In My Kitchen: birthday bits n’ pieces

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Having recovered from the flu lurgy that curtailed my Saturday morning farmers market expeditions I was desperate for farmers market eggs, fruit, vegetables, and meat. Despite stocking up there the previous Saturday, when Celia told me that Beth from Burrawong Gaian Poultry would have a stall at my local Eveleigh Farmers Market I didn’t hesitate in agreeing to meet her the next.

Even better, the G.O. took Saturday off work and came along as my porter and to select key ingredients for his traditional birthday dinner of sausages, onion gravy & mashed potato which he assured Celia you can live on.

IMK: Birthday bits n' pieces - flowers, apple rice meringue and Tojiro blades
IMK: The G.O’s birthday bits n’ pieces – roses “no-ones ever given me flowers before!”, apple rice meringue and Tojiro kitchen knives for his inner Samurai

The G.O. doesn’t get to the markets as much as I do but he’s familiar with and to the stallholders and has his favourites. So while Celia and I wandered around chatting to stallholders at Olsson’s Australian salt and Margin’s Mushrooms, the G.O. chatted to Mr Apples and Moobi Valley Meats. And came away with Pink Lady’s as well as Granny Smiths for his birthday sweet treat (my first attempt at this dessert made by his grandmother) plus sirloin steaks grown just up the road from where my grandparents had their farm when I was a kid.

The G.O. approved my selection of sausages and bacon from Linga Longa Farm’s stall and potatoes from Highland Gourmet Potatoes.

IMK: Traditional birthday dinner of the G.O.
IMK: Traditional birthday dinner of the G.O.

Did you know potatoes have a season? The guys that have this stall are lovely but we only see them from December to September. At the moment my go-to potatoes are Lustre for lustrous silky mashed potato, Emma for light crisp air-filled baked potatoes and Pink Kiss for old-fashioned tasty baked potatoes like my Nanna used to make.

IMK: Lustre, Emma and Pink Kiss
IMK: Lustre, Emma and Pink Kiss

Of course we caught up with Beth at her Burrawong Gaian Poultry stall and sampled her delicious pates and rillettes. The duck marylands were selling fast but I managed to buy 2 packs of 2 for Sunday night dinner.

IMK: Burrawong Gaian duck marylands 3 ways
IMK: Burrawong Gaian duck marylands 3 ways

By the time we left my nanna trolley was overflowing and my wallet empty. A few extras depleted my own funds and I had to borrow cash from the G.O. He’s not only handy as a porter but a mobile cash dispensing machine.

As I explained to Celia, how I make fresh food shopping at the farmers market viable is to use it all, and buy little other food for the rest of the week… and sometimes the week after… when freezer, fridge and pantry stock comprises the greater part of our eating.

IMK: Organic Australian oats, honey and salt
IMK: Organic Australian oats, honey and salt
  • Moobi Valley sirloin steak, baked Highland Gourmet potatoes, Muscat’s carrots & golden beetroot plus Darling Mills micro salad was Saturday night dinner.
  • Sunday breakfast was porridge made with organic Australian organic rolled oats and Highland Organics milk topped with Mr Apples compote, Nambucca MacNuts macadamias and R. Stephens Mole Creek Tasmanian Leatherwood Honey.
  • Linga Longa Farm bacon, Margins mushrooms, peas, pasta and cream sauce made from Highland Organics milk made a cosy lunch for a damp chilly Sunday.
  • Duck marylands slow roasted at 150 C in a bath of Massel chicken stock  and Buller Malmsey plus re-fried roast veges and steamed sugar snap peas was Sunday night dinner.
  • For Monday lunch the G.O. took half the leftover pasta, the other half went into the freezer. I took the leftover piece of cold sirloin and salad which I added to a fresh bread roll.
  • Monday dinner was noodle, vegetable and shredded duck Maryland stir-fry with puffy omelettes made with Thirlmere eggs, sesame oil and a dash of carbonated water.
  • Tuesday, the G.O.’s birthday, we headed out and enjoyed a lovely lunch of fish and chips at Watsons Bay so didn’t need to cook dinner. But we had room for birthday apple rice meringue made from Mr Apples’ Granny Smiths, Thirlmere eggs and Highland Organics milk.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday the G.O. took apple rice meringue for smoko.
  • Wednesday I had an in-house work lunch and as there were no dinner leftovers the G.O. fended for himself.
  • Wednesday night I prepared the rain-checked birthday dinner of Linga Longa Farm sausages & bacon with Muscat’s onions and gravy made with Prickle Hill Worcestershire sauce from Coleambally and Tetsuya’s Wasabi Mustard, and mashed Highland Gourmet potatoes.
  • For Thursday lunch the G.O. took mashed potato, sausages and onion gravy for lunch. I took bits n’ pieces of leftover vege & duck noodles, omelette and baked veges.
  • Thursday night dinner was leftover mashed potato, sausages, bacon and onion gravy. The leftovers went into the freezer.

