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?
Autumn tones brighten my kitchen this month. I've been enjoying these Fuyu persimmons. Fresh, flavoursome and a little crunchy, these are the non astringent variety of the fruit and can be eaten just like an apple. They are beautiful, no?
Recently I organised a five-course degustation dinner at the newly opened Farmhouse Restaurant at Pialligo Estate for 20 Canberra food blogger friends. To our delight, at the end of the evening each of us received a farmhouse hamper of goodies. The sweet little basket included a selection of house-made bon bons and chocolates; Pialligo Smokehouse award winning salmon and short cut bacon, together with smoked salt; a bottle of 2009 Pialligo Estate Riesling; and a bottle of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. All produced from the Estate. This gift was not only extremely generous, but totally delicious. Thank you kindly to Charlie, Jan, Brendan, Brian, Rowan, John and the entire Pialligo Estate team. Watch for my upcoming post about our Pialligo Estate dining experience. It was nothing short of outstanding!
Quinces adorn the fruit platter on the kitchen bench, their delicate perfume is evident whenever I walk into the room. These were purchased direct from the farmer at a little roadside stall at Gundaroo in the Yass Valley. I think I might try my hand at the quince jelly recipe from Celia's husband, Pete. It is so good, particularly with freshly baked bread and fresh ricotta. Try that combination sometime. You might be pleasantly surprised.
In my kitchen are packets of Alagappa's curry blend that Peter purchased online recently. We were visiting my friend, Ron Miller, who makes The Jolly Miller Cider in Gundaroo, and he was telling us about his upcoming trip to Malaysia. Peter jumped in and told Ron about his memories of RAAF days and this fabulous curry blend that people used to bring back from Penang. He mentioned that he had never seen it since the 1990s. No sooner did we arrive home, we found that Ron had emailed a link so that Peter could buy some from an Australian store. Thanks Ron! Incidentally, watch this space for an upcoming story about Ron and his cider.
Home grown Meyer lemons also grace my kitchen bench this month. While the potted lemon bushes are fruiting profusely, the plants themselves have struggled somewhat this season, thanks to an infestation of scale. I've been treating this with white oil and have also been feeding the plants diligently with Seasol. If anyone has handy hints for bringing lemons back to life, please do let me know. Me and my lemons would be very grateful to hear from you!
A good cook can never have too much fine quality extra virgin olive oil, methinks and this bottle of Guneemooroo from Mudgee, along with some other goodies, was a gift from my lovely friend Julia. Thank you sweetness xo
Peter's brother Paul, and his fiancee, Debbie, love shopping for quirky Christmas gifts for us. And these Cool Rocks were in our hamper last year. You simply pop the rock cubes into the freezer for a few hours, then add three or four chilled rocks to a glass of whisky. The good thing is that you can chill drinks without diluting them. While neither of us imbibes in too much of anything alcoholic, Peter and I enjoy a wee dram of whisky every so often. Recently, we attended a four course 'Dinner with Whisky' hosted at the Hotel Realm in Canberra by esteemed whisky writer, Martine Nouet. Watch for my upcoming post on that fabulous event. We are also looking forward to Whisky Live, coming to Canberra (and other major Australian cities) soon.
A gift from my lovely friend, Ann Brady, is a copy of Jane Lawson's beautiful cookbook, Snow Flakes and Schnapps, which arrived in the post this week (thank you Ann xo). With the onset of chilly weather, I'm looking forward to splattering the pages of this one very soon. I think I'm going to start with the Oliebollen. Yum!
And lastly, in my kitchen are a couple of packets of Lindt dark chocolate, which my beloved, Peter, brought home as a special treat for me. Early this week I found a lump in my breast and my GP sent me for an urgent mammogram and ultrasound. Thankfully, according to the specialist who conducted the tests, 'there is nothing to worry about'. With that weight lifted from my shoulders, it was ever so good to break open a pack of chocolate and celebrate! Now, may I take this opportunity to remind you, dear readers (ladies and gentlemen alike), about the importance of regular breast examination (both clinical and self examination). Early detection is really important, so have you checked on 'the puppies' lately, my friends?
A note of thanks to my friend, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, who hosts a monthly round up of 'In my Kitchen' posts from food bloggers around the world. Celia has a very busy life and yet takes the time to include a community of blog posts on her side bar every month. She's also quite an inspirational sour dough baker. Pop in say hello, and tell Celia that I sent you xo
Now, tell me dear readers and fellow cooks, what's happening in your kitchen this month?
I'm Liz, a.k.a Bizzy Lizzy,
the writer, cook and traveller behind
Join me as I share with you my favourite recipes, postcards and morsels from my adventures, 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.