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