Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I have had much going on in my kitchen. With my course consuming the latter part of the year, followed by a very quiet Christmas, there has not been a lot to get excited about. Thankfully I have begun to sense a change in this situation.
Late last year I met the delightful Glenda of Passion Fruit Garden. She was looking for vinegar mothers and I had some languishing in the back of my cupboard I was willing to share. Glenda arrived bearing this lovely bottle of her homemade olive oil, as well as a jar of her homemade capers. I had read about these delights on her blog so was overjoyed to be a lucky recipient. Capers are well loved in our house, and some will be finding their way into our faithful pasta recipe. Thank you again Glenda.
My wonderful friend Jenny also visited us just before Christmas, bringing with her these Herbie’s Spices. I am a huge fan of Herbie’s, and apparently the storefront is located just around the corner from Jen. I see a visit to Sydney in my near future. The pepper is not yet available in WA, so I am looking forward to putting it in my spice mill.
We have just returned from a week in Bali and I made sure I got in at least one visit to a supermarket. I could not resist this organic coconut sugar, which costs a small fortune in Australia but was extremely cheap in Bali. I use quite a lot in baking, so unfortunately it won’t go far.
Mr Grumpy and The Princess went on a cycling tour whilst in Bali, visiting local spice, tea, cocoa and coffee plantations along the route. They came back with this small packet of cocoa powder for me. Mr Grumpy was quite taken by the hibiscus tea at the plantation, so we picked up some flowers during our supermarket shop to try at home.
I couldn’t leave Bali without tracking down some vanilla pods. After some excellent bargaining by my friend Matt, I came home with a large bundle. Some will go to friends, some into homemade vanilla extract and the rest will be used through the year in all sorts of wonderful things.
We returned home to a bumper tomato harvest. This is the pile that remains after tomato salad, tomato pasta and tomato sandwiches. Not to mention the ones still ripening on the vines. Tomato tart will also be featuring at some point on this week’s menu.
Thank you to the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this monthly series. Don’t forget to visit Celia’s blog to see what is going on in other kitchens around the world.