Here’s a quick look at some of the things I’m loving in my kitchen this month – and something I’m not actually loving at all.
Somehow I managed to miss last month’s roundup of In My Kitchen love – and I’m still not sure how. But here I am with a glimpse of what I have been loving this month, plus something that I’m not loving at all. For a look at all of the bloggers who participate in the In My Kitchen roundup head over to our new host, Sherry, of Sherry’s Pickings.
I spent some time in South Australia’s Riverland district a couple of weeks back. I met some remarkable and resourceful local producers and came home with quite a haul of goodies. When the warmer weather comes back I’ll be making sure I have plenty of this deliciously refreshing Arnold Brothers Lemon Cooler in my fridge. A wine based, citrus cooler, this is what happens when a cheeky bunch of brothers get together to work out ways to diversify their citrus offering. The Riverland is traditionally a huge citrus producing region, but this family has modernised their production, making it much more efficient. Stay tuned for the full story.
Sue Heward, of the delightfully named Singing Magpie Produce, has returned home to the family block in Monash and is turning out a range of delicious fruit and nut products. Her commitment to providing delicious, high-quality produce from her 100 year old family property is unwavering and, if the range and amount of projects she has on the go are any indication, she must have more hours in her day than I do. Her range is seasonal, and available from her online store. If you take one piece of advice from me, then make it this – try to get some of her Belgian chocolate dipped dried Genoa figs. They are utterly, utterly divine.
Another Riverland woman who constantly inspires me with her energy and enthusiasm for local foods is Keryn Gorman of Illalangi at Waikerie. Her store stocks a range of local products, including an enormous selection that she makes herself in the kitchen behind the shop. It includes everything from jams and pastes, to olive oils and sauces and much of it is flavoured with native food products. I love all of it, but my current favourites are her caramelised wattleseed balsamic which I’m liberally applying to almost everything that comes out of my oven at the moment, and her Riverland lime and lemon myrtle marmalade.
Of course there are some new cookbooks in my kitchen this month. These two new cookbooks from Murdoch Books might have been published with me in mind. I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like, so The Good Carbs Cook Book totally ticks my boxes. Using these recipes I can indulge in my favourite food groups knowing the dishes are full of natural goodness and packed with flavour. Dishes like Sweet Spiced Lamb with Avocado Pea Crush, Wild Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms and Almonds or Tomato and fig Salad with Burrata and Date-Mint Dressing are special enough to serve guests and come together simply enough to make regular appearances on the family table too – the best of both worlds!
Any meal that I can prepare, cook and serve in one vessel is always a winner with me and the dishes in One Pan Roasts show how the combination of a single pan and the oven can produce family meals full of flavour without too much fuss or washing up. There are over 80 recipes featuring meat, fish and vegetables, all cooked with loads flavour-boosting herbs, spices and aromatics. There’s even a chapter of one pan desserts. From Wine-braised Ox Tail, to Shakshuka or cauliflower with lentils, weeknight family meals really couldn’t get any simpler – or tastier.
The other thing featuring in my kitchen in a big way this month are mice. You may have heard that a bumper season has produced lots of the little buggers – and they’re very keen to share their lives with us. They’re quite fond of peanut butter and I’ve got traps set all around the house – we’re catching 4-5 a week. Shudder.