In My Kitchen – January 2016.

Welcome to 2016 where a very busy year is staring us straight in the smacker. To start the year, we have a grand baby due to arrive (literally any tick of the clock), a wedding in February, hopefully a working kitchen soon after that and a holiday to Greece and Turkey in May. I’m also hoping to hold some sourdough bread workshops once we have a kitchen, so I’m trying to wrap my head around the best way to present information that is most useful to participants. Thanks to Maureen over at Orgasmic Chef who has kindly taken over the co-ordinating of In My Kitchen while Celia has some ‘being gentle to herself’ time.

I’ve had a peek at a few other IMK postings and I can definitely say I’m not going to wow you with delightful Christmas goodies and gifts. In My Kitchen this month is very down to earth and some may even say “boring”. Never mind, here’s what’s In My Kitchen this month regardless.

Harvests:

Cucumbers, chillies, tomatoes, garlic, eggplant, beetroot, capsicum and in a couple of days there will be corn. We are chook sitting for our son, so I think I will have to turn some eggs into pasta over the next couple of days.

Egg Cucumber HarvestI love pickled cucumbers so I made some bread and butter cucumbers (not sure what the difference between the two is). I have been using this recipe that I found over at Liz’s Suburban Tomato Blog  and it’s a winner. Bread & Butter CucumbersPickled beet and cucumbersI also pickled some beetroot using this blend of pickling vinegar. This was enough for 500g of beets.

    • 750ml malt vinegar (can blend types to suit)
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns

Boil all together, let cool then strain and pour over cooked beets that you have sliced or cut to desired shape and size and packed into sterilised jars, seal. Let mature for a couple of weeks before using. I really like the flavour of star anise with beetroot. Served with some feta or add greek yogurt, blitz it and you have a delicious dip in a matter of seconds.

Garlic.

I’ve followed a tip from Francesca at ‘Almost Italian‘ and this year not plaited my garlic harvest but just bundled the heads together and hung them. This was so much easier than plaiting and I think they look pretty good! I have not bought garlic for years now and I just love having it on hand knowing it’s been grown with no chemicals, no bleaching agents or sterilising agents to reduce the chance of it sprouting on the shelf. Nearly 100% of supermarket garlic is imported and the growing conditions are very questionable.

Garlic harvestAs well as this stash (it should last 12 months) I have kept enough aside for planting. I usually plant in March. This is much earlier than many recommend, but I have had great success since doing so.

Garlic for plantingWe have been picking tomatoes since mid November. Most have been from the greenhouse but they are now coming in from the wicking beds as well. We have to pick as soon as they get a slight blush because the birds are onto them like a flash if we don’t.

TomatoesI have about 15 compost buckets on my kitchen table. I take responsibility for collecting the compost bin from the staffroom at work  (sadly, I don’t have to compete with anyone for the privilege of doing this). I bring the bin home, add the goodies to the compost then usually forget to put the bin/bucket back in my car to take back to work. I’ve given them all a good scrub and airing and they are ready to be returned for the new year. I really wish I could create a swell of enthusiasm among others on staff to be more involved in sustainability and waste management, but there just isn’t any interest or sense of purpose  for doing so at all.

Compost binsClean out the fridge soup! There were many bits and pieces that were getting close to needing to be used or piffed (compost only, not rubbish bin) and as the weather was nice and cool today I made soup. This meant I could use up some celery, pumpkin, sweet potato, stock, and turkey that were sitting in the fridge. I added a stubby of passata,  some potato, my favourite zing szechuan (sichuan) pepper  and served the soup with some sliced chorizo I had grilled, flat leaf parsley and some of my ‘Maurizio’ sourdough

IMG_3585that had been grilled, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed with garlic.

Clean out fridge soupHappy New Year to all fellow IMK’rs out there and to any new participants. I am really looking forward to see what 2016 will bring to everyone.

This entry was posted in Bread, Compost, Cucumber, Garlic, In My Kitchen, Preserving, Recipes, sourdough, Tomatoes, Vegetables, Wicking Beds and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to In My Kitchen – January 2016.

  1. Tammy says:

    I’m going to make my Beetroot into dip with yogurt. Never thought to do that. Just kind of thought I’d figure out a Beetroot dip one day, well now I know how easy it is. Thanks 😄

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  2. Francesca says:

    Comost buckets are like gold- that. along with dry leaves, manure, torn newspaper, other bits and bobs from the kicthen that the chooks don’t fancy, lawn clippings- when those other folk at work see how fabulous your garden is, and how much food you grow, maybe they will see that gold too.
    Your garlic looks good- I think it was an excellent garlic year and I put this down to some good winter rain that we had- and that you may have had too. Nice and fat.

