In my kitchen – June 2015

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In my kitchen (well, close enough…):

Is the second haul of olives, all packed up ready for the presser.  This lot was a bit green when we picked them but it was a race to see who could get them first, the birds or us.  This haul was about 150kgs.  Maus and I took 3 days to pick them.  We are now the proud owners of about 40 litres of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.  It is so satisfying to use oil from your own trees.

IMG_2067copyIn my kitchen:

Is a little sample of the oil.  We are very proud of it.  This lot is a beautiful golden yellow.  It is the oil produced from the trees in the background of the top photo.  BTW, the fence is to keep three little Bichons close at hand.

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Are cherry tomatoes.  They are certainly late this year but are finally producing like mad.  As usual, I planted them in Spring but I had put loads of alpaca poo into my vegie patch which is, apparently, very high in nitrogen.  As a consequence, the plants spent the first few months doing nothing but growing like mad.  When they eventually decided to fruit, it was already late in the season.  They are now at their peak but it is really too cold for them so they are not ripening that well.  As a result, I am picking the fruit as it turns and letting them sit a few days in the kitchen to turn red.  This lot made a lovely soup.

The San Marzano are looking particularly sick but the cherry tomatoes appear to have plenty of steam left in them.  I guess it will just depend on how the weather holds out.

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Are more cherry tomatoes.  This lot are destined for tomato sauce. They were picked a couple of days after the previous photo.  You will all be glad to hear that I have stuck by my resolve not to preserve any tomatoes this year.  I am very proud of myself.

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Is Jamie Oliver’s Cauliflower Macaroni Cheese from his book, 30 Minute Meals.  I don’t have the book but my sister Juanita mentioned to me that she had been making this dish for her grand children and they love it.  As she was speaking, my ears pricked up. I was already substituting the frozen broccoli in the freezer that neither Maus nor I can stomach (urrrr, take my advice, never freeze broccoli) for the cauliflower.  The broccoli worked really well in the recipe as the cauliflower (aka the broccoli), is broken up into small pieces so the texture is not that important.  We still have half a bag.  I think the dogs will be getting it.  If you have the book, check out the recipe.  It is definitely a winner.

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In my kitchen:

Are some moulds.  Last month, when I showed my miserable haul from Melbourne, I forgot about my find at an Op Shop on Sydney Road, Brunswick.  I bought two of this design.  I immediately thought of my fledgling career as a chocolatier – and chocolate sticks.

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Is a heart mould also purchased from that Op Shop and a …

016copytriangle mould.  I was still thinking “chocolates” when I added this to my haul but I wasn’t home long when my mind turned to soap.  I am obsessed with making soap and thought they would make great little guest soaps so …

IMG_2128copyIn my kitchen:

Are some cute little soaps made out of my Op Shop chocolate moulds.  Excuse the glitter, I can’t help myself.  I love a bit of bling.  The little triangles are perfect but the little hearts are a bit naff and small for guest soaps.  Now I am thinking I could embed them in a larger cake of soap but am not sure whether I can embed cured soap.  Tania, if you are out there, …

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In my kitchen:

Is another Melbourne purchase.  It is a giant silicon ice cube mould.  I already have one that I bought on a Sydney trip.  It is great.  The large ice cubes take much longer to melt than smaller ones.   But when I saw this in Melbourne, I didn’t think of ice, I thought of soap.  When you get into soaping, everything looks like a potential soap mould.  I have already used it and the soaps turned out very cute.

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In my kitchen:

Is another mould.  This time I bought it specifically to make soap embeds.  See, I told you I was obsessed.  I guess I could also use it to make cute chocolates but I haven’t been doing much with chocolate lately.  Maus is so desperate for chocolate, she has taken to eating the buttons straight from the bag.022copy

In my kitchen:

Is some mastic.  I recently made a mastic and rose water rice pudding (which was bloody nice and I should have done a post on it but it is a bit tricky taking photos when you have guests).  Our guests were particularly interested in the mastic as they had seen it used on My Kitchen Rules or Master Chef (I am not certain which one, I don’t watch either) in a savoury dish.  Interesting because I have only ever heard of it in desserts.  Anyhow, for those who don’t know, this is what mastic looks like.  I really like the flavour but a little goes a long way.  If you are in Perth and wondering where you can get it, we bought this from Perth Lebanese Bakery in President Street, Kewdale.

