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Thursday, June 6, 2013

In My Kitchen, June 2013

Welcome to another tour of my kitchen.  With the temperature dropping and the days becoming shorter there has never been a better time to be in the kitchen, wouldn’t you agree?

My love gave me this lavish book for Mother’s Day.  He was so enthusiastic about the recipes that he gave it to me a week early, bless him.  The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook is the perfect book for our lifestyle.  There are plenty of lamb recipes, all of the quantities are on the large side and almost all of the ingredients are available to us.  Already I have trialled several recipes. 


This is the start of an experiment with dried limes or loomi from the book mentioned above.  These have taken some time to actually dry and when I have had residual heat in the wood oven I have put them inside it, sometimes overnight.  Does anyone have any experience with dried limes?


Eating sausages feels so much better when you know exactly what has gone into them.  Here the home butcher is skilfully tying off a string of homemade lamb sausages.  We kept this batch very plain which means the whole family can enjoy them and everyone can add their favourite condiments as they wish.


My young kitchen assistant recently helped me to bottle the remainder of our olive crop.  I had to smile at her unique, personalised labelling system.
 

A full trailer load of oranges equals a lot of orange juice and orange cake.  Nearby orchards have been giving away imperfect oranges that the major supermarkets will not accept.  I could probably write a whole blog about the average consumer being obsessed with perfect fruit or are the supermarkets obsessed?   I am not sure.  Anyway, after some oranges were shared among friends I made these delicious cakes using Sophie's recipe.   The rest of the oranges were greatly appreciated by our sheep and cattle as supplementary feed.  


This was my first attempt at wood fired sourdough focaccia using Celia's recipe.  This bread contains a generous amount of olive oil and with plenty of our own oil on hand I know this is going to become a regular feature throughout the winter. 


Please call into to Celia's blog and take a tour of interesting kitchens all around the world.

I hope you are staying warm and baking or creating.  Lately at our place we simply cannot stop cooking!

44 comments :

  1. what a gorgeous post jane..those sausages look amazing..i made some a while back but they were awful..for one thing the innards i got from the butcher had a smell that still makes me feel ill and when cooked they were inedible because they they were so dry..i'd have another go at them except for the smell of those gizzards!

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    1. That is a shame about your sausages Jane, I think it is something that takes a little practice. Assembling all of the equipment and suitable ingredients takes time too! Thanks for calling in x

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  2. Yum!
    I am intrigued by loomi - will have to do a spot of googling later.
    I would love a couple of those snags!

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    1. Thanks Kylie, I am not sure my loomi has really worked? We would happily share a snag on the barbie with you :)

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  3. I enjoy these monthly posts of your so much Jane! We recently put a 360kg steer in the freezer, so we've got a lot of beef to get through! (we don't buy meat from the shop though, so it's nice to have a good supply) It was so interesting watching the butcher making sausages - he tied the knots so fast I couldn't even see what was happening!

    I was curious, how do you feed the oranges to the sheep and cattle? Do you feed them whole? We have an old neglected orange tree that was here when we moved in. We haven't gotten around to restoring the orchard yet, and the tree is fruiting but the oranges are a bit sour. I was just thinking the Lowlines (miniature Angus) might enjoy some, but would they choke on them whole?

    Hope you week is going well!
    Sarah x

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    1. Thanks Sarah. My husband puts the oranges out on the ground for the cattle, near the watering point/trough. Yes, we feed them out whole and the cattle chew them up. I don't think they would choke on them but I am not an expert on the subject :)

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    2. Thanks Jane! I'll have to see if our cows little citrus :-)

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  4. Lovely Jane. I would love to get my hands on that book. My whole family really enjoys those sorts of flavours. I have been experimenting with my slow cooker and Sally Wise recipes over the last few weeks and we too have been enjoying home made sausages from the family.

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    1. You would love this book Kate. Great weather for the slow cooker & sausages too!

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  5. MAking bread with your own olive oil has me feeling rather envious. I love your kitchen and your wood stove as well!
    Thanks so much for sharing

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    1. Thank you for your kind words as always Heidi Annie

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  6. So much good stuff in your kitchen. I didn't know that sheep will eat oranges.

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    1. Thanks Jo, the sheep haven't loved the oranges as much as the cattle!

