Some special treats in my last In My Kitchen roundup for 2015.
This is the final IMK roundup for 2015 and I’m very pleased to say that I’ve only missed one all year – and that was because I was in Italy, nowhere near my kitchen! I’d like to thank my dear friend Celia, of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, who coordinates an ever-growing community of international participating food bloggers for this. You can check out everyone on the list over on her site.
In my kitchen this month are – you guessed it – more food books. These two wonderful editions are from South Australia’s own Wakefield Press. The first is “Enjoyed For Generations”, the history of Adelaide’s Haigh’s Chocolates, written by food historian Barbara Santich. Haigh’s are celebrating their centenary this year and is Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker. This book tells their story from it’s beginnings, four generations ago.
The second book, “Calendar of Cakes” is from another much loved South Australian institution – the South Australian Country Women’s Association and offers a cake for every week of the year, with extras for special occasions. Cake. What’s not to love?
This bowl of fat, dark, juicy cherries from Ashton in the Adelaide Hills is the first of the season in my kitchen. Cherries, summer and Christmas – they’re inseparable in my book.
Also from Ashton is this delicious sparkling Apple and Pineapple juice from Ashton Valley Fresh. I paid a visit to this company’s orchards and packing premises last week and was utterly blown away by the extraordinary quality of their produce and their state-of-the-art plant. This juice and the cherries above were a gift from them. The juice is delightfully refreshing and perfect for the coming hot weather. Actually, I’m pretty sure it would be even better with a shot of gin on a really hot day.
In my kitchen is a selection of these excellent olive oils from Cobram Estate. I was invited to an olive oil tasting and breakfast with the delightful folk from Cobram Estate last week, when they were in town sharing the story of their product and the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil.
They were really preaching to the choir when it comes to me, as I’ve cooked exclusively with extra virgin olive oil for many years and am well aware of the many EVOO health benefits. These include high levels of antioxidants which help prevent and slow down cell damage and aging, high levels of heart-healthy fats assisting in cardiac function, lots of good cholesterol which helps reduce artery disease and the anti-inflammatory properties of EVOO.
Of course I use it because it tastes fantastic. I usually shy away from buying my EVOO from supermarkets, but was thrilled to learn that Cobram Estate EVOO’s are Australian owned, fresh, cold pressed AND available in my local Foodland – so it’s all good!
I was very excited to receive this absolutely gorgeous hamper of Christmas goodies from Aldi Australia. Aldi produce a high quality range of their own branded goods, including these Christmas specialties from their Specially Selected range. They are not yet available here in South Australia, so I’m getting a sneak preview but, as I wrote about a few weeks back, they are opening four new stores here on 3 February 2016 when everyone can check out their products. I’m especially looking forward to trying the Premium Vintage Christmas Pudding which was a Bronze award-winner at the 2015 Sydney Fine Food show.
Also in my kitchen, dangling decoratively from my ears, are these very gorgeous red Swarovski crystal earrings sent to me by Celia – simply because she is the kindest, most generous person on the interwebz. Hands down.