sharing recipes from one generation to the next
One month of autumn has disappeared in a flash and again it’s time to join the monthly international and incredibly interesting In My Kitchen forum hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Check it out, join in, it’s easy, it’s fun!
The days are cooler, the nights are crisp and after daylight savings (summer time) finishes this weekend, we’ll be on a slippery slide into winter. On the upside, the holiday crowds have dispersed from our seaside retreat. The beach is deserted and as we walk the dog, all we have for company is each other, and the sound of crashing waves.
In my quiet beach house kitchen I have a wedge of stunning Mousseron washed rind Swiss style cheese made by French cheese maker Mattieu Megard, using organic jersey milk from Smith’s farm on the Great Ocean Road. It’s is not your average Swiss style cheese. Yes it’s smooth and nutty with a slight sweetness, but the supple texture coupled with the intense gruyere flavour make it unique.
I wish I had a loaf of Irrewarra sourdough bread, shaped by hand and baked on the brick floor of their wood fired oven. It is my favourite artisanal bread by a country mile. Baked daily in the 150 year old converted barn on the family farm in the provincial town of Colac, it’s available all along the Great Ocean Road and at limited outlets in Melbourne. If I break my embargo on gluten, it’s to gnaw on a chunk of delicious crusty Irrawarra baguette.
The season has about finished so I’m making my last punnet of Otway Blueberries grown at Gellibrand River, go the distance. Sold by variety, blueberries from this grower have just recently made a welcome appearance my greengrocery store in Melbourne. Prior to that I made a beeline to the community market held on the foreshore each Saturday morning to purchase these beauties direct. I have learned that some varieties are characteristically softer, larger and sweeter than others. I like small tart blueberries.
In my beach house kitchen I also have beautiful fresh raspberries. I am lucky that a dedicated raspberry grower brings his fruit to the foreshore market. These fabulous raspberries were only picked the Friday before. They are packed and categorized according to their sweetness. I buy the sweet raspberries to eat fresh, the sharp flavoured to make jam and those with medium sweetness, I buy for making desserts.
In my kitchen I have new season’s organic Spartan apples. This little known variety, grown in the hinterland, is a crisp juicy eating apple with an acidic tang. I buy them from an ageing hippie couple whose orchard is comprised a collection of heirloom and obscure varieties. They are passionate about their apples
In my beach house kitchen I have a new oven, and not before time! The old model has been ailing for almost a year. First the fan died, no real drama there, and then the bottom element developed an intermittent fault, which made baking anything unpredictable. We scooped up a discontinued model in the January sales and finally the electrician has done his part. I’m especially happy, as it’s a replica of one of the ovens in my larger, more sophisticated cooker at home in the city. I would recommend an Ilve cooker anytime.
And finally, in my beach house kitchen is a pungent fishy smell. The the tide is out and an easterly is blowing. The large Southern Fur Seal colony on Hayley’s Reef is clearly visible. Occasionally I hear a seal bark, but today it’s the wind that reminds me of their presence!