We’ve somehow crept into another month. Summer is technically over, but Sydney remains hot and humid, with the occasional cooler night. I’m thinking about what I could plant in my small garden plot once my basil is gone. But that’s outside, so here’s what is inside my kitchen this month.
An old pot of my Nonna’s. When we were packing up the house when my grandparents passed away, I wanted a little kitchen keepsake. She used to use this little pot, which is from sometime in the 70’s, to boil and egg or make a bit of tomato sauce. I think of her when I use it, such a kind and gentle woman whose eyes lit up whenever she saw her grandchildren, and more recently her great grandchildren.
Homemade vanilla extract – using vodka and vanilla beans. Its about 3 weeks old in this photo, the beans need to have steeped for 3 months or so before its ready, but it already is smelling devine. Apparently doing it this way gives a much better flavour than the store bought stuff (which apparently goes through all sorts of chemical processes) – I’ll let you know in June!
Truffle butter. The boys’ lovely Italian teacher was kind enough to bring this jar after her recent trip to Italy. On my freshly baked homemade bread, its devine.
And here is the aforementioned homemade bread. My starter, La Figlia, a descendent of Priscilla, Celia’s starter (check out Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who hosts this In My Kitchen series each month), is going great guns and I now bake bread every Sunday morning. The boys love it.
I also got some wicker bread proofing baskets, or bannetons as they are known in bread making circles. I made a small loaf of rye (that’s the rye on the right in the picture above) and left it to rise in one.
In my kitchen you’ll find a food vacuum sealer, which Aldi had recently as a special buy. Given my work schedule, I do rely on the freezer a lot (I figure its still better than takeaway) and my husband and I thought it would keep certain foods better (it does).
And finally in my kitchen you’ll find a book I stumbled across, Amo la cucina Calabrese (“I love the cuisine of Calabria). Calabria – the boot of Italy – is where my family hails from, and where my other Nonna (who I am named after) still lives. This book contains some hardcore old school recipes. Many of them are similar to Mamma Rosas in that they have no quantities and use phrases like “quanto basta” ie “add however much it needs”. Mamma Rosa’s recipes also contain “a piacere”, which means “however much you like”. Both are very useful measures when cooking.
What’s in your kitchen this Sydney Autumn?