A Poem for Mornings
'Less is more' is among numerous quotations attributed to English poet and playwright, Robert Browning (1812-1889). As I hunt through one of my cupboards for an item that seems to have mysteriously buried itself amidst all the other stuff, I'm thinking to myself that he must be have been a wise gentleman.
Minus seven and a 'severe' frost this morning prompted me to pop outdoors and check on the lemons. Thankfully the pots are partly sheltered by the eaves and all three plants are content and fruiting profusely. Having waited a lifetime to own a lemon tree, seeing these beauties on the verandah (and the kitchen bench) is balm for my soul.
One of the latest additions to my kitchen is this vintage 'Kitchamajig' (above) that caught my eye in a curiosity shop in the Kangaroo Valley. It is so aesthetically pleasing to me. I love its name, its interesting shape, and the fact that it has been well used by its previous owner/s. Made in England from solid stainless steel (and trade marked, I might add), imprinted text on it advises that it 'crushes, strains, whips and lifts'. I don't tend to buy 'props' for my food photography, therefore I'm inclined to add this handy little tool to my collection of cook's tools, but might use it with extra care. Have you ever seen one of these, or do you have one, dear readers?
Sporks and spurtles, chinoises and canelles are among a variety of interesting items you will find in a well-stocked kitchenware store. I've yet to meet a chef, food writer or home cook who doesn't enjoy browsing endlessly in what can often seem like an Aladdin's Cave of tools for cooks.
'Hara hachi bu' say the Japanese. Sage advice, which translates to words along the lines of 'eat only until stomach is 80% full'. A Japanese proverb dating back to the 1300s reinforces this message: 'eight-parts of a full stomach sustain the man; the other two sustain the doctor'. In my mind's eye, I can see my Asian-born medical practitioners nodding furiously in agreement.
Canberra is renowned for having four distinct seasons and I'm always amazed at the cool nip in the air that greets us on the morning of the first of March every year. It's Autumn now – one of the best times in the nation's capital. The days are crisp and pleasantly balmy, while the nights are much cooler, meaning it's much easier to sleep. A welcome addition after our hot, dry summers.
'Cookbooks, it should be stressed, do not belong in the kitchen at all. We keep them there for the sake of appearances; occasionally, we smear their pages together with vibrant green glazes or crimson compotes, in order to delude ourselves, and any passing browsers, that we are practicing cooks; but in all honesty, a cookbook is something you read in the living room, or in the bathroom, or in bed.'
A bowl of the most plump and succulent cherries takes centre stage on my kitchen table, tantalising my taste buds every time I walk past. These were grown and picked at Cherry Hill Orchards in the Yarra Valley, and came via Farmhouse Direct, delivered fresh to my door by Australia Post. They're so good, I find myself devouring half a dozen in a matter of moments, but I really want to save them for some extra special culinary creations.
It's November already and time to join the lovely Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, together with a bunch of friends, bloggers and fellow cooks from around the world, as we play In My Kitchen, a fun show and tell hosted by Celia. Let's start with these macadamias in their shells, which we collected at the Duck's Nuts plantation in the Byron Bay hinterland. Do you love macadamias as much as I do?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.