Wow, what a week it’s been for us. Rob is still in hospital for testicular cancer and Joan moved to a new dementia unit today very close to our house. We’ve had her with us every day so that she can visit Rob in hospital. I will admit that I’m exhausted after just a few hours with her. Her dementia presents as not being able to find words, in addition to not storing any memories at all. It’s not that dementia folks are forgetful – they don’t store the information in the first place because there aren’t new spots in the brain left to use. She gets upset if we can’t find the word she’s looking for. Poor thing. Sometimes it’s funny. Today she was measuring in eggs and the budgies in the cage were chickens. She was also wearing two pairs of jeans because someone might steal her favorites while she’s away.
The good news is that she loves her new room. She hated the old one. She’s the first resident and there’s a nurse and 2 carers there just to look after her. Tomorrow there’ll be one more resident. She’s quite happy so far.
So in my kitchen was Rob on the day he had surgery. This was breakfast because he didn’t get the surgery until after 5pm. He had smoked salmon over toast topped with poached eggs and dill. He doesn’t look too happy, I know. I said, “Smile!!” and that’s what I got. He really wasn’t that grumpy, I promise.
Last month, Trevor Kensey from Sis.BoomBlog sent me a Bad Ass Spoon by Michael Ruhlman. It’s for making bad ass poached eggs and it works so well. You crack the egg and put it in the spoon and all the light whispy bits fall through the holes and what’s left is the sturdier white around the yolk. Into a pot of barely simmering water and 3 minutes later you have wonderful, oozing yolks. Thank you Trevor! If you aren’t following Trevor, you should. He’s really clever and funny. He’s also a Dorista and I love his creations.
I had some leftover baked potatoes and I fried them up with some onions and topped them with a poached egg. I love this spoon.
On Saturday I sneaked a few hours to myself and attended a Thai Curry Paste cooking class at The Golden Pig Cooking School in Brisbane. It’s taught by Katrina Ryan who learned Thai cooking from Neil Perry and went on to be the head chef at Rockpool. She left there and taught the Thai Cooking classes at the Spirit House in Yandina in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Then she and her husband decided to open their own school in Brisbane. I bought quite a few goodies but I’m still missing krachai in a jar. Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. Stay tuned.
Anyone wanting to learn Thai cooking, go to this school. People from around the world come to take her classes. I’m going to write about my experience soon but I can’t just yet because I left my recipes on the bench. Hopefully they’ll answer my email and send them to me. If not, maybe Mel Kettle from The Cook’s Notebook will send me a copy of her copy. I can’t believe I was that dumb.
Last year I was invited to participate in the traveling swirly pan group. The pan was purchased and it travels from food blogger to food blogger around the world and it arrived at my house today. I’m to make a cake in Matilda the Traveling Swirly Pan and then write my notes in the accompanying book and send it on to the next blogger. I’m a bit nervous because there have been some outstanding cakes made.
Finally, some have asked just how big Charlie is and there’s a group on Instagram that has figured out a way to tell how big all the dogpals are.
He’s 4 rolls high, plus a bit for fluffy fur. He needs a haircut in the worst way but the olds took precedence this week. Next week for sure!
The In My Kitchen posts are the brainchild of Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and the list of bloggers joining in grows every month. Check out our posts and please add your own. I’d love to peek in your kitchen.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Rob doesn’t look very happy does he? But good to know that he wasn’t as grumpy as he looks. The cooking class looks like lots of fun! 😀 And what a challenge that swirly pan one is! I bet you’ll come up with something brilliant.
Miss Food Fairy says
You certainly have been very busy – hope all goes well for you & your family. When my husband & I went to Thailand last year, I had the opportunity to cook with a Thai chef. Such a great experience, I will never forget it (I wrote about the language of food in my blog) Matilda the Swirly Pan is such a wonderful idea – I’m sure you’ll do the travelling pan justice. It’s lovely to meet you.
