Sunday, 3 May 2015

In My Kitchen - May 2015

We are well and truly into the autumn with its mellow fruits.  The camellia bush is full of flowers, our lemon and lime trees are heavy with fruit, and the fruit bowl is filled with crunchy red apples.  Oh joy!  The nights are drawing in and making it difficult to photograph food in natural light.  We are excited by farmers markets, a wobbly tooth and the annual hard rubbish collection.  Above is the lemon tree.  There is lemonade in my kitchen.

We have been visiting farmers markets in Coburg, Geelong and CERES.  Here is a selection of some of the produce.  Strawberries to nibble on, a fun stripey zucchini, freshly picked walnuts and a selection of in-season apples.

Some time ago the little food processor attachment that came with my hand held blender ceased to work.  Despite recently buying a high speed blender, I miss the little attachment for quick small jobs.  I gratefully accepted a hand held blender from my brother who has packed up his house in favour of travelling in a caravan.  It seems to do the trick, though occasionally spurts soup everywhere thanks to gaps in the stick blender attachment.

I am such a sucker for a quirky crisp flavour.  So I couldn't pass up the opportunity to try Windsors Camembert and Quince crisps.  They was surprisingly good.  Cheesy with a slight sour fruity flavour.  Though I would be unlikely to eat them regularly, this packet made me wish manufacturers were more adventurous more often.  Meanwhile I still dream of baking a quince and cheese tart one day.

I am much better at resisting a new twist on a favourite chocolate bar.  There are just too many to buy every new 'edition' and often the original is still the best.  Yet I fell for the Cherry Ripe bar with Dark Chocolate Ganache.  After all it was the 90 year anniversary and a local icon to be supported.  This bar was nice but no improvement on the original.

I made a visit to Terra Madre in Northcote a few weeks back.  It was hard to exercise restraint with such interesting groceries on offer.  My purchases were hit and miss.  It's good to have black beans.  The kale chips were like corn chips with a tiny bit of kale.  E loves the Devilish Tomato and Chilli Relish.  I am not sure I will ever use the VegeSet (substitute for gelatine).  I made a vegan omelet with the silken tofu.  Most exciting was finding Daiya shredded vegan cheese.

I couldn't wait to try the Daiya.  I made a melted cheese sandwich with kale pesto.  It was really really good and gooey and I think it might have had stretch too.  Then I got worried about how long the cheese would last and put the rest into a Vegetable Nut Crumble.  It was really good.

On E's birthday he was given some chocolates that have lasted surprisingly for a couple of weeks.  He also received a jar or WispaGold caramel hot chocolate that we all love.  It is from Treats From Home that imports British groceries for ex-pats.  So I am not sure it will be a regular in our house.  Maybe just as well.  In the photo is also a Hawaiian girl door stop and some 3D glasses for a fancy birthday card.

Sriracha, like Daiya, appears in lots of blog posts I read but is not so common in my part of the world.  I found a bottle on sale at Asian supermarket KFL.  We have barely touched it but I am sure once E has finished some other hot sauce he will enjoy it.  I also bought some blueberry tea and frozen edamame beans.  I must write more about this supermarket one day.

A week or so ago I made a Red Lentil and Celery Soup.  It is a crazy world where a full bunch of celery was cheaper than a half bunch in clingwrap.  I love having some celery about but a bunch always seems a lot to use.  This soup seemed a good way to use a lot of celery but I am not sure the flavours were quite right.  It may have been my substitution of parsnips for some of the carrots as I could taste them a bit too much.  I might try it again some time.

The other morning Sylvia called me into the kitchen to show me how nicely she had plated her breakfast and ask to use my phone to photograph it.  Yes, it seems that she thinks photographing food and posting it online is quite normal.  How different from my young self.  At her age, I had never heard of computers, the phone had to be plugged into the landline, and we didn't take many photos because it was expensive to develop film.

Lastly I have finally sprouted my first batch of mung beans.  I was surprised at how much they grew from the dried beans (above).  Almost three times the volume.  See a photo of them sprouted here.  So cheap and so easy.  I have always loved mung bean sprouts.  They are so good in a salad sandwich or scattered over a salad.  

And now that I have finally sprouted mung beans, it seems I might one day do other things I always hoped I would.  Onwards and upwards.

I am sending this post to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her In My Kitchen event.  Head over to join in (by 10th of each month) and/or check out what is happening in other bloggers' kitchens.

52 comments:

  1. Unlike your good self, Sriracha sauce is a regular in my kitchen, introduced to me by a Malay student when I studied at Glasgow. My guilty pleasure, i douse it on chips! I am like you that I like to try new crisp flaovurs and this quince one has got me curious, its very unlikely it will appear in the UK. I love how Sylvia is influenced by your blog food photo taking :) Next time you get some cheap celery, do try this Celery soup. http://allotment2kitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/celery-and-tarragon-soup.html I liked it.

