I am a self-confessed foodaholic. I love food, so it’s important to me that wherever I am, I find a way to get the good stuff. Since moving to my new little
place, I’ve discovered the most fabulous farmers markets that happen once a week at the Gold Coast Race Course. While there recently, I found that the man who sells all the yoghurt and locally made cheese, also sells premixed flours for breads. I couldn’t help myself, I bought a grain loaf mix.
This mix contains umpteen different things I would had to have otherwise sourced individually and requires only that I add yeast and water in order to turn it into bread dough. My munchkin and I spent a couple of mother/daughter hours yesterday afternoon making and baking bread. Beautiful dark grainy loaf for me and a funky batch of soda bread (thanks River Cottage) for her. Now, not only does my house smell fantastic, but my new bread is a great source of pride. The ten year old watched me spreading butter on her soda bread in preparation for lunch fixings this morning. While I did so, she watched intently, “This is gonna be the best sandwich ever!”
Man cannot live on bread alone, right? I need a little juice to wash it down. For a while now I’ve been making fruit and veg juices. My current favourite is a carrot, orange, apple, celery and ginger mix up. I figure that if each of these things is good individually, then surely they’re also good when mixed up together. I remember people telling me what a pain juicers are, but mine is a piece of cake. Whack it together, juice your fruit and veg, chuck the dirty appliance bits in the dishwasher and all the dry pulp into the bokashi bin.
While it’s true that I could probably just live on breads and juice, ice-cream is fun and really tasty. A month or so ago, I relented and bought the icecream making attachment for my mixmaster. Since then we’ve made cookies ‘n cream icecream, orange and lemon gelato and a seasonal berry frozen yoghurt. In Queensland’s summer heat, I’ve discovered that you really do need to have your custard mix (because ice-cream is really just whipped frozen custard) semi-frozen before putting it into the ice-cream maker. Now that I’ve got that bit sorted, I’m planning on a mango sorbet.
I guess the thing to know about all this, is that it takes a little while to do these things. I think the payoff though, comes in the flavour, the satisfaction and the knowledge that you’re not eating a whole pack of things you can’t pronounce.
Also, as my kitchen is now smaller than my previous kitchen (half, maybe less than half the size), I have to be careful of the items in which I choose to invest. I have one good mix master (my darling Kitchenaid) that does multiple jobs. The dough hook kneads bread for me, the ice-cream attachment makes ice-cream and if it came with a fab juicing attachment, I’d probably get that rather than take up more cupboard space with the juicer. I think that’s going to be the way of things in my life from now on. Things that serve multiple purposes (like the cake stand that is also a punch bowl) are better investments for the small house than single function items.
In days gone by, making everything by hand meant kitchens were huge affairs, full of instruments for every conceivable cooking, baking or decorative need. The sheer size of the kitchen made the heart of these old homes, huge, warm, comforting places. That said, despite it’s diminished size, I like to think my new kitchen is still pretty big on heart!