In my kitchen - May 2014
The pedigree of Honey
Such a sweet piece of verse by American poet, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), don't you agree? Apparently Dickinson penned close to 1,800 poems during her lifetime, however most of these were not discovered until after her death.
Honey is plentiful on the shelves of my larder this month, including several jars of ACTIVE (Manuka) 15+ honey produced by my beekeeping friends (and Good Things sponsors) Carmen and Todd from Honey Delight. Their ACTIVE honey has consistently won blue ribbons at both the Royal Canberra and Sydney Royal Shows over the past several years, and has been tested and certified in laboratories in New Zealand. Not only is it good for you, it also tastes great! Thank you lovelies, hopefully I'm now well prepared to ward off winter ills.
Also in my kitchen is some rather exquisite Brezzo Truffle Honey (pictured above), which was one of the goodies in a hamper given to me by Chef Luke Nguyen, after his masterclass at Red Lantern on Riley in Sydney. It's light in colour, has a delicate floral base and thin pieces of shaved black truffle through it. The flavour is sublime. I think it would team beautifully with cheese but is also perfect on a fresh baguette or croissant.
Caramelised Honey Macadamia chocolates by Chocolate Chilli Mango...
Speaking of exquisite things created with honey, my fellow food blogger friend, Viviane Buzzi from Chocolate Chilli Mango, very kindly sent me some of her chocolate creations. The teardrop shaped ones pictured below are caramelised honey macadamia chocolate made using Humpy Creek honey. Viviane also makes and sells Proton Bars.
A tidy kitchen at last...
Would you believe me if I told you that I came close to having a panic attack when I was looking for an ingredient in my larder a couple of weeks ago?! It's true. I usually do an annual stocktake and clear out of the larder, but having been so ill last year, that task had to be deferred, or put onto the back burner. That, coupled with Peter being away for weeks on end, and generous PR companies and food people sending me packaged foods to try, meant that the shelves were completely spilling over and out of control. It was time to pull everything out, shelf-by-shelf, check use-by or best before dates, and re-arrange things into like-with-like groups. Before I knew it, I did the same with my kitchen drawers as well.
For three days we had to work around an explosion of utensils, cans and packets of all shapes and sizes. The good news is: (1) it is done (see proof below); and (2) I found things I didn't know I had! Seriously, for example I have been meaning to buy some long stainless steel kebab skewers. Guess what!? That long package wrapped in plastic that has been in my drawers since the late 1990s and travelled with me on three house moves actually contains long stainless steel skewers. It came with a Breville grill of some kind that I donated to Vinnies when I downsized in 2005. Yay! Peter and I have agreed that before we buy any more dried goods, or food in cans or jars, we MUST first eat our way through what we have at hand.
A few goodies...
In my kitchen is a bag of chestnuts purchased direct from the grower at the farmer's markets in Orange, as was the passionfruit jelly, which I found deliciously irresistible. Stay tuned for more about Orange and the producers we met and food we tasted in my upcoming Postcards and Morsels from our recent visit for F.O.O.D. Week events.
The little jar of Essential Ingredient cornichons were also in the hamper from Luke Nguyen, together with the Red Lantern wellness tisane which is really, really good. I've been making lots of hummus lately (see my speedy hummus recipe below) and needed some fresh tahini. And Peter loves this Somerset pear cider.
QUICK AND TASTY HUMMUS A LA LIZZY
500g can chickpeas
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup good EVOO
4 tablespoons Tahini
juice of 2-3 lemons
sprinkle of paprika
To make the hummus, drain the chickpeas, then rinse and drain in a colander. Combine the chickpeas, garlic, EVOO, Tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until well combined. If the mixture is very chunky or dry, add more lemon juice (to taste) or a little water. Process until nice and smooth. Set aside to chill until ready to use. Makes 2 cups.
Good things fresh and ripe...
Of course there's always a pile of fresh produce in my kitchen, including Fuju persimmons from an Asian grocer that has just opened a few minutes from our home. There are home grown pumpkins, aubergines, lemons, mulato chillies and garlic, all fresh from our kitchen garden. And a box of beautiful heritage apples that were generously given to me by Borry Gartrell, the owner of Borrodell Vineyard in Orange.
Borry Gartrell from Borrodell Vineyard and Orchard, Orange...
Peter and I enjoyed a few visits to the orchard and Sister's Rock restaurant on-site, where we spent time chatting with Borry. Such an interesting and kind-hearted soul (Borrie is pictured down below). Please stay tuned for more about Borry and his apples, and the BEST apple pie recipe, coming soon to Good Things.
That about wraps up news on what's been happening in my kitchen. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the heater is on as from today as we've hit the first of the cold snaps for the season and there's the promise of snow on the Brindabellas this weekend. Time to adopt the Brrrrrrrace position, folks!
In My Kitchen is a monthly series hosted by my lovely friend Celia, who cooks and shares good things at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Around fifty bloggers from around the world take part, so make sure you pop in and say hello! And please check in with me again, as I have more great giveaways and recipes coming soon.
