In My Kitchen – November 2014

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In my kitchen:

Is some preserved Dodoni feta (my favourite) which is the result of a strange text I received from my mate, Colette, who was coming to visit.  It read, “Can I bring some feta?”   Weird, I thought, but to which I replied, “If you wish.”  It turns out Colette got a bit carried away at Kakulas Sisters and bought too much cheese.  What was I to do with an over-abundance of feta?  Certainly not waste it.  I love the colours.

002copyIn my kitchen:

Well, outside my kitchen, is our new barbecue.  Its a beauty and it cost $0.00, nix, zilch, zero, nil.  Remember the story of Maus pulling our old washing machine apart and presenting me with a new heat-resistant bowl (pictured below)?  That was April 2013.  Well, we recently did a big clean up in Perth.  We hired a skip bin and nothing was safe.  I had a ball.  I was throwing away things that were going to come in handy one day with gay abandon.

IMG_3110 copyAt one stage in the process, Maus appeared with the washing machine tub.  “I guess you are going to make me throw this out.  I was going to make a barbecue out of it,”  she said in the saddest voice she could muster.  “Ok”, I replied.  “It can stay.”  Maus could not believe her ears.  The washing machine tub got to live another day.  The base is a plough disk, that Trevor, Maus’ brother, offered her and the grill is from Andrew, Maus’ nephew.  I think he picked it up from the side of the road.

022copyHere is our barbecue in action.  It works really well.  The grill fitted perfectly.  On the barbecue is a chicken (here is the recipe, if you are interested) and in the photo below is a boerewors.  Andrew, the above mentioned nephew, sent us to a shop specialising in African products (Cape to Cairo) to buy some really good charcoal and Maus saw it so we decided to give it a go.  It was very nice.

We are definitely beginners with solid fuel barbecuing.  It took us ages to get the charcoal alight but I am hooked.  I love it. The best part is you can cook a marinated chicken and not spend half an hour the next day cleaning the barbecue.

(Excuse the colour of the photos – they were taken in the dark.)

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In my kitchen:

Is my mum’s apple corer.   It has a wooden handle and the stainless steel blade has been bound to it by string.  If my mum was alive today, she would be 95 so it would be a few years old.  It is still in perfect condition.  It was made in England by Tala.  I looked them up and was amazed to see they are still making kitchenware.  The company was formed in 1899.

This photo is also about Maus.  This was the final photo taken for this post and, at the last moment, I decided the photo would look better with an apple in it.  I asked Maus to whizz down to the shop to get an apple.  “What type?” she asked.  “The most photogenic,” I replied.  Look at the beauties she came home with.  She couldn’t decide which was the nicest so bought all three.

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In my kitchen:

Is a leg of lamb.  Not just any leg of lamb but a leg of lamb cooked in my Römertopf.  I must say that I agree with Celia: the Römertopf is a marvel.  I have cooked several legs of lamb in it and they have all been fantastic: lovely and moist.  As Celia has mentioned, the best bit is that the oven stays clean and the Römertopf is a cynch to wash.  The timing is very simple, too – one hour for each kilo and remove the lid for the last half an hour.  The marinate for this leg was the spicy marinade from Saha by Greg and Lucy Malouf which was last month’s feature cookbook.  I had planned to do a post on it but I ran out of time.

Getting this photo was a bit of an ordeal.  Neither Maus nor I have any idea about carving the lamb.  I made an executive decision and allocated the job to Maus.  Our mates, Steve and Alan, were waiting patiently on the side line for their dinner.  Maus (being the sweetie she is) turned the lamb over to make a nice slice for the photo and all the crust fell off.  She was severely reprimanded so she patted it back on again. 🙂  The things we do for a photo.

032copyIn my kitchen:

Is a not very handsome loaf of bread but my first attempt at cooking sourdough starting with a cold oven.  It was also cooked in the Römertopf .  I think I sprayed too much water around.  I probably didn’t need any as the Römertopf is soaked in water but I am so used to spraying like mad.  Also, for some reason, I couldn’t work out when to put it in the oven.  The bread tastes fine, even if it is not the most handsome.  I will try it again before I decide I don’t like the technique.

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In my kitchen:

Is a very colourful Joseph Joseph plate.  Maus, the critical one, told me to add some colour into the post and this is the most colourful item I have in my kitchen.  Its a wonderful plate, ideal for cakes because it is totally flat.

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In my kitchen:

Is a gift from Colette.  She assured me it is not very nice.  She bought two and didn’t like it so she gave me the second one.  Colette’s assessment is that it is dry and grainy but ok in hot chocolate.  I am not sure what to do with it and whether it is supposed to be eaten like chocolate.  Does anyone know?

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In my kitchen:

Are my Ottolenghi cookbooks.  I recently bought Ottolenghi The Cookbook and Plenty from Big W on special.  I love Ottolenghi The Cookbook.  I want to try lots of recipes from it.  Plenty has lots of nice looking salads I can try when Colette visits.

