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In My Kitchen… November 2019

I am writing this on the last day of my holidays. We took three weeks off to do some touring around part of Tropical North Queensland. It used to be called ‘Far’ North Queensland with the abbreviation FNQ but if you say FNQ quickly, the FN sounds just a little too sweary for the tourist board. So it’s #TNQ on social media these days. We ploughed quite a lot of money into the rural economy and small businesses by sleeping, shopping and eating local, where we could. I resisted the temptation to bring home too many ‘kitchen souvenirs’. Still, a few things managed to sneak into the luggage…

In my November kitchen…

jar of mango chutney

…is a simple jar of Mango Chutney. This is from ‘The Humpy’ located on the road to Atherton. The Humpy sells local fruit and veg as well as a wide array of dairy and artisan food products made on the Atherton Tableland. I enjoy any type of chutney but in my mind, the only chutney that pairs properly with Indian and dishes rom the subcontinent, is mango. The sweet, tangy flavour is perfect with spicy or rich food.

In my kitchen…

Gallo macadamia cheese in yellow wax

…are blocks of Gallo Dairy macadamia cheese. It’s a regional speciality of the dairy. This photo shows only one block, that we enjoyed on our travels. Made from the milk of Jersey and Friesan cows, it has small macadamia crumbs in it that provide a delicate, nutty flavour throughout the entire cheese. I’m more of a strong, sharp, bitey cheese kind of girl but I certainly have a soft spot for this. As does Mr Tiffin, who loved it some much that we scoured Cairns for more to bring home. We ended up with three more blocks that we will slowly savour.

In my kitchen…

one round grater and one box grater sit on a bench
metal grater with Made in Australia pressed into it

…is a new (secondhand) box grater. I’ve had the same cylindrical grater for years and years. Solid and simple and, made in Australia. After decades of good service, the edges have dulled to the point where it no longer really grates anything. I’ve resisted buying a replacement but when I saw this clean, serviceable box grater in Lifeline, I relented. Still, I can’t part with my old one. It’s so rare to find anything Australian made these days. I wouldn’t be surprised if the original was made by Willow (though it’s not branded).

In my travel kitchen…

round plastic container of kaffir lime quark and a bottle of iced coffee

…was this utterly delicious Mungalli Creek quark, flavoured with kaffir lime. Mungalli Creek is a small operation near the town of Millaa Millaa, once famous for it’s dairy cooperative and cheese. These days, there’s nothing much happening in Millaa Millaa but just down the road is the Mungalli Creek Farmhouse Cafe. The farm uses bio-dynamic principles including the replanting of rainforest on the property and overall improvement of soil health. We ate the quark as a spreadable dip on poppy seed lavash. It was a shame we couldn’t source any more to bring home with us. The iced chocolate in this photo was a very grown up drink. It had some fairly tart natural pro-biotics in it and no added sugar. I’m sure it has been a surprise to more than one hapless child, begging for an ice chocolate treat.

In my Camp Hill kitchen…

a pile of soft plastic

…is a pile of soft plastic that has come home with us from our holiday. As is now tradition, we bring home as much soft plastic and paper waste as we can. By bringing it home with us, we can ensure it is disposed of correctly. This will go to a major supermarket to be put into the Redcycle bins. The paper will be composted.

We ate so well whilst touring. Here’s a sample… you can scroll through the photos to see more tasty treats.

And that’s what’s been happening In My Kitchen for another month. But, before you go, I wanted to share a funny blogging moment with you. A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Cheese & Pepita Beer Bread.

baking tin containing crusty beer bread with cheese & pepita topping

Amazingly, a week or so later, Sherry, our IMK host, posted a recipe for Bacon & Thyme Scone Loaf. Sherry decided to add some pepitas on top to keep it interesting. The end product looks almost identical to the bread above!

Same, same but different

Of course, Sherry let me know straight away that she had made a similar item, as soon as mine was published lest I think she was stealing my thunder. I wouldn’t have thought that for a moment. Nonetheless, the world is a small place. Make sure you visit Sherry’s own kitchen via her blog, Sherry’s Pickings.

13 comments… add one
  • Mae Sander November 2, 2019, 9:45 pm

    Your trip must have been lots of fun. Sampling local products while traveling is really one of the best parts of being in a different locale. Quark is a fascinating dairy product — we don’t get it much here.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 10:59 am

      We don’t have it here much either but as you know, everything old is new again so it’s coming back into vogue.

  • Francesca November 3, 2019, 5:57 am

    I’m sticking with FNQ, it seems to fit somehow. Our family has a habit of adding the capitol F in front of lots of places for similar reasons,
    I once met a country woman who had a huge entertaining area in a shed. She collected old round graters- they had to be round – and used them on tables as tea light covers. It looked fabulous at night with heaps of them twinkling away. Your old grater reminded me of this.
    It’s rather amazing that your breads turned out looking so similar- in shape, in the cute lining containers used as well as pepetas. Enjoy November Fiona.

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 11:00 am

      Well of course Francesca, I will be stealing that grater idea for the next time we are entertaining. Cheers!

  • Lyn Riddett November 3, 2019, 2:56 pm

    Once again thank you for sharing your adventures with us.
    I notice that one of the icecream flavours is Jackfruit – I love jackfruit, even though it is really difficult to peel and prepare.
    I sometimes see it in a local Asian cafe – Austro-Indonesian owners. They sell it already prepared – good stuff!

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 11:02 am

      It’s all the rage now isn’t it? It’s the perfect ‘pulled pork’ substitute for vegan recipes. I bet prices have skyrocketed as a result. Rusty’s Markets in Cairns had an unbelievable array of tropical fruit – akin to the Rapid Creek Markets in Darwin. I would love to go back and shop and eat till I dropped.

  • sherry November 4, 2019, 6:31 pm

    Yep it will always be FNQ to me:) So funny that we made loaves that look the same at much the same time. but i often find that happens with other bloggers. it’s just in the zeitgeist. I’m drooling over those tempura prawns! I love my square box grater. i like the idea of using the round ones as tealight containers. good on you for bringing home your soft plastics. I make mango chutney every summer, and i have friends who buy it from me they love it so much. such a compliment… thanks for joining in IMK and mentioning me re the loaf. cheers S x

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 11:03 am

      Despite having so many chutneys on hand, I couldn’t resist a jar of mango chutney. I just had mt first summer mango this week. Delicious of course!

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 7, 2019, 5:05 pm

    I love the ice cream flavours – I have some lemon myrtle and should use that for my next batch 🙂

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 11:05 am

      I actually don’t have any lemon myrtle but am keen to get some for a couple of different dishes. Lemongrass is a good substitute though. I am growing some at present but have contained it to a pot, lest it take over the garden!

  • Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons November 13, 2019, 2:11 am

    Those tempura prawns looks amazing! I adore prawns but everyone else in the house is allergic to them, so sad. Good for you bringing home all that plastic from your holiday, it sounds like you had a lovely time.

    • Fiona Ryan November 16, 2019, 11:06 am

      Ha ha – those prawns are popular. Yes, they were very good. It must be hard to enjoy something when others in the household are allergic to it. Yes, we have a fab time in #TNQ!

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