Monday, February 2, 2015

In my Kitchen ~ February 2015

This month has been all about the bread because my friend Celia in Australia sent me some dried sourdough flakes from her starter, "Priscilla, Queen of the Refrigerator".

Nurtured back to life with bread flour and cooled boiled water, the dried flakes grew into a new starter that I christened "Big Mama" after my great grandmother who was famous for her biscuits.

The results is a crunchy crispy crust and a soft chewy insides. Another side effect has been my complete breadmania, with things like "hydration levels", "crumb", rising times and "semolina flour" being obsessed over like some crazed mad scientist. It's all great fun.

It hasn't been bread alone around here... we are enjoying lots of winter tomatoes...

Still loving on Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking,  I made Hollandaise sauce for the first time. It is delicious. Not something I'd do everyday, but for company perhaps.

Lots of fresh veg from the farmer's market, sounds so hipster doesn't it? I've been living on english peas. I'm the only one in my family who likes them. Oh well, more for me. :-)

Broccoli, bell pepper, olives and feta salad.

The hub made a pitcher of fresh mandarin juice. No scurvy around here. In years past the mandarins have been really sour. This year they were sweeter for some reason. The froth on the top was creamy like an Orange Julius.

He also made meat pies using some leftover pot roast. Many "Mrs. Lovett" jokes were made.

My one purchase for the kitchen was a Le Creuset bread pan that I found on sale. I'm hoping to make sandwich bread.

And for dessert, rice pudding with pistachios.

So that's what's been cooking here at Casa Del Aguas. How about you?



“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”  ~ Julia Child


  1. Julia Child is the absolute best reference. My mother made a cover for her copy many years ago, it said JC on the spine. It was her religion.

    Wonderful looking bread. I'm so envious of the gorgeous loaves on IMK.

    1. I was surprised how well thought out and simple her recipes are. It seems to me that most of my more recent cookbooks are chock full of rare ingredients. (Pickled walnuts anyone?) I haven't tried any of her desserts but I'm hoping to soon.

  2. Hi Marilyn! I liked your "In My Kitchen" artwork. Cute!
    How about some kitchen/food related toys for the kiddos to play "cooking?"

  3. I'm a bit concerned Priscilla is going to turn into something out of "attack of killer tomatoes" She's everywhere! I watched the movie Julie and Julia the other day and loved it. I had never really heard of Julia until a few years ago and she is nothing short of a marvel. Nice to have read your post. Thanks.

    1. My pleasure. I want to read Julia Child's book "My life in France" And Priscilla IS everywhere! I have feed stater on my calendar now.

  4. Well you can keep those peas but I'm all up for some mandarin juice. And what a find in that bread pan! It's priest. Have a little priest... cheers Fiona xx

  5. lots of lovely produce there. who is mrs lovett? the bread looks wonderful. i am still waiting for the right time to use my starter from celia. and i adore mandarin juice. so yum.

    1. Thanks, Sherry. :-) Mrs. Lovett is a character from Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. She made meat pies out of the victims of Sweeny Todd.

      Have fun making bread. I have a loaf rising now.

  6. Lovely IMK post. Your bread looks amazing. And I'm very jealous of your bread pan - love the colour.

  7. Big Mama has been so brilliant, Maz! I've loved getting your emails - you've taken to sourdough baking like a duck to water! I'm intrigued you call them English peas - what do American peas look like? And have fun with that bread pan, it looks beautiful! :)

    1. Thanks, Celia. I think I may come close to qualifying as a bread geek. :-)

      I think that perhaps here we have black-eyed peas which are really beans. We eat them on New Year's Day for good luck.

      And French peas are smaller than English peas, no? " le petit-pois"

      I"ll be firing up that pan tomorrow. Hugs, Maz.