Note: We’re a 2 person household. We both work full-time. We live in a small city apartment and wish we had a vege garden and chooks. Maybe one day. For now, where possible I buy pastured/free range/organic produce and improvise using ingredients I have on hand. For us farmers markets an equitable option as if I can’t get there we spend the same money or more at supermarkets, takeaway food or eating out. My choices may not suit everyone –  it’s up to each of us to do what we think and best can. Corporate commodification of food, marketing, advertorials, profiteering and undue influence on our lives concerns me greatly. Shopping and eating mindfully is my antidote to that.

Thanks to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting In My Kitchen and the IMK community for foodie inspiration & the virtual company they provide. If you’d like to join in, link back to Celia’s blog.

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too…” Kurt Vonnegut

IMK: Apple Rice Meringue from The Commonsense Cookery Book (Source - http://community.tasteofhome.com/community_forums/f/30/t/332742.aspx)
IMK: Apple Rice Meringue from The Commonsense Cookery Book (Source – http://community.tasteofhome.com/community_forums/f/30/t/332742.aspx)
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48 thoughts on “In My Kitchen: birthday bits n’ pieces

    roughseasinthemed said:
    July 3, 2015 at 6:49 am

    I thought Pink Lady was a drink. I’m obv thinking of pink gin!

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Names are tricky… my grandmother was Nanna Smith, as opposed to Granny Smith of the green apple kind!

      Like

    davidprosser said:
    July 3, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I think we’ve said before that I’m a huge fan of the G.O’s favourite meal. I love bangers and mash with onion gravy. The only difference these days is that I’ve found I like sweet potato mash so much more that the alternative and if my plates were any bigger I might forget to eat. Because there’s only me, I tend to cheat and have a small time of petit pois and baby carrots with it and If no-one’s looking I’ll have a piece of bread and butter or the gravy. Bliss.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 7:31 am

      Oh yes, we love sweet potato mash too but I just can’t resist the lure of the spud varieties at the markets… and new season petit pois are simply wonderful 🙂

      Like

    diannegray said:
    July 3, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Sausages, onion gravy & mashed potato is the best meal ever! I love the way the G.O. takes the leftovers for smoko. My hubby does that and comes home to tell me how jealous everyone else at work is of the beautiful smells of the home-cooked food. I think it’s become a bit of a competition now at his workplace to see who can get the best smoko! lol 😀

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 7:35 am

      I think there’s a bit of that amongst the G.O.’s workmates, and a batch of biscuits never lasts more than a week as they’ve become accustomed to raiding his esky… if he’s in generous mood 🙂 Currently though he’s working at an army base and they’re availing themselves of homemade sausage rolls and pies from the canteen… none of which ever make it home to me!

      Liked by 1 person

    sara said:
    July 3, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Did your apple rice meringue pass muster? I know from experience that trying to cook from Alex’s memories of his Russian grandmother’s cooking is problematic…

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 7:42 am

      The meringue was dodgy but with the addition of more sugar and corn flour worked quite nicely as a toffee sort of topping. I’ll have to work on that. The apple and rice is a nice old fashioned combo. There were no leftovers!
      The G.O. has long talked about this dessert but I’d never heard of it and stumbled on it eventually in my old Commonsense Cookery Book… it’s very Australian/English. I don’t know how I’d go with Russian food, nor the G.O.’s great-grandmother’s German food, which thank goodness he hasn’t mentioned 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        sara said:
        July 3, 2015 at 7:46 am

        Ah, a work in progress then 🙂
        Russian food seems to be all meat, pastry and deep fried foods, none of which appeal much to me, but which he remembers with great fondness. I make beef stroganoff sometimes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    katechiconi said:
    July 3, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    Num num, I’ll be round next week… I think we have similar housekeeping methods when it comes to buying, cooking and eating food. Yesterday’s roast chook is about to become two more meals and a big pot of soup, and the butcher’s snags he made up from the scraps left over from assembling our half pig freezer cuts are going into sangas for the Husband to take to work on double shifts. I love to ‘cook the fridge’, which is what we call making something delicious out of what we have left over.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 4:46 pm

      I bet those snags are fantastic. Cook the fridge is the only way we can afford to eat well. Fortunately we love leftovers and are both are happy to eat the same/similar meals a few times running. It’s soup weather here, old fashioned [split] pea and ham [hock] soup is on the agenda this weekend… smelly but delicious.

      Like

        katechiconi said:
        July 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm

        I have the split peas in the pantry waiting till ham on the bone is on special again, so we can carve and freeze it in portions, and use the bone for stock. Till then, it’ll be curried pumpkin, made with vegetable stock, once the chicken soup is finished.

        Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          July 3, 2015 at 7:24 pm

          So many winter goodies to be enjoyed in these cooler months… I was only thinking as I walked to work in the winter sunshine today, it’s a little chilly but not so bad after all 🙂

          Like

          katechiconi said:
          July 3, 2015 at 7:35 pm

          Winter sunshine is just great, it raises the spirits better than any summer sun, I find. And winter is a great excuse to put dumplings in everything!

          Liked by 1 person

          EllaDee responded:
          July 4, 2015 at 6:48 am

          Reminds me of a conversation at the office sandwich shop the other day.
          Me: no tomato please.
          Terry: no?
          Me: I don’t eat salad tomatoes in winter.
          Terry: do you want a couple of chips on top?
          Me: Oh yes. I eat chips in winter!
          😊

          Like

          katechiconi said:
          July 4, 2015 at 1:22 pm

          Oh, now, that’s my kind of sandwich!

          Liked by 1 person

    fergie51 said:
    July 3, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Can’t beat a good bangers ‘n mash! Have you tried a little chopped onion or chives in with the mash? One of my favourite childhood discoveries. Aren’t we lucky that these markets are fashionable just when we need them? I love our ‘clean out the fridge soup’, never know what’s going to go in it. Doing well utilising whats available at the market, every little bit counts!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 3, 2015 at 7:31 pm

      We do onion in the mash when onion isn’t in the gravy, especially good with corned silverside. And the G.O.’s childhood favourite which he still takes for smoke sometimes is devon rolls with onion mash.
      I’m not sure about fashionable… I’ve been a devotee of farmers markets for years but I’m grateful that they are now more widely embraced which in turn means they are more viable and plentiful. And good greengrocers, deli’s, butchers are holding their own 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    anne54 said:
    July 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Oh yum! I am drooling on my iPad. Can I come and live at your place? And what a man the G.O. is — food carrier, cash dispenser and lover of all good things (including you!)

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 4, 2015 at 11:41 am

      Thank you. The G.O. isn’t a foodie… “you can live on meat & spuds”… but when I asked him if he was going to run off with the sausage roll baking canteen ladies he responded “no, you have to be able to cook different things!”. He’s a treasure that’s for sure 🙂

      Like

    acflory said:
    July 4, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Reading this post made me realise you’re living the ‘carry-over’ style of cooking, or creative leftovers if you will. 🙂 I love it, especially the duck… -drools-

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 4, 2015 at 11:44 am

      Very creative leftovers sometimes. Luckily we are both fans. A Leftovers round on MKR or Masterchef would sort their credentials!
      Best duck ever 🙂

      Like

        acflory said:
        July 4, 2015 at 12:50 pm

        -giggles- Yes!!!!!! Or perhaps we could have a brand new show – Home Cooking Rules – where you get extra points for using up leftovers?

        Liked by 1 person

    Gerlinde said:
    July 6, 2015 at 2:06 am

    I would love to have your sausages with mashed potatoes and gravy right now. The duck also looks real good. Can you tell I’m hungry?

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 6, 2015 at 6:28 am

      It’s like that! I cannot read food blogs or magazines when I’m hungry… I want everything 🙂

      Like

    Bill said:
    July 6, 2015 at 10:15 am

    That’s some mighty fine eating going on at your place! It’s wonderful that you buy your food directly from the farmers who grew it. I’m hoping that will the norm someday.

    I’m intrigued by your potato varieties. I don’t recognize any of them. We’re just starting to harvest our potatoes now. I do love freshly dug potatoes!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Thank you. When work, sleep and eat comprise most of your time good food makes a difference to quality of life, makes life a little more interesting for me, and the G.O. is a fan of what he calls nanna food!
      Those potato varieties were new to me as well. They also have purple and cranberry coloured potatoes. King Edwards, Kipfler… I manage to work my way through the varieties over the season 🙂

      Like

    ladyredspecs said:
    July 6, 2015 at 10:32 am

    I love the breakdown of how you cooked your purchases. I find buying from the growers/producers satisfying and addicitive

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 6, 2015 at 11:30 am

      So true, farmers market etc food creates its own demand because it tastes & keeps so much better. And my cooking efforts are accordingly better 🙂

      Like

    tiffinbitesized said:
    July 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Lots to look at here – plenty of swag from the markets, that’s for sure. I remember seeing Celia tweeting with much excitement that Burrawong were at the markets so glad you were able to swoop in and grab some. I love your philosophy included at the end of your post.

    Thanks for the tour & for sharing your treasured recipe.

    BTW – did I mention that I love your never ending spiral of EllaDees?

