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In My November Kitchen

In My Kitchen to start November there are some interesting new products and ideas. I’ve just returned from a late October visit to my daughter Leah @ The Cookbook Guru, in Brisbane. Together we indulging in some food and wine experiences that have stimulated the creative juices to keep me inspired for a good month or two to come. Thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for providing the fabulous monthly In My Kitchen forum to enable me to share.

Together four of us sipped and spat our way around a joint Australian and New Zealand Pinot Noir tasting and promotion, “Pinot Palooza.” My two outright favourites were from the opposite ends of the price spectrum. The first to grab my attention was a high end ($140/bottle) New Zealand Pinot Noir from Mount Difficulty in the Central Otago region near Queenstown on the south island. The other was entry level wine from Crittenden’s on Victoria’s Mornington Penninsula. With a bottle price tag of $25 I cannot stop singing the praises of the 2013 Geppetto Pinot Noir. I wish I had a dozen bottles in my kitchen, I’m working on it!

A leisurely week day breakfast at Brisbane’s Riverbar Cafe introduced me to the union of pickled beets and soft boiled eggs, an unlikely but delicious combination that I have already begun to experiment with in my kitchen.
There will be a post in due course.

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A visit to the Kelvin Grove Village Market on Saturday morning for fruit and veg was routine enough until the potato vendor pointed out a basket of hand labelled zip lock bags that looked to hold dried black peppercorns. He told us he was “flogging them for his mate in Tassie” who hand harvests, hand strips then dries his crop of organically grown Tasmanian native pepper berries. I was tempted to bite into one to taste but was emphatically warned that I would be sorry. They are boldly aromatic, a little reminiscent of Szechuan peppercorns, with a beautiful peppery bite and are best crushed in a mortar.
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An exhausting day of food and booze tasting at the Brisbane Good Wine and Food Show introduced me to some exciting new Australian products and reminded me about forgotten old friends. I was impressed with the hand churned butter from the Victoria’s Myrtleford Dairy, a blue sheep’s milk cheese from “Grandvewe” of Tasmania and I was delighted to reacquaint myself with Mousseron, a gruyere style cheese from the Victorian Organic Dairy Farmers Co-op.

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Macadamia nuts are indigenous to topical north Queensland. We tasted spiced, chocolate coated and sweetened nuts of many flavours, and dukkah made with macadamia nuts rather than almonds or hazelnuts. I bought some beautiful cold pressed macadamia nut oil to use in summer salad dressings.

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On an inconspicuous side table at one of the cheese stall I spied some very attractive covered ceramic cheese bakers. I couldn’t resist. Baked brie and camembert will be on the menu during the imminent festive season.

We were collectively overawed by the products of a small production distiller, Mt Uncle from Queensland’s tropical north. We lugged home a bottle each of Australis Botanica Gin and the single barrel, single malt Big Black Cock Whisky, but the Iridium Golden Rum was extraordinary too. We had to draw the line somewhere, not wanting to pay excess baggage to the airline.

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And speaking of booze a small winery named Dog Ridge in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wowed me with their irresistible fortified Viogner. It has a slightly sweet delicious stone fruit palate with the warm dry finish of a good quality spirit. I highly recommend it as a night cap.

My most exciting discovery at the show was a range of traditionally made, artisan, Italian and Spanish style small goods of outstanding quality from a small company based in the northern New South Wales river region named “Salumi.” Happily in the passed week I’ve discovered Salumi products in a couple of my local delis. My favourite is the salami with fennel seed, perfect for warm weather antipasto.

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I urge you to visit Celia’s wonderful monthy kitchen round up, see what happening in kitchens in all four corners of the globe. I always learn something new, I’m sure you will too.

I paid for every product here and no producers have sought my opinion. I think I’m outside the target demographic!

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

50 comments on “In My November Kitchen

  1. Elizabeth
    November 30, 2014

    I had so much fun at the food and wine show as well and I think we bought the same things… I bought the cultured butter and I am still eating it!!! The truffle butter was also delicious! Thanks for sharing! Liz x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 30, 2014

      Damn, I missed the truffled butter! I’m just coming to the end of the plain butter now. So much better than the generic stuff from the supermarket! Don’t you think Liz that we bloggers all need to wear big labels when we go to foodie events so we recognize one another in the flesh….

