In My Kitchen, May 2015

The insane Sydney rainfall and cooling weather meant there was plenty of time indoors and in the kitchen the last few weeks. The rain also made me think about how very very lucky I am to actually have a kitchen, a roof over my head, and a warm meal when there were so many homeless out on the streets and so many who were displaced because of the storms.  In my kitchen this month you will find gratitude.

In my kitchen you’ll find Anzac biscuits. There are a few different stories about their origin – one saying that wives would send them to their men at the front, because they travelled well and would keep for a while; others saying they were sold at fetes to raise money for the war effort. I used a recipe by Donna Hay; she must have made them quite small to get 35 out of the mixture – I made them growing-boys-who-are-always-hungry size and got about 24.imkapril (1)

In my kitchen there are ‘rogue’ tomatoes. A few weeks ago my husband and I found in the garden near our side fence three tomato plants, nowhere near our herb and vegetable patch. We have no idea how they got there. There were flowers and tiny fruits; I thought it would already be too cool for them to grow but grow they did. I was going to leave them to ripen on the vine but the storms meant a few ended up on the ground – I have no idea how the other twenty or thirty stayed on the stems. They won’t have the flavour of Summer tomatoes but I’ll find a way to use these little rogues – a real example of survival of the fittest!imkapril (7)

With the turn in the weather I’ve been making lots of different soups – asparagus, corn, leek, and others. I don’t generally use cream in soups so they freeze well and are great to take to work for lunch. I made the Marito a pumpkin one (he loves it, but pumpkin is one soup I don’t like), and I roast the pumpkin first, skin and all, with rosemary, olive oil, salt and pepper, to give the soup extra flavour.imkapril (2)

Stick blenders are perfect for making soups. After 13 years of loyal service, my Braun stick blender went into retirement, and I had this KitchenAid one ready and waiting. I actually won it, along with a blender and stand mixer. We were watching some random cooking show one Saturday afternoon, and there was a competition at the end of it saying text in your details for a KitchenAid prize pack. I was so shocked when I won, but that may well have been because I was the only person watching the show! I was pretty excited, the last thing I won was a watch at a school raffle in third grade.imkapril(10)

I also sliced up some of my bread, sprayed it with olive oil, and made it into croutons.imkapril (4)

The bread making has continued in the Napoli kitchen, though I’ve been playing with the shape of my loaves. The boys prefer them shorter, fatter and higher, it makes for better toast and for heaping on some scrambled eggs.imkapril (6)

I also had a go at making Turkish bread, not bad for a first attempt…..imkapril (9)

….and burger buns for the kids.  I used Celia’s recipe from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, the hostess of this great monthly series.imkapril (3)

I saw some lovely artichokes at the grocer the other day, and stuffed them and slow cooked them in the oven. If you are cooking artichokes, don’t throw away the stem, just peel them back a little and cook them too – they are delicious.imkapril (5)

And finally in my kitchen is a get-well-soon almond cake that I made for my brother-in-law, who was in hospital recently.  Hope you are enjoying lots of kitchen adventures too!imkapril (8)

31 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, May 2015

  1. Francesca

    Love all the goodies but especially the bread: I am longing for a slice of home made sour dough: No decent bread in here in Asia- all full of sugar and soft like sponge. Lucky getting some little tomatoes too.

  2. EllaDee

    It’s soup weather, and I had a husband recuperating from a skin cancer removal near his mouth. His favourite soup? Pumpkin, which I make just like you! Like you also I had an appliance die, my 29 and a half year old Oskar chopper. But I still have 3 stick blenders, one of which adapts to a chopper, but I live in 2 locations, and it’s not here ;(

  3. tiffinbitesized

    Lovely to see the ANZACs. You don’t say if you are in the crisp of chewy camp. I’m laughing about your stick blender story. I have an old Breville one that is on it’s last legs but I am waiting until I get a new kitchen to buy a new one. I’ve had it for 30 years but don’t want to ditch it, if there’s life in it yet! Those buns look amazing. You’ve done a great job. xxx

    I think I’ve had too many bad pumpkin soups in the past to enjoy it now – I’m not a fan anymore but there is one that I make and like so perhaps you may like it too? It’s pumpkin and dahl. Here is the link if you are interested:

  4. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey

    Oooh artichokes in your kichen too! And that Turkish bread looks lush. Happy May x

  5. Nancy |Plus Ate Six

    It’s lovely to see so many Anzac biscuits in everyones kitchen this month. Lovely shaped bread – my shapes are a bit hit and miss and I need to work on that. Artichokes is something I need to work on too – like eating them but have never prepared them.

  6. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

    Your loaves are looking stunning! And I’m so glad you tried the burger buns, thank you! Stick blenders are the bomb, aren’t they? Ours gets used every other day. And I do think found tomatoes taste all the sweeter for the surprise! :)

  7. Moya

    Its cooling down in your part of the world and heating up in ours. You can’t beat a hearty bowl of soup and I love using my stick blender too. Love your new red KitchenAid stick blender. Your bread looks fabulous. :)

  8. thecompletebook

    It’s been forever since I cooked artichokes. Recently I have bought them preserved in olive oil and chilli and they have been fabulous!
    Have a super day.
    :-) Mandy xo

  9. Kim Bultman

    Josephine, I love your grateful spirit. Yes, we’re blessed to have kitchens and a roof over our heads! Your pumpkin soup sounds scrumptious with the flavor roasted in, and your biscuits, breads, buns, and cake look like a flavorful way to spend time indoors.

  10. sherry from sherrys pickings

    the almond cake looks lovely. i’m with you on pumpkin soup- i just can’t stomach it:( you always know winter is here when the local cafes start serving it. I love your pretty loaves too. how wonderful to wind a new blender. my stick blender died recently as did my normal blender. i still haven’t replaced the blender as i am not sure what brand to get. i am waiting for the gorgeous new Smeg variety to appear on Aussie shelves:) Happy blending.

  11. missfoodfairy

    I’m loving your Turkish bread and rolls Josephine, they look really delicious, especially the Turkish bread – I may just have to try that. Did you use any specific recipe for that that you would like to share, pretty please :) Love finding new inspiration from #IMK every month x

  12. Maggie

    Congrats on winning that kitchen aid.I, too, rarely win anything. The most memorable time was when one of the teacher’s in primary school raffled a piece of her chocolate birthday cake. The student who picked the right number go it. Mine was ten, and I was the lucky winner. That cake was divine, too!

    All your bread looks amazing and I am now hungry despite only finishing lunch about an hour ago!

  13. Tania @ The Cook's Pyjamas

    I love soup in this weather. I need to start stashing some in the freezer so I can have a variety. I do like pumpkin soup, and am going to adopt your idea of roasting the pumpkin for more flavour. I have serious bread envy. Those are some beautiful loaves.

  14. Lisa

    There is something about cold weather and soup with bread that is so comforting isn’t there? Those loaves look lush!

    Love how things survive when they put their mind to it? I often allow my small tomatoes to self seed and am quite amazed where they turn up. One grew in the middle of the lawn once! (I think that shows how often we mow though…)

    I too never get the recommended amount of biscuit from most recipes! :)


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