Hello Spring. I’ve been waiting for you. Winter and I, well, we don’t really get along. And I know that you’re here because my bread rises so much better.
So what’s been in the kitchen of late?
In my kitchen is homemade salami, courtesy of Mamma Rosa and Papa. The bought stuff doesn’t taste that good when you grow up on this. Drive through Sydney and peek inside Calabrese and Sicilian garages during Winter and you’ll find rows of these hanging out to dry. When I was younger and my grandparents were able, my parents would go pick up a whole pig. Friday night was spent chopping and preparing – there is a picture of me, circa six years old, in my school uniform wielding a large meat cleaver – and Saturday the sausages would get made.
The other day the Marito bought home some olive oil and caramelised balsamic from Mudgee, can’t wait to try it.
In my kitchen is a box of lettuce leaves. There are a couple of lovely Italian grocers in the area (one has Eros Ramazzotti and Toto Cutugno and the like on constant rotation, love it) who give me lettuce scraps for “le galline”. The chooks go completely wild over lettuce. When I go check on them first thing in the morning, they’ve cottoned on to the fact that I’ll be armed with goodies. There are nose-dives for the door.
With the weather getting warmer they are all laying pretty much every day. This week we got our first double yoker! I haven’t gotten to eat many of the eggs. The boys get home from school and head for the coop. They collect, cook, consume. Every so often there are a couple of spares. I’ve noticed there is a huge difference in the whites of eggs from home chooks versus bought. They are thick and gelatinous and they whip like a dream.
In my kitchen is a flathead that the boys caught on Sunday morning. Nothing like fishing from your own backyard! Though unfortunately after checking a few websites, we decided it wasn’t safe to eat.
The other night I made pizza for dinner, using my trusted dough recipe. One of them was a “pizza bianca”, a white pizza, as those with no sauce are called. Potato slices, fried in olive oil sprinkled with fresh rosemary, then drained on paper towels. Onto the pizza they go with ricotta, more rosemary, salt, and parmesan. Molto buono.
What’s happening in your Spring kitchen?