      Like

      • Elizabeth
        December 1, 2014

        Yes I think that would be great!!! We should organise a meet in cheese alley next year πŸ™‚

        Like

  2. Pingback: November in the kitchen – Not Just Any Pickled Beets | spades, spatulas & spoons

  3. How nice to be able to spend time with Leah eating and drinking! I hope I get to do that with my boys when they’re older. The native pepper sounds fascinating, and that egg and beetroot photo is making me starving! Think I’d better go get some breakfast.. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 18, 2014

      Been in Brissy again, so sorry for being slow to respond. Having a common interest means there are plenty of activities and conve

      Like

  4. Sherry from sherrys pickings
    November 14, 2014

    I have been using tassie native pepper berries for years. Such a wonderful flavour. I was at the good food and wine show too. I didn’t see those cheese baking dishes. So cute. Great stuff in your post this month.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 15, 2014

      Thanks Sherry, i’m just loving those Tassie pepper berries, the

      Like

  5. Misky
    November 11, 2014

    A perfectly cooked egg. Gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. thecompletebook
    November 10, 2014

    Love the sounds of the wine tasting. You have so many wonderful things in your kitchen. It’s always so much fun seeing things I wouldn’t ordinarily see.
    Have a super day.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xo

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 11, 2014

      Isn’t that the best thing about IMK. While the world is a very small place, there is still plenty that is different to celebrate.

      Like

  7. Moya
    November 10, 2014

    Have some Tasmanian peppercorns at home, love their spiciness and taste. The cheese and salami… all looks very tasty in your kitchen πŸ™‚

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 10, 2014

      The peppercorns are incredible, I just love their spicy flavour. Thanks for visiting my kitchenπŸ˜„

      Like

  8. Francesca
    November 9, 2014

    About being outside the target demographic. Although it would be lovely to be sponsored from time to time with produce you enjoy using and the odd chance to dine out for free and post a review, I suspect that you are not only older than most food bloggers, but dare I say, a lot wiser and a tad wealthier. You are free to write well, and at length and be as wordy and erudite as you please. You can post, or not post pictures, visit exotic places such as India, which often escape the radar of younger bloggers. You can be political and opinionated because your judgments are based on years of sound practice and learning. You are not faddish nor do you want to be, otherwise you may become marketable and lose your authenticity. You speak to another audience with a voice that resides outside the world of advertising and for this I am eternally grateful and rather pleased.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 9, 2014

      It was a tongue in cheek aside, but you’re dead right, I’m too damned opiniated and forthright to kowtow to commercialism. The interaction with like minded bloggers like you Francesca make it all worth while! Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Francesca
    November 8, 2014

    I’ve been away again, so popping into your kitchen now and am admiring a few things. I also bought some of that fortified Viogner when in McLaren vale earlier this year. I also bought a ox of their Chardonnay whhich was very disappointing when I got home- must have got into the party frame of mind, encouraged by the owner who runs the tastings at a communal table. Haven’t opend the viogner yet. A pinot tasting sounds appealing and the Geppetto from Mornington Peninsula is a good one. Washed rind cheese- yum. You two must have had a great time.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 8, 2014

      That’s bad luck about the chardonnay! It is always good to spend time with my adult kids, and when we have so much in common it’s twice the pleasure. Francesca, I emailed the Ilve oven notes to the email address on your WordPress avatar on Thursday. Did they arrive? If not let me know and I’ll resend.

      Like

      • Francesca
        November 8, 2014

        They arrived, and thank you so much. I am still trawling through the catch ups after a week on the Murray. Now I’ll force myself to play with the dial on the Ilve rather than blindly turning it to No 7 position, and copy your notes onto my Ilve booklet. xx

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        November 8, 2014

        Pleased they arrived, have fun playing.

        Like

  10. Joanne T Ferguson
    November 7, 2014

    G’day! Thanks for your kitchen view this month too and thanks you for allowing me to learn something new re Mousseron!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Like

  11. fergie51
    November 7, 2014

    Oooh, this all looks so delicious! I’ve just planted a pepper berry tree, hopefully it grows well.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 7, 2014

      Hi Fergie, I hope your pepperberry thrives. From what I understand they are labour intensive to harvest and strip, but well worth the effort

      Like

  12. nancy @ Plus Ate Six
    November 6, 2014

    What an amazing haul of goodies! My favourite is the ceramic cheese baker – that will look so eye catching on a dinner table. I bet you two had an absolute ball that day.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 7, 2014

      It was a great day Nancy, the cheese baker will make it’s first public appearance next week

      Like

  13. anne54
    November 6, 2014

    This all sounds so delicious. What an amazing array of goodies there were for you to try! I am intrigued too by the mix of boiled eggs and beetroot. I love both of them, but I have never thought to put them together.

