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In My Kitchen… November 2018

This November is a busy month in at Tiffin HQ. There are a couple of birthdays, including a milestone birthday for Mr Tiffin and a holiday in store. I know, I know… I just came back from Europe but we are off to Chiang Mai for Mr Tiffin’s 50th. If there is one thing I know, life can be very short so why waste time sitting at a desk or paying off a car when you can spend time with someone you love?

In my November kitchen…

vibrant green herbs sitting on a kitchen bench

…are some new seedlings for the garden. Every Wednesday, there is a farmer’s market in the city. I buy as many of our fruit and veg there that I can carry home. Zesty Herbs and Salads have a great range of seedlings to take home and eat now or plant for later. Everything is lush and vibrant after a couple of days downpour.

I bought a couple of different lettuces so I can pick some leaves every evening for the lunchboxes. I also bought this thriving mint, to replace the one that died whilst we were away, due to drought conditions we have been suffering. 4 for $10 is surely a bargain.


In my kitchen…

large pile of repurposed ziplock bags

…are ziplock bags that are on their second or third life. As much as I try to avoid plastic, we all know it’s difficult. With only two of us in the house, it’s pointless buying 5kg bags of rice or polenta. The pantry moths will get to it before we do. These days, most dry goods come in resealable bags. After they’ve done their job first time around, they are pushed back into service again and again. As you can see, at least one of the bags has been re-used many times with plenty of life in it yet.


In my kitchen…

pickled radishes sitting in a jar of brine that is pink

…are pickled radishes. I had some left from a dinner party and decided a quick pickle was is order. So pretty! That have been a hit in the lunchboxes so once this jar is finished, I will make make another batch. You can find the recipe here – from go to woe in less the 10 minutes.


In my kitchen…

three bags of indian spices

…is a top up of spices from the local Indian grocer. I usually buy spices in small batches so they stay fresh. The exception is cumin, which we go through in large quantities in it’s seed and powder form. We love it. This bag is to tide us over until I buy the next big bag (which I buy from a different shop). I can’t resist the sugar coated fennel, which is traditionally used as a digestive and breath freshener at the end of meals. I just eat it by the spoonful.


In my kitchen…

large ball of dough in bowl with wallaby flour bag in the background

…is dough. We have been in the habit for a long time now, of having homemade pizza on Friday night. We have been making it for years. I honestly can’t remember the last time a purchased pizza touched my lips. To keep things simple on Friday evenings, I do two things in advance.

1. Make a large batch of dough, using a kilo of flour. When it’s been knocked back three times, I divide the dough into 200gm balls and freeze them in ziplock bags. On Friday morning before I go to work, I pull one of the balls out of the freezer, drop it from the bag into a bowl, cover with a wax wrap and leave on the bench. By the time I get home in the afternoon, the dough has defrosted and depending on how warm the day has been, may even be expanding. Either way, I give it a quick punch in the bowl and it’s ready to roll out when we are ready to make pizza.

2. Freeze an ice cube tray full of good quality passata or, tinned tomatoes that have been blitzed with a stick blender. When the cubes are frozen, I pop them into a container and leave them in the freezer. When I’m ready to make the pizza, I take 2 or 3 out of the freezer and defrost them for a few seconds in a ramekin, in the microwave. This is the sauce for the pizza base.

Toppings are whatever is to hand, leftover in the fridge or needs using up. You can always count on feta and some type of salami or chorizo, usually olives and zucchini and more often than not, spinach. It’s the pizza stone that makes the difference. Nice and crisp!  Here’s a pizza from a few weeks ago.

And that’s about it for this month. Thanks to Sherry from Sherry’s Kitchen for hosting IMK and thanks to everyone who left such kind and generous messages last month, after my return to blogging. See you when I get back from the mountains of Thailand!

16 comments… add one
  • Mae November 1, 2018, 9:52 pm

    Your kitchen looks amazingly organized, especially your freezer prep for the weekly pizza! I’ve never thought of just eating up the sprouted herbs, but our prices are higher.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 9:02 am

      Ha Ha – you can take the girl out of project management but you can’t take the project manager out of the girl!

  • Debra Eliotseats November 1, 2018, 10:08 pm

    I am stealing so many ideas here, especially that frozen dough!!! I almost posted some lettuce seedlings from the green house but I didn’t want to jinx them. Hopefully I can do that for IMK December/

    • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 9:04 am

      The seedlings (well, really, they are small pots) got planted last week and I even took the time to put some net over the top to acclimatise them as the days are already very hot. A week in, most seem to have established so I think by the time I get back from Thailand, We’ll have salad galore!

  • Francesca November 2, 2018, 1:06 pm

    That’s a great idea Fiona, re-using those zip lock bags. Also must try your pickled radish recipe as I am about to harvest a bounty.

    • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 9:05 am

      WE loved the radishes so much that I’m hoping to buy some more from the herb stall next week and plant some out.

      • Francesca November 3, 2018, 11:41 am

        Fiona radishes don’t enjoy being transplanted. grow them from seed, they come up really quickly, then do a little row every 2 weeks, then you’ll have them forever.

        • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 12:01 pm

          Thanks for that tip. I had no idea. I’ll get some seeds.

  • Sherry A Mackay November 2, 2018, 1:12 pm

    it is so good to have you back fiona. i re-use plastic bags too. i keep the ones that veggies come in and use them again. and i wash out and re-use any ziploc bags i have on the go. unless there has been something greasy and revolting, i will use them again and again. love your pizza ideas. i’m being much more careful about waste these days and i try to keep/re-use/freeze etc for future use. gotta think about the planet. cheers S x

    • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 9:07 am

      We’re peas in a pod Sherry. We do all of the same things. I said to Mr Tiffin last night ‘Make sure you wash that (veggie) bag out. They’re a rare commodity these days.’

      ps: not sure what’s happening with your comments. They keep going to ‘approval’, which is odd as you’ve been here a million times!

  • Lisa November 2, 2018, 4:47 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see how those markets change under new managers next year. I hope they continue to be the same sort of vibe, because it’s something I look forward to every Wednesday! Love the frozen pizza dough idea… did you make your own wax wraps or do you have a recommended brand?

    • Fiona Ryan November 3, 2018, 9:14 am

      Yes, that was a real shock to everyone in our office. I know Sammy Power and let me tell you, it was a real shock to her too. When I am not working, I make all of my appointments and catch ups on a Wednesday, just so I can come in to the markets. I also hope that the same stall holders remain and that it continues to thrive. I had made wax wraps and have had people give me their own but to be honest, they are not as good as the first set I bought. Honey Bee Wax Wraps” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>Honey Bee Wax Wraps

      They are pricey but have been going for well over 2 years now. The things that makes these so good is the inclusion of pine rosin, which makes them ‘sticky and clingy’ (in a good way).

  • jrrose80 November 4, 2018, 9:46 pm

    Sugar coated fennel – I have got to find this! I love your time saving pizza making tips – I know making pizza would be very popular in our house. =)

    • Fiona Ryan November 5, 2018, 12:34 pm

      Once you taste that fennel, there’s no turning back!

  • Shannan November 5, 2018, 1:27 pm

    Sugar coated fennel – my fave!! Enjoy your holiday xx

    • Fiona Ryan November 7, 2018, 8:37 am

      We had family over for Indian on the weekend but forgot to put it out. I did have a cheeky teaspoon after everyone had left ; )

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