In My Kitchen December.

Yet again I cannot believe how quickly this has come around. Thanks Celia, for hosting this forum, you inspire so many of us with your “down to earth” approach and sincerity!

So what’s in my kitchen this month?

I just had a crack at making some Elderflower Cordial. I have no idea what this should look like, taste like, or how to use it. I planted an Elderflower plant last year with the intention of making some Elderflower Champagne I’d seen on the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall River Cottage Program.

IMG_6557 IMG_6559The plant has grown exceptionally well, and it is really pretty but when I was Googling for some recipe ideas it was mentioned that it is supposed to have a fragrance. None that I could whiff! Pressing on, I made a cordial based on a recipe from the prestigious Lake House at Daylesford. Result is it is just VERY  lemony in taste, with not much else. Quite a substantial amount of citric acid which would add to that.Nice as a lemon cordial but should there be more to taste?IMG_6597 Also in my kitchen is a packet of supposedly true Wasabi powder. We have been buying Wasabi coated peanuts from our local supermarket but they are not going to stock them for much longer, so I’m hoping to re-create them. Any tips?Wasabi PowderJust outside my kitchen is the garlic I harvested tonight from the asparagus bed.  I love giving garlic as part of christmas gifts and this years crop is great! This is about a third of the crop.IMG_6610 Got some huge bulbs, this one is sitting in a one litre milk carton to show size.IMG_6630 Still stopping to smell the roses occasionally.IMG_6657 This is a sourdough cake starter. When I was at the hairdressers she packed me off with a bowl of her “Herman the German” friendship cake mix. I had never heard of it but because I like playing around with bubbles I took on the challenge. We also had a piece that she had made in between the colour and the cut and it tasted quite good. Almost puddingy. I am having trouble finding time to get to making it though, so I just keep feeding it along with my bread starter.IMG_6662With the giving season upon us I’ve got some onions that I will pickle to go into gift hampers. I love pickled onions and I’m quite fussy about their “crunch” value. This  recipe, Grandma’s Pickled Onions  has proven to be a trusted one to achieve a good crunch. You can spice it up or down to suit your own preferences.IMG_6590I am calling out to any IMK participants who may live in Delhi or who are going to Delhi to assist in my attempt to source our favourite tea.

When we visited India last year we came away with a kilo of the most beautiful black tea purchased from a spice store in Delhi. I have attempted to source some locally but no joy. I’ve also tried to purchase online but no joy there either. We’ve been to specialist tea stores but they haven’t been able to match it. If anyone just happens to be going to Delhi or lives in Delhi and may be able to source some Black tea from Mr Anshu Kumar, I would love to communicate to see if we can arrange a mutually agreeable arrangement to.IMG_6093

Wishing everyone a happy and safe festive season, I look forward to seeing what 2015 brings. I may even get a kitchen!

 

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30 Responses to In My Kitchen December.

  1. Love that you made your own elderflower cordial and that you actually planted the shrub. And, yes, the flowers do have a sweet fragrance. Perhaps a bit less citric acid in the mix? Absolutely awed by your garlic harvest! Interesting sourdough cake starter – look forward to seeing if you actually make the cake. Cross your fingers and with luck you will have that kitchen in 2015!

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    • fergie51 says:

      Hi, thanks for your comment. I did scratch my noggin (head) re the amount of citric acid, it’s so much higher than for normal cordial. Got to have a bench mark though! I must admit, I too am a bit chuffed about my garlic this year. Best crop for a few years, hope the flavour matches the size! Hope to be able to report back with a cake from the starter. Merry Christmas! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh My Geee that sourdough cake mix looks amazing. I’ve just refreshed my sourdough starter and am obsessed with all things sourdough at the moment.

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    • fergie51 says:

      Ha ha, Jennifer! Let’s wait and see if I actually turn it into cake! Bad time of the year to focus on new things but I’ll do my best. Might be looking for some people happy to take a portion of the starter. Are you up for it? Cheers, Maree. 🙂

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  3. what wonderful things in your kitchen. i love that friendship mix, and your flowers are lovely. and what a treasure to have that garlic. i buy a box of garlic every year from Patrice Newell’s farm. so much better to have aussie stuff than foul chinese garlic which is all dried out. have a great xmas!
    see you in 2015.

