In My Kitchen, February 2019

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.

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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.

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imkfeb19 (7)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.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks to Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings who hosts the IMK monthly link up, take a peek from kitchens around the world!


13 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, February 2019

  1. sherry a mackay

    you may have read it on my blog about preserving herbs in salt and olive oil:) i do that now and then when i have herbs needing to be used or stored. everyone is talking about Ottolenghi’s Simple! I hear his booktalks sold out it in minutes … i on the other hand am seeing nigella lawson on sunday. not sure what that will be like as i find her personality quite dry and dare i say – boring:) Her cookbooks are my most used i have to say. oh it must be so hard to be out of your home. we had a short reno period way back but were still living here which was one good thing. have a great February and thanks for joining in. sherry

  2. fergie51

    Great to hear the house is coming along, it really tests your metal doesn’t it? That tart looks imply spectacular! I’ve reserved that book a the library and it’s taking ages to appear. Thanks for the peek. :)

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      Yes I reserved it at the library too, there was a long queue! This book actually has enough recipes I would make to justify buying it, but until we move I simply don’t have the storage space for books – we are like sardines!

  3. Mae

    Your French apple pastry looks fabulous! I’ve owned & used Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem for a few years, and you plus other recommenders make me think I should also try Simple.

    best… mae at

  4. ladyredspecs

    I’ve been waiting for 6 weeks for Simple from the library, I’m sure it will appear eventually. I have his other books and have made a few things but generally find they are a bit off the mark. I hope you’re back in your home very soon.

    1. The Napoli Alert Post author

      There was a queue at our library too. I haven’t made much from his other books either, this one is much more accessible for the home cook I think. Let me know how you go with it!

  5. Tandy | Lavender and Lime

    if left in the fridge, the oil solidifies. Just take it out before you need it to get the oil back to room temperature. I should have done that with my artichokes, as in this heat they went off! I nearly bought a doughnut pan but did not think it was worth the expense. I also prefer local honey and so lovely you get some from friends :)

  6. Moya

    Cute doughnut tins, bet the kids were happy. Love the cookbook Simple too and have made quite a few recipes from it. Your french apple tart looks amazing. Best of luck with the house renovations and hope you move back home soon :)

  7. eliotthecat

    Stay cool! I won’t have basil for another four months but am really interested in this technique. Keep us posted please. Good luck on the reno. We’re doing a big of remodeling ourselves. It’s a trial at times.

  8. tiffinbitesized

    I’m just catching up on the last the IMK posts. Where does the month go? I’ve been umming and ahhing over a doughnut pan for years. I should have just bought one the first time I wanted one and been done with it. The apple tart looks lovely – great job.

    Gawd…. The bloody ‘pre-election’ jousting is terrible. Just get it done!


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