In my kitchen - January 2015
Drum roll and round of applause, if you will please for our artisan, hand made Camembert-style cheese, just one of the many seriously good things Peter and I learned to make at the fabulous cheese making workshop we were invited to attend in mid November. 'It looks real' commented a couple of friends via social media. Well, that's because it IS real. Another friend asked about the process involved and, after I'd explained it to her, she said that she now had a much greater appreciation for this kind of cheese. I'm looking forward to making some more!
For those readers who are new to this little journal, I'm showcasing a few bits and pieces that are in my kitchen as part of a monthly round up hosted by my lovely Sydney-based friend, Celia, from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. The community of bloggers that participates each month has grown, just like one of Celia's huge trombocinos! On a personal note, the initiative given me the chance to meet and befriend a wide range of like minded and rather delightful fellow cooks and bloggers from across the globe, some of whom I have already met, others I look forward to meeting in the fullness of time.
So now let's take a peek into my own kitchen and larder. In my kitchen this month is some home grown basil, plucked fresh from a flourishing potful growing in the courtyard. This will be made into basil butter; pesto; served with chargrilled eggplant; or churned with lemon and passionfruit into an exquisite tasting ice cream.
In my kitchen there's fresh butter, hand made with smoked sea salt. There's also real buttermilk, perfect for making a pile of my light and fluffy breakfast pancakes. More on making butter in an upcoming post.
In my kitchen are these home grown bird's eye chillies, which pack a fiery punch in my Korean style beef dish. They grow so prolifically that I freeze them, thus giving us a year-round supply.
In my kitchen is a packet of very more-ish nibbles from the good folks at Duck Creek Macadamias. Peter and I visited the farm in the Byron Bay hinterland during a road trip north last year. I have yet to share our adventure with you.
In my kitchen are some market-fresh vine ripened tomatoes. Our home grown tomatoes are mere babies at this stage, but the plants are looking quite healthy, so fingers crossed for a good crop this season. I'll team these with some of that basil and make some bruschetta for brunch.
In my kitchen is the dough to make a herbed, cheesy pullapart loaf of bread. I'm still working on the recipe and will share it with you as soon as I have perfected it. My bread-loving Peter is enjoying his role as the chief taste tester on this one.
In my kitchen is home grown garlic. This bulb was a gift from Ali (This Blooming Life), a dear friend of Celia's, who has a farm not too far from my home. Our garlic crop wasn't quite as successful this year. That said, even though the bulbs are small, I won't need to source any Australian grown garlic for the next several months.
In my kitchen is this A1 Instant Curry Sauce mix, one of the gifts that Celia presented me with when we caught up recently. Celia (and Ali) swear that this is delicious. I'll report back as soon as we have tried it. Can't wait! Thank you Celia.
In my kitchen is a vial of single origin vanilla extract with seeds from Queen Fine Foods. It was part of a parcel of goodies that included the soft sugar pearls I used to decorate my choc-dipped cherries on New Year's Eve. I love vanilla, don't you?
In my kitchen is my treasured copy of the Hungarian cookery book that my grandmother posted from Hungary to my mother who had migrated to Australia way back in 1957. Over the years, the book had fallen apart with age, so I entrusted it to the hands of a local bookbinder, who skilfully re-bound it for the sum of $85, well worthwhile methinks. The bookbinder seemed very surprised when I asked her not to replace the original cover, though I must admit I didn't ask what she had planned to replace it with.
In my kitchen is a set of these vintage (methinks?) compote or dessert dishes, found on one of my op-shopping outings. I had planned to load them with cherries, wrap them in cellophane tied with festive ribbons, and give them away as Christmas gifts, but found that I liked them too much to let them go. To my delight, I did see a set in another second hand store, so after the holiday break, I must pop back to get them.
In my kitchen is a bottle of Chai Syrup, handmade by my clever friend Susan, from Susan's Sumptuous Suppers. If you haven't yet seen her blog, do make sure you pop in and say hello, for Susan is a talented cook. She also loves to forage!
