Friday, 27 May 2011

Dream kitchen HAS arrived!!!

Well, it's happened!! I finally got my new kitchen.  I honestly thought it would never happen and I'm still revelling in it's newness and probably will be for some time to come......

two views of old kitchen plan

Thanks to my interior designing daughter who designed it around me, it perfectly suits my lifestyle and those little idiosyncratic desires....actually NEEDS

they always know something is going on
so tidy!!!!!!!!!
                                      I love cooking.  Always have, ever since my mum taught me the simplest things, under strict supervision lest I waste the valuable ingredients because after all, they cost money didn't they?  She started me off on packet cakes, yes I know, packet cakes.  Foolproof, what more can I say.
down comes the wall
However, I did graduate to real recipes with the advent of a gift of a children's cookbook.  I still have it, quite battered, and will never get rid of it.  It is called 'kitchen fun for everyone', a cookbook for girls AND boys- very forward thinking in the 60's-and was sponsored by the Australian Dried Fruit Association. Each recipe began with the tools and dishes you needed, helping you to learn to organise yourself at the same time you learned to cook.

one big, empty, messy room
old pantry/oven space
                          From the pages of this book, little queen cakes soon appeared in our kitchen.  These were a basic cupcake with the addition of currants.  We didn't often use the currants as I did not like them, however covered with a basic icing or made into butterfly cakes they disappeared quickly.

makeshift kitchen
Another hit were rock cakes.  My dad used to love these and would exaggeratedly smack his lips whenever he heard that I made them.  Although I am sure he did like them I am also sure a lot of it was encouragement for me.

new pantry frame
new walk in pantry cupboard
Except for baking, cooking was spasmodic until we moved away from the town where I had grown up.  My dad, who was a builder, built us a new house in the mountains.  At this time, the early seventies, cordon bleu cooking was gaining more popularity, thanks, no doubt, to Margaret Fulton.  The first grown up cookbook I owned was 'The Complete Margaret Fulton Cookbook' and I used to pour over it for hours, dreaming of creating these delicious, exotic sounding dishes.

Yay a sink - where's the dishwasher??
actual benches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
             Back then, anything different in the way of foods took a while to be generally accepted, especially if it was a little more expensive. And it always was.  Our family was very thrifty, Mum,brought up in the depression as she was, simply didn't see the need to pay out for goods which were an unknown quantity.  When you didn't know if you were going to;

beginnings of a new floor
                                          arrival of appliances

a: like the dish
b: use the ingredient again or
c: if it was just a bit too over the top.

Mum was very pragmatic??

ALL the floor
Pantry  -  doors closed
Pantry  -   doors open
So, much to my dismay, many of my flights of fancy were nipped in the bud.  However, I was able to try some more interesting desserts, namely the savarin which I have not actually made again.  But I do remember liking it very much, it was dense and yeasty.

view  -  east to west
View  -  west to east
Fast forward to living with friends and I always did lots of bits and pieces, never really satisfying that desire to get right into it.  At one stage I did venture the idea of learning to be a chef but in those days it was generally accepted that you went to London for that and it was out of the scope of our experience.

Over the years, through working, marriage, children, I have continued to cook, not always in the direction I would have preferred, getting dinner  on the table was always more important than flights of fancy.

can't wait to cook on this baby

I did manage to experiment with baking more often and this is where my heart really lies.  There are so many, many delicious morsels that I have never attempted and it is my plan to start playing with ingredients in my new kitchen and document my journey. 

Now, I have this lovely new kitchen designed for me, nobody to disturb me with requests of what ' what's for dinner?'  and lots of friends who appreciate the fruits of my labour.  Documenting my cooking adventures will become a way of keeping a log of my efforts to increase my skill in the kitchen, primarily baking, although I do want to do any sort of cooking.

So, join me in the sucesses or - hopefully not too many - failures as I use my new kitchen to it's fullest. 


I hope you enjoy it as much I will.