It has been a scorcher of a summer here in Sydney, with almost unbearable levels of humidity. With no air conditioning in our temporary home, we have felt every degree of it. The chooks have come through it ok, though they stare curiously at the ice blocks I add to their water on the worst days. The press on the hardship facing farmers seems to have dried up since last year, replaced by inane pre-election political jousting articles, though I imagine they continue to do it very tough.
Turning on the oven in our furnace of a house is a trial, but cook for the family one must. Here’s what’s been happening in the Napoli kitchen of late.
The (ever growing) Small People received this very cute Christmas gift from one of their aunties. The doughnut pans worked really well.
We’ve been really enjoying some gorgeous floral honey from some friends who have started keeping bees. I don’t do supermarket honey, I don’t like it. This stuff is a different proposition all together. It reminds me very much of a giant jar of wild honey we bought back from a small island in Greece. The Marito and I have been putting a dollop on our yoghurt, the Small People on their oats. Our lovely friends have earmarked another jar for us from their “harvest” last week.
In my kitchen is Ottolenghi’s SIMPLE.
I’ve been making quite a few recipes from it of late. It is certainly one of his better cookbooks, and plenty in there for my vegacquarian Marito. The prawns with risoni (or orzo as they call it in the UK) and marinated feta was just delicious, and the other day I tried the hazelnut and peach cake, loved it.
I’ve also been looking at his weekly column in The Guardian. This pastis garcon, a French apple tart made with filo, was also a hit.
I read somewhere that you could preserve basil with salt and olive oil. Mamma Rosa has a ridiculous abundance of basil at the moment, so I tried doing it. The oil seems to have solidified so not sure if I did it right. If I did it will be good to have during the winter months.
The reno site is starting to look less like a mess and more like a house. Having resolved all the structural, insulation, electrical and plumbing problems that come with a 125 year old house, we are now getting to the “fun stuff”. There are samples everywhere around the kitchen and dining table. While my kitchen hardware is from the UK, all my bathroom hardware was made right here in Sydney, the door locks are from Tasmania, the fireplace from South Australia. There is still some fine local manufacturing going on. There will be a lot not finished when we move back in, I won’t even have a proper laundry, but I really don’t care, I just want to be back home.
Thanks to Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings who hosts the IMK monthly link up, take a peek from kitchens around the world!