In My Kitchen – December 2014

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In my kitchen:

Are edible rose petals.  I could not believe my eyes when I spied these at our local supermarket, Blackwood Fresh.  I love that shop.  Bridgetown is so blessed having a shop that sells such a wonderful range of products.  There is much more variety in that small, country supermarket than you could ever get in Coles or Woolworths.

My rose petals will look delightful on the many Middle Eastern desserts I like to make.

A reader (I can’t remember your name, sorry) asked me if I knew where to buy rose petals in Perth.  At the time, I wasn’t able to help.  These are Pariya brand which I know Bicton Fresh, Mount Lawley Fresh and, of course, Blackwood Fresh stock.

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In my kitchen:

Are some roasted strawberries.  Roasting really intensifies the flavour of strawberries and it is so easy to do.  Just wash and hull the strawberries, put them in a single layer in a pan and then add sugar and water.  I made one of my favourite summertime desserts – hazelnut meringues with rose cream and roasted strawberries and sprinkled my lovely rose petals on the rose cream.  It looked fab.  Sorry there is no photo, I didn’t think.

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In my kitchen:

Is my new jug.  I just love it.  It is made from ceramic but looks like chipped enamel.  When I first saw it, I actually thought it was enamel.  Maybe I am a little behind the times but I have never seen these before.  I think it will be perfect for pouring water when we are having lunch under the trees.  I bought it from a shop that specialises in African products – Cape to Cairo, in Osborne Park.  I guess it is from somewhere in Africa, there was no brand name on the jug.

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In my kitchen:

Is this lovely net, also from Cape to Cairo.  I can remember mum having one of these when I was little.   It is quite large, perfect for a salad platter, large bowl, etc.  It will definitely come in handy around here.  The flies are terrible at the moment.  I can’t wait ’til the dung beetles start doing their thing in a month’s time and the number of flies drops off.  I heard on the radio, not so long ago, that CSIRO have bred a new variety of dung beetle that comes out in November.  It is going to be released in a few years – I can’t wait.

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Here is a close up of the beading.  It is very cute.

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Last weekend, we went to Margaret River for the Gourmet Escape.  There was a multitude of national and international chefs there.  We saw Heston Blumenthal and Rick Stein which was very exciting.  We also went on a food photography course (not that you can tell) and saw several cooking demonstrations.  In the evening we went to a concert at Sandalford Winery and saw Megan Washington, Gurrumul and Neil Finn.  All in all, it was a very good weekend.

Before we went to the festival, we hot footed it to local Farmers’ Market and, as a consequence, in my kitchen:

Is some chèvre from Heidi’s Goat Cheese, Rosa Brook, WA.  It was lovely and creamy.  I highly recommend it.  I will be looking out for it again.

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In my kitchen:

Are some Nicola potatoes.  Maus bought them at the Farmers’ Market.  They were great baked with a little olive oil.  They took less time to cook than ones from the supermarket and I was wondering if it is because they were so fresh or if it’s the variety.

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In my kitchen:

Is this new beaut multi-purpose peeler.  Whilst we were at the festival, Maus spotted a stand called Gourmet Gadgets.  I could not believe my ears when she said she was heading that way.  Next minute, she was purchasing this peeler.  It is supposed to peel soft or hard fruit and vegetables, slice cheese, carrot and cucumber etc, zest citrus fruit, shred cabbage, onions and fennel, grate garlic, ginger and nutmeg and julienne carrots, zucchini and cucumber etc.  That is a pretty impressive line up for a humble peeler.  I can vouch that it peels well and juliennes carrots in an instance.

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In my kitchen:

Is some beetroot and feta bread dough.  I loved the colour so much I had to take a photo.  It was so pretty, I didn’t want to bake it.  Alas, I gave in to the temptation and did bake it.  The cooked loaf not only didn’t look so pretty, it didn’t taste that good either.  Maus doesn’t mind it but I thought it was too salty from the feta and a bit strange.

