Monday, August 3, 2015

What's in my kitchen, August 2015

August! How is it August already? August is an emotional month for me - it's the month that my maternity leave finishes and I return to work, albeit on a part time basis. I'm not going to lie, it's hard, and I haven't even started yet! Jimmy will be staying with Mr Fork's parents until a space opens up at the same daycare Ellie goes to (despite having his name down since I was thirteen week pregnant, spots are premium!). I know he will be well loved and spoilt while he is there. It's me who has to re-learn how to be a whole person without him, while he is learning that he is a separate person from me. I don't know who has it harder. Anyway, when I am emotional, I like to eat, so there's a fair bit of that happening in my kitchen... I've been very good though, and much of it has been frozen for when I'm back at work.

In my kitchen is...

Lindt Dark Chocolate with a touch of sea salt. I love salty chocolate, so when I saw these on sale at Coles for half price recently, I snapped up a couple of blocks. They're perfect for a snack after dinner, a single square is rich and satisfying and since no one else in my house likes dark chocolate, I don't have to share. It does have milk fat in, so it is not vegan friendly, but it must be quite a low amount as it doesn't give me any trouble to eat it and I'm quite sensitive to dairy.
In my kitchen is...

A selection of Frico cheeses. Having just said how sensitive to dairy I am, I am not personally eating any of these, especially because they have rennet of an indeterminate source in. However Mr Fork and Ellie have been enjoying them, and even Jimmy decided he would nibble a little sliver or two. Mr Fork has been making delicious looking oozy toasted cheese sandwiches with the smoked cheese, and some of the gouda even found its way onto home made pizzas. The rest are earmarked for a cheese and wine night that we will be attending soon...

In my kitchen is...

Lactation cookies, made with a new recipe I'm testing out. I like these ones - they're vegan, double dark chocolate chips and nuts. I made them as I figured they'd be a tasty snack while I'm at work, and can only help since I have to provide milk for Jimmy while I'm not looking after him. He still won't take a bottle - we've been working on a sippy cup, but it's not going well. Failing all else, I will cook with it or ask his grandmother to stir it into his food. He will be fine, and will likely compensate by feeding more overnight on my working days.

In my kitchen is...

Non dairy yoghurt cultures. I've tried making non dairy yoghurt previously, but I've not had much success. I'm determined to get it right though, especially because I can't really find a commercial one at a price point I'm happy to constantly pay. I saw this packet of non dairy culture and I thought I'd give it a try. Apparently this tiny 10g packet contains enough culture to make 100L of yoghurt... but since there are no measurements for how much to use, I'm not sure how accurate that is. Since it is best before January 2016, I'm also not sure that I could even eat 100L of yoghurt by then, although apparently it will keep longer in the freezer. 
I have the Easiyo yoghurt system, so I set it up with 1 litre of warmed soy milk, a tablespoon of sugar and a scraping of culture as directed. Maybe it's my yoghurt fails continuing or perhaps not, but when I checked the progress 12 hours later, it will still completely liquid. I re-shook the mixture, added more hot water and left it to culture another 12 hours. The second time I checked it, it had thickened, but still had a way to go. I shook it a third time and put hot water in again. 36 hours after I started the process, I gave up and called it done.

I'm not sure the first batch was a success. It has been cold over night so that could be affecting the end product, but I'm a little disheartened. It was slightly thickened, but still quite watery and very beany tasting. I added some maple syrup and some fresh passionfruit to a small bowl and it was... passable. This batch may be best used for baking and overnight oats I think. 
Does anyone have any yoghurt making tips?

In my kitchen is...

Passionfruits from my vine. I am finally getting some regular fruit off the vine, and I was so proud of these first ones that I left them to sit on the bench while I admired them and they wrinkled. Oops! They still tasted nice though. They are lovely and sweet, juicy and full of seeds. I don't have enough to repeat my passionfruit jam exercise, but I get a handful each week, so I've been eating them fresh or just served atop porridge in the mornings... perhaps in yoghurt if I can get my system working!

I am linking this post in with Fig Jam and Lime Cordial's monthly In My Kitchen event. Go have a peek through other kitchens around the globe!

What's in your kitchen this month?

10 comments:

  1. I hope the return to work goes OK :S How crazy that there's still not a spot for Jimmy despite having your name on the list since 13 weeks pregnant! It's obviously a good place :-)

    I experimented with non-dairy yoghurt making using EasiYo and have a post reflecting on my experiences and with some links to others' efforts - http://www.bitesizedthoughts.com/2011/11/making-non-dairy-yoghurt.html . However, I confess I kind of gave up and then gave away my EasiYo maker when we moved to the UK! I will be really interested to hear if you have more success.

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    1. Oh thanks Kari! Your post is very helpful... I'm going to follow all the links and do some more research. I'm still back at the drinking yoghurt consistency at the moment :)

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  2. I have lots of tips for yogurt as I make it in the Thermi all the time, but I've never made dairy free sorry! I do find that UHT milk works better as it has already been heat treated, if that is any help.
    I have passionfruit coming out my ears too!
    Thanks for sharing your kitchen this month :)
    Liz xx

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    1. Ahh yes I will persevere. UHT is a great tip thanks :)

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  3. Lisa, my "babies" are in their 30's now (!) and your thoughts on being separated from your lil' one made my heart feel that "feeling" again. Although you may be physically apart at times, your heart will always be with him! xo

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  4. the passionfruit looks glorious! I make my own yoghurt too and I find I have more success making yoghurt from yoghurt rather than cultures. Looks good though! -Cate from IMK

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    1. Thanks Cate! That is a great idea. Perhaps I can save some of the failed batch to add to the next one. I'm determined to get it right eventually :)

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  5. Cheese, cheese, cheese….Yes! So sorry you can't enjoy them. But yes to passionfruit. Always nice at breakfast or in fruit salad.

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    1. Thanks Fiona! I was sad about the cheese but the rest of the household devoured them!
      I could really go for a fruit salad now :)

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