I’ve added couple of new tools to the kit this month. I would say I’m generally not a gadget fan, but I found my citrus zester was hurting my hands when I held it, so shouted myself to a new one, same brand but with a different shaped grip and grating head. I bought this online from Peters of Kensington and arranged a ‘Pick Up In Store’ as we went to Sydney the following week. This little item is a bit more fanciful! A cup for making lacy rice paper wraps. When we were in Vietnam many dishes were served in beautiful looking lacy wraps and I haven’t been able to find any here. I tried making them using an old squeeze sauce bottle but it didn’t work.I used this to make wrappers for the Dadar Gulung (Indonesian Pancakes) that are made by making a rice flour batter and adding green pandan colouring. They are filled with a delicious filling made from coconut, brown sugar and sweet milk. Very delicious even though the colour is something you should only use for St Patrick’s Day cooking. These aren’t mine, I forgot to take a photo but this is pretty close to what they did look like. The batter cup obviously takes a bit of time to master.
In my kitchen was the BEST pork crackle I’ve ever made. I did pulled pork in the slow cooker so removed the skin, scored it and let it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight before rubbing with salt and olive oil than baked in the oven. I then crunched it into smaller pieces and scattered over the pulled pork.
I made soup using my frozen chicken feet stock, red lentils, carrot, onion and served with greek yoghurt. Love the autumn colours! I was fortunate to be gifted some kefir grains by a member of my Facebook Sourdough group. I’ve started exploring further afield with fermented foods and still have a lot to learn, but we are loving using kefir in many dishes. This is Bothe the water kefir and the milk kefir grains doing their thing.
I have also been making a lot of Labneh which is yoghurt cheese. So easy to make and these are just little balls of Labneh that I have marinating in oil, chilli, garlic and peppercorns. They are great as a spread on bread or crackers or just served on a platter of other nibbles. My apprentice has been helping too, here are the results of him helping with pancakes made using kefir water. Hard to smile when your mouth is stuffed full! We have been a bit slack with our weekend special breakfasts but this made up for it. Mushrooms cooked with chilli and garlic, poached egg on sourdough and a little chick pea dip on the side. Fresh OJ from oranges picked from our tree, eaten in front of the fire. One of the loaves I offered in my weekly bread orders was a caramelised onion loaf. I had 7kg worth of onion tops and skins, so turned them into onion stock. Very easy, chuck the lot into a pot, cover with water and cook away until you get this beautiful rich liquid. The scraps then went into the compost, no waste at all!
Probably the nicest thing In My Kitchen this month is this apple danish. I attended the most wonderful day learning about making croissant and danish at The Artisan Crust in Cockatoo and I can’t recommend them highly enough. Every part of the day was sensational! Scott is a highly trained professional that clearly loves what he does and is happy to share his skills openly. So that’s what’s been In My Kitchen the last month. Thanks to Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings blog who gives us the chance to share all the kitchen loveliness. Head over there to see what others have been up to. Wish Sherry a very happy birthday too while you are there.
It’s feels like ages since I entered the veggie patch and did some serious input out there. Planting has been very light as I filled 3 beds with green manure crops so I could dig them in and add nutrients back into the soil. Here the tops have been chopped back,
Then they were dug into the soil. I’ll repeat digging them in in about a week or two.The only things I really have planted are snow peas, leeks and I discovered some fairly decent broccoli in among the green manure so that’s now clear. I can categorically report that CD’s do not deter birds from devouring lettuce plants. All the literature states that you should time planting your peas so that you avoid frosts that will damage the flowers, therefore setting. This little tacker must have just made the safe zone, we’ve had a couple of ripper frosts.This little section is where all the spent veggie crops like tomatoes, corn stalks and any other ‘past it’ plants are tossed. I topped them today with all of the leaves that had been raked up between all the veggie beds and in the berry house. This will just sit now until spring and be used as the spillover planting bed. The rhubarb and Warrigal Greens are really shining and after a bit of a tidy up things feel much more in control, damp and dreary, but in control.This pic of when the back yard was just getting set up, 5 years ago. The following 2 pics are where it’s at now.
There are a couple of really pretty things performing in the garden at the moment. This little flowering gum is called Purple Patch, it is a smallish tree with a weeping habit. The tiny purple flowers appear in winter but I prefer the buds.
The Eucalyptus caesia or Silver Princess, would have to be one of my favourite plants. Every single part of this tree is special. The form, the bark, the buds, the flowers, the colour, the nuts, the fact the birds love it and the way it gently waves in the breeze.
The planting in the courtyard is taking shape well, I can’t believe how quickly the olives are growing. The mandarin tree is ready to be separated from its bounty one by one as the little fella just loves them.
It doesn’t appear that the second grandchild is going to be any different with his love of food, any food. The significant difference is that this one is not a neat and clean eater like his brother. He stuffs anything and everything in with gusto and gurgles with delight as its being eaten. He thoroughly enjoys spreading it far and wide and making it last, going back picking up his scattered bits. Pleasure to see!
It is a matter of getting the pressure washer out regularly, placing drop sheets where he is eating and having the brush and dustpan close by, but that’s OK.