! I absolutely love frozen mango and I put it in all my smoothies (including the green smoothie bowl post that's up on my blog right now actually)!

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a clever idea for a puzzle. Mr. Bite must have appreciated such a unique gift =)
    I admire your gardening! I wish I was more like that... sadly I kill things.
    I've also been quite enjoying porridge. Such great winter, comfort food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I killed most things I planted in Australia within a year...I'm really hoping English weather will help me along!!

      Delete
  16. I love that puzzle! What a fabulous gift for Mr Bite.
    The rain looks lovely, I always appreciate a rainy day, on the garden's behalf (as a shorty, I hate them because my pants drag in the water while walking around in flat shoes). I digress.
    How does pineapple defrost? Is it watery?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, I actually haven't defrosted it! I've had it frozen or in smoothies :P

      Delete
  17. Kari, my hubby is a "puzzler" too, although he abandoned this year's Christmas present shortly after I gave it to him because it included a myriad of details and umpteen unexpected borders. I like your "present location" puzzle! Will have to look one o' those up. Thanks for your IMK glimpse... Happy New Year to you and Mr. Bite, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unexpected borders sounds like a challenging puzzle! It must have been tough to defeat him.

      Happy new year to you too :)

      Delete
  18. We love puzzles at our house as well, unfortunately our cat loves knocking the pieces off the table where they get lost. It ends up being frustrating as you search everywhere for that one missing piece. Love the promise of your garden. I notice that the raspberries are planted in a large box. Will you be growing them in the container? I'm looking for a way to grow raspberries that will prevent the gophers from eating the roots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cats and puzzles perhaps don't mix! A final missing piece is always so frustrating.

      I've bought raspberries that are meant to do fine in large containers so I am hoping they will grow OK in the planters pictured. I'm not familiar with gophers eating roots so maybe large boxes would be a solution to you!

      Delete
  19. happy new year. i saw hilary mantel on a doco the other day and it reminded me i must read her books soon. or try anyway. hope you had a great xmas.

    ReplyDelete

I genuinely appreciate all comments and the time taken to post them. Occasionally, I may need to restrict commenting to registered users in order to halt large volumes of spam. If that happens, I will lift the restriction within a week.

Want other ways to interact? Bite-sized thoughts is on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bitesizedthoughts) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/bitesizethought).