There hasn't been a huge amount happening in my kitchen in recent weeks. I think my brain has been having a bit of a blog hiatus. I have noticed that quite a few bloggers have slowed down lately. Something in the air perhaps? I know Maureen our lovely host has been in the wars lately, so I send her/you my best wishes!
|beautifully soft and fragrant pods|
In my kitchen are these stunningly fragrant and squishy vanilla pods from Madagascar. When I opened the packet, my kitchen was full of this amazingly fruity, spicy aroma. Normally I buy them online from north Queensland farms, but the crops were destroyed late last year when a huge storm blew in, so here we have these instead. This led to my latest batch of vanilla extract steeping for the next few months. I was reminded when I read one of Maureen's posts that I needed to get it on the go pronto.
|vanilla beans doing their thing for the next few months|
I poured in about 625 mls. of vodka with 20+ pods. You know the basic "recipe" is one cup vodka to 8 vanilla beans. I find it a wee bit funny that some of them are apparently 'pods' and some 'beans'. Not sure what the difference is! BTW don't buy the beans at a supermarket if you can help it; they were almost 6 times the cost of buying in bulk online. I nearly choked when I saw the price of one bean!
|home grown garlic - not by me :=)|
I was sent some home grown garlic by the lovely Maree of Around the Mulberry Tree. Thanks so much Maree! It has been divvied up and thrown into the freezer to keep me going over the next few months. And if you are wondering, that cute little wooden thingy is a garlic crusher I bought years ago at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.
|gooey melting Brie with honey and walnuts|
Over Easter, we had friends pop by for arvo tea. We indulged in this gooey, gorgeous mess. Pour honey over your fave soft cheese, sprinkle on some chopped nuts and bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes till it starts to ooze like this. Sooo darn delish! Serve with pita bread that you have heated for a few minutes in the oven. Oh yes, you could throw on some herbs and sea salt flakes too.
|pretty little tumbler made by our friend Miss B.|
Yep you guessed it! Another of our friend's pieces. You can find her work in various cafés and restaurants around northern NSW and Canberra. Sorry if I sound like an ad., but she makes great stuff and you really need to see this:=) The weird thing was I was checking out Serena's blog Anything But Toast last month and funnily enough there was a photo of a crème brûlée that she had eaten in a Canberra restaurant - Locale. And guess what! It was made in Miss B.'s bowl. I was really pleased to suss this out.
|pretty little saucer to go with the tumbler|
Miss B. knows a chap down her way who makes these lovely saucers to go with her tumblers. They are made of local camphor laurel, and smell divine. (Hard to believe that camphor laurel is a Class 3 Declared Pest Plant). The wood turner is in his 70s, and only has one arm! True story.
Some readers may remember I love to collect - and use - tea towels. Mr P. and I went off to the Queensland Museum over Easter to check out the Medieval Power exhibition from the British Museum collections. This is a beauty to add to my bulging drawers.
|who could resist this cute fridge magnet?|
And last but not least, here is Nigella's latest. I got this from Mr P. at Christmas, along with a few other cookbooks. I haven't actually delved into it yet but I will - soon.
|Nigella looking fab as usual|
She refers briefly to becoming happy again after a hard time (the divorce obviously), and this was the result. Feel Good Food.
Join in with other happy bloggers around the world, sharing their kitchen delights. Our host is the wonderful Maureen on her Orgasmic Chef blog. Thanks Maureen for taking over the hosting this year.