from one generation to the next
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!