from one generation to the next
It’s the beginning of July and my kitchen is in chaos. It’s winter school holidays and I have my darling grand daughters to stay for the duration. They are both budding cooks. “Masterchef” is high on their agenda and I find myself being asked to judge their kitchen creations.
Miss E who is 10 years old is fortunate to attend a school which is involved with the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Scheme, a program dedicated to teaching kids about growing vegetables and cooking healthy food. She has developed firm opinions about cooking. Eight years old Miss S on the other hand takes direction graciously, though she needs to learn that cooking is fun and that right and wrong are fairly flexible kitchen concepts. All this said, we’re spending quality time together, eating simple but good food and learning to communicate as well as cook.
There is a basket of mandarin skins in various stages of dryness on my kitchen sideboard. Star anise, cassia bark and dried mandarin peel make a delicious braising and poaching stock for beef, pork and chicken with added ginger, garlic, soy and brown sugar. I need to replenish my pantry with mandarin peel so there’s enough to take me through to next year’s season.
I like to marinate my own olives. The Mount Zero producers sell 2.5kg jars of olives at my local Farmer’s Market. I bring them home, strain off the brine and empty the olives into a bowl. I pack the olives back into the jar layered with fresh thyme, oregano and rosemary, garlic cloves and lemon zest. I pour most of the brine back into the jar then add enough olive oil to cover the olives by about 2cm. After about a month I have delicious olives with herbal notes, yum.
In my kitchen I have all the ingredients to make a delicious wholegrain natural muesli, no added fat or sugar. Puffed buckwheat, amaranth, rice, kamut and millet, rolled spelt and oats, oat bran, linseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, sultanas and almonds. You’ll find the proportions I use here.
Last month I started a batch of lemon infused olive oil which I shared with you. I’d like to report that after infusing for 4 weeks the flavour is super delicious, fresh, zesty and lemony. I’ve decanted the lemon oil back into it’s original bottle and now my one litre, wide necked mason jar is busy playing host to a collection of parmagiano regginano rinds infusing another bottle of olive oil with their wonderful flavour. I will leave the rinds in the oil for a couple of months, add more as they come available and taste the oil to judge the time to strain it.
High summer for some, dead of winter for others, what’s happening in your kitchen this month?
Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial gives food bloggers a chance to share their kitchen space on a monthly basis. It’s fun, it’s free and it’s fertile ground for recipes and ideas.