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In My Kitchen-May 2015

May 9, 2015

Well the days are getting shorter and the weather cooler, time to wind down and relax? Sounds like a great idea, but even in the shorter darker days of winter there are things to do.

With the garden mostly asleep now is a great time to get out the sewing or knitting that has all lain neglected during the long, warm productive days of summer. I don’t know about you but I always look to winter with dread, I am a warm blooded person who thrives in warmer, sunnier days. Every winter I need to think of new projects to do and gather new recipes to try to keep myself warm and busy.  I like to create bright coloured things in winter to add colour and warmth to the house. So all the fabric comes out to choose some bright colours for new tablecloths, tea-towels and bright cheery clothes. Do you have any projects or special things you do during winter to bring some cheer to the dark cold days of winter? So this winter I plan on redoing all the hand towels in the kitchen.

As usual there is so much going on it’s hard to decide what to share, something i can’t help but post is my new serving board my amazing husband made me it is from recycled native NZ wood, Rimu.

On the board that day was Gluten free Sourdough with homemade Almond-Sunflower butter with our own honey drizzled over it.

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There has been more preserving and this pot of rhubarb and quince was cooked into the most amazing fruit puree that I love having on my morning porridge.

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As I posted last month there is sourdough happenings in my kitchen- gluten free sourdough to be exact. A few people asked about the recipe so as promised here it is. Now I can’t take credit for the recipe it is from the talented Nicola at Homegrown Kitchen

Gluten Free Sourdough Starter

1 cup brown rice flour ( I grind the rice flour fresh, from organic brown rice)

1 cup water

1 tablespoon whey or water kefir (not absolutely necessary but assists the fermentation)

(Note: do not use glutinous white rice flour, from experience this makes the starter very gluggy).

Put the ingredients into a clean ceramic or glass bowl and whisk well to aerate (the purpose here is to incorporate natural yeasts found in the air into the mix). Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place. For the next 4 days feed every 8 hours with 1/3 cup flour (as above) and a 1/4 cup water. Whisk to combine, you want a consistency similar to a pancake batter. After about 4 days the mix will start to ‘breathe” with bubbles on the surface and smell sweetly sour and yeasty (not offensive). In cooler weather or if you haven’t used whey or water kefir to activate the starter it may take 7-10 days to start bubbling. Once you have bubbles you are ready to bake.

Looking after your starter:

Continue to feed the starter with the same quantity of flour (1/3 cup) and water (1/4 cup) once a day. Keep covered lightly with a clean tea towel. If using less than twice a week keep the starter ‘dormant’ in the fridge. Bring it out to room temperature a day before making bread to ‘awaken’ the yeasts, feeding with 1/2 cup flour and approx. 1/3 cup water to make a pancake like batter. See above for what I do if the starter gets too sour (it will have a strong offensive sour smell).  Keep the starter in a place where the temperature is relatively consistent and not too warm. I always keep my starter in the corner of my kitchen bench away from the oven and direct sunlight.

In my kitchen there is bottles of vanilla steeping (not ready for another few weeks) and a large jar of preserved lemons. These lemons get put in casseroles and in Couscous, they add such intense flavour to food, I am enjoying finding new dishes just to put the preserved lemons in.

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In my kitchen at the moment I am cooking a lot of Granola, paticularly Chocolate Granola. I am tweaking the recipe all the time to my older teenage daughters delight. It is a grain free, no refined sugar antioxidant rich mix that I have just about got right. My daughter is happy to keep recipe testing.

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Do you have any favourite flavours to add to dishes in your kitchen?

Thanks to  the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime cordial for hosting the monthly In My Kitchen. Take a few moments to head on over to her site to check out lots of other kitchens.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2015 12:14 pm

    We I’ve chocolate granola as well. Your version looks tasty, it’s a rough job but somebody must serve as official taste tester! What a beautiful wood board too.

    • May 11, 2015 3:17 pm

      It is really tasty and my daughters loves her job as taste tester.
      I love my new board, I have put in a request for a few more. 🙂

  2. May 11, 2015 4:30 pm

    Chocolate granola sounds delicious and love rhubarb too!
    I am glad we are all connected through Celia’s IMK view each month!

  3. May 22, 2015 5:11 pm

    oh yes i love making my own vanilla and preserved lemons. not so keen on granola:) that board looks gorgeous.

  4. May 29, 2015 4:41 pm

    I’m sure many people will be very interested in your gluten-free starter! And that board your hubby made you is fantastic! Stay warm! 🙂

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