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 6, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I buy Burrawong chickens when we are up their way but never had their duck. Best ever, which is good because I’m a nervous newbie duck cook!
      Until I started blogging I never realized how important sharing food stories was… we eat so much better.
      Thanks, I love kaleidoscopes, so the photo art app was just perfect for a gravatar 🙂

      Like

    Joanne T Ferguson said:
    July 6, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    I love the snags and always enjoy learning something new!
    Thanks for this month’s kitchen view!

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 7, 2015 at 7:10 am

      The seasons suit us perfectly… the G.O.’s winter birthday dinner involves snags, and mine in summer is barbequed seafood!
      The first 10 days of the blogging month are my favourite, doing the rounds of the IMK kitchens 🙂

      Like

    Liz @ spades, spatulas, and spoons said:
    July 7, 2015 at 12:46 am

    What a wonderful market you must have. We love leftovers at our house as well. I think it is often where creativity starts in the kitchen.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 7, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Living in the inner city, we’re very fortunate to have that market. My husband worked on the building prep, and I’ve been a regular since day 1, just over 5 years. Before that farmers markets involved the headache of Saturday morning city driving and dearth of car parking…
      Leftovers are our equivalent of takeaway food, and save us a fortune 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    philosophermouseofthehedge said:
    July 10, 2015 at 2:24 am

    I’m always surprised so many people buy lunch at work each day instead of taking one. It’s so costly and here with short lunch breaks, the food you can grab isn’t always the best or best for you.
    You have all sorts of potatoes? Basically I can get the baking brown ones (Idaho or the like) some small “new potatoes” or the little red ones – the last two we always grew ourselves growing up. It wasn’t dinner if there weren’t some sort of potatoes on the table back then. Plain food, but worked!
    Enjoyed the yummy post

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 10, 2015 at 6:47 am

      I have worked in the same corner of the CBD for over 14 years so the food court lunch offerings have little appeal, but when needs must, I manage. Food from home is so much more satisfying on many fronts 🙂
      Oh yes, potatoes… how little I thought of them until I discovered all these varieties at the farmers markets. At the greengrocer or supermarket we have white, washed, red, dirty! Although there has been some improvement and it’s possible to now buy organic Nicola or Dutch Crème. Oh, and of course Kipfler, the latest trendy spud!

      Liked by 1 person

    ardysez said:
    July 16, 2015 at 9:56 am

    I really enjoyed this post, albeit very late! It appeared when we were away and I’m just now working my way back through things I didn’t have time to read then. The apple/rice/meringue is a new one for me, but sounds delicious. We seldom get any of the variety of potatoes people recommend on TV, or in blog posts! There must be a gazillion different varieties. However, recently Coles has started carrying organic potatoes, for which I’m pleased. Belated birthday wishes to the GO, and thank you for another lovely, thoughtful post.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 16, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Thank you. The apple/rice/meringue was new to me as well but the apple/rice is simple old-fashioned combination… I can live without the meringue. Wonderful you can access organic potatoes, I thought potatoes were potatoes… but incredibly no. Amazing the taste difference between the varieties, organic and non. The G.O. makes great mash, and their flavours baked are better without the accoutrements of sour cream etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    MamaD1xx4xy said:
    July 18, 2015 at 3:15 am

    What fun market finds. I can only dream of such a wonderful selection. We make due with what we can find and grow several of our own veggies. Bangers ‘n mash sounds like a fantastic birthday meal, one my boys would definitely go for.

    Liked by 1 person

      EllaDee responded:
      July 18, 2015 at 7:39 am

      Thank you 🙂 Bangers & mash is a boy thing I think, but it suits me as mid week mid winter thing! Home grown veges are best. And we’re truly fortunate here in the centre of the city to have these markets.

      Like

    sherry from sherrys pickings said:
    July 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    lots of good eating going on at your place:) I hesitate to go to farmers’ markets cos i spend way too much money there. it is all so tempting whether i need it or not.

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      July 28, 2015 at 7:06 am

      Thank you. I spend way too much money too, and have to recover by eating it all, no dinners out or takeaway and taking my lunch everyday. Most expensive is buying farmers market prezzies for others!

      Like

    Beck @ Goldenpudding said:
    July 31, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    Belatedly popping in to say I love how you’ve detailed the purpose of each of your purchases and how you get a week of meals from them – also the apple rice meringue sounds fascinating, will have to give it a try!
    I’m on the using up the freezer/pantry side of the equation this week….so hopefully back to the markets this weekend 🙂

    Like

      EllaDee responded:
      August 1, 2015 at 8:05 am

      It takes some time to get around all the kitchens, doesn’t it, and now it’s time for another round.
      The markets are important to me but I also need to justify that we’re getting value for money and with just making that little extra effort ourselves, we do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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