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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

In My Kitchen, May 2013

School holidays in April meant plenty of time for cooking, harvesting from the garden and experimenting in our wood oven.

These little capsicums have featured regularly in our meals.  My capsicum plants survived the heat of summer and are now enjoying the milder conditions and continue to produce prolifically.


The afternoon of Anzac Day was relatively peaceful in our house and the rhythmic process of making pasta was a comforting and quiet activity after an early start to the day.


Our autumn days are still warm and my basil is going strong.  I have made plenty of pesto using home grown garlic as well as our own olive oil to put in the freezer for the colder months ahead.


Another month and another old thermos.  This little tartan beauty was a birthday gift and my thermos collection continues to grow.  The pink rug is a recent addition to my picnic paraphernalia from  Hammamas.  It is made from light weight 100% cotton and can be used as a light towel, throw rug, baby blanket, sarong, table cloth or anything really.  I love it.


Simple, tasty zucchini relish made with excess capsicums and zucchini using a recipe from Whole Larder Love.  By the way if you haven't already got this book do yourself a favour.  If you care about your food and cook a lot from scratch or from your vegetable garden this book is for you.  


Lastly, I have had so much fun experimenting with sourdough pita bread in our wood oven using this recipe from Weekend Bakery.  Over the years I have made yeasted pita bread but after making the sourdough version there will be no going back to yeast for me.  The versatility of sourdough continues to amaze me.


How was April at your place?  What are you up to in your kitchen? 

Celia hosts this tour, please call into her blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and have a peek into kitchens all around the world. 

I received some very kind comments on my last post with two fellow bloggers commenting on my lifestyle.  I certainly have idyllic moments in the country but just like everybody else I also have moments of mess, frustration and stress.  This blog is a space for me to reflect on the good bits and it helps me to be more grateful for what I have in my life.  I am sure this is one reason many fellow bloggers also share glimpses of their life, am I right?  I really do have some lovely friends out there in blog land! 

46 comments :

  1. The tartan thermos reminds me of my school uniform! I loved our winter uniform. Going to look at those blankets, I will be needing one when we get a new couch. Do you sterilise the container you store your basil pesto in for the freezer? Or do you use a plastic container and just freeze? I haven't gone the full way with canning yet as the boiling/sterilising process has me a little nervous. I've just popped jars into the oven at 100 degrees celcius and then filled. As always, I love your glimpses. (and thank you very very much for your loving comment last night) xx

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    1. Thank you Lucent. No I don't sterilise my containers for the freezer, no problems so far!

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  2. Sourdough pita - when can I come for dinner? That just sounds amazing. Your ability to bake is wonderful (I'm a bit jealous as I'm still yet to find my "thing" in the kitchen).

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    1. Please come for dinner anytime Miss Piggy! You are doing plenty of good "things" in your kitchen with all of that balcony produce :)

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  3. jane, i love the way capsicum continue to ripen through autumn..eggplant do the same..your bread looks stunning..do you place the dough straight on the base of the oven or do you cook the pita on trays?

    your new thermos has a lid! did you ever get one for the other one you mentioned a while back?

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    1. Hi Jane. Thank you, yes I put the dough straight onto the base of the oven. I am still working on my technique, and it pays to keep a close eye on them as they cook very quickly depending on the oven heat. No lid for my other thermos yet...but I know there is one out there somewhere!

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  4. jane, i am literally green with envy that you can continue to harvest basil. the season for basil is long over here in chilly hobart (the weather website says it feels like 4.9 degrees out there right now!!!). and you remind me i have been very slack in not making my own pasta. i always enjoy having a sticky beak in your kitchen - thank you :-)

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    1. Thank e, we are still wearing shorts! The nights and mornings are cool but the days are still warm. It is rather unusual for this time of year, 29 degrees forecast for the weekend. My winter vegetables are rather confused I think :)

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  5. Hi Jane. Love that Thermos. What an amazing thing to collect. I would never have thought ... Your pasta, your bread and your zucchini relish all look great.

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    1. Thank you Glenda...I am not sure where these ideas for 'collections' come from really!?

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  6. That thermos is so cool Jane! I hope we get to have a paddock cuppa some time so I can have one from it! xx

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    1. Oh a peaceful paddock cuppa would be lovely Kate x

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  7. Oh Jane, that thermos sure is gorgeous... love love love that you are making pesto with your own olive oil!

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  8. Yummy everything looks great ! I miss pasta making so much since going gluten free, don't even mention bread.