Kim | a little lunch says
Maureen, with all the transitions you’ve been through lately, it’s no wonder you left your notes on the bench. Nothing dumb about it, just exhaustion! I’m glad you managed to squeeze in a little ‘me’ time — you certainly deserve it! Truthfully, when I saw your first photo, a little voice in my head said: “I want that.” 😉 Oh my… And, your Charlie ‘measuring tool’ is a hoot!!! Take care. xo
Coffee and Crumpets says
You are a wonderful lady. It takes a strong woman to cope with what you’re going through. Hang in there, the rewards are endless even if you don’t see them now. xx
Tandy | Lavender and Lime says
Glad you took some time out for yourself and what a great idea the pan is! Hope the surgery has gone successfully well 🙂
Barbara | Creative Culinary says
I know it is not the same but in it’s way it was. Abbie had developed dementia and one day she just quit letting me know she had to go outside to potty and it was as if she had no idea from that moment on. Completely. So I tried to circumvent problems by taking her outside every 15 or 20 minutes. There was no getting angry but the effort to keep up with her was exhausting. I remember my Grandma too; she was so totally adorable but I could still only take so much of saying the same thing over and over and over. Hang in there Maureen and good for you for making sure you take time for yourself; the caregiver needs to re-generate too!
Hi Maureen, love that spoon your poached egg looks perfect. So glad your mother-in-law likes her new place, looks like she will get a lot of attention. The cooking class sounds amazing, no wonder you left your notes with all you have going on. The traveling pan sounds like a fun project!
As usual there are so many things in your kitchen and I want to comment on all of them. But I won’t. Bet you’re relieved.
A big hug for grouchy Rob, surgery on your man bits is never a fun prospect. I’m very sympathetic to poor Joan’s memory issues but understanding doesn’t make the experience less exhausting. I’m sure it will be a relief to get some free time soon.
The poaching spoon sounds like a great idea and what does one do with all that mace, I wonder. I smiled at seeing your container of palm sugar as I bought a small pot sized jaggery sugar a while ago which is sitting in my pantry waiting for me to DO something with it. I have my own ‘swirly pan’ though it’s made of silicone and a homebody and made a lemon poppyseed bundt cake with ricotta cheese in it. My other swirly pan is waiting in the wings for ITS destiny.
The fried potatoes look delicious … one of my favourite ways to use up left over baked potatoes. In fact, I usually bake them in the microwave just so I can have them the next day for this dish. (snipped rest of comments) Charlie is 4 rolls high. Genius.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
What interesting things you have in your kitchen Maureen – the poaching spoon looks lovely, will be looking out for one of those – and how busy you are. Hope things are starting to settle down a bit and that Rob is on the improve and Joan settling into her new home. Poached eggs and smoked salmon – looks absolutely wonderful – eggs perfectly poached.
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Always love peeking into your kitchen! Poached eggs are wonderful, aren’t they? We’ve been eating them more and more lately. The TP scale for showing the size of dogs is brilliant! Whoever invented that is a genius. Fun post — thanks.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Hiya Maureen and a big warm hello to Rob too… he is blessed to have such a fine breakfast cooked for him… I hope he is on the mend very soon. I do hope that you and John are getting some time out from the olds… caregiving can be hugely exhausting and can have devastating effects on your health (I speak from experience), so please do take care of you too, my friend. Charlie will be appearing in Quilton ads on TV before too long, I can just see it. PS have not really ever tried poached eggs, not a great fan, but yours look yummy!
Hotly Spiced says
You do sound like your having the busiest time. I hope Rob is recovering well from his surgery. Dementia is terrible and it must be very frustrating for your MIL. I’m glad she’s enjoying her new home and withe being the one and only resident she must be feeling like a VIP. I love your poached eggs – that spoon’s a winner. The cooking course sounds like something I would love to do. I love Charlie – I think my girls are 1 toilet roll high! xx
You can buy krachai (B?ng nga tru?t) from Yuen’s Supermarket at Market Square in Sunnybank if that is any help?
First I need to find Sunnybank and then I’ll be a happy camper! Thanks heaps, Amelia!
InTolerant Chef says
I’m so glad you managed to carve out some time for yourself Maureen, being a carer can be exhausting indeed. I’d love to go to some of those classes, definitely my favourite style of cooking ever! The twirly pan is a great idea, can hardly wait to see what you make in it 🙂
Sorry to hear of all your troubles, Maureen. This breakfast looks really good and I am sure that Rob enjoyed every bite! Poached eggs are one of my favorite and I could use one of those spoons. I do have one of those big, long spoons though, maybe I will just have Don drill a bunch of holes in it. 🙂 Be of good cheer, girl!
I just had to pin Charlie to my Puppy Love board! LOVE him!
