The Orgasmic Chef

In My Kitchen, December 2015

Welcome to In My Kitchen, a group of food bloggers who share what’s going on in their kitchens every month. It was set up by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and has grown from a few bloggers every month to heaps of bloggers. She’s done a great job and we’ve all made new friends and connections. Personally, I’ve found so many things in other bloggers’ kitchens that I’ve lusted for in my heart, rather like Jimmy Carter lusted after women – in his heart.

Here’s what went on in my kitchen for Thanksgiving 2015. We invited friends and John’s dad’s tablemates from Arcare nursing home to share the feast with us. Now Thanksgiving is a holiday I celebrate because I’m American as well as Australian but all these people were happy to join me and they all became my family.

One of our guests was John (he’s called Big John for obvious reason) from across the street. He loves his woodworking shop and he’s the one who gave me a gorgeous wooden platter and wooden bowl and this time he arrived with a tray with sides made from camphorwood – the best thing for food since it inhibits growth of bacteria. This was a test piece made with a new piece of equipment. I love it!

I received this wonderful tea from The Loose Leaf Tea House and the scent of these two teas are intoxicating. One was organic turmeric spice and this one is their Japanese Blossom tea and I swear it would work well as potpourri too. I fell in love with it.

Several weeks ago I got an email from Bobbi from Bam’s Kitchen telling me that I’d won a dehydrator from Crazy Sales in Sydney. It’s an online shop and they’re the ones who gave me the nifty tabletop ice maker that we love so much.

Now, I have to be honest and admit that I already have a dehydrator and I use it to dry sourdough starter. However, someone I like a lot didn’t have one. Celia gives a ton of sourdough starter away every year and when she dries hers it takes over the house for a few days. With a dehydrator it takes little space and only a few hours.

I gave Celia a call and said, “Do you still want a dehydrator because I have a brand new one that I don’t need.”  I got her address and sent it on its way.

Life is funny because the next day, Charlie was woofing his head off and at the door was a man with you guessed it, In My Kitchen I have another dehydrator from Crazy Sales. Later that day I received an email from their rep asking me if I would like to write about it.

This brings me to my giveaway. Check my next post for information about how I dry my starter and how to get your own version of Celia’s “Priscilla” sourdough starter. It’s quite fantastic in that you really have to work at it to kill this sourdough starter. She survives neglect for weeks in the refrigerator and bounces right back.  Several owners of Priscilla’s children are giving away starter for Christmas. The only requirement is that you name it something other than Priscilla.

Sally Newton from Bewitching Kitchen was talking about her new favorite book, The Food Lab by J Kenji-Alt and I casually mentioned that I would love that book. I use his pie crust recipe all the time. Fast forward a few weeks and the doorbell rings and she sent me the book!! Lopez-Alt is the culinary managing director of Serious Eats. I nearly fell over because I always feel unworthy.

It’s that good that I showed it to John. He liked it so much that he bought a copy for his son for his upcoming birthday. The book answers all the questions about why things work the way they do in the kitchen.

Finally, after weeks of playing pool police to keep him out, Charlie can again hop in the pool when he’s hot. He got the all-clear last week and not a minute too soon as the Sunday before Thanksgiving we had a bit of a family emergency. I was cooking and John walked in to the kitchen and said he had something in his eye. Without turning around from the stove I pointed to the sideboard and said, “I think your drops are in that drawer.”

He said, “uhhh, no, I have something IN my eye. There are big black swirls in it.” In a few hours he’d completely lost the vision in that eye and it keeps getting worse.

A quick trip to emergency and several doctors and a specialist called in and they were fairly certain it wasn’t a detached retina but didn’t really know what it was. Two more appointments with specialists and John was in the too-hard basket so off we went today to the eye clinic at a big hospital in Brisbane. He has detached jelly (who knew that this was common and if it is common, why didn’t the two opthalmologists here know about it??). Because it’s still bleeding and he can’t see anything, he has to have a vitrectomy.

Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either but they suck out the goo and there’s no easy way to say this, all the blood and then they zap where it’s bleeding with a laser and then replace the goo with gas or silicone oil (which has to be removed). Gross, I know! But, he cannot see anything out of his eye which means I’ve been driving him everywhere he needs to go. He loves to drive and today on the way to Brisbane I ended up saying, “Look, you have two choices, shut up or walk,” because he kept telling me which lane to be in, when to slow down, etc. He’s never been creepy like this before so I chalk it up to eye stress.

My apologies for being distracted for the past week or so.

Finally and this is a BIG finally. Celia and Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has hosted In My Kitchen for a long time and it’s a feature that’s very close to her heart – it’s her baby. She’s got a lot on her plate right now and needs a break. She asked me if I’d take over In My Kitchen for her until she’s ready to ask for it back. I was honoured and happy to do so. I will do my level best to list everyone quickly and post to my social media when new kitchens are added. I take over on January 1st and I hope you’ll join me so I won’t be all alone. xxoo