In My Kitchen - August
'The kitchen is not a factory, not a workshop of gadgets, it is the hub of the home, the source of joyful life,' writes Eric Rolls in his book, A Celebration of Food and Wine. 'The smells emanating from it attract the senses from all over the house, guests should see it at work. It is [a place] where sustenance is created [a place of] health, respect, comfort, excitement, expectation, satisfaction, wonder [and] imagination.'
I concur with Mr Rolls and can advise that my kitchen certainly meets his criteria above. There's been much activity in my kitchen recently. I've been pottering aplenty and cooking up a proverbial storm, as well as re-stocking the new backup refrigerator after the old one packed it in. The oven died too, darn it, but I'm pleased to report there's a new one that has so far been a delight to work with. More on that in a later post. For now, let's take a peek into some of the good things in my kitchen this month...
In my kitchen are tamarillos or tree tomatoes (pictured above). We spoon the tangy flesh onto small servings of home made vanilla bean ice cream. In my kitchen there are also sprigs of bay from Dora at the Farmer's Markets, used in much of my cooking, from soups to desserts.
In my kitchen there are flavoursome baby portabella mushrooms, grown by Majestic Mushrooms at Murrumbateman, not far from Canberra. The tiny button mushrooms come up in clusters and are thinned out to allow space for the mushrooms to grow. Once the remaining buttons open out flat, they form these portabella mushrooms.
Button mushrooms are regulars in my kitchen and on the menu. These are the smallest of the white agaricus mushrooms and have a milder flavour than the portabellas above. They are, nonetheless, delicious!
Now that the Country Valley Dairy is back at our local Farmer's Market, Pepe Saya hand crafted cultured butter has returned to my kitchen. I prefer unsalted butter for baking. Watch this space for an exciting upcoming Pepe Saya giveaway to mark the third anniversary of my blog.
Mercy from The Spice Peddler contacted me and asked if I'd like to try some of their hand-crafted spice blends. With a sales pitch that says: 'spices that dance on your tongue and sing in your heart', how could I say no? I loved the sound of these two: Orange Pepper Seasoning (Black Pepper, Sea Salt, Orange Zest, Garlic, Onion, Lemon Zest) and Sail Around the Med (Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Mint, Garlic, Onion, Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Rosemary, Lemon Peel, Thyme, Fennel Seeds, Marjoram, Green Peppercorns, White Peppercorns, Rose Petals). I will report back once I've opened these little beauties.
Lean beef plays a major part on our the menus at our place, so there is always plenty of good quality steak in my fridge.
My mornings begin with a double shot macchiato, made with freshly roasted beans from Toby's Estate. We have a subscription with Toby's and a new packet of beans arrives on the doorstep regularly. Love it!
I'm road testing this little citrus spritzer. It has serrations at the bottom of the pump spray which you push into the fruit. Quite a useful little gadget and perfect for my freshly picked Meyer lemons. Enquiries to Simply Wholesale.
There's celeriac in my kitchen and it's being roasted in the oven as I write this post. Celeriac tastes like a mild type of celery and parsley combined and, when cooked, has the consistency of carrot. Bake it until the flesh is soft, then mash it.
Peter has been travelling again and this time he brought home a gift in the form of this hickory blend Jerky Cure & Seasoning blend made by Hi Mountain Seasonings. We are both looking forward to playing with this!
Having been unwell, my body wasn't able to tolerate too much in the form of breakfast cereal, so I've been enjoying porridge made from fine semolina. My mother cooked this for me when I was a child. I sprinkle it with a light dusting of pure cocoa.
In my kitchen are (well, were...) some delectable treats from the team at Gingerbread Folk in the Blue Mountains. In the past I've bought many of these as gifts for friends, so as soon as I read that the team at Gingerbread Folk had added a gluten free gingerbread man to their range, I put my hand up to be a taste tester. To my surprise, Karen very kindly sent me a gluten free gingerbread man, a Christmas gingerbread man, a dairy free gingerbread man AND a chocolate gingerbread man! But wait, there was more... my parcel included a gingerbread family and a gingerbread house kit! As the baker of rather good gingerbread myself, I could taste the fine quality ingredients as soon as I took one bite... needless to say, these goodies didn't last long. My daughter loved the gluten free gingerbread man. I am saving the gingerbread house for Christmas.
