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!
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.