from one generation to the next
In My Kitchen hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial gives me the perfect forum to share what’s happening this month, chez moi.
This will be the first year in many that we haven’t escaped the chill and travelled to a warmer climate. I’m looking forward to winter at home. Crazy I know, but rugging up against the cold seems appealing right now. I may have a different opinion come spring. I’m already thinking about meals that fog up the windows as they cook, soup, risotto and pasta, steamed pudding with custard.
A trip to the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Sydney Road Brunswick is like a day out “in Italia”, the air alive with the Italian language and food smells. This Melbourne iconic gem is my go to source for reasonably priced, high quality imported grocery lines, beautifully made local small goods and vino Italiano.
Last week I a made a pilgrimage to stock up on canned tomatoes, olive oil, gluten free pasta and delicious Italian confectionary. Each visit yields new surprises.
With great excitement I bought some expensive boxed pasta loudly promoted as being made from Spelt. I’m normally very cautious about new products and read the label carefully but imagine my alarm when I found once at home that the pasta was made from Farro. I can’t even blame the Italian language labelling because alongside, printed clearly in English it says “manufactured from emmer wheat”. Not being able to find a single article online about farro and it’s impact on fructose intolerance, I made spaghetti puttanesca for lunch and waited for a reaction. Twenty four hours later and still feeling good I concluded I am able to tolerate this fabulous pasta. After restricting myself to the occasional pasta meal made with gluten free noodles for 18+ months, this is a major breakthrough.
We don’t limit our consumption of Parmagiano Reggiano to pasta meals. This is the best eating cheese in the world as far as I’m concerned and when Organic Parmagiano Reggiano is available at such a bargain basement price, I buy it by the kilo, break each wedge in half and vacuum pack it to prevent surface mould from growing, but it really doesn’t last very long. I use the rinds in soup, or I make Parmesan oil to use as a dressing in salad.
For weeks I’ve been itching to get my hands on some chestnut flour, and now the mission is accomplished. Lately there has been loads of recipes circulating on WordPress for crepes, cakes, bread and brownies made with chestnut flour which is of course naturally gluten free. I’m going to start with our host’s recipe for chestnut flour brownies.
I also bought this jar of Amarena cherries specifically to make Amarena cherry stuffed amaretti. There is a problem however. The cherries are so delicious, I may have eaten then all by the time I get around to baking.
On the fourth Saturday of each month, in the grounds of the Abbotsford Convent, the Slow Food Movement hosts a farmers market. Victoria’s premium producers sell their wares at this market. Small producers of organic and biodynamic fruit, vegetables, nuts, olives, eggs, dairy produce and rice, farmers of rare breed beef, lamb, pork and poultry, and a broad range of value added goods. I love this market. It’s truly local and genuinely seasonal.
Fresh walnuts in the shell from Bright in Victoria’s high country made their first appearance for 2014 last week. I love to eat them fresh from the shell with blue cheese and apple, and team them up with chocolate, and coffee.
What happening in your kitchen?