And finally, in my kitchen, or rather front and centre on my kitchen bench, are the 5:2 books, which I had tucked away a few weeks ago to make room for bread and cheese making. Normally we don't like to 'diet', but the truth is that as we get older we do need to take better care of our physical fitness. Peter and I did manage to stick to the eating plan, which sees us eating normally five days per week and reducing our calorie/kilojoule intake for just two days a week. The books provide me with the guidance I need to tailor our meals on the low cal days, but there are also some great recipes in the cookbooks.
Tell me dear readers, what's happening in your kitchen this month? And what good things are on your agenda for 2015?
31/12/2014 07:52:24 pm
6/1/2015 05:08:41 pm
Hi Jo, happy new year to you also! That Camembert worked so well... we will make some more, will you?
Morning Lizzy & happy 2015! I LOVE that you spent $85 rebinding an old family cookbook, to some (most?) people that would seem utterly bonkers but I share the same respect for books and especially ones that have such great family history :)
6/1/2015 05:09:24 pm
Hi Janie, happy new year lovely lady... the $85 was an investment well spent... my grandmother sent that book to my mother and my mother treasured it till she died xox
31/12/2014 09:15:04 pm
What a great collection of items Lizzy! But the thing that I really love the look of is the Hungarian cookbook! :o Happy New Year!!
6/1/2015 05:09:53 pm
Happy new year lovely Lorraine... thanks for your kind words... that book is a gem! xo
31/12/2014 09:55:53 pm
What amazing home grown produce! I'm looking forward to your pull apart recipe.
6/1/2015 05:10:15 pm
Thanks Danielle, watch this space : )
Your tomatoes look wonderful Lizzy. My 2 bushes are looking very productive at the moment, although I have yet to successfully grow tomatoes up here in the hills. I've tried many times, but they always seem to get wilt. I've got my fingers crossed for success this year.
6/1/2015 05:10:43 pm
Hi Amanda... this year I've grown the toms in pots... they seem happier.
1/1/2015 07:29:51 am
Hi Liz, just came over from Celia's In My Kitchen (posted my first IMK today!). Glad to find another enthusiastic bread baker!
6/1/2015 05:11:23 pm
Well hello there Jean and welcome to Good Things, lovely to make your acquaintance. Looking forward to seeing your bread too!
6/1/2015 05:11:44 pm
Thanks Sandra, it is rather delish!
6/1/2015 05:12:21 pm
Happy new year Francesca, yes my garlic were smaller this year too. The one in the photo came from Ali. Happy new year again xo
1/1/2015 09:29:53 am
Loads of goodies both bought and grown from you this month. You are making me more than a little anxious for winter to be over and done with so I can get growing myself (I fear winter has yet to start - far too mild so far...). And I am very intrigued to read about you getting a treasured cookbook rebound. Such a great idea! I just keep mine safe and hope for the best at present, but I do have quite a few I would like to pass down to my daughter and this would get round their present delicacy of condition. I will start having a look round to see how feasible this is for me to do. Thanks for this great tip!
6/1/2015 05:13:16 pm
Hi Kellie, it took me years of procrastinating before I had the book rebound, but am glad I did it... it is a treasured family heirloom, so well worth it! Happy new year xo
Always fun to see what you have going in your kitchen! Can't wait for the butter making - tried it once, not o successfully... :) Your cheese looks beyond real!
6/1/2015 05:13:49 pm
LOL David, you are funny... you are going to love retirement, I tell you. You'll be cooking your heart out!
6/1/2015 05:14:16 pm
Gretchen thank you for your very kind words, and for stopping by x
1/1/2015 11:41:58 am
Happy New Year Liz. Your cheese making exploits are very inspiring.
6/1/2015 05:14:44 pm
Thanks Jennifer and happy new year. The cheese making has been amazing!
1/1/2015 11:59:39 am
Love all your picks, especially the basil and garlic!
6/1/2015 05:15:04 pm
Thanks so much!