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In my kitchen:

Are raspberries.  This is very exciting.  This year is the most we have ever had.  I have picked three small bowls and there are still more.  We have had a very mild November and I wonder whether this is the reason for this year’s bountiful crop.  The birds haven’t found them yet but I am sure they will soon.  I am going to put some more canes in next winter.  These guys and the others I have picked have barely made it to the fridge.  They are so good.

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In my kitchen:

Is more produce – this time, rhubarb.  I went to the local nursery last winter and asked if they had any rhubarb.  I was handed two little pots with nothing in them except a tag that said ‘rhubarb‘.  It was only faith and the fact that I wasn’t being charged much for those little pots that I brought them home.  Maus loves rhubarb and asked me to grow some.  I said I would on one condition:  She eat it.

Not so long after I planted those little pots of nothing, a leaf appeared and then another and now Maus is wishing she hadn’t asked me to grow it .  It will be rhubarb for breakfast every morning this summer.

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In my kitchen:

Are 12 jars of chicken stock.  Whenever I buy chickens, instead of discarding the backbones, I put them in the freezer with the idea of making stock.  The backbones were beginning to take over our freezer so I decided it was time to act. For the cost of those backbones, a couple of carrots and sticks of celery, I got 12 x  500 mil jars of stock.  The onion, parsley, thyme and bay came from the garden.  Best of all, because I pressure canned it, I can store the stock in my pantry, freeing up the freezer.

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In my kitchen:

Well, on the dining table, are the start of Christmas decorations – three ornamental Christmas trees.

Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy New Year.

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.

72 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – December 2014

  1. HI Glenda,
    I love peeking into your WA life. If you love roasted strawberries try roasting them with the rhubarb! it is my favourite way to eat rhubarb – just slice it into lengths and put it in a oven proof dish, scatter the strawberries around and drizzle some maple syrup over it. You don’t need extra sugar and you can add other flavours (vanilla beans or orange juice and zest are good). Then roast in a 180 oven for about 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is at the texture you like. Hope you enjoy it.
    Regards, Lindell

  2. Love the dried rose petals, they always look wonderful when scattered over desserts. I thought the jug looked enamel as well and is very beautiful indeed… enjoy using it. The julienne peeler is a great little gadget and love mine too. The color of the bread dough looks stunning, shame you did not like it so much… at least Maus did and hopefully not with lots of butter:)

  3. That jug is beautiful, how unusual. This post confirms that I really do want a pressure canner! How great to can your own chicken stock. I am rather jealous of the raspberries, especially since it is winter here. We can’t grow raspberries, but our blackberries do well.

  4. A very enjoyable and summery look round your kitchen this month Glenda!! I echo many on the jug – how unusual to find pottery emulating enamel. Those beaded covers took me right back to my childhood in Kenya – I remember the water jugs being covered with them and being fascinated by the beads…Have you tried roasting rhubarb in the oven? Cut into 3 or 4 inch pieces and place in an oven proof dish. Scatter with sugar, orange zest and squeeze over the juice; cover with dampened parchment paper and roast on a low heat (about 140C) for about an hour. They hold their shape and are delicious with yoghurt or ice-cream…

    • Hi Selma. I cooked up some rhubarb following your instructions and it worked a treat. Much better than doing it in a saucepan -it gets all mushy. Thank you so much for the advice.

  5. Hi Glenda, you’re right about Blackwood Fresh…amazing to find so many goodies in a smallish country town. I found the rose petals at the Persian food stall at the Subiaco Markets, but if anyone’s planning to buy them there they’d better hurry – the markets are closing down to make way for – yuk! – another Coles supermarket!

  6. wow, what a stunning collection! I love the rose petals and I use mine for savoury dishes as well. Cape to Cairo is a South African company and the bead work on the net looks to be Venda so it is very local for me 🙂 We have a similar Christmas tree Glenda and how lucky you were to see Rick Stein!

  7. Hi Glenda- exciting stuff in your kitchen:) I have those rose petals but never use them – my little daughter finds them fascinating:). pitty your bread didnt work out as it looked really good, on first glance i thought it was rasberry sorbet!! Love your potatoes.