And finally, in my kitchen is my shiny new play thing from Fisher and Paykel. More on this in an upcoming post.
In My Kitchen is a series of regular posts hosted by my friend and fellow cook, Celia, who blogs at Fig, Jam and Lime Cordial. Pop and say hi to Celia and our many blogger friends around the world. Now tell me, what's cooking at your place this month?
19/8/2013 12:10:55 pm
Thank you so much, Marianne! Welcome, come and join me for a cuppa sometime ; )
19/8/2013 01:30:08 am
What a great tour!! I'd be bouncing off the walls if I started my days with a double shot macchiato ;)
19/8/2013 12:11:29 pm
Thanks Lisa! I love my macchiato.... really love it! Pepe Saya butter is the best. No question. : )
19/8/2013 12:12:03 pm
Thanks JJ! It has been a busy time in my kitchen... actually, I must confess I can barely see my bench! Thanks for stopping by : )
19/8/2013 07:37:23 am
You always have such wonderful things to share Lizzy but today it's that quote that did it for me. I'm staying with people that don't really cook much. I think they are almost amazed that someone would enjoy it...but it's not just the food is it? It's the process, some feeling of joy that comes from preparing that sustenance...so much wrapped up in a meal beyond the food itself. I wonder how empty my life would be if I used a packet of dried spices to make Korean curry instead of doing it from scratch. Pretty doggone bland I would think!
19/8/2013 12:13:30 pm
Thanks Barbara... I guess we are all different... I know people who hate cooking and I always just shake my head... but then the same people are the best gardeners and can grow things from a stick. But, yes, I agree with you.... there is huge joy to be found in providing sustenance for one's self and others. Thanks for stopping by : )
Lizzy, I can't WAIT to hear about the new oven! Ours is now pushing 12 years, and it's been used at a ridiculous pace - I'm sure your old one went through the same thing! There are so many interesting things in your kitchen this month - love the tamarillos, we've only just tried them for the first time recently, and the lemon squirter is quite ingenious! I'll be looking out for the PS giveaway, wouldn't miss that contest! :)
21/8/2013 08:57:39 pm
Celia, I promise to bring you news.... the old one in my kitchen was a Kleenmaid which is only about seven years old, I think. It was here when we bought the home in 2009. Disappointed that it died so soon, but opportune to test this new, top of the range, oven. Loving every function of it so far!
19/8/2013 10:50:26 am
You are busy in your kitchen with all of those lovely goodies Lizzy! Must be the new oven, very exciting :) x
21/8/2013 08:58:09 pm
Thanks Kyrstie... AND I'm slowly recovering from pneumonia, which helps : D xox
19/8/2013 11:21:49 am
Hi Lizzy. A lovely snapshot from your kitchen as always. I have just discovered the world of coffee subscription too. After buying beans locally for many years I have decided to try something different. What sort of a coffee machine do you have? I am just being nosy and curious...I do love coffee machines!
21/8/2013 09:02:20 pm
Thank you Jane... coffee subscriptions are beaut! And I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Toby's sub. Truly exquisite beans and freshly roasted just days before they arrive. I have a Breville programmable and have been happy with it thus far. We used to have a little Krups, which was great till it died. Would love a Jura... we have them at work... two on every floor... and my dearest friend has a little one at home and swears by it!
21/8/2013 09:03:00 pm
PS... the gingerbread folk biscuits are delicious and great if you don't have time to bake. The oven is a cracker! Happy cooking to you too xox
I love tamarillo time. I puree the flesh, with a little sugar and serve with yoghurt. The fruit looks so perfect in shape and colour. That citrus spritzer looks handy. The Meyer lemons have been so juicy this year. I am looking forward to your post on your shiny new oven.
21/8/2013 09:03:47 pm
Christine, pureed tamarillo with yoghurt sounds scrumptious! The little spritzer is handy. Oven update will follow soon. : )
19/8/2013 12:06:47 pm
what a fancy looking oven display! i could not live without my oven.
