In My Kitchen – March 2014

The most exciting thing in my kitchen this month is a French chef named Pierre.  Pierre is young, tall and handsome.  I really wanted to take his photo but thought it was a bit presumptuous, even for me.  Pierre is cooking rabbit for dinner tonight which will be exciting.  Pierre speaks only a little English and we speak no French so we are surviving on broken English and sign language.

Postscript:  We just had dinner and our rabbit was divine. It was pan fried and then baked with a cream and mustard sauce, served with a savoury carrot cake.  We are very lucky indeed.

Everything in my kitchen this month pales into insignificance compared to Pierre and his cooking, but I will do my best.

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In my kitchen:

Is a fabulous loaf of bread.  Sometimes, my bread turns our really, really well and I can’t make out what I do differently to make it so.  This is a loaf of crusty semolina  sourdough that I baked in my cast iron pot.  It is a beauty. I wish I knew what I did right 🙂  The oven spring was magnificent.

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In my kitchen:

Are loads of cherry tomatoes.  I tried so hard this year not to be overwhelmed by tomatoes. The plan was to grow 2 cherry tomato plants and 2 Roma tomato plants.  Instead, I ended up with 3 cherry tomatoes and 1 mini Roma and, as a result, we have cherry tomatoes galore.  It is ok when we are heading back to Perth as we can hand them out to everyone in our street but when we are in the country, everyone either grows their own or has just been given a big bag.  So what was I to do?

011copyI know I said I wouldn’t be preserving any tomatoes this year but …

In my kitchen:

Are 10 jars of tomato puree.  I couldn’t let them go to waste so I decided to make tomato puree.  To be honest, it wasn’t much effort as I have an electric mouli.  If you had to sieve them by hand, it would be another matter.  I boiled them whole until they were soft, then put them through the mouli.  I brought the puree back to the boil and then poured it into sterilised jars.  To each 500mil jar I added 1 x15mil tablespoon of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon sugar.  I then processed them in boiling water for 35 minutes.

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In my kitchen:

Is a batch of Doc’s Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies.  They are everything you dream of a biscuit.  If you haven’t made them, you should.  You won’t regret it.

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In my kitchen:

Is a batch of Madge’s Honey Oat Bars.  This is the recipe I sent out an SOS for and Madge, a reader, replied with the recipe.  Since then, I have made them loads of times.  I love the flavour and I love the fact that they are so easy to make.  You don’t even have to shape them, therefore, I don’t need to call on the shaper, aka Maus, to help.

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In my kitchen:

Is this fabulous serviette holder.  We bought him in Chang Mai in 1993.  As you can see, one of his horns has been in the wars.  Normally, it would be an excuse for me to throw it out and buy something different … but this guy is special.  You don’t see serviette holders like this everyday.  Each time the horn breaks, we glue it back together – it adds character.

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In my kitchen:

Is this very small amount of broccoli that is ready for Penne, Blue Cheese and Walnuts.  We have a lot of broccoli in this house.  It is a toss up between the broccoli, tomatoes and cucumbers as to which one we have the most.  At least, with tomatoes you can preserve them.

019copyIn my kitchen:

Is this lovely crocheted cover.  We have three of them.  A friend gave them to us about 30 years ago and we had never used them.  Then we started taking our beautiful Bridgetown water to Perth because Perth water is highly chlorinated.  We used one of the covers for the jug of water we keep on our kitchen bench.  Then we started keeping water in a jug in Bridgetown so another one came out.  They were made be an old lady so she may not be with us now but her lovely handiwork survives and is being used everyday.

051copy1In my kitchen:

Is dog food and a lot of it.  As you all know, I have three dogs so there is, regularly, a big pot of dog food on the cooker.  I usually cook up: two kilograms of chicken drumsticks; one kilogram of kangaroo mince; one kilogram of beef liver; pumpkin; sweet potato; carrots (I forgot to add carrots to this batch); whatever greens I have – lately it has been broccoli stalks and silverbeet stalks but it is often zucchini.  I then peruse the pantry and the fridge for whatever condiment looks a bit lonely and add that, together with a pinch or two of salt.  For the last 12 minutes, I add one cup of rice.  This makes enough for three dogs for 10 days.  We take the chicken bones out before we package it for the freezer.

022copyIn my kitchen:

Is a gift from Maus’ sister, Pauline ,who has just come back from South Carolina.

Sallie’s Greatest produce is made by Sallie Porth in Cameron, South Carolina. Sallie was in medical sales when she won an award for her strawberry and basil jam.  Since then, things have taken off.  In addition to the strawberry and basil jam, she sells peach and mint, blueberry and lavender, blueberry lemon and thyme, lemon fig and basil, blueberry and lime, peach pepper and ginger, blackberry spice and sage and the one featured here, fig sweet onion and rosemary.