  8. So many delicious things in your kitchen Glenda. I’m curious though – with all of your roses, are there any that would be edible? I always wonder when I see things like this as decorations if you’re supposed to eat them. Love that jug, I was looking closely at the bottom of it but I really, really love those tree!
    The heck with the rhubarb – plant tons more raspberries. My daughter & I always laugh when we stop by the farm stand to buy them…our theory is that they’re so delicate & don’t last so we have to eat them on the ride home (which is about 7 minutes), I would love to plant some here. I have blackberries but not the red raspberries and they are my favorite.

    • Hi Diane. I think all rose petals are ‘edible’ but only the old fashioned perfumed ones taste nice. I get fresh petals, dip them in egg white then in caster sugar. They taste nice and look pretty on a rose flavoured dessert. I love raspberries too. I am so excited that we are getting fruit. It is a bit hot and dry here for raspberries but they seem to be coping. I saw them in the shop a couple of weeks ago $12.50 for 250g punnet. Hooley dooley.

  9. Honestly Glenda, isn’t there anything you can’t grow? You have the greenest thumb of anyone I’ve ever met, and I KNOW you only set your garden up a few years ago! I wish we could still grow rhubarb, but our plants all karked it a few years back. And raspberries! You’re just brilliant! On to other things, your new jug is very clever, I thought it was old enamel as well, and the mesh food covers are wonderful. What a shame the pretty pink dough didn’t turn into decent bread though! 🙂

    • Hiya Celia. I only show case the success stories. I didn’t mention the 5 blueberry bushes I planted last year all karked it. They obviously went to the same place your rhubarb went :).

  10. WOW! So much goodies in your kitchen this month! Love the jug – it really does look like enamel – the peeler (I think I saw a woman in the shopping centre in Melbourne doing the same demonstration!) and your chive flower with your cheese (I have some chive flowers too, they’re pretty aren’t they!) They look good with anything. I’m sorry your bread didn’t turn out but the dough look really good. See you next month at IMK

  11. Any non-supermarket potatoes get my vote. Whenever, hoewver I cook them the G.O. and I both say “wow, I remember when potatoes tasted like this…” potatoey!
    I hope this summer will be the summer of raspberries… and blackberries 🙂
    Your IMK posts… actually all your posts… are inspiring, such a busy, electic, colourful kitchen. I lov the beaded net. I have a couple picked up from op-shops.

    • Op shop nets would be great. I haven’t seen these beaded ones since I was a kid. They are so useful in the country. BTW thanks for the compliment, your site is pretty cool too.

  12. I’m soaking up the sunshine and fresh veg vibes from your pictures, Glenda! You always have so much going on in your kitchen!
    I am not allowed to have a compost pile ( because my husband is a control freak AND shortsited!) so I cook up all my parings and peeling into a vegetable broth- adding chicken parts when I have them- so my freezer is usually holding several tubs of broth at any given moment. Canning sounds like a more efficiient solution- thanks for the idea!
    Have a great holiday!

    • Heidi, if you are not allowed a compost pile consider doing what my mum used to do. She would did a hole in her garden and then fill it with her vegetable peelings etc. When full she would cover it and did another one. Canning really frees up the freezer.

  13. So many people growing raspberries, I’m envious as always! I’m interested to hear what you do with the rose petals, I’ve never actually tried cooking with them. I also love your jug and cover, I have a very cute milk jug cover with beads, and it always makes me feel like it’s a proper afternoon tea when i use it 🙂
    Thanks for showing us around your kitchen…
    Beck

    • Hi Beck, thanks for visiting. I think the rose petals are just for decoration. I use rose water a lot in desserts and the petals will go fabulously as decoration.

  14. Up until reading this post, Glenda, I saw no reason to purchase a pressure cooker. Seeing how you’ve used yours to preserve stock gave me an “Aha!” moment. I need to do a bit of research because this sounds like a great idea. And, by the way, I’m very jealous of your raspberries. 🙂

    • The canner is a great idea for stock and soup. You can make a big pot up and then can them in 500 mil (1 pint) jars. Perfect for a quick lunch. I canned pumpkin soup last winter and it was great. I am very happy about my raspberries. Our climate is a bit hot for most berries but the raspberries are doing well.

