There isn’t much that’s new in my kitchen, except that I am in it after three weeks away. It was the longest trip we’ve had in several years. Honestly, I think two weeks is long enough. We missed our home, family, friends, and dogs. Where were we? New Zealand on a hiking adventure around the South Island. It was amazing! And beautiful, and a lot of fun…just a little too long. Look for a couple of future posts with pictures.
Is there anything new going on in the kitchen here at home? Well, one of our guides introduced us to a local South Island chutney. She fixed our picnic lunches on several days and a tablespoon of one of these chutneys was usually included.
I managed a trip to one of the local groceries to pick up several jars. The Red Pepper & Chilli Jelly is a gift.
In my kitchen, I also have some New Zealand chocolate. I picked these bars up at the airport on the way home.
We are not dark chocolate fans, preferring milk. Our daughter is a fan of white chocolate.
In my kitchen, I have a small jar of kawa-kawa balm. The kawakawa leaves are medicinal, and one of our guides was quite knowledgeable about local plants. She made tea one night from kawakawa leaves, something we needed after a full day of hiking. This balm will be handy for those inevitable burns in the kitchen.
We didn’t have much room in our suitcases for much more.
Although there hasn’t been a lot of cooking going on, the kitchen has been busy. In a search of a jar of chili crisp, I ended up cleaning out the pantry. It was long overdue but not on my to-do list that particular afternoon. Educational it was though. I discovered several packages of outdated and stale crackers, three jars of Castelvetrano olives (I only need one), five jars of various salsas, a variety of gourmet this-and-that’s meant to be part of a cheese platter, and the missing jar of chili crisp next to the toasted oatmeal. In the course of the hunt, I reorganized the pantry. If true to history, it will slowly lose that organization over the next few months.
Above is just part of the pantry with its new organization. Since everything has been moved around, the new patterns are sure to frustrate searchers for the hot sauce or the ketchup.
Now let’s talk eggs…
I found the bright orange yolks of the eggs we had each morning in New Zealand surprising. When we kept chickens at our home in Oakland (yes, you can have backyard chickens in Oakland…we were quite the local stop for neighborhood children), the color of the yolks approached orange. I was told it was due to a diet rich in carotenoids, the natural yellow-orange pigment found in fruits and vegetables. But I haven’t seen that wonderful color in supermarket eggs in the U.S., even humanely-raised free-range ones.
I was a bit disappointed to find that synthetic carotenoids can be added to their feed to enhance the yolk color. The eggs were still delicious.
Next month there will be more pictures of food to tempt you with.
I’m sharing this post with Sherry’s blogging party on Sherry’s Pickings. Come on over for an international summary from kitchens around the world.