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  4. G’day! Wow I have never had or heard of that champagne, so thank you for allowing me to learn something new!
    I admire people who can grow their own food and thanks for this month’s kitchen view too!
    Cheers! Joanne

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  5. Anne Wheaton says:

    If you cut back on the citric acid you’ll get more fragrant elderflower taste and if you leave it for a few weeks then it will go fizzy. Beautiful roses.

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  6. ladyredspecs says:

    I wish I was going to New Delhi, I’d be happy to pick up some tea for you in exchange for some of that lovely garlic perhaps…..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Elizabeth says:

    So many of my favourite things in your kitchen this months… I’m jealous of your elderflower cordial… don’t you just LOVE Hugh!!!!! can’t wait to see what the champagne taste like, I have been looking for a recipe for elderflower wine.
    Oh, all that beautiful garlic… I’m sure it is going to be so delicious! Roses are a classic, but my absolute favourite and I have my very first sourdough starter this month too! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing! Liz x

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  8. Gretchen says:

    What an amazing garlic harvest! We just got some elderflower plants and will get the. In the ground this weekend. My husband recently got hooked on St. Germaine elderflower liqueur and we figured we could try to grow the plant and make our own.

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  9. You have me wishing that I had an elderflower plant in my garden – and space for an amazing crop of garlic like yours! Love the roses as well! Have a wonderful festive season!

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  10. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says:

    I’m swooning over the elderflower cordial and those roses are gorgeous! I wish they’d grow well here but they don’t. I love having roses in the house.

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  11. Francesca says:

    Your large garlic is very impressive.

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  12. Wow your garlic crop is incredible. I love elderflower cordial, but have never yet made my own. Emma.

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    • fergie51 says:

      Thanks for visiting Emma! I am really pleased with the garlic this year although a little worried by the 90+% humidity we are experiencing.It isn’t curing too well and I’m a bit concerned about mildew. I wonder if throwing it the clothes dryer would help?! I tried the cordial in a G&T last night and I think I will be making more quite soon :). Cheers Maree.

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  13. I wish I knew more about Elderflower but I’m not too good. A good friend of mine Susan at https://www.facebook.com/susansumptuousuppers has quite a bit of experience with a lot of Australian native herbs, spices & plants, drop her a line and see if she can help you – tell her I sent you to have a chat. May I ask where you got that wasabi powder? Is it strong tasting? I see it at Asian grocers but I’m not sure to grab it or not as I like it strong 🙂 Your garlic looks amazing! I’m yet to start my sourdough starter but looking forward to all the fun very soon. Great look in you kitchen this month, see you next IMK – all the best for Christmas & the New Year x

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    • fergie51 says:

      Hi, I haven’t tested the wasabi powder yet, it’s on the list for over the next couple of weeks. Bought it online, possibly EBay and its supposed to be the real deal. Very happy with this crop of garlic, just in time to include with christmas presents. Just hope this humidity doesn’t spoil it by preventing good curing and drying out. Happy festive season to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Annie says:

    That is a great garlic harvest you have there! Have you ever smoked your garlic I wonder?

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  15. Do you interplant the garlic with your asparagus? My asparagus bed is overrun with nasturtiums and garlic would be a definite improvement.

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    • fergie51 says:

      Hi Liz, I did this year and its the best garlic I’ve grown. The asparagus bed is raised and I did read that you shouldn’t plant them together so was a little concerned. Funnily the asparagus wasn’t doing much at all but since I’ve harvested the garlic it has taken off and I’m picking daily again. I’ve had great success with planting parsley with asparagus too.

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  16. I’m late, I’m late, but I’m here. Sorry, this month has been completely bonkers! Thank you for your kind words! I have some elderflower cordial, but I have to say it’s a little underwhelming – maybe I’m missing something? And your garlic looks AMAZING! Good for you, we can only ever manage to grow the green tops – I don’t think it’s cold enough here for them to form bulbs. Have a wonderful 2015! 🙂

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