    Like

  14. Eha
    November 6, 2014

    Better late than never managed to do quite a few scrolls of your ‘foodie day’ and be more than a little envious πŸ™‚ ! Am smiling at Chgo John’s comment: now his family originated in Italy and I was born way up north in Estonia and we made virtually the same salad with beets and hardboiled eggs and onion and oft some finely chopped pickled cucumbers added also . . . but always sour cream no mayo . . . small, small world!!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      and as an Anglo Aussie, it’s a totally new combo. I’m hooked on it now though. I’ve refined the brunch dish, now I’ll try a salad

      Like

  15. Sally
    November 6, 2014

    I’d love to be in your kitchen this month – well you know the gin caught my eye… and that cheese… and the salami…

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      The gin tastes like the Aussie bush, it wonderfully fresh and makes a magical martini

      Like

  16. ChgoJohn
    November 6, 2014

    Now that’s what I call a fantastic day out! And you brought back some wonderful “souvenirs” with which to remember it. In my mind, food and recipes are the best souvenirs. πŸ™‚
    Beets and eggs go very well together. Mom and Zia made a layered “salad” with pickled beets on the bottom, a little chopped onion on top, a thin layer of mayo came next, and topped off with chopped hard-boiled eggs, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little paprika. I love it!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      It was a fantastic day out John. The feet were tired and the palate jaded at the end,but we had a ball. I’ll have to try your Mum and Zia’s salad recipe, i’m hooked on the eggs and beets combo

      Like

  17. What wonderful finds! I’ve never thought of pickled beets and soft boiled eggs, have to try it.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      Seems by Chicago John’s comment it’s not the unusual combination I believed it was, but definitely worth a try. πŸ˜ƒ

      Like

  18. Marian@Apricot Tart
    November 5, 2014

    Hi Sandra! What a great roundup of wonderful produce, products and experiences you’ve shared this month. I will be checking to see if I can source some of these locally!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      Aussie small producers are making fantastic products Marian and well deserve our support. Thanks for dropping by

      Like

  19. hotlyspiced
    November 5, 2014

    How lovely to have a daughter who is also a food blogger. I do love the sound of the pinto tasting. I’ve heard that pinots from Central Otago are up there with the best in the world. That cheese sounds really interesting xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 6, 2014

      It was Leah who started me blogging! Central Otago makes fantastic pinot, try some, you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for dropping by

      Like

  20. My Kitchen Witch
    November 4, 2014

    Wow! You and Leah must have been in heaven. Such a great roundup of regional food and booze. Absolutely love the Tasmanian pepper, the idea of dukkah made with macadamia nuts and pickled beets with soft boiled eggs (yes, the combo sounds great).

    Like

  21. Fae's Twist & Tango
    November 4, 2014

    A fine plate with pickled beets and soft boiled eggs… I wouldn’t mind a slice of mousseron and salami with fennel seed. Hmmm macadamia sounds good too. Your suggestion to Darya about how to use Tasmania pepper is very interesting. Sounds like you really had a great time with Leah!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 4, 2014

      I love spending time with Leah, we have many common interests like girlfriend rather than mother and daughter

      Liked by 1 person

  22. cheergerm
    November 4, 2014

    What a mouth watering post Mrs Recipe! I have tried the Mt Difficulty Pinot once, hoo ha! But with my everyday pocketbook, I shall be tracking down that Geppetto Pinot and keeping my eye open for the salumi and victorian Gruyere cheese. I have used native pepper berry before but not for years. Those cheese bakers are adorable, great food and drink all round.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 4, 2014

      It was a kilo increasing holiday Cheery, but someone had to do it! There are many fantastic local Aussie products of high quality and unique flavours that deserve our support. Small retailers are you best bet if searching them out, it worth it!

      Like

      • cheergerm
        November 4, 2014

        You are a trooper! I hear you on the Aussie product front, years ago I used to work in a gourmet deli and saw gorgeous products come my way. Didn’t have much pay left at the end of it…ha….I really didn’t….😁

        Liked by 1 person

      • ladyredspecs
        November 4, 2014

        I owned a deli for a couple of years, when King Island products were just gaining a foothold, long iefore the supermarkets got hold of them. I swear some weeks we ate our body weight in cheese, at least it felt like it….

        Liked by 1 person

  23. Glenda
    November 4, 2014

    Hi Sandra, that show sounds like it was great fun. I am amazed you came home with so little.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 4, 2014

      Sadly we were limited by our luggage allowance. We did arrange for delivery to our door of white wine from Dowie Doole in the McLaren Vale and a couple of cheeses were gobbled up prior to coming home. We did try to be circumspect.

      Like

  24. Darya
    November 4, 2014

    A small spice-shop in Paris has started selling Tasmanian pepper, and it does smell amazing! I’ll buy some next time I go there. Does it need to be used in specific dishes, or as regular black pepper? I enjoyed reading about your discoveries, and love the name “mousseron” (which in France is a kind of mushroom πŸ˜‰ )

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      November 4, 2014

      The mousseron cheese has a funky nose like the forest floor, i guess it’s a fitting name! The Tasmanian native pepper is quite hot, but also very fragrant. Yes use it in your grinder, but better still if you are a pepper lover make peppercorn sauce to serve with a steak, or add it to a salt and pepper mixture for calamari or pork.

      Like

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This entry was posted on November 4, 2014 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , .
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