IMG_2138copyIn my kitchen:

Is this very cute tea towel.  Tea towels are a killer to photograph but I just had to show off this one.  We recently went to see Hannah Gadsby.  She was in Perth for the Perth Comedy Festival (BTW, her show was called Donkey) and she was selling autographed tea towels to raise funds for Amnesty International.  I love a good signature so Maus lined up to get one for me.  I guess the autograph will wash out if I ever use it.  Oh, well…

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Are some more bad photographs of some very nice tea towels (I figured “in for a penny, in for a pound”).  I think this one is just gorgeous.  My sister bought it in Scotland.  I just love the colours.  As you all know, I am a bit of a pink girl.  Some girls just never grow out of the pink stage.

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Is another lovely tea towel.  Juanita also bought this one.

IMG_2142copyAnd last, but not least, in my kitchen:

Is a tea towel our neighbours in Perth gave us the other day as a little ‘Thankyou’.  It is certainly very striking.

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.

52 thoughts on “In my kitchen – June 2015

  1. How fantastic to have your own olive oil! Nothing like gardens having a mind of their own, but nice to enjoy fresh tomatoes this late in the season. I just came home from a week away and picked the first of our cherry tomatoes. We have so many! It’s going to be another on g summer of lots of tomatoes, though the only preserving I do is tomato jam and I roast sauces to freeze. I can’t stand to can much in this heat! Your moulds all look lovely as do the soaps. I enjoy handmade soaps, maybe someday I will have to try to make them myself.

  2. You girls are quite amazing with your growing. Wow your own olive oil. Who would have thought you could have made such great soaps in those chocolate moulds. I love Hanna Grazby she is very funny and bright as a button. Sounds like you had a very good trip to Melbourne

  3. Your olive oil is delicious – I’ve tried it and I know! We’ve never managed to grow San Marzanos (the bugs love them) but cherries are there regularly, although the blight got them a bit this year. I’ll have to hunt down a large icecube mould, I’ve been using a little plastic takeaway container to make mine. And did you know the long skinny mould is for making icecubes that will fit into through the neck of a plastic drink bottle? At least that’s what the one I bought was labelled as! 🙂

    • Celia, we went for a walk this evening and came across a self sown cherry tomato bush in flower about 100 metres from the vegie patch. One is also growing in amongst my pumpkins. I think if given half the chance they would grow wild here. I think I bought the large ice block mould at your favourite shop. Can’t believe that is what the skinny mould is for. I assumed it was for chocolate 🙂

  4. Glenda, your olive oil looks like liquid gold. It certainly must make the care and harvesting worth the work when you cook with it. All of those tomatoes are making me anxious for summer (here) and your idea to include broccoli in macaroni & cheese sounds tasty. (I’ve never had much success with freezing broccoli either.) Happy soap making — fun molds!

  5. My goodness Glenda, when you do something you do it all out! That’s quite a haul of olives and tomatoes. That’s fantastic that you make your own olive oil too.
    I love all the molds and I can see why you’d quickly decide to try them with soap (although chocolate is always good). As I’ve said before, your soaps look good enough to eat.
    I always love to find cute tea towels too. You’ve got a nice collection going although probably not even close to your cookbook collection.

  6. Lovely haul of tomatoes Glenda, and such a lovely rich coloured olive oil.
    Such wonderful tea towels too. I couldn’t pass up buying a tea towel at Aldi today… well it actually came in a set with box of English tea! oh well, more tea for me!
    cheers, Kirsty

    • Hi Kirsty. You should never pass up a good tea towel 🙂 I am really impressed with the colour of the oil this year. It is gorgeous.

  7. OMG! Your olive oil look absolutely amazing! Don’t think you’ll run out any time soon 🙂 (Bit jealous) Your abundance of tomatoes are pretty awesome too – lots of great things to be made with those beauties I’m sure – if you make passata, please post your recipe for my collection next year! Lovely peek at you kitchen produce – love it

  8. Yes tomato’s like a particularly acid soil to grow in… I only dream about having so beautiful olive to press, well done you! Have you tried an unfiltered batch… I tried a most amazing unfiltered oil in Italy and have never been able to find it again 🙂 Glenda, I do think you have a little bit of an obsession with moulds, but we all need to have our flaws 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

    • Hi Elizabeth. The oil we get back from the presser it always filtered but it usually has some debris in the bottom of the bottle. As I get older I seem to have less bad habits. More’s the pity. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Hi Debi, I checked out the article – interesting. Some of the comments had indicated that the contestant used the mastic in a savoury dish because they didn’t l know what to do with it.