Now tell me dear readers and fellow cooking enthusiasts, what's new and exciting in your kitchen this month? And does your pantry or larder ever get out of control? What strategies have you put in place to help keep it ship shape? Do tell!
1/5/2014 07:47:17 pm
G'day! Always fun to enjoy a peek into your kitchen Lizzy, true!
My larder needs a clear out, thank you for inspiring me to start today. I did think the other day that I must use what is in stock before accumulating more! I have Chia seeds and bee pollen in my kitchen. Do you use bee pollen... any tips. Have never tried truffle honey... sounds very interesting. :)
8/5/2014 11:55:53 am
Hi Moya... I asked my beekeeper friend but she doesn't know about the pollen either. Sorry. : )
8/5/2014 11:55:26 am
Thanks Joanne : )
8/5/2014 11:56:43 am
Hi Fran.... I eat 'em! In fact, I bought two again yesterday so might have them for my breakfast. You must try them... the Fuju you eat like an apple... crunchy... the other you must wait till the flesh is like jelly!
Lizzie I always love looking into your kitchen, not just because you have interesting things going on, but it's always so beautifully photographed. I did a similar pantry stock take and vowed to eat all before restocking but I hate the bare shelves! Must do the same with my drawers, but fear I won't find any treasures.
8/5/2014 11:57:10 am
Anne, thank you... it feels so good to have it all neat and tidy again. Thank you for your very kind words.
1/5/2014 10:33:05 pm
The contents of your cupboards are inspiring, Liz!
8/5/2014 11:57:23 am
And daunting sometimes too, : )
2/5/2014 12:10:13 am
Love reading about the produce you talk about from Orange, I love Orange and am a regular visitor only loving an hour away in Parkes. The central west is so versatile and beautiful, you must visit again!!! Xx
8/5/2014 11:57:40 am
We certainly must, Andrea!
2/5/2014 12:20:21 am
I did a huge pantry clean-out recently. I didn't realise I had so many bags of flour!!! I proclaimed to not buy any more flour until I'd used up my stockpile. It didn't take long once I put my mind to it. A bakeries quantity of loaves of bread, cakes and pizza bases put a massive dent in it.
8/5/2014 11:58:06 am
Hi Jennifer, wow, an English Major, well done you! I am impressed.
8/5/2014 11:58:18 am
Padaek, thank you so much!
Always. Always out of control. What is control anyway? That is because two of us are organizing haha. If I can't find it I just ask, where did you put IT? I am convinced we have too much space to hoard to. If I had one little pantry - but the stuff could be in the upstairs pantry, the downstairs pantry, out in the shed, or in the jam cupboard or on the shelf next to the laundry room... And he constantly comes up with a new idea. I don't even worry anymore. It does come as a surprise when I don't have something versus I can't find it though. It's all orderly and clean, but we do tend to spread out you see.
8/5/2014 11:59:06 am
Oh Zsuzsa, you made me smile... no seriously, I did almost have a panic attack... strange I know, but that was the reminder I needed to get my bum in gear and tidy things up!
Morning darling! Sitting here on Saturday morning with a cup of tea in your kitchen! :) Those chocolate mango cheeks are very impressive, as is your cupboard tidy up! It all looks so organised now. I do love honey - Tania from My Kitchen Stories gave me some truffle honey a while back, but I have to keep the little jar inside a bigger glass jar, or else it stinks out the pantry! :)
8/5/2014 11:59:57 am
Celia love, your comment made me smile. I caught sight of Peter in the corner of my eye as he lifted the lid off the truffle honey and took a sniff... he is not a fan so you can imagine the look on his face : )
8/5/2014 12:00:17 pm
I can just imagine how deliciously cosy your kitchen is at this time of the year, Amanda.
8/5/2014 12:00:34 pm
I agree, Glenda. So true!
2/5/2014 01:19:26 pm
All looks lovely Lizzie! I really need to do a pantry clean out, although it feels like I only did one a few months ago! I love your little collection of wooden utensils - gorgeous. Stay warm - chilly in Brisbane this morning too (for the first time since about September!)
8/5/2014 12:01:05 pm
Chilly up there already? Wow! I think we may have had our first frost last night. Happy cooking, Mel.
2/5/2014 01:23:32 pm
What a wonderful page of treats Liz. I ordered my pantry carefully when I moved in. Seems it already needs a redo!
8/5/2014 12:01:34 pm
We are indeed Barbara... yes, it's amazing to think we are so far apart... and yet so close!
2/5/2014 02:09:37 pm
It's only 14C here today so yes, the heater is on and I'm thinking I need to take a trip to the shops to buy some more heaters - one is not enough. You certainly have a lot going on this month. I love how you organised your pantry and drawers and yes, it's a dreadful job but you feel so good when it's all done and everything is in order xx
8/5/2014 12:02:12 pm
Hi Charlie... that day sounds quite chilly... we have some wonderful sunny days to warm the kitchen and other living areas, so we don't need the heating on all the time.
