Sighs of relief can be heard in my kitchen as the skip returns to my step and I can now see light at the end of the pneumonia tunnel. I have struggled with illness since April this year and my GP initially advised that the linear mass on my lung causing breathlessness and malaise might possibly be cancer. Thankfully, many weeks of bed rest coupled with test after test, and numerous visits back to the doctor, has confirmed a double whammy of pneumonia, apparently spread by parrots in my region (!). I am told it can take six months or more to recover completely, so it's really a matter of taking things a day at a time, very gently, with plenty of rest in between bursts of activity. Old habits die hard and I am usually travelling at 100 miles an hour, as you'll note from my nickname, Bizzy (busy) Lizzy. But if there's one thing this has taught me, it's NOT to push through when I'm feeling ghastly. I have learned the hard way, and cannot wait to be fully recovered and back to my old self.
The months have flown past and in my kitchen this month are the last of the blood oranges (above) sent to me by my very kind friend, Len Mancini, of Redbelly Citrus. Thank you again, Len, you are such a gem! Also on the menu in my kitchen is my smoked duck breast salad with blood orange, walnuts and truffle. I've used Len's oranges, walnuts from the Victorian high country, and Tarago Truffle, together with smoked duck breast from Pialligo Farm. Watch my pages for Postcards and Morsels from our visit to Pialligo Farm smokehouse... coming soon!
In my kitchen I have welcomed back a very old friend, my Monier Crockpot, which was a wedding gift given to me in 1978. I had loaned it to the cooking school and left it behind when I exited. Great to see that it's still in good condition. Over the years, it kept many curries warm and also melts chocolate beautifully!
In my kitchen is some sourdough bread from Autolyse, a new artisan bakery in Canberra. Peter simply must have bread and he loves this one spread with honey or jam.
In my kitchen is a jar of my favourite condiment - Honeycup's uniquely sharp mustard. Honeycup Mustard is made in Canada and is exquisite with ham. There is also a stone ground variety.
In my kitchen is a copy of Nino Zoccali's Pasta Artigiana, which Peter won via a competition online. Zoccali is a second-generation Italian chef based in Sydney and the book features a lifetime of irresistible past recipes for all occasions.
Also in my kitchen are some goodies sent from the generous folks at Beerenberg Farm in South Australia, via a campaign to showcase their new jams and sauces. The labels now feature stories about the people who make the products at the farm in the Adelaide Hills. Peter inhaled the strawberry jam over a few days and I can say that it's as good my own home made version! We have now stocked up on Beerenberg blueberry jam too! Thank you Beerenberg. Love your work!
In my kitchen is some Mastic from Herbie's Spices. I plan to experiment with some Middle Eastern desserts later in the year.
And finally, in my kitchen is a very sweet cupcake tea towel, some soap and a card that arrived in the post from my friend, Fiona, who blogs at TIFFIN - bite sized food adventures. Thank you, Fiona, so very kind xox
Tell me, what's been happening in your kitchen this month? And make sure you visit my friend, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and say hello to cooks from around the globe who post to the IMK roundup every month.
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.