Good riddance October, you were an insanely busy month! All right, we had lots of fun last month even during all the madness. It’s funny to say, but I think with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up our schedules are actually slowing down. It’s time to join Celia over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for another roundup of In My Kitchen posts, forcing me to remember some of what happened during this crazy month.
Lets start with our outdoor kitchen. We went to visit my parents and one night we went camping. It was gorgeous weather, though a little chilly at night. The leaves were changing and the colors were beautiful. This time Josh set up a proper camp fire and we were able to hang the pot for cooking. We got a new larger pot which made cooking for the family easier.
Dinner was red beans and rice. It was entertaining to see us in the store, reading all the package labels for the lowest sodium and highest fiber content! Can you tell we don’t buy package meals much?! To that we added fresh zucchini, onion, okra and smoked sausage. We also made a pumpkin camp cake for dessert and hot apple cider. Breakfast was hot chocolate and oatmeal. All in all a good camping trip, except of course for me hardly getting any sleep.
Also while visiting my parents we had our family birthday meal for Jack. He turned 8 and is growing way too quickly! He chose an Oreo torte for his cake and it was incredible. I’ll have to try to remember to get a picture of that cookbook for next month. I loved it because it was a small 6 inch cake so no leftovers and it revolutionized the way I will make cream cheese frosting!
We also went to the farmer’s market while up in the mountains. I got these lovely preserves. I love plum jam and unfortunately we don’t have any plums since one of our trees died before they ever fruited. I also got hot pepper garlic jelly with mangoes and hot pepper garlic jelly with strawberries.
In my kitchen is this new bottle of Domaine de Canton. This is really delicious and I’m finding many ways to use it! We celebrated Halloween with friends and we women enjoyed it in our margaritas.
In my kitchen we have new stainless steel containers for packing school lunches or snacks when we are out and about. I already had one of the containers on the far left but needed another to pack two school lunches. It is perfect for a sandwich on the bottom and fruit/veg on the top and a small container for fruit and nuts or a treat.
And finally in my kitchen we have what is probably the last of the zinnia from my garden. With the temperatures cooling off at night and a long hot summer the plants are looking sickly. I’ll miss them cheering up my kitchen, but spring is close….or so I would like to think! After all we start our garden seedlings in February, only three months from now!
Oh yeah, also new to my kitchen, well more like the bonus room where I take pictures, is a reclaimed piece of barn wood. I got it at the salvage store up in the mountains. It was my first time in that store and I shouldn’t be allowed back, I’m not sure I can control myself again! The zinnia and a few other items are photographed on it. I need a bigger piece of wood, it was a little more narrow than I wanted…another trip to the store may be in my future. Too bad I couldn’t get a whole barn door back home! Pop on over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what is happening in kitchens across the globe.
** So apparently the month was even busier than I thought. How could I possibly forget the Columbia Flood 2015. We were very fortunate to have minimal damage but had to boil water for what seems like forever. It is very time consuming to prep, cook and clean when you need to clean your water too! Luckily we had a platypus for cleaning water when we camp. This was my kitchen during those miserable days and days and days…
The Zinnias are gorgeous, and you’re so right, you’ll be planting seeds in a few short months
Thank you! I am hoping for a couple more flowers but who knows. I’m already looking forward to the spring garden, maybe we will try a few new things this time around.
I am so jealous of your camping trip. This might not be the coolest thing to admit but I was a sea scout as a kid and our camping trips are some of my happiest childhood memories. I went back and taught kayaking at their summer camp this year as both my husband and are are qualified instructors. There is nothing like cooking on an open fire. Happy Days! Happy 8th birthday to Jack. The cake looks amazing! xx
I never went camping growing up. It is an adventure with the boys. They complain about carrying their backpacks but it is a mat if they want and food or sleeping bag! We learn every time about how to cook better with it be over campfire or camping stove. It is trickiest that we need to hike with all the food so that limits us a little. Then the middle son is going to the bathroom all night for no reason which keeps us up and of course it is uncomfortable. But the boys love it and it is great quality family time so I suffer through the rough parts!
I know exactly what you mean. My husband and I did a sea kayaking expedition around the slate islands of Scotland for a week which meant we had to carry all our tents, clothes, food and water in our boats. Most of the work was packing and emptying the kayaks all day. I made a camp oven once and even baked bread. That was pretty impressive. It’s so nice to get away from everything though isn’t it? Enjoy your week. Emma xx
I’m glad your family and home were ok in the midst of the floods. Darned inconvenient having to purify your own water. Lately I’ve been realizing how spoiled I am regarding water, even with cutting back due to the drought. Lovely zinnias, they are so cheerful. Bet the boys had fun camping.
We had a pretty dry summer, not a drought but rather dry. Then the flood hits. Mother Nature is a mystery I guess! The camping was quite the adventure. Thanks for popping by.
Did you buy that Domaine de Canton here?
