Yes folks, it’s that time of the month again and I’m hoping I make the deadline for Fig Jam and Lime Cordial’s In My Kitchen roundup – check out what is in kitchens around the world over at Celia’s blog! In my kitchen this month is a pile of the latest food magazines. About 18 months ago I decided I really couldn’t cope with the growing piles of publications layering every available surface. Deciding which mags to keep and which to discard was simply too agonising, so I let all my subscriptions expire. If I saw a very desirable edition on the newsagents shelves I allowed myself the occasional indulgence, but no longer had the joy of finding gorgeous, glossy periodicals in my post office box – er, periodically. However, I’m currently contracted to do some research work so all bets are off – and all the subscriptions are back on! I’ve had some delicious Easter reading.
Five years ago I introduced you to my much-loved slow-combustion stove, Stanley. While he’s probably not as clean and shiny as he was five years ago (where did that time go?) he’s every bit as effective and gets lit at the first sign of an autumnal chill in the air. The season is well and truly turning in the Adelaide Hills now, so I celebrated Easter by lighting him on Good Friday. The spreading warmth of Stanley heralds the advent of not only winter, but usually a few extra pounds around my middle as I find the lure of a constantly heated oven way too tempting. I think I’ll be baking quite soon.
It doesn’t take much to interest me in fine chocolate and Easter is all the excuse I need to eat the good stuff for breakfast. This year I opted to do the Easter shopping at one of Adelaide’s finest chocolatiers, Steven ter Horst. The offspring are older now and they appreciate quality over quantity so I think the extra cost involved is justifiable. And now that I have well and truly passed the half-way mark of my time on this planet I don’t feel inclined to waste calories on cheap and nasty chocolate. Given the bad news in this recent story on cocoa farming it seems there is no joy in cheap chocolate for anyone. Things have been grim for cocoa farmers for some time now, so we had better get used to paying more for what has been a little too affordable.
In my kitchen is the last sign of summer’s bounty – the quinces. Our tree is always abundant and this year is no different, with boughs resting along the ground from the weight of the fruit. The birds aren’t interested in quinces, so I end up trying to press big bags of them on to anyone who comes near us. Unfortunately a few quinces go quite a long way, so it is rare that I get rid of many in one hit, but at least they tend to last quite a while, giving me time to offer them around and making the kitchen smell divine in the meantime.
Taking advantage of the bounty of a friend’s late fruiting peaches, I also have a nice haul of delicious peach and vanilla jam in my kitchen. This jam is so easy to make that it seems a little like cheating, but I’m happy to have a little summer put by for the cooler months. Keep an eye on this space and I’ll share the recipe for any of you who still have peaches to deal with.