It is suggested that the fig sweet onion and rosemary be served with blue cheese, goat cheese or brie and a crusty loaf of bread. Sounds good.

027copyIn my kitchen:

Is a jar of Jimmy’s saté sauce.  Celia showcased this item not so many months ago in an IMK post and I tucked it away at the back of my mind. The other day, we had to go to Northbridge where most of our Asian supermarkets are and so I was on the look out.  It did not take too long before I found it. Celia put me onto Jimmy’s website which has a number of recipes on it.  I have my eyes on BBQ chicken skewers with saté sauce.  I will let you know if I ever get around to making them.

If you would like to see what is in other bloggers’ kitchens this month, visit Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  Celia hosts In My Kitchen each month.

51 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – March 2014

  1. I love the casual mention of a Frenchman in your kitchen. Of course he’s called Pierre, what else would he be called? I would love to have a garden like yours – it’s just the garden that keeps on giving isn’t it? So much produce – good job you’re inventive but maybe you should consider a farmers market stall to sell the excess puree/passata?! I love the crocheted cover – that’s a lost art isn’t it?

    • Hi Nancy. Alas Pierre is gone … he is a delightful young man and boy can he cook. I love those crochet covers. I just wish I knew who made them.

  2. Pingback: Tomato envy … | Passion Fruit Garden

  3. I have been searching for some Jimmy’s sauce ever since Celia did that post. My usual Asian groceries don’t stock it.
    You have been amazingly busy in your kitchen: I must try those oatmeal biscuits: they look healthy and sustaining.
    How do I get a French Pierre in my kitchen? That is the BIG question. I have had many Wwoofers stay with me over the last two years, an Alberto and a Renato, a Robert and a Spencer, but none of them could cook!

  4. Pingback: in my kitchen March 2014 | Life in Mud Spattered Boots

  5. I would love someone to cook me a meal at home that started with rabbit! My tomatoes and my cucumbers have not produced anything this summer – maybe you need to come for a visit and show me what to do. Thanks for sharing your abundance with us Glenda 🙂

  6. Umm Glenda, may I please borrow Pierre for a few days? I have a thing for French men. The accent, the pretentious attitudes. Oh lordy why did you not take a photo? Is it too late? Can you sneak one when he isn’t looking or maybe just pose with him so that we see his eyes and smile?
    So my zillion trillion tomato plants didn’t fair well, in fact I think your 4 trees produced more fruit then my zillion trillion plants put together. I blame the possums. They started out very well, all lush and fruiting madly. Cue possum feast….
    I live through your tomato posts!
    Love your round up this month Glenda and so happy to be back in the blogging family…xx

    • Hi Lisa, congratulations again and welcome back. I have so many tomatoes again and I tried so hard not to be in this situation. I have just picked three large bowls again. I don’t know what it is with me and tomatoes. Pierre is handsome as handsome can be.

  7. I’m with Dianne. How can you casually mention Pierre and not say why you had him in your kitchen!
    Love the bread. In fact I have a loaf proving that I may try baking in a cast iron pot in an effort to replicate yours to a degree. I thought the tomatoes were sweeties. I wish I got that many tomatoes from so few plants.

    • Hi Anne, he is a traveller. He works 4-5 hours a day for accommodation and food. What a bonus he is a great cook too. It is so nice to meet a polite obliging young man. You forget they exist.

  8. Back up a minute Glenda – what’s with the young French chef? You’re just going to casually mention that & move on without any more explanation. Where did you find him, why is he in your kitchen & will he come to Massachusetts?
    That’s the most perfect loaf of bread I’ve ever seen – congratulations. You tricked me on the tomatoes. When I first looked I thought it was about a billion cranberries – only because I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many cherry tomatoes from a home garden before.
    I love that lace cover too for the jar – my mother used to make tons of them as well as a tablecloth & bedspread. I’m lucky that she was able to show me how to do it before she died & I’ve got a few pieces that I’ve done myself – just not quite as perfect as the ones she made.

    • Hi Diane, Maus was talking about Peirre not so long ago and described him as ‘gorgeous’ I think we are both in love:) He is a traveller who works 4-5 hours a day for accommodation and food. He has been a wonderful help with the heavy jobs and he is an absolutely fabulous cook. I have just picked the same amount of cherry tomatoes again. I am going to have to preserve them tomorrow. There is no way we can eat or give away that many tomatoes. The lace cover is really lovely I am so glad I got it out of the drawer.

      • So how long do you think you’ll need Pierre and would he like to come to Massachusetts? He could bring his Berner & we have 3 extra bedrooms. If he cooks I’ll buy as much food as he wants!

