In My Kitchen this month is a very large stack of new cookbooks. The lack of inspiration I had been suffering of late has been banished thanks to this influx of new ideas. As most are aware, IKEA is the home of the impulse purchase, which is exactly how Our Food Naturally found its way into my house. Packed full of great seasonal recipes, together with simple ideas for re-purposing leftovers, this book was a steal at $19.
Sara Wilson’s Simplicious focuses on whole, unprocessed foods, and contains a great introduction to fermented vegetables and drinks. It too is packed with ideas for using up leftovers, stretching your food further and generally living a little lighter on this planet. Heidi Swanson’s Near & Far is full of beautiful vegetarian recipes, influenced by Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. I love the cleanness of Heidi’s food, which I often turn to after overindulging.
Whilst I have long been a Jamie Oliver devotee, I am unsure about his new book Everyday Super Food. I should love it, given its focus on healthy, unprocessed food, however the first recipe I tried was not well received by the family. I think I will reserve judgment until I’ve cooked a few more recipes. I rarely cook Asian food as it is not a cuisine I am confident with. I am hoping that is all about to change with Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School. Packed full of approachable, simple recipes, and good explanations about the basics of Asian cooking, my progress so far has been encouraging.
I have taken a number of Yoke Mardewi’s sourdough classes over the years, and whilst I cook many of her recipes, most are still in the class notes which makes them difficult to locate at times. Wild Sourdough by Hand is her latest book, and has all my favourites compiled in one place, as well as some new recipes and new takes on old classics. Eloise Emmett’s The Real Food for Kids Cookbook is full of simple recipes designed to get the kids helping out in the kitchen. Her lasagna cups were a big hit, and perfect for The Princess’s lunchbox.
After spending the last few weeks scouring the neighborhood for free mulberries, being sprung in laneways, and generally making a nuisance of myself, my dad turned up unannounced on my doorstep last night with a very large bucket of fresh mulberries. This represents but a small sample of the many mulberries I now have. I see another batch of mulberry curd in my future, as well as smoothie cubes, pie, and frozen berries. Any other suggestions would be very welcome.
I have been expanding my fermenting adventures this month. The carrot and daikon pickles are earmarked for fresh spring rolls and bahn mi rolls. The cucumber slices were a bit of a gamble, so much so that I didn’t write the recipe down. I am kicking myself for my disorganisation now, as the pickles are delicious and I wish to make more. I also have about six kilos of sauerkraut tucked away in Mr Grumpy’s beer fridge, which at the rate he is eating it won’t last long.
My biggest discovery this month is these chipotles in adobo sauce. I bought a tin a while ago for a recipe that was never made, and that tin had been sitting in my cupboard for ages. A few weeks ago, whilst searching for a little something extra to add to tacos, I finally opened it. Well, what a revelation. The chipotles, finely chopped & stirred through sour cream, are amazing. After having the initial tin sitting in my cupboard for ages, I have already had to replenish my supply.
Finally In My Kitchen this month is my meagre collection of hand-knitted dishcloths. I am a very basic knitter, and the last time I tried to knit a garment it did not end well. Celia kindly gave me a simple pattern that even I couldn’t stuff up (in theory), and I knitted up a storm … until the cotton ran out. I have yet to buy more cotton, hence the meagre collection. Maybe next month.
That is about it for my kitchen this month. To see what is happening in other kitchens around the world, head over to Celia’s at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.