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In My Kitchen… May 2016

Last month I said that autumn had arrived. It did arrive and it has since departed however, we are back to summer rather than winter. May is the last month of autumn and all across Australia, temperatures remain as hot as they were during summer. We had little rain over the summer (traditionally when we receive most of our rain in Qld), saw not one cyclone warning and are still in the grip of a drought. I saw today that similar conditions are being experienced in much of India as they wait desperately for monsoon season. Who says climate change isn’t real?

In my May kitchen…

Reusable beeswax coated fabric wraps to cover bowls and food

…is a belated birthday gift from Mr Tiffin’s family. They are beeswax food wraps, used instead of plastic wrap. Though I don’t use lots of plastic wrap, I do use the odd piece and every weekend use an enormous piece to prove my sourdough starter. I decided that enough was enough and looked for an alternative. I was originally going to make my covers based on this ‘how to’ from Life of Clare. Despite my repeated requests not to buy birthday gifts for me (I would much rather the money be donated to the Leukaemia Foundation), Anthony’s family insist on buying, so these covers were a practical compromise. The heat from your hands allows you to mould the cover over the bowl and as an added bonus, gives off a nice honey scent. They are in constant use and I don’t know how I ever did without them. They are so handy that I am likely to still make some more.


In my kitchen…

box of organic coconut chips for baking and decoration

…are these *coconut chips. They were an impulse purchase at a local cafe as we paid for coffee. I wasn’t really in the market for coconut chips but the price seemed right and I thought my purchase of a few dollars may make a difference to a small business. I don’t really go for iced or decorated cakes but imagine these will find a place atop a dark chocolate affair at some stage.


In my kitchen…

Plate of figs, cheese, prosciutto, olives and other antipasti ingredients

…we have been enjoying figs. They are not a sub-tropical fruit so are hard to grow in Brisbane and just as hard to come by. By the time they arrive in shops and markets, they are expensive and often over ripe and beyond enjoyment. So when you find figs that are perfect, you make them the star of your day. On this day, figs with goat’s curd, Parmesan and prosciutto.


In my kitchen…

Sourdough bread and rolls

…is the welcome return of Audrey II, my sourdough starter. For some months now, Audrey has been sitting patiently in the fridge, receiving a weekly feed and water, waiting for the ovens to be installed and the kitchen to return to normality. It’s now back to business and this is small Sunday night loaf for the week ahead plus a few rolls for the freezer. As I mentioned in past IMKs, I am learning about the differences between my old oven and these. I am able to control the temperature much better but the loaves take longer to brown than I am used to. I’ll tell you one thing, having telescopic runners makes it a darn sight easier to get the loaf onto the scorching hot pizza stone!


In my kitchen (and soon to be in my garden)…

Biodegradable seed salad pots

…are these little seeds pots, compliments of the City of Logan. One is chives and the other lettuce. After soaking the pots, you plant the whole thing in the garden, as they are biodegradable. These pots were part of a display at a food industry show I visited. Logan had a stand to showcase what was happening in the city from a foodie perspective. For those not in the know, Logan in a large catchment south-west of Brisbane. It has long suffered from a poor reputation with a high proportion of low and no income earners and all that is associated with the demographic. For years we have been hearing about Logan City being ‘not that bad’ but the reputation has remained. It seems that finally, the right set of people have taken charge and are determined to shrug off the poor image. The first thing they’ve done is re-badged themselves at City of Logan (I saw a discussion about this on social media the other day. Hilarious). There’s a concerted campaign to attract new businesses, sponsor contemporary events, increase visibility of the arts and generally help Logan to get its hipster on. In a shameless plug for my friends Heather and Alex (who live in Logan), they have started a coffee roastery called Extraction Artisan Coffee, which opened last week. Now, after you’ve battled the hordes at IKEA, there is a decent place to decompress and enjoy a coffee. I am looking forward to seeing if these little salad pots actually work.


In my kitchen…

Two pumpkins with prices marked on them

…are these two pumpkins, purchased from a roadside stall on a drive out to the Scenic Rim. I didn’t really need two pumpkins however I had no small change so two pumpkins it was. I will cut one pumpkin and store the other. I am already soaking the yellow split peas to make a large batch of our favourite Pumpkin & Dahl Soup and will also make up a couple of Glenda’s Spicy Pumpkin Loaves.

Bowl of pumpkin & dahl soup, topped with natural yoghurt and a pumpkin muffin as a side

And so we come to the end of another IMK, hosted by Maureen from The Orgasmic Chef. Maureen has gone through some major challenges over the past few months but remains her usual self, embracing life head on. An ex-pat from the US, Maureen is always making time for her wide circle of family and friends as well as her faithful companion Charlie. Hop on over to her blog to see what she has been up to.