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    1. Thank you Mrs Humble, lovely to hear from you! Gluten free must be difficult, I would really miss bread too :)

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  9. I love stopping by your kitchen, Jane. It makes me both hungry and inspired. Isn't sourdough just the best. So versatile. A wood fired oven and your own olive oil ....sigh....sigh! Nada

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  10. Thank you Nada, please share more of your sourdough ventures with me when you can. We are very lucky, as with all good things it has taken some time to get to this point. I appreciate your comment.

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  11. Those breads look very yummy, as does everything else! I'd like to make my own pasta. One day.
    xx

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    1. You will make your own pasta one day Sarah Jane and then you will realise how easy it is! x

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  12. Your sourdough pitas look wonderful. I hadn't decided what to make for supper tonight, but I'm off to make some pasta now.
    I agree with your comment about the idyllic life portrayed in blogs; I love reading your blog because you live on a different continent and your life is different from mine, but I'm happy for just a glimpse of the the good things.

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    1. Our lives are different but the same Anne! I appreciate you calling in :)

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  13. Jane, I'm going to look out for the Whole Larder book, thank you! Have you tried making the relish with tromboncinos? (she asks, with slight desperation in her voice.. :)) Your caps look lovely, ours are always less than successful, and I haven't made pasta in ages, must have another go. Lots of love to you and your gorgeous fam, dearheart. x

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    1. Yes Celia, I have made this relish with the tromboncinos, no problems. Love to you too!

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  14. It's all very delicious as usual at your gorgeous place Jane.
    And I love the idea of sour dough pita.
    I've fallen off the sour dough wagon a bit lately and must get back on.
    I hope you have the most gorgeous weekend.
    xxx

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    1. Thanks so much Kate, very kind. Sometimes the sourdough wagon falls off a bit...luckily it is fairly easy to get back on again :)

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  15. Sourdough pita breads - Yum. I personally love sourdough pizza bases but I can't make them as good as the Baker who taught me.
    Jane you are inspiration of grace, so true that we blog the good, sometimes only a glimpse of the ugly gets in. Living from the land is challenging and always keeps you on your toes.

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    1. Thanks Liz. How cool to have a 'real' baker teach you about bread stuff!

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  16. It looks amazing in your kitchen, and I'm excited to check out that book. It's so fun to see you preparing for the winter just as our garden is getting going!

    xox Lilly

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    1. You would enjoy this book I think Lilly. I hope life is warming up in your part of the world and your little baby bump is happy & healthy!

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  17. I can certainly relate to the rhythmic process of making pasta and pesto in the freezer is like a security blanket somehow. It must be especially satisfying to use your own garlic and olive oil, nothing better. Really enjoyed the insight into your kitchen, I am inspired to delve into sourdough making, although our weather is (finally) getting warmer now, so hopefully that will be the way I welcome our fall season. :)

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    1. Thank you Judy, lovely to meet you. Good luck with the sourdough, it can be an addictive activity once you start!

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  18. Oh balls! Now i'll have to go buy a pasta making machine. It's been at the back of my mind for some time. And your photo is so evocative - they all are. Your sourdough talents amaze me. I can't even get the bog-standard loaves right ... and there you are with your pitas! Inspiring though, yet again.

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    1. You are funny Rachel! Really my sourdough stuff is an on-going experiment, I am certainly no expert. Yes, buy a pasta machine, you wont regret it!

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  19. Oh Jane your pittas look wonderful and another book I`m going to have to keep an eye out for , thankyou...it all looks delicious as usual :)

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    1. Thanks Paula...yes there are just so many lovely books out there, it is hard to stop isn't it? :)

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  20. Jane your own basil, your own oil and your own garlic...perfect, absolutely perfect.

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    1. Thank you, it has taken a few years for us to get to this point!

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  21. So much inspiration Jane. As always!

    I have capsicum envy. My seeds didn't even germinate. Such a shame, because my kids would happily eat them like apples!

    rachel xo

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    1. Thanks Rachel. My kids like to eat them raw too!

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  22. One day I'll make pasta! I borrowed a pasta maker from my brother a few years ago and it is STILL sitting in the cupboard!

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    1. Rather like my tortilla press I suspect!

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  23. You make me feel bad that I have not managed to make pasta (besides gnocchi) since before my now two year old was born! My capsicums this year are miniscule in size and almost not worth picking :-/ It is lovely to visit here and see your beautiful pics as usual Jane. The pitas look divine. Maybe one day we can do a cooking session and you can help me work out what I do that is so wrong when it comes to sour dough :)

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    1. Thanks Kyrstie. Its funny how some things go on hold...I used to make sushi/nori rolls but I haven't made it since having children!

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Hello and welcome. I will try to reply to all comments eventually because I love the conversation! Jane