Food & Drink Magazine

In My Kitchen – July 2014

By Thecookspyjamas @thecookspyjamas

My Kitchen Pantry

Having been inspired by other people’s kitchens over the last few months, I can proudly say that In My Kitchen this month is a clean pantry cupboard. I finally got sick of not being able to find things I knew I had and cleaned everything out. I put all of the individual packets that were rattling around into large storage containers and have using masking tape to label what is in each container.  Now I can not only find things, but also easily remove the labels when I have finished the products.  In the clean out, I also discovered that I won’t need to buy coconut milk anytime soon.  My task for next month is matching kitchen drawers.

Stock Powder & Ginger Powder

I have been dabbling with my dehydrator this month. I recently ran out of ground ginger.  As I already had a batch of kale chips in the dehydrator, I finely sliced a large knob of ginger and put it in with the kale.  A quick whizz of the dried ginger in my spice mill the next day and voila, ground ginger. My other drying project was stock powder. I make vegetable stock concentrate in my Thermomix, but the supplied recipe is far too salty for my tastes and I feel the salt overpowers the vegetable flavours.  As the salt is the preservative, reducing the amount of salt means I have to find alternative ways to store the stock.  I usually freeze the stock concentrate in small batches but this month I dehydrated it instead.  After blitzing the dried vegetable leather in the Thermomix, I now have my own stock powder as well.

Beef Stock Cubes

These look great don’t they?  The Princess thought I had made some awesome chocolate delight when she stumbled across them in the freezer.  Luckily for her she didn’t sample them because they are cubes of beef stock.  I don’t use a lot of beef stock, but find I do need it occasionally.  I put some beef bones in my slow cooker with a few vegetables and spices, then cooked it for two days to draw maximum nourishment from the bones. I then reduced the stock.  When cooled, the stock turned into a gelatinous block that could be cut into cubes.  These cubes, when frozen, take up far less room that normal stock.  Next time I try this I will skim the fat off before I reduce the stock.  What The Princess thought was a lovely biscuity layer on the bottom is actually beef fat amalgamated with the stock.  I don’t want to remove it though and loose any of the glorious stock.

Sauerkraut & Water kefir

The beautiful organic cabbages that are starting to appear at the farmers market are irresistible, so I made a small batch of sauerkraut to make the most of them. I took this picture just after I made it, as it is now a uniform dusky pink colour due to the red cabbage in the mix.  This will be good served with the richer dishes that we tend to eat this time of year.  I have also been trying some secondary ferments with my water kefir. This one uses freshly squeezed lemonade juice (from the lemonade fruit – a cross between a lemon and a naval orange).  A secondary ferment is where liquid from the initial ferment is flavoured with juices, herbs, spices or whatever else takes your fancy.


This is the last mandarin from the precious few that my dad shared from his trees.  Mr Grumpy is not really a fan of the mandarin.  He feels that they promise much and deliver little flavour wise,  so I have let him eat these.  I did get to taste a small segment, and they are really juicy and sweet.  I might have to convince dad to share some more.

The Flavor Bible

I have not yet managed to purchase any of the books on my wishlist, which grows longer by the day. However I did want to share a book that has become indispensable in my kitchen.  The Flavor Bible is a comprehensive alphabetical listing of ingredients, with culinary pairings and recommendations for the best cooking methods.  I use it when I am trying to develop recipes or want to change recipes up a bit.  I resisted purchasing it for ages as I had The Flavor Thesaurus, which I also love, but do find The Flavor Bible covers more ingredients and is easier to use.

That is it for my kitchen this month.  Don’t forget to pop over to Celia’s at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial to see what is happening in kitchens around the world.

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