A birthday month usually means some good things are to be found In My Kitchen. This year, however, my loved ones all went a bit off-piste and bought me some great presents that had nothing to do with the kitchen. Mr Grumpy knows that it is really not in his best interests if there is nothing kitchen related amongst my gifts though, so he found me a new pepper grinder to replace the dodgy one I have been swearing at for months. My sleek new mill has five different grades for grinding, and cuts though the peppercorns effortlessly. No swearing, yet.
Mr Grumpy also gave me this authentic comal, or tortilla pan, so I can make my own tortillas, quesadillas and pupusas. The pan is made of uncoated cast iron which I have seasoned well to get it ready for use. I wanted a dedicated pan for my tortillas as it is possible to wreck stainless steel or non stick fry pans with the sustained dry heat that is required to cook the tortillas properly.
I indulged in some retail therapy this month to help me cope with the idea of being another year older. I have been seeing more and more recipes for oven baked doughnuts on Pinterest. I thought it was time to find out what all the fuss is about, so I bought a couple of doughnut pans to try them for myself. Now all I need is a small window of time to actually see if they work. I purchased a large bamboo rolling pin at the same time which will come in handy for rolling larger sheets of pastry and bread dough.
This month only saw one small batch of preserving. I wanted to put the Weck jars I was given for Christmas to good use, so I made a small batch of roasted corn tomato salsa. Not having used these jars before, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I muddled on through, piecing together methods from different preserving systems, and must have done something right because only one seal failed in the whole batch.
Only one new cookbook this month (mostly because the rest are still in the mail – Shhhhh!). I love Marisa McClellan’s first book, Food In Jars. Her new book, Preserving by the Pint, mirrors my new approach to preserving. I typically make large batches of jams and pickles which don’t end up being eaten, so I have decided to concentrate on smaller batches this year. I am looking forward to delving into this book as the seasons pass.
There is not much happening In My Kitchen at the moment, but drop by Celia’s at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial to glimpse into other kitchens around the world.