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In my kitchen:

Is this gorgeous Huon Pine bowl, a gift from an old friend, Jann.   It was made by Russel Mercer.  Huon Pine is a very prized wood but very rare.  Most of the surviving trees are in World Heritage Areas.  As a consequence, the only wood that is used for crafting is from dead trees.  This piece, if I remember correctly, was from a log found in a river.  Here are a few interesting snippits I found on Wikipedia.

Lagarostrobos franklinii is a species of conifer native to the wet southwestern corner of Tasmania, Australia; it is the sole species in Lagarostrobos.

Lagarostrobos franklinii is often known as the Huon pine, although it is actually a podocarp (Podocarpaceae) not a true pine (Pinaceae). 

It is a slow growing, but long-lived tree; some living specimens of this tree are in excess of 2000 years in age.

A stand of trees reputed to be in excess of 10,500 years in age was recently found in Western Tasmania on Mount Read. Each of the trees in this stand is a genetically identical male that has reproduced vegetatively. Although no single tree in this stand is of that age, the stand itself as a single organism has existed that long.

The wood is highly prized for its golden yellow colour, fine grain and natural oils that resisted rotting. The chemical that gives the timber its unique smell and preservative qualities is methyl eugenol.

 There you go.  Wasn’t that interesting?

025copyIn my kitchen:

Are some goodies Maus’ nephew, Andrew, and niece, Shamila, brought us back from their recent visit to the Adelaide Central Markets.  The goodies, Tuscan Orchard Dukkah and Muscatel grape steeped in fortified wine are two products from Assaggio Gourmet Store, Adelaide Central Market, which is a spin-off from the Assaggio Ristorante and Assaggio Café.  We haven’t tried them yet but are sure to very soon.

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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.

62 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – November 2014

  1. Cute apple corer, quite different from today’s ones.
    The bbq looks awesome – nice one to sit around together and make something on 🙂
    hehe – how good does it feel to get s skip bin and just toss things out & tidy up a bit hey!!!!

  2. HI Glenda, you are right the colour of the feta is delightful, I bet the flavour will be amazing.
    Love the Ottolenghi books, he is on my Christmas list.
    And I am with you on the carving…I’m hopeless! I can bone a chook but no chance of carving it!
    I’m sure you will spend many wonderful hours with the BBQ…
    cheers
    Jason

  3. Such an abundance of goodies this month, I don’t know what I like the most!!! I think I have to pick the BBQ because it was free and it is fantastic! I think it would be great to do some yummy hot smoking on 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Glenda!
    I love visiting your kitchen- there is a plethora of fun ideas, good food and nostalgia presented with great photos!
    Love Maus ingenuity in coming up with repurposed items- the grill is so cool!
    Also your bowl and its history is a wonderful addition, I have a real thing for wooden items.
    Thanks for sharing !

  5. Wow… so clever making a BBQ out of a washing machine tub… love it. I think you should patent that idea. The beautifully cook lamb, the feta cheese and the homely loaf of bread all looks fabulous Glenda. Love the colorful plate and the special huon pine bowl. 🙂

  6. What a wonderful collection of goodies Glenda, that feta looks beautiful, and I love your BBQ, so clever!
    I might have to have a look in Big W at the cookbooks, I have Ottolenghi and Jerusalem, but not Plenty…
    thanks for showing us around your kitchen!
    Beck

  7. I have a bowl from wood that had been under water for yonks in New Zealand. I love it but it doesn’t have as much character as yours.

    I laughed about the lamb. John asked me the other day why we rarely had leg of lamb and I said it was because I had no idea how to cut it so I cook the little sirloin roasts. He rolled his eyes at me and said that was un-Australian. 🙂

  8. Glenda, that is one clever grill! I also loved your colorful cake plate and the history of the Huon pine. Such a wonder — and what a beautiful bowl. Re: your Mum’s apple corer — it looks to have cork inlaid in the handle? Very ergonomic (if so), considering its age. Consider me one of many admirers of your preserved Feta, too!

  9. The cheese looks wonderful, I just adore feta. Great creative recycling of the wash machine! I love the barbecue. And then the plate, I absolutely love that. Such beautiful and vibrant colors.

  10. As always everything is wonderful in your kitchen Glenda. Your first image of the feta should be blown up and hung on a wall in your kitchen.
    Have a wonderful day Glenda.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  11. Thanks for the fun, comprehensive tour of your kitchen. I like the creative re-use of the washing machine tub and the explanation of the Huon Pine – a species I’ve never encountered in New England, U.S.A. Enjoy your Ottolenghi books – can’t go wrong with those.