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    1. Thanks shaheen - the question arises - have you found a sriracha crisp flavour - I think that would interest you. the quince crisps were very good - I really like the quince and cheese combination. But the company is Australian so you probably wont encounter them in UK. I am not sure if they are on sale regularly as I don't go down the crisp aisle that often but should check. Thanks for the celery soup suggestion - am not familiar with tarragon but would be interested to try it.

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  2. How funny about Sylvia's breakfast photo. She did plate it up nicely though! You have reminded me that it's been too long since I've had sriracha, and despite loving spring, have made me nostalgic for autumn with its coziness. I won't wish the next few months away but hope you continue to enjoy your own autumn weather, food and activities.

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    1. Thanks Kari - she is plating up her breakfasts very nicely lately but I wish she would spend more time eating them so we can get out the door! We are enjoying a lot of autumn coziness right now as the weather feels like winter already. I keep thinking it must change and give us a sunny spell but it seems as cold as our summer was mild.

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  3. haha, Sylvia is hilarious. It's funny watching my niece and nephews and even comparing their lives to those of my generation. Things have changed so much in recent years!
    Amazing that you have your own lemons and limes! And I'd be keen to try Daiya. It's not available here unfortunately.

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    1. Thanks emma - I really feel old sometime when I think of how much change I have seen in my lifetime. We have heaps of lemons and limes - more than I know what to do with. And I loved daiya but it is very pricey so would not be a regular purchase.

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  4. Your kitchen is always so fun =)
    "Most exciting was finding Daiya shredded vegan cheese."
    YES! I quite enjoy daiya. Only a bit at a time as it's not great if you load it onto things. But it's nice on pizza especially.
    And the Luke's chips aren't all that great, but if you ever see their crackers - they are the best crackers I have ever had =)

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    1. Thanks Kimmy - I was so pleased to finally find Daiya because I have been looking out for it - didn't get a chance to try it on pizza so must get it again. Thanks for the tip on Luke's crackers - I liked the chips but they just weren't that different to others I could buy other than some green specks which were not enough enough to stop Sylvia eating them :-)

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  5. Who isn't excited by the annual hard rubbish collection? It's the ultimate upcycling. I too am a sucker for a quirky crisp – camembert & quince probably wins the award (though I dis see cappuccino ones in the US last year). Please stop talking about how old we are! xx

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    1. Thanks Fiona - I was a bit sad to see the hard rubbish had been collected today - it always seems so full of hidden gems. Cappucino crisps sounds really weird. I saw caramel and cheese popcorn in Target recently and wanted some - weird combination (or perhaps it was just two different packets in the box - I am so curious about it. Thank goodness for all the new flavours because they say that new idea help slow the ageing of the brain :-)

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  6. I'm intrigued by the camembert & quince crisps....and the vegan cheese....aren't out kids living in such a different world, not sure if it's good or bad :) Jan x

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    1. Thanks Jan - I sometimes think Sylvia gets to try so many more foods that I did as a child but then she never had the fresh milk and butter we got from a local farm either!

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  7. What a wonderfully tasty full instalment of IMK.
    Have a super day.
    :-) Mandy xo

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  8. There are so many interesting things in your kitchen... I love your lemons the most... they remind me of mine... I waited a lifetime to grow lemons! And the junior chef/photographer made me smile : )

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    1. Thanks Liz - I love our lemons - but I am feeling a bit overwhelmed and wish I could stagger the ripening rather than them all ripening at once. But a surplus is a problem I have always thought seemed rather nice!

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  9. Good shop envy going on! I love good food supply stores and we just don't have them here. Always have celery in the garden. Not always the prettiest but great for adding to soup and stocks. Thanks for letting me peek in :)

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    1. Thanks Around The Mulberry Tree - we are spoilt lots of great foodie stores about me but just a little too far away to make the effort to get to unless I am in the car or on my bike. At least our local health food store has some good stuff. And I love celery but in small amounts

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  10. Sylvia! That is hilarious. And all your lemons, what a wonderful bounty!

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    1. Thanks Caeli - yes all those lemons - still wondered what to do with them - or who to give them to

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  11. I can't believe you guys can't find sriracha where you are! It's my favorite spicy condiment.

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    1. Thanks Joanne - I am sure it is about in Melbourne but I have never seen it before - perhaps I don't spend enough time looking out spicy sauces :-) And I am not sure it is in the supermarkets (yet....)

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  12. Oh yes the photography! It drives me a little crazy having to photograph everything before 3pm unlike the leisurely pace of summer! Sylvia is a crack up :D

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - yes I miss those long hours of summer for photographing because I often just photograph dinner before we eat - if I can I save some for the next day but it is not always possible.

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  13. I love your lemons and the sound of the camembert and quince chips - yum!