Happy New Year Lizzy darling! Promise not to laugh - you were right about the Aldi fudge, it was so good that we scoffed it all and then I went to two different Aldis to try and get more (they were sold out, fortunately). :) It was lovely to catch up. So many homegrown treats in your kitchen! The birds eye chillies are too hot for me, but I'd happily line up for your tomatoes - they'd go perfectly with the sea of basil in our backyard at the moment too! And didn't the bookbinder do a great job on your old cookbook! :)
6/1/2015 05:15:57 pm
Hi darling Celia... no, I won't laugh because I know that the fudge is good... though I wish my chocolate hadn't bloomed... that's what I was hoping to gift to you. Yes, love the newly bound cookbook : )
1/1/2015 12:52:14 pm
What a lovely collection of goodies! Your cheesmaking efforts were well rewarded - I would love to have a go one day! We, too, are dabbling with the 5:2 food program and enjoying it so far!
6/1/2015 05:16:34 pm
Thanks Marian, the cheese making has been quite amazing... and we love the 5:2... just getting back on it now.
We love to watch the TV program 'Cheese Slices'. I think in another life I would like to have been a cheese maker. It seems so satisfying, not to mention delicious. Yours really does look perfectly authentic! If I ever need an additional reason to eat more macadamias I'll try to find the Duck Creek ones. We seem to hoover them up quite adequately as is!! Thank you Liz, up to your usual standard!
6/1/2015 05:17:17 pm
You know Ardys, it's never too late to follow your dream!!! Do try the cheesemaking workshop that we did... it was well worthwhile xo
1/1/2015 05:21:57 pm
Have a great 2015 Liz - and do let us know if you ever take another road trip north :)
6/1/2015 05:18:11 pm
Hiya Jeni, happy new year too! And I will do... I was still wearing the space boot on my broken foot on our last trip and I was recovering from a nasty bout of tonsillitis too, so things had to be cut short. xo
1/1/2015 05:39:39 pm
Love the look of that new vanilla from queen Lizzie. can't wait to hear what it is like. i can vouch for the curry paste. we have been given a few pouches from Celia and we love it. Have a wonderful year dear Lizzie!
6/1/2015 05:18:54 pm
Hi Tania... I have to try that vanilla.... and the paste sounds amazing... cannot wait to try it. Happy new year to you also, and thanks for being a regular here xo
6/1/2015 05:19:13 pm
Thanks so much Maree xo
1/1/2015 07:02:28 pm
Wonderful! Love the look of what's in your kitchen. Must get my hands on some of that vanilla!
6/1/2015 05:19:31 pm
Hi Liz, I'm so excited to see your cheese! I wanted to do bread in 2014 and everyone was posting about bread and I had a great year making bread, this year I wanted 2015 to be about cheese, and now lots of my favourite blog are making cheese!!! Yay! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx
6/1/2015 05:20:07 pm
Hi Elizabeth... cheese is good... I hope you enjoy making cheese some time too! xox
1/1/2015 09:05:06 pm
Wow, love love love that camembert! So jealous indeed :) Lot's of fantastic goodies for sure, but that cheese surely takes the cake x
6/1/2015 05:20:44 pm
Hi Bec, the cheese is amazing and the course was fantastic! Well recommended!
6/1/2015 05:21:28 pm
Hi lovely Mandy... oh, so the bowls are not vintage... that's ok, I still love them. Thanks for stopping by xox
6/1/2015 05:21:59 pm
Hi Kari, it tasted great too! Thanks for stopping by : )
2/1/2015 07:11:05 am
Wow Lizzy - you had me with the homemade butter & homegrown garlic!!! What a wonderful collection you have in your kitchen for the start of 2015 - especially your Hungarian cookbook. Happy new year xx
6/1/2015 05:22:40 pm
Hi Mrs M and happy new year to you also xox Thank you for your kind words.
2/1/2015 10:27:01 am
Clever you getting that book re-bound. So glad you kept the cover though. A wise investment and something that can be passed on. Many's a time I have bought something to gift but then kept it for myself. Cook's perogative! thanks for the round up Liz. cheers Fiona
6/1/2015 05:23:23 pm
Hi Fiona... I felt naughty for keeping the dishes, but not to worry... they are rather delightful. Happy new year and thank you for being a regular!