I’m sure you’re exhausted with your MIL there…I remember when my mom was still very mobile, but oh so confused. It’s tough. I hope Rob’s prognosis is good…I bet he’s motivated to get discharged so he can come by for one of your delicious breakfasts again 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! Sorry to hear about Rob’s troubling times and dementia not only robs one’s memories and loss for words, but is a cruel disease for the person and for the person’s loved ones Maureen!
On the more positive note, I LOVE your swirly pan thingy and the cooking class sounds like fun!
Thanks for this month’s kitchen view!
Love the photo of Rob 🙂 My grandparents never ever smiled in photos, so to get them smiling I had to get them unawares!
Ah dear Maureen you are really living difficult times.
Hope all goes well.
These days my dad is difficult and mom is exausted.
Things we have to live.
The poached egg look amazing:)
All the best for you dear:)
Mrs Mulberry says
Hi Maureen, I hope Rob is on the mend soon….best wishes for a speedy recovery. Charlie is adorable!!!! That pan swirly pan looks like a challenge, but I think you’ll come up with something absoutley scrumptious. xx
Garden Correspondent says
I can think of at least three people that would swoon over that spoon- that’s some birthday presents sorted! I love your dog measuring tool – I’d never have thought of toilet paper rolls, but it makes perfect sense. I can’t wait to read more about your cooking class – and what you do with that swirly pan!
I am sorry for what you have to go through with your parents in law.. must be very hard and consuming.. really don’t know form where do you still have energy to work for your blog. Your poached eggs loos wonderful and I love that spoon. I definitely need to buy one .
Gourmet Getaways says
Rob was probably just tired but I’m sure he enjoyed the feast :). You’re a superwoman sent back to earth, Maureen! Keep it up!
Ah – all the best in dealing with your family members’ troubles Maureen – hard to see our folks go through trials like this, isn’t it? I love that Michael Ruhlman spoon – I have been very tempted by his stuff for awhile now – so pretty and practical!
Thank you so much for sharing this month. It is hard to see people go through trials, but I am sure you will get through this with a smile! I think everything tastes better with a poached egg and I can’t wait to go to that cooking class as I live on the Gold Coast! Liz x
Maureen, you are a beautiful person. Through and through. And funny. And I am in love with your kitchen posts. You and Charlie have inspired me so much in so many ways, and in my kitchen is just a part of it….I always feel beautifully connected with you when I see this. Love it. Oh, and yes, can I please have a plate of that poached egg? I will smile, promise. And when you say ‘follow’ someone, I do. Over to Trevor’s.
Karen S Booth says
Get well wishes for Rob and what a fabulous and electric selection of photos this month too! Keep your pecker up, Karen xxxx
Gosh, Maureen. You’ve certainly had your hands full. I hope Rob gets along just fine after his surgery. You are such a kind and patient person with both your in-laws. God bless you.
Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine says
I love the way you take care of Rob, you’re just a good soul Maureen!
Also love that spoon, very cool and your Rob’s eggs look amazing. I want to live at your house. I’d be snuggling with that darling little Charlie all day long 🙂
I would love to try that swirl baking thing! Have fun with the classes!
Maureen those poached eggs look absolutely divine! It’s sounds like you’re plenty busy and I’m wishing you all the best, and wishing Rob a speedy recovery!
Kitchen Belleicious says
did my eyes see right or did I see shrimp paste in your kitchen? What on earth? Why don’t I have that in my kitchen! i am searching for it now! I must get it
Kitchen Belleicious says
did i just see shrimp paste in your kitchen! Oh my goodness. why don’t i have any in my kitchen! I must get some now
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
You handle things with such grace and humor! I love Trevor’s blog, too and I love the spoon. Never have seen mace like that and I can’t wait to get that swirly pan! I just want to see what you are going to do!
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Wow, Maureen – I don’t know where you get the energy to keep on coping with the outlaws. You must have loads of great karma coming your way. For many years I worked with psycho-geriatrics suffering from dementia/Alzheimers. I loved the work and enjoyed the patients, but know just how much work they can be and how many eyes you need to have with them around.
I can’t wait to see what you do with your swirly pan – what a great idea!
Choc Chip Uru says
It seems like life has thrown you some curveballs my friend, but you are handling it amazingly! Keep it up!
