Having been inspired by other people’s kitchens over the last few months, I can proudly say that In My Kitchen this month is a clean pantry cupboard. I finally got sick of not being able to find things I knew I had and cleaned everything out. I put all of the individual packets that were rattling around into large storage containers and have using masking tape to label what is in each container. Now I can not only find things, but also easily remove the labels when I have finished the products. In the clean out, I also discovered that I won’t need to buy coconut milk anytime soon. My task for next month is matching kitchen drawers.
I have been dabbling with my dehydrator this month. I recently ran out of ground ginger. As I already had a batch of kale chips in the dehydrator, I finely sliced a large knob of ginger and put it in with the kale. A quick whizz of the dried ginger in my spice mill the next day and voila, ground ginger. My other drying project was stock powder. I make vegetable stock concentrate in my Thermomix, but the supplied recipe is far too salty for my tastes and I feel the salt overpowers the vegetable flavours. As the salt is the preservative, reducing the amount of salt means I have to find alternative ways to store the stock. I usually freeze the stock concentrate in small batches but this month I dehydrated it instead. After blitzing the dried vegetable leather in the Thermomix, I now have my own stock powder as well.
These look great don’t they? The Princess thought I had made some awesome chocolate delight when she stumbled across them in the freezer. Luckily for her she didn’t sample them because they are cubes of beef stock. I don’t use a lot of beef stock, but find I do need it occasionally. I put some beef bones in my slow cooker with a few vegetables and spices, then cooked it for two days to draw maximum nourishment from the bones. I then reduced the stock. When cooled, the stock turned into a gelatinous block that could be cut into cubes. These cubes, when frozen, take up far less room that normal stock. Next time I try this I will skim the fat off before I reduce the stock. What The Princess thought was a lovely biscuity layer on the bottom is actually beef fat amalgamated with the stock. I don’t want to remove it though and loose any of the glorious stock.
The beautiful organic cabbages that are starting to appear at the farmers market are irresistible, so I made a small batch of sauerkraut to make the most of them. I took this picture just after I made it, as it is now a uniform dusky pink colour due to the red cabbage in the mix. This will be good served with the richer dishes that we tend to eat this time of year. I have also been trying some secondary ferments with my water kefir. This one uses freshly squeezed lemonade juice (from the lemonade fruit – a cross between a lemon and a naval orange). A secondary ferment is where liquid from the initial ferment is flavoured with juices, herbs, spices or whatever else takes your fancy.
This is the last mandarin from the precious few that my dad shared from his trees. Mr Grumpy is not really a fan of the mandarin. He feels that they promise much and deliver little flavour wise, so I have let him eat these. I did get to taste a small segment, and they are really juicy and sweet. I might have to convince dad to share some more.
I have not yet managed to purchase any of the books on my wishlist, which grows longer by the day. However I did want to share a book that has become indispensable in my kitchen. The Flavor Bible is a comprehensive alphabetical listing of ingredients, with culinary pairings and recommendations for the best cooking methods. I use it when I am trying to develop recipes or want to change recipes up a bit. I resisted purchasing it for ages as I had The Flavor Thesaurus, which I also love, but do find The Flavor Bible covers more ingredients and is easier to use.
That is it for my kitchen this month. Don’t forget to pop over to Celia’s at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial to see what is happening in kitchens around the world.
I look at your kitchen with envy this moth as you are doing so many things that I can’t wait to try. I love my Thermomix and now couldn’t live without it! I can’t wait to get a dehydrator to try the ground powders, they look fantastic! I am also attending a fermenting class, so I look forward to trying some of these delicious treats that are also fantastic for the body! Thanks for sharing! Liz x
I don’t use my dehydrator as much as I should, but there are so many great things that can be done in it. The first time I went to a fermenting class, I left with my mind spinning. It was so overwhelming but it eventually makes sense 🙂 Drop me a line if you need help with anything. I’m no expert but can help you through the basics. Thanks for stopping by.
Kim | a little lunch
Tania, my heart flutters at the sight of a well-organized pantry (I’ve seen several in recent IMK posts) but your tidy pantry made my day. (Inspiration!) I also had to chuckle over your “fudgy-looking” beef stock cubes! Thanks for the how-to on attaining them, and also for your recommendation on the difference between the Flavor Bible and the Flavor Thesaurus! (My cookbook wish list continues to grow, too…) Nice IMK post! 🙂
I was pretty pleased with myself for finally finding an organisation solution that worked for me (I probably saw it somewhere and stored it subconsciously 🙂 ) I used one of the beef cubes to make a pie the other day. The aroma was awesome and I was so happy I had finally made them. You can never have too many cookbooks, but I really do find The Flavor Bible is such an easy to use format.
Hi Tania, I am very impressed with your vegetable stock powder, ginger powder and beef stock cubes. You have given me ideas. Thanks.
Thanks Glenda. I look forward to seeing what you do 🙂
What a tidy pantry. It certainly helps when you can find things easily.