*This post contains an affiliate link to Aussie Health Products. I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from any purchases made via the link.

23 comments… add one
  • Pamela hayward May 3, 2016, 6:16 pm

    Great post as always…but do you know where you can buy some of the wraps. They are such a great idea. We are having an Indian summer here in Sydney too!

  • Maureen May 3, 2016, 10:02 pm

    I have a friend who bought one of those beeswax wrappers and she’s convincing all her friends to get on board. I love the idea.

    Audrey is doing a great job!!

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 9:54 am

      Audrey probably needs a few proper feeds and refreshes to get back properly into action but one of the things we have missed have been the crackers that I make with the stale bread. We have had to buy water crackers…

  • Glenda May 4, 2016, 1:11 am

    Hi Fiona, I will have to get my beeswax wrap out. I have one somewhere.

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 9:52 am

      I looked at them in the shops and thought ‘that’s a bit over the top’ but now I can’t live without them!

  • Johanna May 4, 2016, 5:18 am

    Wow great post, love the pictures!
    Hope to see you on my blog as well since I just reactivated it after travelling for seven months and there is loads of new content going to come up soon!

  • Jan Rhoades May 4, 2016, 10:23 am

    Thanks for another interesting and eclectic post. I did ask if you had made those wraps and now I have my answer. If you do decide to make some yourself, give me a cooee and we can do it together – I’ll supply the fabric.

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 11:17 am

      I don’t recall you asking if I made these wraps. I only got them the other day so maybe you are thinking of someone else. I did see that you left a comment on Clare’s blog but she did not respond (yet).

  • Veganopoulous May 4, 2016, 11:02 am

    I’m cutting down on plastics too, in the past my husband proudly bought me some of those (plastic) disc things that were like a kind of suction hold when you press it down over a bowl. He got them from a stall set up in the aisle of a shopping centre where a guy is on the microphone doing demos (like the vegetable peeler and mandoline people). They worked okay, until you bumped them in the fridge when moving things around and the suction seal would be broken so I ended up getting rid of them as they were so frustrating. I hear you about Logan, I grew up in a suburb with a reputation for all things dodgy but there are lots of cafes and such now and I’ve always thought the reputation was unfair!

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 11:20 am

      Ha ha – I know exactly what you mean about the guy on the mike. These form a good seal so are an alternative. I love my Tupperware but it’s not always practical if you want to put something in the fridge that you want to reheat at a later time.

  • SeattleDee May 4, 2016, 11:24 am

    I just found Bee’s Wrap advertised on the King Arthur flour site (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/bees-wrap-bread-wrap#customer-reviews). Several reviewers complained about an unpleasant odor. Your reported honey scent sounds MUCH more appealing (better bees in Australia, no doubt).

    Audrey II looks fit and ready for more action. Happy baking!

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 5:09 pm

      They don’t sound very nice at all, do they? I wonder what they smell like?

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime May 4, 2016, 1:55 pm

    I would love the bees wax paper. What a clever idea. Those planting pots would have been on my shopping list as well 😀

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 5:09 pm

      Who’d have thought the beeswax wraps would be the hit of the post?!

  • Heather Scott May 4, 2016, 3:51 pm

    I too am going to purchase some bees wax wrappers. They look awesome. Thanks also for the Extraction plug Fiona x

    • Fiona Ryan May 4, 2016, 5:08 pm

      No problemo – it was the exchange on your own FB page that alerted me to the City of Logan re-badge.

  • Sherry m May 5, 2016, 5:25 pm

    I read a blog post about 3 years ago re beeswax wrappers but never got around to buying any. Clearly I had better do so! Imagine Logan becoming trendy!:)

  • Kari @ bite-sized thoughts May 9, 2016, 1:21 am

    I love the look and sound of that beeswax paper – what a good idea. Your bread looks fantastic too, but I hope autumn returns for you soon! I’m sure after an Australian summer you’re ready for it.

    • Fiona Ryan May 12, 2016, 3:06 pm

      Well Kari, autumn arrived today in Brisbane. Though it’s still in the high 20’s, it was 12c this morning, 5c cooler than Melbourne! Enjoy your summer whilst you have it ; )

  • Gretchen May 29, 2016, 9:49 am

    I am finally catch u g up and it’s almost time for a new IMK post! This all looks wonderful. I’m sure you must enjoy having a kitchen again and baking sourdough. I also,have some beeswax wraps that I’ve enjoyed.

    • Fiona Ryan May 31, 2016, 12:05 pm

      The months fly don’t they Gretchen? Yes, having a new kitchen is wonderful. There is not a day when I’m not enjoying the big bench or ovens. Happy Days.

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