I got the Domaine de Canton at the closest liquor store from home, here in South Carolina USA. I was getting my usual St. Germaine and there it was, screaming buy me!
Those stainless steel containers are such a great idea. Cleaning your water sounds like a real drag.
I love all my stainless steel containers. I am pretty much done switching out all the plastic lunch containers. It’s all glass or steel, though I don’t trust the boys yet with glass at school!
Cheery little zinnia, so pretty. Nice camping pot and looks like you had fun on your adventure. I really like the sound of that Domaine de Canton! Hope all is settled now and you can just turn on the tap to get ‘clean’ water. Cheers, Maree.
I am loving using regular tap water again! Guess I won’t take that for granted anytime soon. The Domaine de Canton makes ,amy excellent cocktails, hard to choose a favorite.
I love your attitude about it is only three months away before you can start seeds again. 🙂 Plum jam has always been a favorite of mine…enjoy yours.
I think I fell in love with plum jam back in the early 90s when I was an exchange student in Germany. Just live it, I really want some of my own producing plum trees though.
We had a huge Japanese plum tree at the orchard but it was destroyed in an ice storm but before that I made jam for two years that was delicious.
That looks like a perfect camping trip Gretchen! I’m liking that ginger liqueur and the pretty zinnias too. Happy November!
Thanks! The camping trip was quite the adventure! I see a few more zinnia coming up before they completely die, that’s worth a ginger cocktail I think!
That cake looks fab as does the French ginger liquer!!! So pleased you weren’t too badly effected by the floods – very scary though. Jan x
Thanks Jan! The cake was incredible. The French ginger liqueur is fantastic, so many delicious cocktails and not enough time!
I love your campfire. What beautiful flowers. What a gorgeous birthday cake xx
You know what caught my attention? the French Ginger Liqueur. What an interesting addition to your kitchen. I wish I could have a sip of that one. I also envy you because you’re always camping. Rice and red beans sounds like a brilliant idea. I would have thoroughly enjoyed that meal. Belated Birthday Greetings to Jack. That Oreo torte looks delicious!
We go camping again soon, though this time with the Cub Scouts so no big food adventures since they fix it all in large quantities. But at least it will be on the coast which should be nice. The ginger liqueur is fantastic, I highly recommend it!
So many wonderful goodies. What a fabulous birthday cake and your flowers are gorgeous. Think I need to incorporate more flowers into my garden.
Have a happy day.
🙂 Mandy xo
I always have a big patch of zinnia in the garden. They cut well and are so easy to grow.
Hi Gretchen, cleaning your water sure looks like a drag, but at least all were well.
I am thrilled to have clean water coming out of the faucet again!
Nothing like an occasional reminder just how precious clean water is. I followed along on social media when you went camping and it seems you dined (and drank) like kings. Plum jam is my fave. Lucky you!
Plum jam is the best. I really need to get a move on getting more plum trees planted! I definitely don’t take clean water for granted anymore. As for camping, we need to get creative with meals since we have to carry it all but we are learning every time we go. Taking a flask of Bailey’s Irish cream for coffee or hot chocolate is the key to success!
Thank goodness you all came out of the flood okay. I’m also inspired to bulk up on my camping recipes.
The camping recipes are tricky for me since we have to hike with all the gear, food and three kids. Mint limits us somewhat but we get creative!
Belated Birthday wishes to Jack and now can we also have a slice of cake as the Oreo Torte cake looks incredible, will you be sharing the recipe – pretty please. I like the fact that it is small too. The Sinnia so gorgeous to have some colour from the garden in your kitchen.
The cake is in the cookbook Lomelinos Cakes by Linda Lomelino. Her blog is call-me-cupcake.blogspot.com. I have the book in German because I couldn’t wait for it to come out in English! So many beautiful pictures and delicious looking cakes. I’ll be making another in a couple weeks for the next birthday.
I love your camping meal. Brilliant. And I am coveting those lunchboxes. I have been eyeing off something similar for a while. Maybe I should take the plunge and buy some.
Make the plunge and get the lunch boxes! I love mine. We are still working on our camping meals, it is tricky since we have to hike with all the gear and food so I can’t fix everything I would like.
I’m working on changing over to glass, stainless and BPA free plastic, so I was happy to see your items. Even in the city we boil and filter tap water, which is a hassle so I can imagine purifying it would be more so. Your camping pics make me want to pack up and go 🙂
I think that was the last camping trip of the year, it’s getting too cold soon enough! I love all my stainless steel containers. I also use glass for storage.
Gretchen, your 3 sons will never forget those camping experiences (and “adventures” at home — so glad your water is running again!) Loved your additions to the red beans & rice — can only imagine how wonderful it smelled and tasted over a campfire!
The camping trips will definitely not be forgotten! Josh is trying to get the boys to go camping in the snow, I said no way! I don’t do cold like that anymore! Someday we will master the art of hiking and camp cooking, it’s fun to learn along the way,