Summer is technically over but the days are still lovely. I’m not looking forward to daylight savings ending, though the mornings are getting noticeably dark. Meanwhile, there’s been plenty happening in the kitchen.
In my kitchen are dragon fruit (also known as pitaya). I love them but don’t buy them often as they are usually quite expensive. But I think there were a lot around for Chinese New Year so quite a few grocers had them on special. I used them in a fruit salad for breakfast, but I also love to eat them as is.
I read that you can germinate them from the seeds, so I extracted a few, washed and dried them and put them in some seed raising mix, and voila! After just a few days little green shoots started appearing. They also grow from cuttings, and a dear friend gave me some cuttings for red and yellow dragon fruit, but I adore the white ones as well, and thought I may as well have all three colours.
I am steeping some vanilla beans in vodka for some new vanilla extract. The last bottle I made (pictured right) was in mid 2014, and I’ll probably use what is left in the next couple of months. Given that it needs at least 3 months to steep, I’ve started a new bottle. It is so much more fragrant doing it this way rather than the commercial varieties available at the supermarket. It is also more convenient than having to regularly buy the small bottles.
Our tomato plants are dying off, so its time for new autumn crops. I bought some broadbeans to plant, the Marito loves them.
In my kitchen are some fresh tagliatelle, courtesy of Mamma Rosa. Her tagliatelle rock.
I stocked up on Callipo Tuna when it was on special at Coles recently. The Callipo factory is actually 20 minutes or so from Mamma Rosa’s village in Italy. It is my favourite tinned tuna.
In my kitchen is a sign for our new coop, to be varnished and hung. It’s from Castle and Cottage Signs; she made a custom sized sign for me it so it will fit neatly above the door. Our new coop is walk in which is fabulous, makes things so much easier.
The girls had a very tough time of it during the Sydney heat wave last month, I wasn’t sure they were all going to make it. Operation Chicken Watch was in full swing. Blocks of ice in the water, hosing down the roof to keep it cool, and standing them in ice baths when I saw they were really struggling, were needed. Oh, you’re probably wondering about the name. “Bokens” is a nickname for chickens that the Small People came up with when they were Really Small People. It was courtesy of an old Lilydale ad which had chickens running around going bok-bok-bok.
In my kitchen is this sauce that a lovely friend got me from this year’s Tomato Festival by Italian chef Luca Ciano. Look forward to road testing it!
And finally in my kitchen are some Sydney grown Kensington Pride mangoes, from my parents’ backyard tree. The skin doesn’t colour like those from the Northern Territory or Queensland, but they ripen inside and taste just amazing. What I love is that their tree becomes abundant just when all the Kensington Prides disappear from stores.
I hope all is well in your kitchen. Thanks to Liz from Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things for hosting this month’s IMK link up.