Friday, December 9, 2016

What's in my kitchen, December 2016

I'm cutting it a bit close for this month's In My Kitchen. In fact, I didn't think I was going to do one, it's just been so busy lately. But then, Mr Fork told me that he had to go interstate for work and so I'd be single parenting for a week or so. Which, compared to what some parents have to do when their partners work fly in/fly out isn't really that bad, but I do find it exhausting. Mainly because it's so hard to always be 'on call' and available to my children without another adult backup. So I decided to snatch a few minutes time to myself and blog while I could. We're smack in the middle of birthday season (both my children and their friendship groups are second half of the year babies) so we've had parties to go to most weekends. Coupled with end of year festivities and it's been a crazy social whirl. It's actually a good thing - lots of new foods to try and since my small man has decided to wean I can indulge in a drink or two. Hurrah! Anyway, here's what's taking up space in my kitchen lately.

In my kitchen is...

Lemongrass tea, brought back from Bali for me from my lovely aunt. I like to brew it up and then drink it cold - I find it quite refreshing and a nice way to drink more water in this humidity lately. I love tea, although I do have quite the tea collection and should probably put some effort into working my way through it before it gets too far out of control!
In my kitchen is...

A jar of pumpkin pie spice. As an Australian, I've always been fascinated when Americans describe their Thanksgiving foods. I've never eaten a turkey, nor been interested in it, but the side dishes, well they intrigue me. Sweet potato casserole with marshmallow on top? Salad made of jelly? Pecan pie? Pumpkin pie? Well sign me up for those pies! When one of my colleagues was in the US lately, he told me he thought of me while walking around in Whole Foods (another place I feel I must visit one day) and brought me back a bottle of pumpkin pie spice.

After imagining it for so long I was disappointed to find that it was just a mix of spices I already have in the kitchen but it does smell delicious and I have grand plans for this bottle. I tested it out by adding some to a batch of of plain mini cakes and oh my did it make my kitchen smell delicious! I can't wait to experiment some more when I have actual pumpkin in the house.
In my kitchen is...

Sweetened condensed coconut milk. I found this is my local Asian grocer. I was super chuffed that it was on sale, down to 49c a can due to the short shelf life remaining. No matter to me, I have ear marked the ones I bought for Christmas baking - a caramel slice and some apricot/coconut balls to be precise. I'm so pleased to have found a source of dairy free condensed milk as some of my favourite childhood treats are made with it and I can add them back into my repertoire without my tummy rebelling due to dairy. Win!
In my kitchen is...

A souvenir from a recent girls' weekend away. I escaped with some friends for a weekend of wandering around markets, lazing by the pool and having tapas and wine for dinner without having to worry about getting up to tend to small humans. In a little boutique winery I found a bottle of fig and ginger jam and had to have it. It's delicious on scones, although no one else in my household seems to appreciate it, which just means more for me!
In my kitchen is...

A large bottle of Tabasco sauce, which my brother asked me to get for him next time I was at Costco. I didn't photograph it next to anything for scale, but it's the biggest Tabasco bottle I have ever seen - 355ml. It should keep him going for quite some time. I'm going to include it in his Christmas present.
In my kitchen is...

Well, not technically in my kitchen, but in my kitchen garden, are some eye wateringly hot chillies in various stages of ripeness, which I plan to use to make a batch of home made tabasco sauce.
In my kitchen is...

Sourdough loaves. Thankfully my previously reported sluggish dough has perked up and is back to producing loaves that I am happy with again. These loaves are a higher hydration, with a coarse polenta coating. They go deliciously with vegemite and avocado, which, now that prices have come down to something reasonable again, are back on my menu at home.

I'm sending this to Lizzy, of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things for linking in to her monthly IMK roundup.

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy festive season, and I look forward to seeing all the seasonal goodies in everyone's kitchen. What's happening in your kitchen lately?

16 comments:

  1. Lots of good things in your kitchen this month... love the chillies! Happy December and thank you for the shout out.

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    1. Thanks Liz. I didn't think I'd make it but you deserve a shout out for doing such a great hosting job. Thanks for stopping by

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  2. I like Tabasco sauce and I was amazed to see how many different kinds there are including a chipotle one that I bought. That's a huge bottle of it! I have never heard of condensed coconut milk before. Would be good for all sorts of recipes I bet. Have a great xmas.

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    1. Oh I love the chipotle version as well, but I can't find that one in giant bottles. It's definitely a large version. I have high hopes for the coconut condensed milk too :)

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  3. Glad to see your sourdough is perking up - looks lovely! I am always intrigued by pumpkin pie spice (and confused when I read a pumpkin recipe that only had spice) but I always assume it is like mixed spice. Though perhaps it is an excuse to make a pumpkin pie - with coconut condensed milk (actually now I think I had better check use by date for the tin of coconut condensed milk I have). Good luck with your busy times!

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    1. Thanks Johanna, I was very relieved it perked up. I love the idea of combining the coconut condensed milk with pumpkin and the spice... everything is good individually so surely it'd be EXTRA good combined! Hope your coconut condensed milk was still usable!

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  4. Your bread is looking good! Will be interested to see the treats from the coconut milk.

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    1. Thank you! I'm looking forward to having some time to make them :)

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  5. What a terrific assortment of flavors in your kitchen this month, some familiar and others still unknown (vegemite??) We use a lot of tabasco sauce, especially the chipotle or green versions, but I've never thought of making my own. Is it a simple process?

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    1. Thank you! Vegemite is a unique Australian flavour made, oddly as a byproduct of beer and utilising the yeasty goodness. It's an acquired taste but I love it. Making tabasco is very easy, but the fumes while cooking it are a bit nostril singeing! Primarily, vinegar, chillies, garlic and salt, boiled and then blended and bottled.

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  6. So many delicious things to try! I hope you some day enjoy a real Thanksgiving.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Mae. The foods are intriguing! It's definitely on my list of things to do!

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  7. I feel for you with the week of single parenting! I hope it isn't / wasn't too bad and you get some respite when Mr Fork comes home. At least you have some delicious things to fuel you through it - I am very interested in the condensed coconut milk and love the look of the lemongrass tea. I'd have been excited about the pumpkin pie spice too but part of me thinks it is similar to our mixed spice. Is that the case?

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    1. Thanks Kari. I find night times the hardest - it's relatively easy to manage during the days, but nights seem very long when you HAVE to be the one to get up (I'm sure you understand!). I had to google to find the difference but apparently pumpkin pie spice is similar to mixed spice, but also has ginger and cloves in it as well. Both sound like delicious baking additions though :)

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  8. Lovely to make your acquaintance Lisa through IMK and am repaying the compliment. I love what is in your kitchen. I have a curiousity about American Thanksgiving and though turkey does not interest me the other stuff does and your pumpkin pie jar has me jealous. I want one. I know you said you have all the spices in your home and no doubt i do too, but is something about the mix already made up that appeals. Your chillies look fantastic, natures ornaments - i love how they shine and glisten!

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  9. 49 cents a can!!! Bargain of the century!

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