      • Well, those contestants ended up doing something traditional even if they were guided by ignorance! Charles Perry, the food historian, mentions mastic’s use in middle eastern medieval savoury foods, and also in contemporary Egyptian traditional cuisine. I have his book on medieval Arab cooking, so might give it a try. I have piles of the stuff as I always gravitate to the mastic shop in the Athens airport. At least its shelf-life is a long one…

  9. Once again you continue to impress with the harvests and bounty that you reap from all your careful planning. Good to see that despite all those plans that the cherry tomatoes have chosen to ignore it all and produce prolifically, despite being instructed not to do so. I’ve got to tell you, I’m not really a fan of broccoli in any form but could you cook the frozen stuff in a stock and blitz it into a broccoli soups with some cream? The contestant used the mastic in a savoury dish because he didn’t know how to use it. It was not a hit.

    Always interesting to see what’s happening. xxx

    • Hi Fiona, I love broccoli but frozen it has a horrid texture. The soup idea is a good one,thanks. The tomatoes got too much nitrogen so they spent the summer growing like mad. I will know next year.

  10. I have to try soap making. The fact that you have your own olive oil just astounds me. I would love that but will have to be content with my little urban garden in the Colorado Foothills.

    • Hi Connie. If you have hot dry summers you can grow olives. About three trees would provide you with more than enough oil for a year. Do try soap making. I know you love cooking and it is just like cooking – you weigh things and stir things and mix things – but more creative.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  11. What an amazing amount of olives and to have your own olive oil… I’d feel very proud too. This is what I would call liquid gold. Will you use any of this olive oil with your soap making? I’m still thinking chocolates with all your moulds but I would imagine perfect for soap making too. 🙂

  12. I am always green with envy by the time I get to the end of your IMK posts. Any time you need help picking those olives let me know. I’ll happily take payment in olive oil 😉 I can’t believe you are still getting tomatoes. That is amazing! Thanks for the heads up on the mastic too. I have a recipe that calls for it, which is a savoury dish, but want too sure. I was intending to go to the Lebanese bakery to check it out anyway so now I have another reason for going.

    As to the embeds, I think if they haven’t cured for long you should be fine. You can used cured melt & pour as embeds so those soaps should work. Maybe try a small batch so if they fall out you haven’t lost too much.

    Those look like IKEA ice cube trays, as I have some in the same designs (I fully get your mould obsession 🙂 ), so I know how big they are. You could also look at half burying them in the top of a soap log to give you an interesting top. Just work out how big your bars are, then space the embeds so you won’t cut into them when you slice your bars.

  13. WOW How awesome with all of that oil just waiting for you to create Glenda!
    I have never used mastic before, but was in a LOT of pain knowing the Masterchef contestant had used WAY too much in his recipe!
    LOVE your tea towel and thank you also for this month’s kitchen view!

  14. Mastic Glenda? That’s what we use to glue things down with!
    Very envious of all those olives (though not the picking of them) and I’m sure the oil will be fabulous. Always good to see tomatoes on your posts,

  15. How amazing to be using your own olive oil in your kitchen – it must be so satisfying. You and your soap moulds make me laugh. I have a giant ice cube mould too – but mine is saved for water and my cordial addiction. The Japanese doll tea towel is particularly eye catching – not sure I would want to use it to be honest it’s so pretty.

    • Hi Nancy. I have the soaping bug. I love the Japanese tea towel. My sister had just been to Japan but I think she bought it in Aust. She must have forgot about me when she was away. :).

  16. When I look at your IMK posts I see energy, lots and lots of energy! I love the enthusiasm it evidences for growing and creating things, and feeding people. And the colour. there’s always colour 🙂

  17. How satisfying, to be able to cook with oil you know exactly where it’s come from! I love a good tea towel yours look too good to use! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen Glenda

  18. Glenda your olive crop and olive oil both look really good. How satisfying! I am also keen to try Mastic as I see it often in the Brunswick Supermarket – home of a large Greek community- and wondered how to use it. Imagine getting tomatoes still- ours went very early this season.

    • Hi Francesca. I really like mastic but go easy until you figure out if you like it. I have seen it used in ice cream and rice puddings etc mostly.

  19. Glenda, I always look forward to your posts, truly. And this one is no different. That ute load of olives is amazing, just amazing! As are the cherry tomatoes. I think I managed about two dozen this year! Sigh. Love your op shop moulds too, and the Scotty dog tea towel. Very cute!

    • Hi Liz. Tomatoes tomatoes tomatoes. I think it is all about water. We water twice a day, 10mins each time in summer. I love the olives too 🙂

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