In My Kitchen, May 2018

A new month has rolled around and with it a new edition of the IMK global monthly link up, currently hosted by Sherry’s Pickings.   Here’s what has been happening in the Napoli kitchen the last few weeks.

In my kitchen is a new – and very appropriate – sign above the pantry.  The Small People have no sooner finished a meal when they are sticking their head in the pantry or fridge looking for “a little snack”.  Having been premmie twins, they have always literally been very skinny Small People and friends and family are left agog when they see the staggering quantities of food they are currently putting in those tiny frames.  A growth spurt is due methinks.

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A darling friend who is Greek Orthodox recently bought me over a batch of her koulourakia, Greek Easter biscuits.   They were absolutely delicious, I’ve asked her to translate the recipe for me.

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In my kitchen is a fresh yuzu!  Yuzu is a Japanese citrus often used in sauces, dressings and desserts, which is now starting to be cultivated locally (usually it’s just imported from Japan in concentrate form).  A lovely friend has a gorgeous farm in the Blue Mountains where she is growing them.  Her harvest is eagerly sought after by Tetsuya, Rockpool and Sake (“our Yuzu Lady is here”, cry the Japanese chefs). But with very little rain this year, it has unfortunately not been a great crop, so I felt very special when she gave me one! It’s incredibly fragrant.  I made a little Japanese style dressing for a salad.

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Also on the Japan theme, I love a lot of the little Japanese gadgets at Daiso.  It’s been a very handy place over the years to find stuff for many of the Small People’s school projects, craft, special theme days and for their stationery.  But they have a lot of great kitchen gadgets too.  I saw this mini mandolin and thought I’d give it a whirl.  If I need consistent very thin slices for just one onion or one cucumber, this little version is great and much handier than getting out my large full scale mandolin, as well as quicker and easier to clean. For $2.80, it’s a win.

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A #kitchenfail (which we don’t often share on IMK!).  I’m a bit obsessed with Puglia at the moment, and I thought I’d try to make one of the region’s popular dishes called a Tiella Barese.  It’s basically onion, tomato, aborio rice and mussels baked in the oven.  I was wondering how the rice would cook with the small quantity of liquid suggested, and I was right it didn’t.  So I probably did something wrong.  It did look and smell awesome so it’s a real shame it didn’t work out!

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In some sad news, one of our chooks, Lily, passed away recently.  The girls were scratching around the yard and some kind of disagreement went on between them and Lily was knocked over.  I scooped her up and held her but she was clearly stressed and breathing heavily and not long after I think her little heart gave out.  The Small People took it badly.  It’s strange going to the coop every day and only seeing five of the girls, it will take some getting used to; they were very quiet in the days that followed. You were a good little chicken Lily.

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I hope you are having a lovely autumn, or spring for my northern hemisphere readers. And wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there.




14 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, May 2018

  1. Francesca

    A very exciting post for me Signorina. I’m now in search of a Yuzu tree to plant. And I’m off to Daiso to buy one of those cute mandolins. You and Celia rave about Daiso so it’s time for a visit. Yes, those ragazzi are about to have a growth spurt for sure.

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      Daiso is dangerous, all those $2.80’s can add up! But honestly some of the stuff there for that price is extraordinary. Let me find out how my friend grafted her yuzu!

      1. Francesca

        I found one tree ready to plant at a nursery in the Yarra Valley, just nearby. It’s a hefty $59 but could be a little gold mine when pumping.

  2. Mae

    You’ll have to tell us when the “small people” get big! I’m now the smallest one out of three generations — my granddaughters both soared up into the stratosphere. Sounds as if you are about to have the same experience.

    Sad about the chook (and I think I learned that word from your writings about them).

    best… mae at

  3. jrrose80

    I wish we had Daiso in Canberra – I’d love to get a small mandolin slicer. Maybe a trip to Sydney is in order? That pantry sign is awesome – depicts reality in my house even though I usually have a last call for food 30 minutes before my kids bedtime. =)

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      I used to do that – “Kitchen’s closing in 30 minutes” – but it doesn’t work any more as these days they can make stuff themselves, sometimes after I’ve gone to bed!

  4. Sherry Mackay

    i love the tiny mandoline. i can’t be bothered getting the big one out and changing the blades so i just don’t use it but this looks handy. love the greek sweets. our neighbour’s mum makes wonderful italian biscuits; so good when home made. thanks for joining in IMK this month. great to see you here. sorry to hear about Lily the chook. cheers S

  5. tableofcolors

    How special that you received a yuzu. I’m imaging it’s flavour in my mouth and it would be lovely to taste the real thing. Your little people sound precious…and yes they most likely have a growth spurt coming on! 😊

  6. ladyredspecs

    Daiso is the best, I can’t reaist the stationary. I’ve resisted buying a tiny mandolin,
    sceptical about the quality of blade for $2.80 and how long it will stay sharp. Kids really are like leaky vessels, impossible to fill….

  7. fergie51

    I actually plan to check out Daiso this week, I will certainly be looking at those mini mandolins. Those koulourakia remind me of something we made in Home eco eons ago, think I burnt myself on them which is why they have stuck in my mind. Sorry to hear about your cookie, always sad.

  8. Moya

    We have a Daiso in Bahrain too…. great place to pick up some bits and pieces. I’ve never tasted a fresh Yuzu… hope you find the plant :)


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