A Food & Travel Blog

In My Kitchen February 2015

06/02/2015 | By

In My Kitchen February 2015 - homegrown tomatoes saved from the Wolfhound

In My Kitchen February 2015 – homegrown tomatoes saved from the Wolfhound

In My Kitchen is a quick round-up of whatever is floating my culinary boat at the moment. February has quite taken me by surprise – I’m pretty sure I hadn’t finished with January yet, but there you go! Hosted by Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, the IMK sensation is growing each month, spreading internationally now. All of the participating blogs can be found on Celia’s blog so click on the link – you know you want to.

The bowl of tomatoes above are so far the only tomatoes I’ve been able to harvest from the first two plants which have successfully fruited for me. I’ve been trying to grow tomatoes ever since we moved up into the Adelaide Hills, but have struggled with wilt and wabbits every time. This year I finally thought I’d cracked it, only to discover that one of our dogs has developed a taste for green tomatoes and is stealing them. So now I’m up against wilt, wabbits and the Wolfhound. Sigh.

In My Kitchen February 2015 - plums.

In My Kitchen February 2015 – plums.

The Wolfhound is mighty partial to fresh-picked fruit too, and likes to pick her own apples and plums – as do the birds. However, one of my trees always fruits enough for all of us and this year is no different. I’ve given many kilos of the plums away, but have also been slow-cooking them with cinnamon and star anise and making some jam. In my kitchen right now is the last bucket load from that tree.

In My Kitchen February 2015 - Ball preserving jars.

In My Kitchen February 2015 – Ball preserving jars.

These gorgeous Ball Preserving jars are in my kitchen and are what I’m putting my fruity bounty into. A gift from Ball Australia, they are pretty and practical – no more fiddly clips and rubber seals for me. The screw caps are brilliant. I don’t know why we had to wait so long for them!

In My Kitchen February 2015 - way too much cake.

In My Kitchen February 2015 – way too much cake.

I’ve had a glimpse of my future in the last week or two and I’m worried – it is full of cake. I have two children still at home so when I want to indulge my baking needs there is always someone to hoover up the results. Both kids are away on trips at the moment so, when the baking urge came upon me on the weekend, I found that it was pretty much just me and The Bloke doing the eating. In my kitchen is this gorgeously fragrant Coconut Orange Marmalade cake from Yottam Ottolenghi’s book ‘Jerusalem’. The recipe made two of these sweet, syrupy loaves and I’ve already eaten one of them.

In My Kitchen February 2015 - Pedro Ximinez Sherry. Mother's little helper.

In My Kitchen February 2015 – Pedro Ximenez Sherry. Mother’s little helper.

In my kitchen, but probably not for too long, is this bottle of luscious, liquid gold which I bought as a little gift for myself. A very far cry from the sherry you might be used to tipping into trifles, this sweet, rich syrup comes from the home of sherry in Spain. The family behind the Valdespino name has been involved in sherry making for 700 years. They seem to have got it right – this goes very nicely with a slice of that cake at the end of a long day.

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  1. Lizzy (Good Things)

    Lovely bounty of plums, Amanda… your pooch has good taste! I’ve had three tomatoes and all were ‘damaged’… so no luck for me. Can there ever be way too much cake? Especially when it’s as good as that one looks… and that PX sounds exquisite!

  2. Johanna GGG

    glad you could rescue some tomatoes from the wolfhouse! your plum bounty looks great and those jars are pretty – do they have the two piece lids – I still haven’t worked out why the lids come apart on some jam jars I bought. And that cake sounds delicious – am sure your kids will be sad to have missed it

  3. Kris Lloyd

    Waiting very patiently for my tomatoes to ripen Mandy so I am a bit jealous!!!

  4. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I have heaps of Ball jars and they aren’t cheap. I use them for storage. I vacuum seal dry stuff in there to keep it fresh. I don’t have any lovely jam jars.

    Never too much cake and never too much jam. πŸ™‚

  5. kate

    What a bowl of summer in that photo !!!

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    My husband is trying to start a PX collection (starting, only a few bottles so far!) and he would love that one!

  7. InTolerant Chef

    Lots of goodies to be sure Amanda! Our dogs would get on so well together, green tomatoes are obviously doggy delicacies πŸ™‚ I’ve been using those ball jars for my preserves too, they are certainly much easier than the old style xo

  8. Kathinver

    Nicely put, Amanda. At least the wolfhound’ s vet bills should be way down with such a healthy self- selected diet.
    Enjoy February – I can tell you are!

  9. Tania @My Kitchen stories

    Oh cake. There is no end of it here too, but nobody I live with cares!. The bounty of summer is a wonderful thing as is Ximenez sherry. Lucky you!

  10. The Life of Clare

    That cake looks divine! I’m glad we’re just coming into cake sharing times! Currently, we’re just eating them. Although I do think it’ll mean a lot more baking!

  11. Mel @ The cook's notebook

    mmm cake. I’m trying to bake less so I eat less. It’s not really working so far… Your tomatoes look divine. We also haven’t had a large bounty this season. Not sure why.

  12. Jennifer from Milk and Honey

    I have jelly jar envy. Those Ball jars are gorge. My kids would make short work of that cake (with some help from their mother).

  13. Jhuls

    I just love those tomatoes. πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing what’s in your kitchen – it’s so nice to peek at someone’s new buys or collections.

  14. Gerlinde

    Your tomatoes look divine. All we’re getting here are imported tomatoes from Mexico…..no flavor because they are picked green.

  15. Anna @ shenANNAgans

    Your kitchen is pimpin this month. Love the jelly jars, your bounty of tomatoes make me jealous, my garden didnt do a dang thing this season.

  16. celia

    I have a bottle of pedro sherry too, but I’m yet to open it! Sounds like I probably should! Lovely pickings – glad you have some tomatoes. We struggle with wilt here too – the yellow cherries seem quite resistant to it, but then there are the damn fruitflies! Still haven’t bought Jerusalem, another thing I probably should do! πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having a great month, gorgeous! xxx

  17. Kim | a little lunch

    Amanda, I can only imagine how beautiful your plum jam is in those Ball jars — jewels for the eye, as well as palate! There’s a stash of those jars awaiting retrieval when I go back home (Minnesota) this summer and I can’t wait to preserve things in them. By the way, your dog sounds well nourished. πŸ™‚