2/5/2014 02:18:03 pm
A lovely look into your kitchen Lizzy! We have chestnuts too, it's definitely autumn when they come around :)
8/5/2014 12:02:26 pm
They are delicious, aren't they Lorraine!
2/5/2014 03:43:22 pm
Oh dear, did I have to be reminded that my overflowing pantry needs the same three days' work for which there certainly is no time in May!! Well, for my birthday in June: yours looks SO enviable!! And you have reminded me I am out of Manuka 15! My main use for it is not internal but external on any wounds, abrasions and cuts going 'bad' - it even kills all the antibiotic resistant strains!! And no resistance can develop!!! Absolute gold!!!!!! So enjoyed your post . . .
8/5/2014 12:02:57 pm
Oh Eha, thank you for telling me that! I am going to try Manuka honey on my little wounds!
2/5/2014 06:01:15 pm
Good honey gets special attention in my home too...canola, which should be getting ready soon, in my favorite...
8/5/2014 12:03:08 pm
Sounds delicious, Ela!
3/5/2014 12:39:18 am
Another wonderful peek into your kitchen. I cleaned out the pantry not long ago after I paid someone to organise it for me and she put all the important things on the top shelf. Waste-o-time with me built so close to the footpath. I was shocked at how much stuff I'd accumulated
8/5/2014 12:03:24 pm
Gah, that would have driven me crazy, Maureen!
3/5/2014 05:23:08 am
Our pantry gets cleaned once a year whether it needs it or not! And believe me, it needs it. ;-) Actually, our main pantry is some open shelves in the basement, so things can't get too lost. Downside? Things do get a bit dusty. The shelves that hold all my various oils and vinegars are the ones that most need cleaning -- I have so many, I do sometimes forget about some. Fun post -- thanks.
8/5/2014 12:03:50 pm
Thanks John... I think we can all accumulate way too much! : )
8/5/2014 12:04:05 pm
Thank you Ardys, so true!
4/5/2014 01:16:00 am
We are indeed simpatico Liz. Those chillis look like scorchers and what a lovely person Borrie is, with a smile to match. Cheers!
8/5/2014 12:04:23 pm
Borry is a cracker of a person, Fiona, you'd love him too!
4/5/2014 05:50:13 am
I love your kitchen posts! And I love manuka honey! It is one of my cherished larder items!
8/5/2014 12:04:32 pm
Thank you, David!
4/5/2014 12:09:08 pm
what a lovely post - as always! i love seeign what you have in your kitchen. great hearing about your kitchen clean out - i also go thru similar overhauls every now and then, and it can be motivating - as you say, to try and 'eat down' some of your supplies!
8/5/2014 12:04:50 pm
I hope you have a mild winter, Elizabeth : )
8/5/2014 12:05:04 pm
Ah Francesca, it surely is!
6/5/2014 02:00:37 am
How fun finding a few things you didn't know you had Lizzy. I love tidy cupboards and always seem to be sorting and moving things about.
8/5/2014 12:05:16 pm
Mandy, thanks so much! : )
6/5/2014 11:47:51 pm
Awh yeah you've got all the good things happening in your kitchen. Unlike mine... haha, a stick of butter, some fish fingers, the last few cherry tomatoes from the garden. Gawd Ive turned into a lazy sod.
8/5/2014 12:05:28 pm
Ha, you made me laugh, Anna!
7/5/2014 10:31:40 pm
I am loving your abundance of goodies in your kitchen this month, especially the cider :)
8/5/2014 12:05:38 pm
Thank you Tandy! : )
9/5/2014 07:00:35 pm
My pantry is so beyond out of control, that I sometimes have to close the door really quickly so things don't fall in my face :) I take inspiration from your clean space. It is on the list in the great house clear out of 2014, but first the cookbooks. Some lovely fresh produce in your kitchen too. Thanks for sharing.
26/5/2014 09:57:17 am
Hi there Tania... thank you for your kind words... it feels sooooooooo good to have it in order! I cannot begin to tell you : )
11/5/2014 01:32:57 am
Liz, thank you for sharing your hummus recipe! I just bought a can of chickpeas the other day with hummus in mind. (Ironically, I thought I had some in my pantry...) That was a major feat to get things in order (loved your phrase: an explosion of utensils!) and I hope you'll celebrate that accomplishment regularly with some truffle honey.
26/5/2014 09:58:36 am
Hi Kim, you are most welcome... of course there are other recipes too where you boil the chickpeas.... but given that up until January this year I was working full time, I never seemed to find the time to do that. My recipe results in a rather delicious hummus. Hope you enjoy it. And thank you for your kinds words : )
17/5/2014 07:32:17 am
Hi Lizzy! I've had the same thing happen to me that I just completely forgot I owned a certain thing or gadget...and then I start to think perhaps I have too much stuff! Congratulations on getting it all sorted out, I'm sure that must feel wonderful! :)
26/5/2014 09:59:18 am
Oh my, you too?!! Yes, it so does feel great to have it all in order! : )
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Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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