Posts Tagged ‘Sydney’

In my kitchen…

…are my first five tubs of homemade lip balm.  They’re made with cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax and tinted with a tiny bit of lipstick.  The consistency isn’t quite right yet, so I’ll have to keep experimenting…

In my kitchen…

…are the nicest apples we’ve bought so far this season.  This 16kg box of huge Pink Ladies was only $20 at the markets from Maurice and Jody’s stall

In my kitchen…

…I’ve been playing with chocolate!  Below are pieces of milk feuilletine chocolate dipped in a 54% dark…

…and chunks of caramelised white chocolate dipped in a 70% dark…

In my kitchen…

…is a tin of plum mousse from Germany.  I actually had no idea what was in the sealed tin, which I bought on a whim, thinking it might be plum lollies of some sort…

Luckily, Pete really liked the plum mousse, which is more like a paste than a jam.  It should go well with cheese…

In my kitchen…

…is my first and last attempt at marron glacé.  A failed attempt at that, as we ended up with sweet chewy chestnuts rather than glacé fruit (although they didn’t taste too bad)…

But every cloud has a silver lining, and as a result of these, I discovered how easy it is to wrap small confections in muffin pan liners!  Far easier than cutting up squares of greaseproof paper…

In my kitchen…

…is Pete’s mum’s old cookbook, the Good Housekeeping’s Cookery Compendium (1959 ed).  Uncle Steve gave it to me as a gift…

It’s full of step-by-step instructions…

In my kitchen…

…is an old chip maker, which my mum found buried in the back of her pantry.  She’s never used it…

…and Pete’s not game to let me have a go either!  I’m forever cutting myself on graters, can you imagine what I’d do with exposed blades like these?

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Tell me, what’s happening in your kitchen this month?

If you’d like to do an In My Kitchen post on your own blog, please feel free  to use this format, and to leave a comment here linking back to your post.  We’d all love to see what’s happening in your kitchen every month too!

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If you’d like a glimpse of how truly multicultural Sydney can be, take a drive to the inner west suburb of Campsie.

A few days ago, Pete and I had a delicious lunch at Manmaruya.  A hot tip for Sydney lovers of Japanese food – you’ll find delicious, authentic cuisine there for about half what you’ll pay at other Japanese restaurants.  An average dinner for four (including our two starving offspring) will usually cost less than $20 a head.  Manmaruya specialises in noodles, and have a selection of more than twenty different ramen and udon dishes to choose from.  If you go on a Friday or Saturday night, be prepared to wait!

After lunch, Pete and I took a stroll up Beamish Street.  It’s an interesting place, and not without its dodgy elements (like last week’s shootout in the middle of the street).  It’s by no means the high end of town, but it more than makes up for that with its rich ethnic diversity.

I was astonished by the number of different cultures represented in a single block, and stopped to take these photos while Pete wandered around the corner to purchase a bag of kishk from the Lebanese bakery.

From the left, we have an Egyptian coffee and nut shop, an Indian, Pakistani, Fijian and Bangladeshi grocery store, Wally’s Ossie pizzeria…

…an Indian spice house, an Indian dress shop, Albee’s Malaysian restaurant, a Chinese tax accountant and an Italian barber shop.

If you’re a fan of Malaysian food, Albee’s Kitchen is definitely worth a visit.  They serve handmade noodles on Monday, assam laksa on Wednesdays, bakuteh every day and a very good nasi lemak (from just $6.80).  The food is very tasty, and the ambience reminiscent of  little eateries in Singapore and Malaysia, right down to the free soup and cutlery in a container on each table. I went there with the Spice Girl once, and we ate ourselves into a stupor. (SG, we have to go back to try the fish head curry soon…)

Below is the bag of kishk that Pete bought.   It’s a traditional Lebanese cereal made by fermenting cracked wheat with yoghurt.  The mixture is then dried and ground into a fine powder.  The proprietor of the shop told us that it was often cooked into a form of porridge for breakfast.

We combined it with tomato passata, chopped onion and olive oil and used it as a pizza topping, as suggested in this recipe. The yoghurt gave the pie a delicious tanginess…

Cosmopolitan Campsie – we counted twelve different countries represented in the two blocks that we walked!

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193 Beamish St
Campsie  NSW  2194
(02) 9789 5759

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Albee’s Kitchen
282 Beamish St
Campsie  NSW  2194
(02)9178 8302

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One of the great joys of my life is being able to go to Flemington Markets with Pete.  The produce is amazingly fresh, the atmosphere is great and best of all, it’s a clear marker to the start of the weekend.  Now that I have a pocket camera, I wanted to share some of the sights that greet us at the markets whenever we visit.  There are lots of photos – I just couldn’t choose which ones to leave out!

Everything at the markets is ridiculously cheap –  for example, these 59g free range eggs were $6.50 for 30.  I indulged and bought a carton of fresh duck eggs as well – perfect for pastries and cakes.


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This is Jimmy the Tomato Man.  He doesn’t have a computer at home, but told me he’d get one if I put his photo on my blog.  How could I refuse?  We bought a $10 box of tomatoes from him, but passed on the eggplants this week, even though they were a bargain.

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Since we started going to the markets, mushrooms have become a part of our weekly diet. I bought half a kilo of these today, although I really don’t know what they are.  I think they called them “brown caps”, but I’d love someone to enlighten me. Thanks..

Edit: I’ve just been told these are King Brown mushrooms, an Australian cultivar of the trumpet mushroom (thanks Barb!).  More info here.

