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In My Kitchen, April 2014

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.

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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.

20140401-091142.jpgIn 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.

20140401-091450.jpgIn 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

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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.

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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!

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About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

32 comments on “In My Kitchen, April 2014

  1. Mel Kettle
    April 15, 2014

    I LOVE that cheese! I tried (and bought) some at the Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show last year and I’ve been looking for it at the shops ever since! Hopefully soon… I love those blueberries too. I was in NZ recently and ate about a punnet a day as they were local and soooo cheap compared to in Brissie at the time. Actually, I pretty much just love everything in your post. It’s also making me a bit desperate to get back to my holiday beach house.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2014

      Thank you! We were absolutely blown away by the deliciousness of the Mousseron, and fortunately there is as little deli enroute to the beach house that stocks local produce so it’s always at our fingertips. I need to catch up with this month’s IMK posts, thanks for dropping by and reminding me.

      Like

  2. tiffinbitesized
    April 14, 2014

    I like the small, sharp bluberries too. I know people like the bigger ones but they are not to my tastes unless in a smoothie or cake. I’m also interested to see a grower who grade their raspberries by taste – most are by size. Very handy. Thanks for the tour.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 15, 2014

      Farmers markets are a godsend. Passionate growers, fabulous produce, we are so lucky! Thanks for visiting my kitchen

      Like

  3. Sally
    April 5, 2014

    Those apples look like apples should be. I can imagine the crunch and the acid juice. Longing to try that cheese…. with the apple?

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 6, 2014

      They were excellent together Sally. New season’s apples are fantastic

      Like

  4. Danielle L
    April 4, 2014

    Your beach house seems like the place to be, amazing produce, wonderful views, walks along the beach. Enjoy the last of the sun over the next week or so!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 4, 2014

      Thanks, it is a retreat from the madness of city living, we love it!

      Like

  5. All that fresh produce on your doorstep is amazing. So jealous. Particularly the different apples. Oh to have a view of a seal colony. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 6, 2014

      It’a pleasure Tania, we feel very fortunate to be the custodians of this special place!

      Like

  6. tinywhitecottage
    April 3, 2014

    Ah Sandra, it beautiful…everything. The gorgeous fruits, cheese, view and the sound of crashing waves. Life is good. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 3, 2014

      I’m very lucky indeed, fresh air, bountiful wholesome food, loving family…

      Like

  7. Glenda
    April 3, 2014

    Hi Sandra, I am so jealous of your berries. They are so expensive here and usually mouldy before they get to the shelf.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 3, 2014

      I never buy raspberries in Melbourne for the same reason, we are lucky to have a reliable supply at Apollo Bay

      Like

  8. ardysez
    April 2, 2014

    The fruit looks so delicious. Congrats on the new oven–well-deserved! Apollo Bay is lovely. We had lunch there on our GOR drive last year. Thanks for the post!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 2, 2014

      Glad you liked AB, it in a very special part of Australia, that’s for sure! Thanks for visiting

      Like

  9. You can sea a seal colony from your house? That is AMAZING! So glad to hear about your new oven – as you say, a fan can be fixed, but intermittent faults are just a hole that your pour electrician money into. The apples sound wonderful, as does the cheese and sourdough – how cool that they’re baking in a 150 year old barn. Love the berries too! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 2, 2014

      It IS incredible to have the seal colony front and centre of our view! Southern Right Whales come to our bay too, August to October. They calve along the SW coast! it gives me an enormous buzz when they visit. Just loving the new oven. It had been difficult to plan meals excluding it. The amount of high quality food grown/produced locally is ballooning, it’s so exciting, it’s never had much of a food focus.

      Like

  10. It all sounds so idyllic! What a view. We grow Spartan apples, though we leave them on the tree until they’re deep red like a perfect apple to tempt Snow White! One of my favourite apples because they have taste and juice.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 2, 2014

      Spartan apples are delicious, lucky you having a tree! The view is awesome, we feel so privileged to be able to enjoy it.

      Like

  11. My Kitchen Witch
    April 1, 2014

    Beautiful views from your beach kitchen. All those luscious fruits! Loved the post.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 1, 2014

      Yes the view is beautiful, but some days the odour is less than choice! The climate is cooler in the SW perfect for berries and apples

      Like

  12. lapetitecasserole
    April 1, 2014

    I’m really indecisive… what should I envy more??? the cheese or the amazing view of the sea??? It’s hard make it clear….

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 1, 2014

      Oh the view is very very special, that’s just a small section, but definitely the focus of seal activity. It will remain, long after the cheese is eaten! Got to say though it was a unique experience eating such an outstanding quality local cheese

      Like

  13. Eha
    April 1, 2014

    Love the look of the ‘mousseron’ cheese I have never tasted and all those lovely fruits. Not quite so autumnal in the Southern Highlands of NSW as yet, but admit to ‘sleeping in’ to past 7 am because of the longer darkness . . . shall get a shock come the weekend πŸ™‚ !

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 1, 2014

      It’s been 33 today, can’t wait for winter, but putting the clocks back will be a shock indeed!

      Like

  14. Leah
    April 1, 2014

    Oh your making me miss my weekends to the beach house with this post! Xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 1, 2014

      Sorry!! xx

      Like

      • Leah
        April 1, 2014

        Ah…love it!!! Challenge accepted! Here’s hoping the Brisbane weather co-operates πŸ™‚

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        April 1, 2014

        OK look forward to hearing how it goes!

        Like

  15. Francesca
    April 1, 2014

    Thankyou for bringing in the sea breezes from Apollo Bay, one of my favourite spots in the whole world. I know, big call, but it is just so lovely down there, especially after the summer crowds have gone. And thank goodness for ageing hippies with apples. I swear by Ilve stoves also.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      April 1, 2014

      The easterly is delicious when the humidity is high. We love our bolt hole at AB, it’s a wonderful escape from the rat race of city life.

      Like

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This entry was posted on April 1, 2014 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , .
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