It definitely limits the amount of swearing Francesca 😉
Mandy - The Complete Book
Wow, very impressed you made your own stock and ginger powder and stock cubes!
I keep hearing more and more about the flavour bible, think its time to look into getting a copy.
have a super weekend.
🙂 Mandy xo
Thanks Mandy. I guess I am driven by wanting to remove as many additives from our diet as possible, although the ginger powder was more to do with not wanting to go to the supermarket 🙂 The Flavor Bible is a great investment.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts
Those cubes of beef stock took me in too! What a shame they aren’t chocolate – although probably stock is more practical. Your clean cupboard is lovely and it is always a great feeling being at that just organised stage.
Thanks for alerting me to your flatbread recipe too – I just checked it out and love the idea of making a batch to have in the freezer on hand.
Oh I have chocolate too Kari. An absolute necessity I think. I like just standing in front of my cupboard and looking at it. Odd I know but I get a real sense of achievement.
Glad you liked the flatbread recipe 🙂
Tandy | Lavender and Lime
I really must make more use of my flavour bible! So wonderful that you can make your own stock powder 🙂
I use it all the time Tandy. It is such a useful book.
Tania, you always make the cleverest things! I’ve never heard of anyone making their own stock powder before! And isn’t the Flavor Bible the best book? I bought the Flavour Thesaurus as well, but I think I like the FB better too as well!
I take that as high praise coming from you Celia. Thank you 🙂 I do love The Flavor Bible and have just discovered they have a Vegetarian Flavor Bible in the works.
Ditto on the tidy pantry! How funny that was the first photo on our IMK posts this month. I use washi tape on my containers – it doesn’t leave any glue on the plastic and it’s super easy to remove. My first thought when I saw the beef cubes was ‘yum chocolate fudge’ – I would have been straight in there. Oops!!
I did have a bit of a chuckle when I saw your post Nancy. I like the idea of washi tape. I might steal some from the child’s craft supplies to experiment. Thanks for the tip.
sherry from sherryspickings
i love your post! so many interesting ideas. that flavor bible sounds like it would be so useful. and i love the idea of making your own stock powder.
The Flavor Bible is an extremely useful book Sherry. Making your own stock powder is great because you know exactly what is in it, and you get to control the salt.
I love the sound of your beef stock cubes. Your pantry is really organised. I’d love to get mine in an organised state as well. The Flavour Bible sounds like a very handy book to have in your collection xx
I’ll tell the truth. It is only the bit I photographed that is organised. The rest is still a mess. But I can now find things again which is good, and it has spurred me on to clean the rest of the kitchen.
The Flavor Bible is a great book.
Jennifer from Milk and Honey
I tried to leave a comment the other day, but I think Blogger is not friends with WordPress at the moment and my comment went MIA.
I can understand how your beef stock got mistaken for a decadent sweet treat. They look like jewels. Thanks for the tour.
Hmm, I wonder what happened to your comment!?! It didn’t show up here.
They do look good don’t they. And they taste fantastic (as stock) so were worth the effort. Thanks for stopping by.
Lizzy (Good Things)
Wow, that’s the second time I’ve seen The Flavour Bible recommended in a short time, must look into it for sure. Love your clean pantry… I did mine a while ago, feels sooooooooo good! And that ground ginger! Wow!
It is a wonderful resource Liz. I am sure you would love it. It does feel so good to have a clean pantry. I think yours was one of the one’s that spurred me on 🙂
Hi Tania, how amazing, love that your freeze and dehydrate your own stock, also I am very interested in fermenting, would love to learn more. Great post!
Thanks Cheri. I love making my own stock as I know exactly what is going into it. If you want to learn more about fermenting, I would recommend you start with Sandor Katz’s ‘Wild Fermentation‘ Sandor writes so well and makes the subject seem really approachable. Classes are also a great way to learn and ask questions if you can find one near to you. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m no expert but am happy to point you in the right direction.
Joanne T Ferguson
G’day! I am glad we share our love of the Thermomix and your cookbook looks quite interesting!
Thanks for this month’s kitchen view too!
I do find my Thermomix useful. Thanks for stopping by.
Miss Food Fairy
I’m so glad to hear your daughter didn’t eat those beef stock cubes – wouldn’t have blamed her if she did as they look like chocolate! That Flavour bible cookbook looks interesting, where did you get that? I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled to add this to my collection. Nice to meet you
Thanks for stopping by. I bought my Flavor Bible from Amazon. If you click the link above (affiliate link) it will take you through to their site. It is a very useful book.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
I love the Flavor Bible too. I thought the beef stock was brownies. I’m a bit envious of the pantry.
I’m sure the pantry won’t stay that clean for long, so it was good to document that it actually happened 🙂
I was tossing up between the flavor bible or thesaurus but it seems everyone favours the bible so that may be the one to get. I thought the stock was fudge.
If you were only going to get one, I would absolutely say The Flavor Bible. I have both and this is the one I use more.