It’s that time of the month, when Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts the blogging roundup that checks out what we are loving in our kitchens. Here’s some of what is happening in my kitchen this month – do head over to Celia’s blog for the full list of participants.
It is autumn with a vengeance here in the Adelaide Hills. The weather is wild and totally unpredictable – it was sunny and 24C on the weekend, then 13C and cold and blustery on Monday on my hill – but the colours are stupendous. My trees have lost most of their leaves and the last to go is the crabapple. It is still covered in big clusters of this cheery red, but very tart, fruit.
Crabapples are not great for eating, but are full of pectin, so I recently tried my hand at crabapple jelly for the very first time and I now have some pretty jars of this glistening, ruby jelly in my kitchen. The jelly is very simple to make and tastes delicious – sweetly tart – but can be a little time consuming. To get two and a half jars I had to wash, stem and halve well over a kilo of the tiny fruit. The recipe I used stated that they also had to be cored, but that grew tiresome very quickly and, given that the cooked fruit is strained for hours, totally unnecessary. I’ll be making this again next year, but may rope in some helpers next time.
Now that my kitchen is a little chillier my teapot needs some comfort to help keep the life-sustaining brew warm. A hunt through my tea-towel draw resulted in the disappointing news that my old, ugly, but very functional, tea cosy was MIA. Rather than buy one that someone else had knitted I dug out my needles, hunted down a pattern online and, a day later, had produced this piece of gorgeousness of which I’m quite proud. It seems that knitting tea cosies, like tea itself, might be a little addictive. I’ve finished a second one and am now on my third, which will be a birthday gift for a friend. I know this is all a wee bit ‘old-lady’, but I’m hooked – if you’re looking for a new tea cosy, I’m your girl!
Last week I shared with you some new cookbooks which caught my eye (and are perfect for Mother’s Day gifts), but this week I received my copy of Lesser Beasts in the post. I have been waiting to get my hands on this book since I heard about it, and pre-ordered it, back in March. Apparently reading about the history of livestock is seen by some as incredibly dull (or so my daughters told me when I was caught reading Cattle: An Informal Social History), but I never tire of learning about where my food comes from. Because of their ability to forage and turn waste into meat, pigs have been taken for granted by humans for centuries and Mark Essig’s book Lesser Beasts looks at our history with this intelligent and tasty beast.
Speaking of tasty, I also received this delicious an beautifully presented surprise in the post from an Adelaide Hills favourite, Beerenberg. This is a selection from their new range of dessert sauces, using their own fruit and top quality ingredients. Forget about your standard ice cream toppings – these sauces are seriously gourmet. So far I haven’t been able to go past simply plunging a spoon into the jar when no-one is looking – yes, they are really that good!
Finally, in my kitchen is this glimpse of autumn from my kitchen window. It might be cold and damp, but this time of the year is always lovely.[mc4wp_form id="16750"]