In My Kitchen – October 2020

In My Kitchen – October 2020

In My Kitchen is a monthly gathering of food bloggers from around the world. I’ve learned a lot over the years about new ingredients, products and tools from reading the posts. Click the link above to visit this virtual party. Our host is Sherry from Sherry’s Pickings. Please consider adding your own post, I would love to read what’s new in your kitchen.

September and early October are often referred to as ‘Indian Summer’ here in California. Besides a heat spell which seems to come unexpectedly (but every year) in May, it’s usually the hottest weather of the summer. And, it’s fire season. I used to look forward to this time of year, now I dread it. The good news is that the weather is now cooling and there is a weak storm system on the horizon. Hopefully it will assist the firefighters still battling the August complex fire which has burned at least a million acres and is now considered a ‘gigafire’. It’s the largest fire in California history, started by an unusual lightening storm this past August. Smoke has made the air’s particle count dangerously high. Even here on the coast there have been days when we don’t go outside.

I did manage to find a day to harvest the potatoes out of one raised bed. I was absolutely shocked at the abundant harvest from this one bed! I got almost a bushel of potatoes, Russian Banana and Princess.

September Potato Harvest

Fort Bragg Potato Harvest – September 2020

They are all considered fingerlings.

Fingerling Potatoes

Russian Gold and Princess Fingerling Potatoes

They are thin skinned and creamy inside. So far we have had them roasted like baked French fries and cooked as Syracuse salt potatoes. Have you heard of Syracuse salt potatoes? I had not before I went looking on line for recipes. Salt potatoes are a regional specialty of Syracuse, New York, a.k.a. The Salt City. Salt potatoes date to the 1800s, invented by local salt mine workers who created a simple and inexpensive lunch by boiling small potatoes in brine. The potatoes are still very popular today with the Central New York crowd and I understand they are a regular food item at the State Fair.

When boiled in a heavy salt brine they take on almost a mosaic salt shell but stay deliciously tender and creamy inside.

Syracuse Potatoes

Syracuse Potatoes

See the salty crust on these? I garnished them with some melted butter and chopped fresh herbs.

I served them with cabbage wedges roasted with heavy cream and parmesan and a simple roast chicken.

I have made this in the past with cabbage slices, it’s a favorite way of cooking cabbage as the cream caramelizes and the cabbage itself turns sweet. The link above will take you to the original recipe.

The combination with the potatoes was delicious.

You can find many different recipes for roast chicken on my blog. This simple one is my favorite.

In my kitchen I have a new book, Whole Grain Sourdough at Home by Elaine Boddy. Elaine was one of the first bloggers I met, actually through In My Kitchen, when I first started. At that time it was hosted by Celia of the blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. 

Whole Grain Sourdough at Home

Whole Grain Sourdough at Home

I just fed my sourdough starter (it came originally from Celia’s Patricia – we always name our sourdough starter) and am looking forward to trying some of her recipes. Because of the pandemic’s early enthusiasm for sourdough baking, the stores were out of most flours for months. I think exhaustion has finally set in and the shelves are restocked.

Sourdough Starter - before

Sourdough Starter – It’s Alive!

My own starter is named Devon.

And then there is the occasional flop. Isn’t this salad beautiful? Well, it was not a success in our household. I can’t remember where I found the recipe, maybe in the NY Times. It was a combination of roasted cauliflower and grated or finely chopped raw cauliflower with nuts, herbs, and pomegranate seeds. Sounds interesting doesn’t it?

It could have originally been from “Jerusalem,” the beloved Middle Eastern cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi.

This salad sounded perfect but the textures and combination of sweet with tart was off. Next time (if there is one) I will make it with raisins or dates instead of pomegranate seeds, add more chopped red onion, more parsley and cilantro, less mint and raw cauliflower. And maybe some chopped green olives…

Roast Cauliflower with herbs and Pomegranate Seeds

Roast Cauliflower with Herbs and Pomegranate

It just goes to show that you can’t always trust a beautiful picture to be a great recipe.

In my kitchen I have two beautiful ladies, just back from the groomers and decked out as harem beauties.

Casey and Quinn as Harem Beauties

Casey and Quinn as Harem Beauties

Actually this photo was taken just outside the kitchen door before they had time to rub off the decorations. They are great favorites at the grooming parlor.

I am excited at the turn of the season. I don’t think summer food is exceptionally post worthy. Just how many blog posts of grilled vegetables and meats do you want to read? Me, not so many. But there are some exciting recipes I am looking forward to sharing, stay tuned.

And, stay well and safe. November promises to be an interesting month…