It is October, springtime in Australia, and yet there is still a sharp iciness to the cool morning breeze. The air is rich with the scent of sweet Jasmine, and as I write this post I watch a family of fairy wrens that are nesting in the tangle of flower-covered vines just outside my study. I'm amazed at the number of moths and other insects these little birds can find, as they dart back and forth from the garden to their nest, bringing sustenance to their young. I reach for my camera, but they are simply too quick for me, so I'm sharing instead a lovely image of a blue wren captured by my bird-enthusiast friend, Christine Cannon.
A new month means it's time to collate a fresh, new In My Kitchen post for my friend and fellow cook, Celia, who hosts this monthly collection of posts from around the world at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. So let's take a look at the good things in my Parsley Street kitchen this month. In my kitchen is my favourite silicon coated whisk. I love the colour and the fact that it's non-stick and heat-resistant.
In my kitchen are Majura Valley free range eggs, bought fresh from the roadside stall on Majura Road. Owners, Ann McGrath and Nick Weber, took out a Landcare ACT award recently for innovation in sustainable farming practices.
In my kitchen is my ceramic ginger grater and a knob of fresh ginger used in stir fries and ginger tea.
In my kitchen is an icing set with silicon bag bought recently from Aldi for under $10.00. I think this will come in handy.
In my kitchen is a set of old-fashioned enamelled pie dishes. These will be perfect for rhubarb and apple pudding too!
In my kitchen is a collection of new and old books including Colour Deconstructed by Tricia Guild and photography by James Merrell. I was fortunate enough to win this spectacular book through a competition run by Hardie Grant (thank you HG!). There's also a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty, a purchase from the UK Book Depository. When I sent out a tweet saying that I should add that title to my collection, a tweet came back from Yotam himself, saying 'Yes!'. The other books were carefully chosen, treasured finds at the Lifeline Bookfair recently, including Pardon My French by my friend and fellow food writer, Sally Hammond, A Taste of History by Bryan Bruce, Knife Skills in the Kitchen by Charlie Trotter et al, The House of Oysters: an oyster lover's guide wit 55 recipes by Australia's A-list chefs (foreword by Leo Schofield), Honey and Dust: travels in search of sweetness by Piers Moore Ede, Fragrance and Flavour by Rosemary Hemphill (first published in 1959, the author is the mother of Ian 'Herbie' Hemphill), Paprika Paradise by James Jeffery, and perhaps the very best of the bunch is Russian Cooking by Robin Howe (published in 1964). Reading for retirement, methinks!
In my kitchen there are lemons galore, store-bought (well, market-bought), as my home grown lemons have all been used. And of course my favourite lemon zester, made by Zyliss. I used to sell many of these when I co-owned the cookware store.
On a visit to Floriade's Nightfest, I splurged on another purchase from Mudgeeraba Spices. And I mean splurged, because the 300g jar cost me $20, however it was promised that the spices would stay fresh for years, if stored correctly. With this blend I can make Peter's favourite butter chicken, as well as tandoori. Annoyingly, the ingredients are listed as 'freshly ground pure spices', otherwise I'd tell you what's in this very fragrant, spicy blend.
In my kitchen is a box of oranges. I figure my body can use all the Vitamin C possible to help recover total wellbeing.
In my kitchen is Jalna low fat 'yoghourt' made with a2 milk. My system seems to tolerate a2 over regular milk protein.
In my kitchen is this mini esky of goodies from McCormick Spices, sent to me to road test as part of the company's latest Marinade in a Bag and Grill Mates products. While I prefer to make marinades and sauces from scratch, we tried the Spicy BBQ marinade with beef ribs and the verdict is that we loved it.
And finally, in my kitchen are these two Real Hot Chocolate treats, which Peter bought with the last few dollars on a Wheel and Barrow gift voucher. Have you tried these? They make great hot chocolate, but are expensive, so good for an occasional indulgence.
Tell me, what's cooking in your kitchen this month? And do you love adding new food related titles to your bookshelves as much as I do?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.