Minus seven and a 'severe' frost this morning prompted me to pop outdoors and check on the lemons. Thankfully the pots are partly sheltered by the eaves and all three plants are content and fruiting profusely. Having waited a lifetime to own a lemon tree, seeing these beauties on the verandah (and the kitchen bench) is balm for my soul.
In my kitchen are Beurre Bosc pears, perfect for winter tarts, poaching, grilling and baking. This variety is in season in Australia from April through to November. I picked up a copy of Jill Dupleix's New Food (for just $1.00!) at my favourite thrift store recently, so perhaps I'll make that beautiful pear tart featured on the cover. Yes, that's it.
Lemons top the list of my favourite ingredients and I have a bounty of lemon-based recipes on my repertoire. Roast chicken with lemon, tarragon and garlic; pork piccata; or gremolata prawns, are among the savoury dishes. And for the sweets, this divine lemon and passionfruit custard with cat's tongue biscuits; and a torta di riso al profumo d'arancio, among others.
In my kitchen is a jar of Cuttaway Creek apricot jam, another purchase from the Moss Vale IGA. Grown in the southern highlands, this jam is as good as home made (I swear!) and, needless to say it's almost gone so we should have bought more!
In my kitchen are coffee beans from Toby's Estate coffee roasters, also purchased at the IGA in Moss Vale. A while back, I had a Toby's coffee subscription and a bag of freshly roasted beans was delivered (free) to my door every fortnight. Having LPR, I stick with decaffeinated beverages and am enjoying the Cascadia Decaf, with its notes of vanilla, almond and caramel. It's also certified organic and fairtrade. Peter loves a double shot espresso, so the 'Woolly' is perfect. It's one of the most popular blends sold by Toby's Estate.
In my kitchen is (was) this Malaysian coconut and chilli spice rub from Marion's Kitchen. I smothered it over free range chook yesterday morning, then roasted the bird for our lunch. So simple, really. Peter and I found that it wasn't quite as flavoursome as we had expected, though when we ate the second half of the chicken in the evening, we noted that the flavours had developed.
In my kitchen are these chopped and dried porcini mushrooms purchased from a well-stocked IGA Supermarket that we discovered recently in Moss Vale, a town in the southern highlands of New South Wales. These will pack a punch and add flavour to winter soups, stews and risottos.
In my kitchen is a pot of red sorrel, sold as 'micro herbs' at a leading greengrocer at the Fyshwick Markets. Research indicates that this plant is considered to be an ornamental vegetable, rather than a herb. It can be used in salads or blanched for a few seconds. I'm finding that the younger leaves have the best flavour.
In my kitchen I have a brand new stainless steel Rena Ware 1.75 litre saucier and 2.5 litre saucepan, thanks to the generosity of Rena Parts - the authorised and exclusive Australian distributor of genuine spare parts, saucepans and accessories from Rena Ware International.
If you've been reading Good Things for a while, you'll be aware that I'm particularly fond of my vintage Rena Ware saucepans, which once belonged to my mother and still going strong. As such, I'm delighted to have partnered with the folks from Rena Parts and will be road testing these stylish, high quality products very soon. Please watch this space.
In my kitchen is this golden liquidamber leaf that blew in through the garage door. I have a 'thing' for autumn foliage, so I kept it. Ü
My dear friend, Celia, hosts the In My Kitchen series that I join up with every month, so pop in to Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and say hello to Celia and the community of food writers, cooks and bloggers from around the world.
Now tell me fellow cooks, what's happening in your kitchen this month?
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.