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I also bought a half kilo of fresh Shitake and some Swiss Browns – it’s going to be a big mushroom week here.

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The mushroom ladies share a stand with a lovely elderly gentleman who sells sugar snap and snow peas.  He was so pleased when a customer asked him if he was in his sixties that he gave him his goods and his money back!  I tried telling him he looked even younger, but he wasn’t buying it..


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An impulse buy from Morris and Jody’s stall – a box of super sweet black grapes – 10kg for $16.  Pete was murmuring something about “grape jelly” under his breath…

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Our rule at the markets is to buy from the specialists whenever possible.  These photos were taken at our favourite potato and onion stand, run by a cheerful cluster of larrikin lads.   They have a huge range of potatoes – from the cheaper, more common types, to a dozen or so unusual varieties – Nicola, Kipfler, Charlotte, Pink Eye, Dutch Cream, Royal Blue and one that has bright purple flesh.  We’ll often buy a kilo or so of something unusual to play with in the kitchen.



They also sell Australian and imported garlic, as well as boxes of ginger at various ages (young, medium, old, very old).


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We stopped at Maurice’s dried fruit and nut stall to buy a kilo of  Australian blue lentils for Maude.  I didn’t even notice the  new sundried cherries and blueberries until I uploaded this photo – must make sure to pick some up next time I’m there.


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Highlight purchase of the day?   Two kilos of gorgeous Californian cherries for Small Man, who is a complete cherry addict.  He was overjoyed to see them!

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Harnessing my inner Lois Lane, I whipped out my camera and took some photos of my weekly pilgrimage to the Paesanella Cheese Shop.

Have I mentioned how much I love my little Lumix camera?  These photos were taken through the glass cabinets, without a tripod or flash.  The colours were perfect, despite the overhead fluorescent lighting (bless you, Adjustable White Balance function).

Some of these cheeses are pretty funky, particularly the La Tur, which made Daz’s eyes water when he tried it at our picnic in the Botanic Gardens.

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The French Fromager Des Clarines is a special treat – you heat it up in its little wooden box, then poke a hole in the middle of the cheese and fill it with a slurp of champagne.  The last time we did this, Gorgeous Terri brought Pomeroy as the accompaniment!


These soft Tartufo goat cheeses  – imported from Italy – are studded with large pieces of black truffle.

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If you want seriously stinky, the locally made (and outrageously expensive) Holy Goat is an interesting cheese.  I once bought a wafer thin slice for $8.  It has a bumpy, almost quilted texture which makes you want to touch it.


Delicious olives in assorted shades – our favourites are the pitted, marinated Kalamatas on the bottom right.  They also sell stuffed bell capsicums – the ones on the left are filled with pesto, and the other ones with mascarpone.

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Paesanella make their own fresh cheeses, including three or four different styles of ricotta, the rocket and chilli caciotta in the photo at the top of the page, as well as a multitude of fresh, smoked and brined mozzarellas.  They even make their own buffalo mozzarella, using locally sourced milk, which means it’s tangy, but lacks the unpleasant sourness of the frozen-then-defrosted imported stuff.

baked ricotta

There is, of course, oodles of other stuff in this shop – I just didn’t get a chance to take any more photos.  I came away with a large tub of warm ricotta, a new hard cheese to try, some St Agur (oh, how I love that they stock St Agur), Kalamata olives and the week’s supply of deli meats.  Happiness is a fridge full of gourmet goodies!

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Paesanella Cheese Shop
88 Ramsay Rd
Haberfield NSW 2045
Tel. 02 9799 8483
or visit their online store :
DeliVer, Gourmet Food Distribution

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The enticing photos at Becca’s blog inspired us to visit Eveleigh Markets – a new Saturday morning produce market set up in the old railyards in Darlington. Familiar stomping grounds indeed for Pete and I, who met at Sydney University nearly thirty years ago.

These markets – which opened at the end of February 09 – were exactly what you’d expect from the hip, inner-city venue.  We encountered parents with a child named “Zsa Zsa”, overheard a passerby discussing her recent sojourn in an ashram, and zigzagged our way around scores of dogs on leads.   Everyone had their own brightly coloured nanna trolley, which made my sage green one look a little anaemic by comparison.   All the sales were cash only, and you needed lots of it, because everything was expensive and there wasn’t an ATM for miles.  Most of the produce was interesting, high quality and organic, and priced accordingly.

The highlight of the day was running into Sara Adey, former owner of Darling Mills Restaurant in Glebe.  Sadly, our favourite restaurant of all time closed over a decade ago, and we’ve mourned its loss ever since.  Sara is now working with  her family on the Darling Mills Farm in Berrilee, and we couldn’t resist buying their mixed olives (which were always served on arrival at the restaurant), a bunch of dill, and some gorgeous watercress (photo above).  Most of the cress was eaten rabbit-style over the course of the afternoon, with the remainder tossed over a hot pizza that night for dinner.

Another great find was the Sweetness stand. Oh my.  This stall was so visually appealing – and the products were so carefully crafted and presented – that I couldn’t resist spending money.  Thankfully, everything tasted  wonderful, which was just as well because my inability to choose led to a “buy them all” moment.

There were handmade marshmallows to die for…

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…hazelnut and cranberry nougat…

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and some wickedly delicious English toffee – buttery, crisp and just the tiniest bit salty.

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Our final purchase of the day was some cumberland sausage from the Tallabung Pork stand.  Made from the meat of black Berkshire pigs ( highly prized, particularly in Asian countries), these were tasty and rich, if somewhat oily.  All up, it made for an interesting Saturday lunch!

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