2/1/2015 11:28:04 am
Your cheese is gorgeous! I would love just a little bite. My tomatoes have all gone yellowy and spotty. We just can't grow tomatoes here. After the first salty breeze, they're done.
6/1/2015 05:24:13 pm
Oh Maureen, I'd let you have a whole round... but maybe not now that John had a heart attack. I'm glad I had the book rebound. Thanks for being a regular here xox
2/1/2015 01:25:07 pm
Oh Liz, you have some delicious items in your kitchen this month! Congratulations on your homemade brie - looks fantastic! (If you ever need a hand eating any excess you make, you know who to call ;) ) Chillies are a big favourite in our household, but left it too late again to grow some :( Good luck with your bread making. Have a great start to 2015 x
6/1/2015 05:24:56 pm
Thanks so much... the cheese really surprised us... it's good! Happy new year to you and thanks for being a regular visitor xo
Liz, I too have a flourishing basil plant. Thank you for the link to your basil pesto, it looks scrumptious. I vow to try my hand at homemade pasta this year, and pesto will be a great match with it.
6/1/2015 05:25:24 pm
Thanks Kirsty, happy cooking to you. : )
6/1/2015 05:25:57 pm
Hi Misky, happy new year. Fresh butter is so good, isn't it!
6/1/2015 05:26:30 pm
Oh Liz, thank you so much for your kind words. Happy travels in NZ my friend xo
4/1/2015 01:27:53 pm
I am impressed by your Camembert. I have made them before but I am pretty sure mine never looked that good. I might need to try again. I am looking forward to your upcoming posts on the butter and the bread. Love the sound of the loaf.
6/1/2015 05:27:25 pm
Hi Tania... thanks for your kind words about the cheese... it really is/was very good... yes, do find a good book binder... you might be pleasantly surprised, as was I xox
4/1/2015 03:50:06 pm
Aww shucks. Thanks for the shout out Liz!.
6/1/2015 05:28:21 pm
My absolute pleasure, Susan, thank YOU for the Chai... made with love. I'm glad I had the book rebound... but must admit I procrastinated about it for years.
Happy New Year Lizzy. Your cheese looks absolutely amazing I also went on a cheese making day and it was such fun and a fabulous day out. My grandmother used to make her own butter which I still have fond memories off. As always beautiful things in your wonderful kitchen. :)
6/1/2015 10:19:19 am
Happy New Year. Such lovely things in your kitchen and I'm so impressed with the home made cheese, I've yet to try it. Loving all your home grown goodness too.
6/1/2015 05:28:44 pm
Hi Vicki, thank you and happy new year xo
6/1/2015 11:41:38 pm
Oh wow... all the amazingness in your kitchen this month. Love the crop of fresh chillies and tomatoes. I didn't bother planting anything this year because I was going to be away for so long. Wonder if I have totally missed the boat on my summer veggie patch?! #endtangent Susan is very clever, the Chai syrup sounds delicious. :)
8/1/2015 02:31:47 pm
Welcome home, lovely, glad you had happy travels xo
7/1/2015 04:20:38 pm
The garlic is such a gorgeous hue. What a beautiful heirloom the recipe book is - well worth the money to have to bound again and you were right to keep the original cover I think.
Wow, well done on the cheese and butter making Liz, it’s something I’ve often thought about but never got on to - yours look great!
8/1/2015 02:32:08 pm
Oh wow, Beck, now that IS special! xo
8/1/2015 02:32:29 pm
Annie, it would be worth keeping them and translating when you can xo
8/1/2015 02:33:33 pm
Hi Ania, welcome.... and yes, the pancakes are amazing! And Szczesliwego Nowego Roku, happy new year, to you also! x
8/1/2015 04:20:36 pm
what fabulous things Liz. that book is just lovely. and how exciting to make your own cheese. I am envious of that vanilla extract. the weird thing is the Queen factory is just up the road from us but they don't often have their most recent products in our local stores. we have to wait forever to get them...
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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.