  15. G’day Glenda and what a lovely kitchen view this month too!
    I love your beetroot feta bread and you have now inspired me to create one soon!
    The edible rose petals are so versatile and adds love to any dish!
    Cheers! Joanne

  16. Hello, lovely post. I hadn’t thougth of storing chicken stock in the pantry, it could be a reason to purchase a pressure canner. My freezer is always so full. I do have to ask though (not being from Australia), what the dung beetles have to do with the flies. Do they eat them? Hope I don’t sound too stupid.

    • Hi Liz, the dung beetles eat cow poo in which flies breed. CSIRO is our government science department. They introduced dung beetles to eat the poo so the flies don’t breed. The dung beetles usually come out in late December (mid summer) and as a result the fly numbers drop. Now CSIRO have bred a new beetle which comes out in November which will mean less flies in early summer. Yippeee doo

  17. Fantastic post! I love all the produce in your kitchen this month! Also Thank you for the pressure canning link as I always run our of space in my freezer for stock, so this is fantastic and I think I am going to start a My Favourite thing too as it is a fantastic idea 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz x

  18. You have your raspberries!
    We’re still eating rhubarb from the freezer – it’s certainly a very prolific crop. I wonder if your peeler is good with soft carrots. I know most people would throw them away, but sometimes they taste fine but are just a bit old but are a devil to peel.
    I’m surprised you don’t dry your own rose petals. Will be interested to see how you use them in future posts.

    • Hi Anne, I will let you know how it goes on a soft carrot. It is supposed to peel tomatoes. As I mentioned to Sandra, we are just so busy in spring I never get around to doing anything with the roses. I still haven’t made rose petal jam 🙂 but it is definitely on my list. You wouldn’t know the best rose varieties to dry would you? I am very impressed with my raspberries.

  19. Lovely produce Glenda, that rhubarb looks great, and the raspberries look soft and lovely. We got cherries for the first time this year and were stoked. I really should plant more veggies!!

  20. What a glorious round up, Glenda! How I would love to have the space to grow raspberries in my garden! I was particularly interested in your pressure canning of the chicken stock – you have inspired me to give it a go sometime really soon!

  21. I commented on Celia’s IMK post that I love IMK and this is why! I read this morning Tania’s (The Cook’s Pyjamas) post on canning beans and was wondering if I had to get proper canning jars and lids or if I could just buy new lids for the glass jars that I have. And hey presto you have answered all of my questions! (Love that photo of the row of chicken stock too). I always forget to take my stock out of the freezer until just before I need to add it and end up dropping in big ice blocks of stock. I am so excited about canning stock!

    • Hi Jo, I have used second hand jars (the type you get from the supermarket) since my first effort with new lids and they have been absolutely fine. The critical thing is to leave the correct amount of head space otherwise the lids will pop.

  22. I’m curious about the rose petals Glanda, couldn’t you dry your own, you have them in abundance afterall. Roasted strawberries, are a great idea! I’m a Nicola spud fan too my very favourite variety. Luckily I have a good local supplier. My julienne peeler was a waste of money, yours looks a much smarter design. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen

    • Hi Sandra, I am not sure what the best varieties to dry are except heritage varieties with perfume. Also the best time to dry rose petals would be from the first spring flush but there is always a thousand jobs to do in spring. I barely get to the rose garden before the flush has finished.

  23. I love your rhubarb, My plants have turned dry and need shading. The little beaded cover is relly lovely. Nicola potatoes arre the best. I can no longer buy potatoes from the supermarket- I have to source fresh nicolas or Dutch creams. Shame about your beetroot, fetta bread as the dough looks promising.

  24. Glenda, I have a couple of jars of dried rosebuds/petals too, aren’t they just lovely! Must pop in and check out your recipe for the hazelnut meringues! They sound quite divine. Love all the good things in your kitchen… that jug is a cracker, isn’t it! And how wonderful that you went to the food show… I’d love to get to that some time. Happy cooking. : )

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