Again with the kitchen posts? Who’d have thought it? I’m going to try for the trifecta this year – but don’t hold your breath! But seriously, for a wonderful peek in kitchens all over Australia head over to Celia’s place at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial where much more reliable bloggers than yours truly manage this kind of thing regularly!
I spent two gloriously gastronomic days on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria last week. With a group of Australian and international media, I was fabulously fed and hydrated by some of their wonderful regional producers, including Mick and Ann Gallace of the gorgeous Sunny Ridge Farm. Their strawberries simply have to be tasted to be believed. I picked some and shared them with friends over the weekend, one of whom opened his eyes very wide and declared that he had never, ever had a strawberry that tasted so good! At the end of the first day of the trip, I was delighted to find this box of freeze dried, lusciously chocolate coated strawberries on my hotel bed pillow. They are a truly remarkable explosion of flavour and a deliciously portable gift idea.
I found these fabulous little Bee Pops at another spot on my discovery tour of the regional producers of Mornington Peninsula, at Pure Peninsula Honey in Moorooduc. I love bees and am very partial to honey (I brought back enormous amounts of it from my trip to Kangaroo Island). I think the idea of honey on a stick is a brilliant concept and a wonderful way to soothe the trans-seasonal sore throats in our house.
I stopped over in Melbourne for the weekend, to spend some time with old friends and took the chance to visit a couple of my favourite stores while there. I always manage to find something to entice me into the risky waters of excess baggage in The Essential Ingredient and these tinned Kalamata figs in syrup were nearly enough to do it this trip (although the two kilogram bag of Dutched cocoa didn’t help). I exercised great restraint and only brought two tins home, but I can’t wait to try them in a cake or tart.
A book shop is always very dangerous territory for my credit card and Books For Cooks in Melbourne is doubly so as I manage to justify all sorts of sins in there. I came home with this modest selection weighing down my backpack, including an interesting work on the social history of cattle. Possibly not the kind of thing to thrill every reader, but perfect for me as a cattle producer and consumer. I may also have one or two volumes coming later in the post, but it’s probably best if The Bloke doesn’t know that just yet.
I was very surprised to find this chocolate still in my kitchen last week, as I thought I’d gobbled the lot. It was sent to me by Matale Chocolate of Melbourne, who are producing a divine selection of high-quality, ethically sourced bean-to-bar chocolate. In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit that one of these packets is, in fact, completely empty and the other is only half full – delicious stuff indeed.
Finally, I want to share something I am outrageously proud of. I’ve been a very keen supporter of Adelaide’s Cellar Door Wine Festival over the last few years, writing about it here and here. It is a hugely successful event and one that showcases our remarkable wine perfectly. This year I’ve been appointed one of a group of social media ambassadors for the event. I am very glad to be formally associated with such an innovative event and thrilled to help spread the word about it, keeping my visual reminder in the kitchen for all to see. It may even go some way to justifying all the time I spend on social media!
Don’t forget, you can meet the rest of the In My Kitchen gang at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.