    Not long now and you will be a babushka too. What a year coming up- wow, that’s busy! Your bread always looks sensational too. Happy New Year Maree. x

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    • Francesca says:

      And lots of New Year typos- maybe that comes from watching too much SBS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • fergie51 says:

      Thanks Francesca, I’m happy to bring as much as I can home for garden but I think as a school, we should be setting an example to families of how we can take responsibility for our environment and waste management. I tend to get on my soap box about that so I’ll leave it at that 🙂 Due date for baby is tomorrow, supposed to be camping from Saturday, that could be interesting………..no way I’m missing out on this baby.

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      • Francesca says:

        No, stuff the camping. What is your role at the school? Important to be fostering environmental issues at the school. I never asked you much about your working life. ( email me if your prefer) Having left a lifetime working in schools, it is a life I am ready to forget.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What wonderful garlic! I make pickled beetroot but I’ve never put star anise in the pickling liquor. I will give that a try. Thanks heaps for being part of In My Kitchen!

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  4. Nothing boring about a home grown harvest – very nice! Happy new year!

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  5. foodnstuff says:

    Believe me, your kitchen is anything but boring! Puts mine to shame. I use Suburban Tomato’s B & B pickle recipe too. It’s a winner. That’s a very simple recipe for pickled beetroot. I’ll have to try that one. I like things simple 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Gretchen says:

    It has been busy in your kitchen indeed. The garlic looks gorgeous, I really should start growing that too. The soup sounds great too. Especially now that we finally have cooler weather. Good luck on grand-baby watch, so excited to hear the news any day now!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sally says:

    Your beautiful harvests could never be boring and that garlic is stupendous. Happy New Year with all your plans.

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  8. Well none of that was boring!!! Love, love, love your garlic – we didn’t fair so well with ours last year sadly…you are a saint doing all the composting duty – it’s sad really isn’t it, but at least they are using the buckets provided!! It’s such an easy, simple thing to do I can’t work out why others don’t. That soup looks delicious too!! Lots happening for you so I’ll wish you a Happy New Year and it sounds like you have lots to keep you busy! Jan x

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  9. Happy New Year Maree, I’m just loving your garlic – garlic has been a very bumper crop for a few IMKers and I hope my brother-in-law has his drying now too 🙂 I’m a big fan of ‘fridge soup’ (although I’ve never thought to call it that!) and your soups looks delicious, I can smell it from here 🙂 Your produce sure looks amazing too x

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  10. Yes, it’s a busy time for those of us with a veggie patch or fruit trees. Love all of your goodies. Happy New Year.

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  11. I think my previous comment disappeared. I really love all your home grown goodies. Growing your own makes for a busy kitchen at this time of the year, but so worth it.

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  12. There’s nothing boring about your kitchen at all! Your fridge soup looks fantastic – I love when you through everything together it just works. I hope the baby has arrived by now!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey says:

    Happy 2016! Hope the grandchild arrives healthy whenever he / she is ready 🙂 Nothing boring about your IMK, great to see your fridge soup – I also make one here too but my children call it rubbish soup as literally everything that would end up in a bin for looking a bit dreary goes into it x

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  14. I’m so jealous of your garlic! I made my first attempt at growing garlic this year but it was pretty much a fail, all I got was about 3 tiny heads with a few cloves and the rest were just kind of big single cloves – I think I planted too late and also probably too close together. Maybe I’ll try March this year to see if it works better!

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  15. Kim Bultman says:

    Maree, I’m with everybody else… didn’t think your post was “boring” AT ALL… and quite the contrary! Your garlic crop, harvest(s), and recycling efforts were inspiring, as was your “catch all/clean out the fridge” soup with Maurizio’s sour dough. 🙂 I’m still trying to make Prissy (my offshoot of Celia’s “Priscilla”) behave, but I think I’m winning, lol. SO appreciated your tips and links — plus, I admire your “use it up” philosophy with tasty results. Me, too! You have “the knack” as my Grandma used to call it. 🙂 xoxo

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  16. EllaDee says:

    Homegrown bounty is wonderful, and inspiring… I too hope one day to have similar bounty and need plenty of inspiration to keep me going while I’m waiting. Best wishes for the grandbaby.

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  17. Well, I’ve been on a lovely internet walk through the link for bread and butter pickles…all the way from tomato growing to landscaping tips. I completely lost track of time! Happy New Year, I am looking forward to seeing your completed kitchen. When I tried growing garlic they resulted in spindly plants with only a few cloves. What variety did you plant?

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  18. Congratulations on the new grandchild!

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  19. Good for you for taking responsibility for the compost project at work…but I do hope for your sake that a few others would do the same! All of your fresh produce just look so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. i love all that garlic. i loathe buying supermarket stuff so i try to get it at farmers’ markets or online. looks like 2016 will be a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sung Dekle says:

    Great, Thanks,Brilliant,Excellent,Thank you

    Like

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