IMK and Boonderoo’s kitchen

What a month it’s been! Open garden day which was a huge success. Our reno has officially begun (yes that means a kitchen is on the horizon), a wonderful day spent with friends on a walk and picnic at Morwell National Park. A new car because Mr ATMT had to hand in the company vehicle when he accepted an early retirement package. A trip to Greece and Turkey booked and a sensational weekend at Boonderoo farm doing a sourdough workshop. Bare with me, it could be long-winded! Thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for helping everyone share their kitchens.

First In My Kitchen are some beautiful ginger nut biscuits I made from Glenda over at Passionfruit Garden’s recipe. They are wonderful, definitely eat with caution if your choppers are dodgy!Ginger NutsThese are presented on my new little Spode Italian serving plate. Great size for when there are just a couple of you. Big plate =  big eating!

For the picnic we went on, I made a platter of Moroccan eggs (basically scotch eggs with some middle eastern spices), potato, kale, feta and chilli rolls, pork rillette, baguette and some nibbles. This went down very well.

Scotch eggs

The highlight for me this month was the opportunity to spend a weekend with some lovely, like-minded people at Boonderoo Farm on a sourdough bread making workshop. We worked hard for two full days, learned lots, got a bit antsy about understanding bakers percentages (well I did), ate the most amazing food and generally had a ball. Thomas & Gabi Moritz live on a 600 acre farm in the King Valley. They are self-sufficient, organic farmers, use permaculture practices, are completely off grid and make sourdough which is sold at several local markets. Thomas is a guru regarding wood fired ovens and has built many masonry ovens along with Alan Scott who is considered to be the doyen of brick masonry ovens. The hospitality they shared and the knowledge they imparted is impressive indeed. Thanks Thomas & Gabi, I appreciate you sharing your time and expertise immensely. Here is a sequence of a few things we covered.

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A view to the rocky mountain from a mud brick hut.

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Our first batch of 100% whole-wheat, freshly ground wheat dough.

Window pane test

Testing for the window pane in the dough. This tells whether or not kneading is sufficient to develop the gluten in the flour.

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All hands on deck mixing dough here.

Sourdough loaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first of our loaves out of the oven. Topped with poppy-seed and pumpkin seeds.

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Sharing lunch outside.

IMG_2791Back to work, that’s a lot of baskets to fill!

Wood fired oven pizza

Dinner Saturday night were some sensational pizzas.

Sourdough herb sticks

Sourdough herb sticks with freshly picked herbs.

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Thomas explaining how we should load the oven. Almost worked!

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Some cheeky bugger stole my camera and took this shot! Peter?

sourdough pitta.

Fresh pitta sourdough to go with the most amazing lunch prepared by Gabi, her daughter and some of their woofing friends. Stunning!

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And of course, the obligatory group shot. Not sure what’s going on with me but that’s three times lately I’ve agreed to being in a photo!

Boonderoo

This is a sample of some of the breads we brought home. The strudel with nashi pear, sultana soaked in rum and spices was a knockout!

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Finally, in my kitchen is almost, an Italian. The lovely Francesca from Almost Italian was nice enough to call in on her way to the coast. What a delight it was meeting a fellow IMK blogger. We have lots of similarities including photos going onto our blogs. But here we are, both in my kitchen. I really think she was secretly a little bit jealous of my toy oven!

The Blues Sisters
The Blues Sisters

 

Preparing for the onslaught.

Very soon, all of these leaves will hit the ground with no concerns about me wanting to maintain some level of order.Oak leavesAdd to this the dropping leaves  from the ‘Faraway Tree’ size Pin Oak in the front yard and we will be smothered. Not complaining, I do love them but there are so many it can be overwhelming. Relentless! Last year we decided not to try to keep the yard orderly and wait until all had fallen and then do a major clean up. This worked pretty well but there were areas where leaves seemed to naturally congregate, so rather than collect and move them to the far end of the yard into awaiting compost bins (should say leaf mold bins) I am locating bins strategically so we can just mow and toss right into the bin. All part of sustainable design!

I’ve put the first bin in the little space where what used to be the visiting dentist’s room is. You can see there already some leaves settling in.IMG_3326I can get the mower in, mulch all the leaves up and chuck straight into the bin. The leaves take forever to breakdown if they are not chopped up first. Mixed with lawn clippings and other greens it helps hasten the process.IMG_3328

My first ever kale experience.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have never tried kale before and had no idea really on what to do with it. Decided to just pretend it was like spinach and wing it. This is the result and it looks darn good if I must say. Kale, potato and feta rolls.Kale, Potato & Feta rollsKale, 2 large potatoes, 1 onion, our first rocoto chilli to go into a meal, some feta cheese, 1/3 tspn of both cumin and coriander powders, S&P (not much salt because the feta is salty), 1 egg and 3 sheets of puff pastry (only because that’s what was to hand).IMG_3331Peeled and diced the potatoes and microwaved for about 6 minutes, soft but still firm. Chopped/sliced onion, rocoto chilli, removed spine from kale, chopped it into fine shreds and cooked all together in pan in a smidge of olive oil. When soft I added the cumin and coriander and cooked it out for about 2 minutes. Threw the lot into a mixing bowl that already had the potatoes and crumbled feta in it, mixed all together and added an egg to bind. IMG_3340Divided into thirds and placed a third on each sheet of pastry, folded pastry over, glazed with milk cause I’m too lousy to waste an egg on this sort of casual meal. Into the ‘toy oven’ for about 40 minutes (probably wouldn’t take this long in a real oven!).

Served with some lovely tomato pickles and home made tomato sauce. Tick to eating kale, happy to do so again. Yep, just like spinach in this dish.

PS: The rocoto chilli was a pleasant surprise, I would describe it as a red capsicum with attitude. Not too hot, in fact if you love chilli flavour I think you’d be disappointed. As a crop that is likely to supply a large harvest I prefer this it stays on this side of the scales. Rocoto Chilli