Sunday, September 11, 2016

What's in my kitchen, September 2016

As has become my new usual, I am later than I wanted to be getting this post published. September is in general a very busy month for me, so I don't feel too terrible as I have been very busy with real life things and enjoying all my in-person interactions. I find that with two small children, I very rarely take any me-time without them in tow... when I'm not actively mothering, I am actively working and vice versa. Hence, when I get time to experience adult things, like dinners out, and uninterrupted conversations, I treasure the experience as it has become something a bit rare.

Anyway, September is the beginning of birthday season at chez Fork, starting early on in the month with my own! My birthday happened to fall on the same day as Father's day this year, so Mr Fork and I both lay in bed giving each other the side eye and asking, "Are you going to make me breakfast?". In the end, we both sighed and got up to make breakfast together. Teamwork!

In my kitchen is...

Edamame! Jimmy adores soybeans, and I adore it when he adores food, so I'm happy to sit there and shell them for him (heaven forbid he should have to do it himself!). We eat a lot of these as it's one green that he will eat every time, so I was very pleased to discover Costco stocked large bags of plain beans still in the shell in the frozen section. I keep a bag in the freezer and add these to whatever meal I feel needs extra greens. They also make a delicious snack just plain and on their own too.

In my kitchen is...

Kingsland greek style soy yoghurt. I saw this at the supermarket recently with a big NEW sticker. I'm unsure if it's a new product or simply a rebranding or a new recipe. I thought that I'd have this with porridge and berries, and even served to the side of some curries, but I have to admit the taste wasn't for me. Perhaps I'm simply too used to the taste of coconut yoghurt, but I found this overly bean-y and not at all what I was expecting, although the texture was amazing and extremely comparable to non-vegan greek yoghurt. I probably won't buy this again.

In my kitchen is...

Sourdough, but not as I know it. I don't know what is going on with Lorenzo lately. He has been very moody, and takes forever to perk up. I thought perhaps it was the cold weather getting him down, but now that the weather is warming again, I'm having more fails then I'm used to. While the starter is active, he isn't behaving as he used to. He bubbles but not giant bubbles with lots of activity anymore. It takes a long time for my dough to rise, and I'm finding my loaves to be not as reliable as I expect. Sometimes they work out ok, and other times, with the exact same steps, the dough is sloppy, fragile and fails to rise to the occasion (I cheat and call those loaves focaccia, but my failure grates on me).

Can any of my bread baking friends shed some light? The bowl below is one that I had to leave rise an extra 8 hours or so and while the dough finally got to a stage where I could make a window with it,   it wasn't very airy. Usually when I go to bake my dough has risen to the top of that bowl and wants to overflow. These loaves turned out a bit sad and dense and quite sour from the extended rise I think. Help!

In my kitchen is...

A cute little drying mat, apparently for drying fruit on. It is padded and covered with lovely cheerful apples. I saw it at Aldi and as it was marked down, I had to have it. Now I just need to teach Mr Fork and the small Forks to use it. They are in the habit of just putting wet things that don't fit on the draining board down on the benches, and as our bench is wood, it gets horrible water marks and stains.

In my kitchen is...

A Norwex kitchen cloth. I've always used cloth in the kitchen instead of paper towels and when my friend had a party recently, I couldn't resist getting this one (partly because of the glorious pomegranate colour). I really do like this cloth - it's got a lovely waffle-y pattern which makes it good at picking up crumbs from my table and benches, and it rinses out nicely as well. It's made of microfibre so it's good and absorbent for the inevitable small-people spills, but it also dries out fairly quickly too. My only gripe is the price, but it does it's job so well I think it'll work out decent on a cost-for-use basis.

In my kitchen is...

A bunch of birthday flowers, which are still blooming spectacularly over a week later. I love lilies (they've opened up now and smell amazing) and how beautiful are those cheery yellow ones?

In my kitchen is...

A terrible photo, but I had to rush to take it before small hands started to help themselves. My lovely family surprised me with vegan cupcakes and a tub of salted caramel coconut ice-cream for my birthday. It really was a surprise too, as I'd had no idea they gotten them and they'd had them all hidden away for a (delicious) after dinner surprise. 

Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef has been taking a break from hosting In My Kitchen, due to health issues, so I'm sending her some positive vibes for when she returns.


What's happening in your kitchen lately?

3 comments:

  1. Belated happy birthday - I love all your goodies - the flowers look lovely and I really love that dishcloth. Sounds frustrating with the sourdough - I don't really know the answer but I know when sourdough is not working it can help to reduce it down to a spoonful or two and feed it up so that it is fresher but this is usually when it is grey or smelly so don't know if it would help with yours - I am surprised mine is still ticking along with how much neglect it has had lately.

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    1. Thanks Johanna! My starter lives in the fridge and I take him out and feed him up when it's baking time. Maybe there's something in that though - I can let him live on the bench and feed him more regularly ... perhaps that will kick him into action. Thanks for the advice :)

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  2. Happy birthday! I now fully appreciate the challenge of me time with children and I just have 1 (and no work, although there are days that feels like it would be me time!). I'm glad you got spoilt for your birthday and am impressed by the concept of DF Greek yoghurt so am sorry it didn't taste great.

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