          • Oh Glenda, I’m weeping! Last time I had surgery my neighbors organized a fantastic food chain & brought full meals for a couple of weeks. After that my husband took over & it went like this…. he’d bring up a piece of meat, 1/2 hour later, I’d get a vegetable, 1/2 hour later potato or rice. It’s either that or 2 months of tortellini in chicken broth. Help!

            • Hi Diane, if you ever need surgery again you should consider Helpex. Young people will work 4-5 hours a day in exchange for food and accommodation. You could get a young woman in to do the cooking and housework.

  9. We can only get rabbit now and then. Butchers even put up signs saying ‘rabbits wanted’. I love the little covers. I don’t have any now but you’ve inspired me to crochet some for this summer.

    I’m obviously envious of your tomatoes ~ you do realise that, if you decide to grow less, it will be a bad year for tomatoes! That’s the gardening equivalent of Murphy’s Law.

    That bread looks superb, BTW

    • Hi Pat, I am always nervous showing off with the tomatoes as there are lots of diseases tomatoes can get and I think, maybe next year it will be my turn. Thanks for the compliment re the bread.

  10. I have serious bread envy Glenda. That is one fabulous loaf. I wish I had your tomato problem. Ours have not done so well this year. But last year when I had oodles I froze heaps. Shallow freeze them, then bag them up. Drop them straight into stews or roast them straight from frozen. Works a treat.

  11. Hehe I have a jar of the satay sauce too. I wonder if they have had massive jumps in sales 😉 I am heartened to see someone else cooking for their dogs, makes me feel less eccentric, though mine are tiny, we do cook for them even so. I can imagine Zeb queueing up on your backdoorstep for some of that lovely looking nosh!

    Your bread is perfect! Wow! And I am going to check out your friend’ Madge’s cookies as I am into oat bars at the moment and still looking for a perfect recipe!

    x Jo

    • Hi Joanna. With you and me buying it Jimmy’s are sure to have had a jump!! Thanks for the compliment re the bread. That is saying something from you. Your bread is magnificent.

  12. You pipped me at the post with the dog food! I’ve put that on hold for another time! OMG! I wish I could make a loaf like yours, I do know it’s just not possible with spelt, but I’ve read in a few places about using a cast iron pot. Time to give that a whirl methinks!

  13. That is one beautiful loaf of bread, Glenda! I can never get 2 nice loaves like that back-to-back or, worse yet, when it matters. If, for example, I’m planning on serving it for guests at dinner, I can count on it being no thicker than a couple inches. I’ve seen a few recipes for herbs mixed with sweet jams. Like those you’ve mentioned, they sound delicious. Great use of your tomato bounty, too.

    • Hi John. I just don’t understand why one loaf is magnificent and the next is like a flying saucer – like you say, it is always a flying saucer when there are guests 😦 I have so many tomatoes again this year. I don’t need any more preserved tomatoes so I decided on puree. I hope I get to use it.

  14. Hi Glenda, that is quite the tomato haul, you have a gift.
    I’ll make passata next weekend but I’ll buy all mine I don’t have the tomato gift lol.
    Beautiful broccoli, if you have pasta and broccoli the world is a wonderful place.
    cheers Jason

    • Hi Jason. The tomatoes keep coming even though I try not to grow too many:( I agree with you regarding pasta and broccoli – I just love it.

  15. Glenda, I am in awe of your kettle bread! Well done you. And those tomatoes… Lordy, if I had an eighth of that bounty I would have been over the moon, all mine fried on the vine this year. Your French chef sounds interesting, looking forward to hearing more : )

    • Hi Liz. Pierre is a lovely young man but I think he would have been embarrassed if I had taken his photo. The tomato plants are covered again. I can’t believe how many are on the plants. I am very proud of that loaf. I hope today’s turns out as well.

  16. That bread is gorgeous! I love it when the bread looks as good as it tastes.
    Your kitchen is always filled with such goodness, Glenda! I love the crochet covers- I have a collection that I get out every summer and then put away rather than use them. I may use them this year following your example.

  17. Darling, I’m not laughing about the tomatoes. Really truly I’m not. I’m just curious what you’re going to do with the squillion jars you still have from last year.. 😉 Honestly Glenda, you’re the most successful gardener I’ve ever met – a couple of years ago, you didn’t even have a veg patch! On to other things – your loaf of sourdough looks textbook perfect, and it’s a shame you didn’t get a photo of the hot French chef! Our broccoli hasn’t started yet – it only seems to grow in winter here. And have fun with the Jimmy’s! 🙂 xxx

    • Hi Celia. It is so hard to get the quantities right with vegie patches. I really did try this year. We have that much again to pick :(. The broccoli is a summer variety. I didn’t know that they existed until this year. Considering the heat they have done well. I presume broccoli planted in winter will do better.

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