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - we loved the crisps

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  14. You have your own lemon tree - amazing :)
    Siracha is powerful stuff, I've recently bought some and I love chilli but woah, you only need a little. Its spicy stuff

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    1. Thanks Katie - that sounds like good advice on the sriracha - I am not keen on too much bite. And we have a dwarf meyer lemon tree in a pot - am amazed how many lemons we have this year

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  15. How cute is your Sylvia! :) So much to comment on - your lemon tree in a pot is doing amazingly well, and I don't think I could survive without my stick blender either. I'm very fond of sriracha sauce too, and I buy that brand of Turkish tea (same as your blueberry tea) - just yesterday I picked up boxes of fennel tea and apple tea from the Turkish supermarket! :)

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    1. Thanks Celia - I am really pleased with the lemon tree - it had some bad years and I started to feed it with plant food regularly which I think helped. I quite like the Turkish tea but not as much as the Twinings. I am very fond of my stick blender but get alarmed that this is my third since I started my blog!

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  16. I love and appreciate that you try things out of curiosity, not because someone is bribing you to give them free advertising! And as usual your kitchen is full of wonderful foodie things.

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    1. Thanks Mae - that is a very interesting comment. I try to avoid sponsored posts just for that reason - I want to choose my own curiiosity chest!

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  17. Ah, Terra Madre. I go once a week and always find something new and interesting. Not very good for my budget.

    I have blogged before about KFL - it's amazing! One of the best-kept secrets.

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    1. Thanks New Epicurean - I would love to go to Terra Madre once a week but it would be very very dangerous for my budget. And I keep taking photos of things that amaze me in KFL and promising myself I will write about it one day

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  18. I can almost smell your lemon and lime tree from here and Cherry Ripes are my favorite and can't tell you what happens magically to them when they magically appear or disappear in the house! lol
    Thanks for this month's IMK view too!

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    1. Thanks joanne - the lemons and limes when fresh off the tree smell amazing and the cherry ripe went indecently quickly in our house too.

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  19. Love all your fresh market produce... and the camembert and quince chips - fancy!

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    1. Thanks Milk and Honey - the chips were very fancy indeed

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  20. Ooh how envious I am of your lemons. And there are so many of them too, you wouldn't think a tree grown in a pot could produce so much. I've not tried Sriracha sauce either, but have seen a lot of blog posts about it. I proudly stand by my own chilli sauce and can't believe anything else could beat it ;-)

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    1. Thanks Choclette - it is impressive how many lemons we have from our tree in a pot - the lemon tree is a dwarf tree and so I think it is suited to the pot but our lime is a regular lime tree and needs to be kept pruned more. I admire you for having your own chilli sauce - my mum made a chilli jam recently with my niece and the latter told me she was up in the middle of the night googling for ways to stop her fingers burning from chopping chillis and that is one reason I don't make it.

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  21. I so wish we could grow citrus here.... your lemons look incredible!
    My daughter likes to photograph food too..... must be a very strange environment I bring her up in..... She recently insisted I took a load of pics of a pudding that she proudly made for us all..... She says I have to blog it, which I duly will soon enough....
    It definitely looks like a time of great abundance for you right now. Enjoy!!!

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    1. Thanks Kate - you are good that you blog the food your daughter makes - I don't load up all Sylvia's pics she asks to be blogged though some make the cut.

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  22. An Aussie colleague in a former job introduced me to Cherry Ripes, lovely lovely lovely! And lots of delicious fruit too.

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    1. Thanks Kavey - cherry ripes were my mum's favourite so they are a sentimental favourite for me - I think she liked the dark chocolate

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  23. I love sriracha, so good to see :D

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    1. Thanks Cate - we still are yet to really use it but it does seem to have the heart of many people

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  24. Everything thing around here seems to be sir racha these days. Funny though, we have nearly every hot sauce it seems, just not that one! I love the picture of you daughter taking a picture! My sons do that too, or will ask to take pictures of food when we are eating put even though I don't do that. Seems they like to remember what they ate and loom back at it.

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    1. Thanks Gretchen - that's funny your sons like a record of what they eat - I sometimes feel it odd that we don't have photos of all the meals I ate as a child. We have a cafe near us with a lot of hot sauces - I must check if they have sriracha

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  25. so funny - quince crisps. they must have a weird-minded taste kitchen crew. isn't it strange how we think it normal to photograph our food? my hubby and friends know to wait before they eat when we are out.

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    1. thanks sherry - I like to think of them all getting so excited in the taste kitchen when someone came up with the idea of quince and camembert - would love to hear what inspired them! Sylvia knows about light in photos because I am always telling her to get out of my light, oh dear!

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  26. Ahhh sriracha is a weakness of mine, longed for now that I have children who pick things off my plate and who think that mustard is 'spicy'. I can't wait until I can eat things lashed with it again!

    My daughter will often push the home button on my phone to see my wallpaper (which is her) and then tell me with glee "That's me, mummy". She is so technology savvy at 2.5 it scares me!

    I'm in awe of your citrus. I think my citrus haul this year will be a lone lime, thank you very much hungry grasshopper hoard!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - you have lime eating grasshoppers - how strange - is it bad of me to hope they don't migrate down our way - we have gall wasps which are bad enough - I spend too much time looking over the branches to find the little lumps that show they are in there. I find that I don't use many of my spicy mixes because I live in hope of Sylvia eating our meals with us. Though I laughed at a little girl who visited who said that sour straps were spicy - made me realise they are not good at describing taste.

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