'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?
Join me as I share with you recipes for all seasons, postcards and morsels from my travels, conversations with cookery writers
and chefs, and news on food and cooking.
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.