I am attempting to clean up my Kitchen Chaos so that semi- resident family members and friends may find a user friendly kitchen while I am away. Unfortunately, this does not extend to the pantry, which is far too small and has a secret life of its own. I am attempting to use up all perishables, but the following items are always present in my kitchen:
- good olive oil. I only use Australian extra virgin cold pressed oil, and for everyday use, I buy Cobram. It wins many prizes internationally, it isn’t doctored with crap – (imported Italian products are generally guilty of this and often have imprecise labelling). Cobram oil is fruity, young and delicious. The date of harvest is mentioned on the bottle or large can. It is what it claims to be. I buy this in 3 litre containers and decant it as needed.
- good parmesan cheese. Unlike my approach to olive oil, I only buy imported Parmigiano. Grana Padano or Reggiano Parmigiano is an essential pantry/fridge item and one that my offspring/grand offspring expect to find. I usually find a good ‘stagionato’ parmesan at the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Brunswick.
- Pasta varieties. Here again I feel compelled to buy the imported product as I love De Cecco pasta and keep lots of pasta shapes on hand.
- Cans of tuna ( check labels for ethical fishing methods), cans of tomatoes, large cans of anchovies, cans of ceci, borlotti beans and so on for whipping up some minestrone.
- bread making flour and yeast. All my kids make Pizza. Renato, who will also visit, doesn’t use any of these products, earning himself the title of “Plastic Luigi”.
- Plenty of home grown garlic.
With these basic supplies,and abundant herbs, lettuces and veggies from the garden, plus the eggs that my girls lay, my family can make lots of good things. All they need to bring along is a hunk of cheese or some good bread. But hands off my good wine!!
You can find other inspiring kitchens at Celia’s ‘Fig Jam and Lime Cordial’ this month.