    • Hi Clara, Thanks for visiting. Huon Pine is a very special wood from a very special tree. I think everyone is in love with Ottolenghi at the moment. 🙂

  12. A strange text from me ? It wasn’t the first and probably won’t be the last. I hope you enjoyed the fetta and yes, I did get a little excited in kakulas sister. It is hard not to. Glad to hear that I will be the recipient of some tasty ottolenghi dishes. For those who are interested in him, he is being interviewed on radio national’s drive program at 6.00pm tomorrow (03/11/14)

  13. Aren’t you so very lucky to have each other. I was laughing about the Lamb picture and the rubbish disposal. Can’t believe your BBQ. What a beauty. Your friend certainly bought a lot of cheese!. And tell Maus she’s got an eye for the apples..

  14. G’day Glenda! I always feel so warm and welcomed in your kitchen each month! LOVE your BBQ and LOVE marinated feta…is there nothing any better? BIG fan of Huon Pine! Great craftsmanship of the bowl! Cheers! Joanne @ What’s On The List

  15. I am so impressed with that washing machine parts BBQ. I am sending a link of your post to handy son in law recycler handy person. The colourful thing that Maus made you add ( which made me blink!) reminded me of Mr T. I showed him the draft of my IMK post and he said ” I am not sure what the point is”! To which replied, there is no *** point. Next time, I’ll use more colour.

  16. Looks like everyone has BBQ envy Glenda. Me too! Do you use a strong tasting olive oil for the feta or a milder one? I’m not great with carving a leg of lamb either – it starts off ok but by the time I get to the bone it’s not looking pretty 🙂

  17. Hi there Glenda. On first glance, I thought your bbq was made from an old column heater, but a washing machine! now that’s clever repurposing. I have seen the Tala brand baking utensils and homewares and they look so pretty. I had no idea the company dates back to the turn of the century. Your Joseph Joseph plate is quite hypnotic!!

  18. I am not going to show that BBQ to my Fella, because he has enough BBQs in the garden already. But yours looks like so much more fun than the gas ones he brings home from the hard rubbish. I love the way you made it out of odds and ends!
    I think your sourdough loaf looks fine. So glad I dropped by to see all the good things happening in your kitchen. 🙂

  19. love the bbq glenda..i just can’t bring myself to buy a gas one..too big..too much cleaning..and by the way i bought the same chocolate in america recently..as far as i know it’s for making hot chocolate and not for eating..x

    • Hi Jane – that barbecue is fab. You an also make them using the legs of an office chair. That way they swirl around and can be rolled 🙂 Cleaning a barbecues gets me. This is literally about 20 seconds with a wire brush. I will tell Colette about the chocolate. She was not impressed.

  20. It’s always a hive of activitiy in your kitchen Glenda. Your BBQ looks amazing. A butterflied leg if lamb is fabulous baked over charcoal, it’s very quick. There is always marinated feta in my fridge too, I find it useful for so many dishes and your plate for a splash of colour is a thing of beauty.

  21. I ADORE the BBQ. I want one now, but I really don’t know that we can justify pulling apart our working washing machine to make one. 🙂 Funny story relating to your apple corer – I was in a kitchenware shop the other day and a woman came in asking for one exactly like that – they didn’t have one, and she bemoaned the fact that they didn’t make them like that anymore! I’m so glad you’re enjoying your Romy! I don’t use it for baking bread either – the bread tastes fine, but it always comes out a funny shape and your loaf actually has a much more open crumb than mine end up with. I’ve decided I like plopping the dough into a hot pot, so I use my enamel ones now. Have a great November, gorgeous people! xxx

    • Hi Celia, I am getting as passionate as you are about the Romy. Do you use the bread pan that you have much? The barbecue is to die for. Off to the tip with you 🙂 That apple corer works well.

  22. I love the feta although I don’t think I’d ever eat it because it’s just too pretty. Maus is incredibly talented. What a creative barbecue and it certainly does seem to work well. Nothing like a good barbecue flavor to just about any food. Have you tried any vegetables on it yet? It really gives them such a great taste.
    That really love that bowl – quite a work of art.

    • Hi Di, I barbecued potatoes, asparagus and capsicum on it. The only problem was they kept falling out of the basket and into the charcoal. Tasted bloody good though.

  23. Lordy, Glenda, you have a lot going on at present. Firstly, I love the BBQ… it’s a cracker! Waste not, want not, true. You can never have too much good feta methinks. Love your mum’s corer, what a treasure that is… I have my mother’s as well, though it’s plastic and very old. I love the Ottolenghi way of cooking too… best of all, it makes my man want to eat vegetables, so I can’t argue with that! Plenty More is excellent too… if you hurry, you can still enter my giveaway! (If you haven’t already). Happy cooking my friend. PS Peter was impressed with your soap making! And thank you for sharing my self saucing pudding recipe… did your kitchen smell divine, or what!? : )

    • Hi Liz, Get soap making, it is so much fun. I find it fascinating that only a generation ago the blade of a kitchen utensil was fixed to the handle with string. Things have changed so much in such a short time. That man is too cute for words!! oh and I love his books tooooo 🙂

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