The Cook's Toolkit

The Cook's Toolkit
The Cook's Toolkit by Clever Pumpkin.


The romance is over: Edward & Bella twenty years on. My short story Daylight is now available as a free download.

Follow by Email

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rosemary Sauteed Potatoes

Ah Christmas. You spend a week in the kitchen preparing for it only to have everyone start whingeing about eating leftovers from Boxing Day. The trick to using up all of those beautiful meats ~ ham, turkey, chicken, pork ~ is to mix things up a little bit but with a minimum of effort. Everyone likes cold meat with hot potatoes, so coming up to Christmas we'll be featuring some simple yet winning ways with spuds to help you out.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Clever Pumpkin Housekeeping Tip: Keep Eucalyptus Oil Handy

Eucalyptus oil is wonderful for all sorts of things; as  a cleaner, a stain remover, and of course, there's nothing better than eucalpytus oil for removing something sticky.


Yep.  Definitely gonna need some eucalpytus oil to get that off.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Curried Rice Salad

This curried rice salad tastes every bit as good as it looks.  Don't be alarmed by the amount of curry that goes into the rice cooking water.  The resultant curry flavour is surprisingly mild and is balanced beautifully by the orange rind, which is simmered in boiling water to bring out the flavour.  You can use any seasonal vegetables (snow peas or sugar snap peas are wonderful additions) and you can substitute the mixed dried fruit with sultanas, but please try it with the mixed dried fruit at least once.  It adds some gorgeously nuanced flavours.  Don't be tempted to omit the orange rind, that's what makes this so special.  This salad is a perfect addition to your Christmas table.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

George Clooney & Me

What happened was this: I was walking down the street when I saw George in his backyard, looking for his cat.  Puss, in the way of cats, was in the front yard, completely ignoring George's calls.  So I called out to George, letting him know that puss was round the front.
He came through the house and out the front door, smiling broadly, and took puss and me inside.
George and I stood in the kitchen, shooting the breeze, neither of us acknowledging the fact I was buck naked.  George kept his eyes trained on mine, as I did his, even though my boobs were looming large on my horizon.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thought Of The Day: People

There's two kinds of people in this world: those who think there's two kinds of people in this world, and those who beg to differ.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Out Of The Closet

I've decided life's too short to hide your spices in a cupboard, even if that does make them last longer.  They're far too pretty.  Maybe that means I'll never get a gig on Master Chef, and maybe I don't care.  I like my spices where I can see them.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

New Advice Column from Clever Pumpkin

Due to popular demand, Clever Pumpkin is launching a new advice column, covering everything from personal dilemmas to household advice.  Our first letter comes from Rebecca South, of Toorak, Victoria.

Dear Clever Pumpkin,

Lately my husband's eye has begun to stray.  Whenever we're out, I catch him looking at other women, usually much younger and more attractive than me.  I'm planning on rekindling his interest with an overhaul – Botox, laser treatment, boob lift, vaginoplasty, collagen lip injections, anal bleaching, liposuction – the lot.  I'll be launching the new me with a romantic dinner at home.  I've already bought the racy lingerie, candles, etc.  Now all that remains is to cook him a special meal.  What would you recommend?

Something small calibre with a bloody big silencer.  Why would you go to the effort of cooking for the bastard when it's easier to pop him?  Hey, here's an idea: if you shoot him straight through that wandering eye of his, he might just get the message.  And geez, you live in Toorak so if you bump him off it seems to me you have everything to gain and nothing to lose – and, as an added bonus, you won't have to wash the dishes afterward.  A word of warning though, in the event you decide against hitting him yourself: DO NOT be tempted to hire a hit man from the pub – they invariably turn out to be undercover policemen.  At least, that's always been my experience.  Oh and I almost forgot: eucalyptus oil is a wonderful stain remover.  It takes out just about any damned thing. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Italian Special

This is one of those incredibly simple, incredibly good recipes. Don't be fooled by its simplicity; try it once and you'll be hooked.  Its 'proper' name is Italian Beef Noodle Bake, but in my family we always called it Italian Special.  I've been eating this since I was a kid, so it's officially an antique.  Last night when I was making it, I got to thinking about how things have changed.  The first time my mother made chicken cacciatore, she had a devil of a time finding a supermarket that stocked canned tomatoes.  Back then, the more a recipe claimed to be Genuine Chinese Style Chicken or Authentic Chinese Style, the more likely it was to call for something like Vegemite.  And spice equalled salt.  Want more genuine?  Add more salt.  Want more authentic?  Yep.  More salt. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Thought Of The Day – Celebrity Chefs: Chewy

Calling it a "campaign", celebrity chefs with much ado, pretension and melodrama manage to make a meal out of what our mothers calmy, quietly and without fuss simply cooked and called "dinner". 

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thought Of The Day

The problem with the human race is that it's not an organization you can resign from.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

E=mc2 Around The House

The extent to which a cleaning product will streak is directly proportionate to the number of times the label says 'streak-free'.


Monday, February 28, 2011

Police & Sex Dolls: Up Against It

I used to know a plumber (yes, the same one; the guy should have been a stand-up comedian) who, when relating an incident to a lady, would substitute the expletives he assuredly expleted at the time with the term, Well, I nearly had kittens!  This came to light one day when, wide-eyed, straight-faced and earnest of expression, he told me of popping the capping from a roof only to have a trapped possum jump out at him.  He looked me in the eye and said, Well, I nearly had kittens! and of course I'd pee myself laughing thinking about what he must have said at the time and how different the story would have been at the pub: Mate, I popped the f*****g roof and this f*****g bloody possum –  I f*****g kid you not, mate – f*****g jumped out and I tell ya I couldn’t decide whether to have a f*****g heart attack mate or whether to s**t meself right there and then, mate.  What are you f*****g laughing at, mate? – this great smacking muscled plumber could look me in the eye and declare solemnly I nearly had kittens! with a perfectly straight face.