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  7. Hooray, the focaccia recipe worked! So glad you liked it, Jane, and what gorgeous colour you have on it! I love your specially labelled olive jars! I wish there was something the orchards could do with their marked fruit, like turn it into juice or concentrate - it seems such a waste to have to discard it! Will look out for that cookbook, it sounds fascinating! :)

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    1. Thank you Celia. I made the focaccia again yesterday and I didn't get the colour quite as good. But, it was still tasty. Great recipe x

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  8. just ♥ that labelling system for your apprentice!! EWE BEAUTY

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    1. Thanks Trish...she was totally in the moment! x

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  9. *big smile* love those labels. You'll be smiling every time you reach for a jar now.
    Intrigued by your dried limes too.

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    1. Thanks Brydie, my daughter was completely in the moment labelling, sorting, counting, arranging etc! I am not so sure about the limes, I might have to try again with this I think.

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  10. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen, I'm intrigued by the dried lime experiment :)

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    1. Thanks Tandy, I think I might have to try again with the limes!

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  11. Jane the bread looks wonderful, I can almost smell it, you are a very clever baker :)I am excited to see you drying limes (we freeze our excess) and would love to see how they are used. You really can`t beat a home made sausage can you and I think your olive labels are divine.

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  12. wow all that looks amazing! yum

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  13. Hi Jane... wow, I haven't seen that Tess Mallos book, but am a fan of hers from way back. Sadly, she passed away not too long ago. She wrote a number of books and among them I have her Meat Cookery from decades ago... I treasure it to this day as it has many classic dishes in it. Love that you are drying your limes... how interesting! Will you post the recipe? There's a recipe from the New York times that sounds interesting http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/02/dining/02power.html?_r=0 Thanks for the peek into your kitchen, happy cooking

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    1. Hi Lizzy. Incredibly I had not heard of Tess Mallos until I received this book and then I felt quite sad to learn that she had passed away. I have not had great success with the limes, they seem a little burnt. I might try again. Happy cooking to you too :)

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  14. Your oranges reminds me of when we used to get trailer loads of rejected apples which we would pick over first and then feed to the cows (though they used to dye the apples purple which meant some very careful selection). We could have an interesting debate on whether it's consumers or supermarkets that demand perfect fruit - whichever, it's a terrible waste.
    As ever, your kitchen looks a welcoming place full of delicious food. I particularly covert your wood fired sourdough focaccia, especially made with your own olive oil.
    Enjoy your winter days in the kitchen - our days are just warming up and I'm hoping to get our of mine.

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  15. Thanks for your comments as always Anne. Enjoy your warmer days!

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  16. Oooh, there's a Middle Eastern cookbook I don't own! Might have to hunt that one down. And I am very envious of your olives and olive oil - how wonderful!

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    1. Thanks Amanda, I know you would like this book!

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  17. I can recall putting oranges in the freezer as children and then eating them in summer like a round frozen icy pole.

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  18. Jane, I am soooooo jealous of your olive stash. It is magnificent!!!!

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    1. Thank you Mrs M, we haven't tested this batch yet so time will tell!

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  19. Oh I'm so excited about your olive oil Miss Jane!
    Until now we've always brined ours but tis year, hopefully next Monday, we'll take ours to the presser in Kynton.
    I cannot imagine how exciting it must be to have your own.
    Yay!
    And as for the super cute olive labels, very clever indeed.
    xx

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    1. Thanks Kate, good luck with your olive pressing. Yes, it is very exciting and something I didn't ever think we would actually achieve!

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  20. You are such a productive family! I love EVERYTHING about and in this post. I want to come and live near you so I can learn some of your wonderful skills. The olive labels are adorable and dried lime has me drooling, can't wait to hear more about those. K x

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    1. Thanks Kyrstie, you are very kind. I would happily share what we have picked up along the way! I am not sure the limes have been a big success...I need to try again with these I think!

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  21. Looking at your sausages, foccacia and preserves.... I feel lazy and envious!!!
    Wonderful kitchen post!!!!

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  22. i love the beautiful labels your daughter created. so sweet - i bet you smile everytime you open a jar!
    hav you been watching shane dellal's middle eastern jaunts on SBS on thursday nights? it's a wonderful show - i'm learning lots of things.

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    1. Thanks e, middle eastern food is beautiful isn't it?

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  23. What a lovely kitchen tour - I love the quirky olive labels and the focaccia - that is such a shame about the oranges but am glad you can make use of them

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