In My Kitchen, I have assembled a few representatives of my Australiana collection, as I still call Australia home when not overcome by the need to leave or travel. Celia, at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, generously hosts this monthly kitchen event. Sit down, grab a coffee and take a look at other kitchens around the globe.
Things lurk in kitchen drawers, on benches or in the pantry and are ridiculously retro in style. Tins house biscuits or serve as decor, bowls provide colour, drawers are laden with linen.
My daughter entered the kitchen brandishing this rolling-pin in a proprietorial manner, teasing me about her wonderful op shop find. She fully intended to give it to me, but wanted to hear me beg. So mean. Revenge is sweet. I find things for her collections, claiming ownership for a time, then hand them over. Collectors need scouts in the field.
The teatowel collection is mighty large. All linen, retro and very colourful, they depict Australian birds, outback scenes, 70s beer labels, flora and fauna, and silly poetry. They are cheery and soft to use and are handy in bread making, or useful as gift wrapping, alla Australian-Japanese kind of wrapping. An unused retro teatowel is often the same price as a sparkly piece of paper. Which would you prefer? I must confess to an Italian teatowel collection too! Some of these Aussie Icons don’t get used; they are works of art!
I make pizza and bread quite often and this Wallaby baker’s flour is just right. The flour is super fresh due to high turnover, it is GMO free, strong, and the wheat is grown in South Australia. The company is still owned by the Laucke family who have been milling flour since 1899.
I am making a shift to Australian grown and owned products. Although I love the taste of Italian tomatoes, I am concerned about the labour exploitation involved in its production. The SPC company in Shepparton, Victoria, has struggled to maintain its operation, due to the dumping of cheap foreign goods. The Australian anti- dumping commission found that
‘56% of tomatoes imported from Italy had been dumped on Australia and two of the major exporters, I.M.C.A and Lodato, had been selling them for about 26% below their value.’
The peanut butter shown is made wholly from Queensland’s peanuts and is produced by an Aussie owned company. Whilst not wishing to sound overly patriotic, I do believe in supporting local industries. It’s good for the environment as well as supporting employment opportunities in regional towns. The detailed information on the packaging is often initially confusing as to country of origin so now I need to take reading glasses shopping with me.
Next in line are these burnt matchstick bread boards featuring Kookaburras, gum leaves, and that bridge in Sydney. As they are collector items, they are rarely used.
I have previously mentioned my passion for Australian pottery basins and bowls on IMK. Here is the full collection. These were made by either Hoffman or Fowler, between the 1930s and 1960s. The Hoffman pottery, located in Brunswick, Victoria, may still be seen today. Although no longer functioning, its kiln and tower have been incorporated into a modern townhouse development.
But wait, there’s more. The Arnotts biscuit tin collection, once Australian owned, covered in a plethora of parrots, Aussie honey, Tasmanian smoked salmon in the fridge, Maffra cheese, Diana ware jugs, Vegemite ( the latter icon being Australian made but now foreign-owned, is disqualified) as is Uncle Tobys ( now a subsidiary of Nestle`).
This post was brought to you by Op Shops ( thrift shops/charity stores), home of the ‘well- spotted’, and recycling.