21/8/2013 09:05:14 pm
Hi there... yes, it's a state of the art oven alright! I have missed having one, that's for sure! Love tamarillos... texture is kinda jelly like, much like a ripe tomato. The house must wait for now, we are doing the Atkins diet on doctor's orders (for my stupid hiatus hernia!), so no sweeties! Sigh.
19/8/2013 12:30:15 pm
G'day and thanks for sharing your unique kitchen view Lizzy, true!
21/8/2013 09:05:37 pm
I sure do!!! Cheers Joanne.
19/8/2013 02:41:34 pm
There are days I think I should join this 'in my kitchen' series. You may have just propelled me forwards. Great entry!
21/8/2013 09:05:54 pm
Thanks Shirley.. and, yes, you should play too! : )
19/8/2013 03:34:39 pm
Well, Celia can't wait to hear about the new oven, and I shall really be looking forwards to see what you say about the 'Spice Peddler' mixes: oh my, what an exciting read and huge choice!! Pretty pricey but? I would love to reach into your screen to get the tamarillos and celeriac [did not see either shopping] and I love Portobello mushrooms and oft grill them instead of meat. Sometimes stuff and bake . . .have a lovely baytree, so . . . oh, semolina: of course you ate that for breakfast as a child: methinks almost every child in E Europe did :) ! I oft got some form of pure fruit puree on top . . . memories!!
21/8/2013 09:07:22 pm
Hello there... the Spice Peddler mixes are rather lovely... have used the orange pepper on chicken drumsticks and lamb cutlets, as well as roasted eggplant. Portabella mushrooms are the best, aren't they! And yes, semonlina is so delicious!
19/8/2013 06:36:16 pm
Those gingerbread men are too cute! I've never heard of tree tomatoes, how interesting!
21/8/2013 09:07:43 pm
Thanks Laura... hopefully you will find some at your local market some day xo
19/8/2013 08:49:31 pm
So many wonderful goodies indeed Lizzy! I'd love some GF gingerbread men, and the Med spice- yummo!
21/8/2013 09:08:10 pm
Thanks Bec! The spices and the gingerbreads are quite yummy! : )
21/8/2013 09:08:28 pm
Well, what are you waiting for, my friend! Get over here!!! xo
20/8/2013 01:23:00 am
So many beautiful things I dont know where to begin. The mushrooms look so pink and delicate, and the celeriac I so love that. I like the new packaging on those gingerbread folk that I haven't seen for some time, they are very munchable aren't they?. The oven looks very special. I hope you enjoy it
21/8/2013 09:12:51 pm
Yep. The gingerbreads are very moreish... try stopping at one... that's for sure! Thanks so much for your kind words.
21/8/2013 09:13:38 pm
Hello there Heidi... how are you getting along! The gingerbread was delicious! I was trying to save lots for Peter... but he only got one (naughty me!). Thanks for stopping by xo
20/8/2013 09:27:31 am
Your kitchen looks like a wonderful place to be! I'm particularly taken with the idea of those tree tomatoes on homemade vanilla bean ice-cream. How lovely. But it all sounds fabulous. Thanks lots for the peek.
21/8/2013 09:13:58 pm
Hello Andrea, thank you very much! : )
20/8/2013 11:06:00 am
You have such great stuff in your kitchen! Great mushroom pictures. And I'm looking forward to hearing more about your new toy!
21/8/2013 09:14:18 pm
John, thank you... love mushrooms, don't you!?
21/8/2013 09:15:03 pm
Azita, then you simply must play too! You always have wonderful things in your kitchen! See the link to Celia's Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and then look at the list on the right hand sidebar.
24/8/2013 01:09:58 am
Lizzy, your In My Kitchen post was a treat for the senses. I also liked the quote at the beginning. So true. Enjoy that new "toy!" ;)
26/8/2013 08:37:58 pm
Kim, thank you so much! : )
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Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes; postcards and morsels from my travels; conversations with cookery writers
and chefs; and news on food, cookbooks
- Liz Posmyk
NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.