Rob’s breakfast looks delicious! I love smoked salmon and eggs, potatoes look delicious too! I sure hope Rob starts to feeling better. Love the spoon and how cool to have the traveling swirly pan! How long did you have to wait for it? The US/Canada waiting list is nearly a year long. I sure hope you post your cake!! Charlie is beautiful, love his color!
Love the Bad Ass Spoon. I am going to try and find one on the internet cause me want. 🙂
Also love the poached egg on toast with smoked salmon. YUM.
Lisa the Gourmet Wog says
oh goodness Maureen you have so much going on, I just want to give you a big hug! Poor Rob, i’d be pretty grumpy too in the lead up to surgery on my bits. Hope your MIL is settled in her new place.
LOVE the swirly pan, cant wait to see what you’ll make in it! x
So much going on in your life and yet you can still put up a IMK, amazing!
Stephanie - The Dessert Spoon says
You have so much on your plate! Your family are lucky to have someone as caring as you looking out for them.
I love the spoon. It’s something I need as I am hopeless at poaching eggs.
And how fascinating that toilet rolls are a standard size world over! How did that happen?!
As usual Maureen you have come up with some very interesting things. Sorry to hear you have been so run off your feet again. You are just very good at being good to people so it makes you busier!. I saw that picture of charlie and think it is a very good way to measure. Isn’t he the best colour of brown?. Katrina Ryan is an inspiration is she not? . I was excited to see you had been to a class there. i heard that Katrina and marks school was doing well. nice to see. i knew them as chefs in Sydney many years ago. She still looks incredible doesn’t she?. Dont like her…….What an exciting idea re; the cake…Hope you get a rest soon
wok with ray says
I hope all goes well for you and I know it will you are there. I admire your patience, your caring, and your strength. You are a good person and you are an inspiration. God bless you, Maureen.
~ ray ~
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
What a topsy turvy life you have at the moment, I hope everything goes well for you and your family. I love your in the kitchen posts its like being politely nosey!!! Have a good month 😀
Hi Maureen, I hope Rob’s surgery went well. Every time I see your Charlie, my heart melt. He is so gorgeous.
The Squishy Monster says
You are quite the busy bee. I hope all goes well. You’re in my thoughts. Peppered throughout this post is so much joy and happiness as well and I hope that all will be happy and joyous soon!
Shashi @ RunninSrilankan says
Glad to hear your mom-in-law likes her new digs – hoping John is feeling better soon.
That is indeed a wonderful poaching spoon and I am so intrigued by the traveling swirly pan group – cannot wait to see your cake and Charlie after his haircut – though he looks adorable both ways 🙂
Hope Rob is doing alright after his surgery and glad that your MIL loves her new room. We had to move my mother a couple of times before she was happy. Fun post as always. Can’t wait to see what you do with those chiles. 🙂
I admire you and seeing how you handle such a sad situation with so much grace is a lesson to me. Thank you!
I love peeking on your kitchen…so much fun…the poached egg looks yum!
Hope all is well Maureen 😀
Your poached egg looks wonderful and I love your measuring post.
I’ve just read a book “Elizabeth is Missing” by Emma Healey about an old lady with Alzheimer’s disease – in fact I couldn’t put it down, because it was so good. http://emmahealey.co.uk/elizabethismissing/
Darling woman, it was impossible to read your post through in one sitting. First I had to click to Trevor’s site to see what a Dorista is – and was grateful to find out that it wasn’t someone who made brilliant gourmet creations out of Doritos – then I had to google krachai. I’m off to Thainatown soon, so I’ll have a look there for you to see if they sell the jarred version. What a week you’ve had with the inlaws! I hope Rob’s ok – dementia is brutal, and Joan was a tough old chook even before she had it. You’re a generous, kindhearted woman, love xx
Nami | Just One Cookbook says
Sounds like you have been very busy! My grandma is in a senior home and my mom has been very busy going back and forth between two cities (LA and SF distance). I often wonder how I spend time with my own parents when they get older and I’m not in the same country. Your kitchen has a lot of things to share with us! And wow, you make perfect poached eggs!!
Charlie is gorgeous. I am very jealous of your swirly pan. I am new to what’s in your kitchen so my post is a bit late. It is up now if you would like to read it. Have a great week. Emma.
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
As soon as I saw the first picture with that perfectly poached egg, I was ready to ask, “Teach me your secrets, Guru Maureen!” I am going to have to look for one of those bad-ass spoons. I’m pretty sure Charlie could be on a TP ad with that picture. 😉