In My Kitchen – October 2013

Welcome to yet another addition of In My Kitchen, hosted by the lovely Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. As Celia put it, it’s where bloggers from all over the globe join in and visit each other’s kitchens for a cup of tea each month!

In My Kitchen: is Kale. Lots and lots of Kale

Purple Kale plant

Our 12 mature kales plants have gone berserk, producing masses and masses of kale leaves, more than we consume. We’re enjoying green smoothies for breakfast, sautéed kale in garlic and butter as a side dish to every meal, kale chips as snacks. The good news is that we’re not sick of it yet and we’re totally embracing our glut.

In My Kitchen: are these gorgeous Gabriella potatoes.

Gabriella Potatoes

I’ve never heard of ‘Gabriella’ variety potatoes before; their pasty silver brown colour drew me in when I saw them at the Great Roots stall at my local farmers markets. The friendly staff told me they’re a great variety for baking and making chips and sure enough, I baked them they were perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

In My Kitchen: are this ginormous mint leaves

huge mint leaves

For someone who prides herself on her green thumb and has a ‘plant whisperer’ husband, I’ve never successfully grown mint. Ever. Seriously.

The ‘beginners’ herb that is supposed to grow anywhere and spread like a weed doesn’t grow in our garden. No matter what variety, or potting mix we’ve tried, the leaves start out alright, green and fresh then succumb to rust, rot or curl grubs.

So it was a complete shocker when I found this monster leaf on a stem, growing out of an existing mint pot we thought died weeks earlier. The pot was dirt one minute and these giant leaves the next. Mr Wog said it’s the power of ‘Spring in Sydney’.

In My Kitchen: Bravo Gelato ‘Tall Dark and Tiramisu’ tub.

Bravo Gelato Tiramisu

Many years ago, North Sydney was the place to be. Clubs were pumping and the streets were buzzing after hours. Years before Surry Hills and Kings Cross were trendy. We’d go clubbing North of the Bridge then when the midnight snack munchies kicked in, we’d head down the road, to Bravo Trattoria at Crows Nest and devour tiramisu gelato.

One day we decided to dine in. The owner Mario, came up to me so excited ‘Lisa!! God it’s been a long time, how are you?’!! I had no idea who he was but since he knew my name and remembered me, I went along with it. He pulled up a chair and we sat, talking for a good 10 minutes before he mentioned Italy. At the time, I’d never travelled to the land of pizza and was certain he must be mistaking me for someone else. It was then we both realised that he had met another Lisa who was a dead ringer for me. We both laughed it off and he so sweetly offered us a complimentary cone or cup.

Every time we went back to Bravo’s for gelato he’d greet me with the biggest ‘Hey it’s the other Lisa!! How are you Bella’? We became friends.

Almost a decade later, sitting at work and listening to the radio, the news announced the fatal stabbing of a gelato bar owner. My heart sank when I heard it was Mario Acquaro. I was gutted and couldn’t breathe.

Bravo Trattoria closed down. When it reopened months later it was never the same. New owners, new style, new menu. They painted over the ‘101 pasta flavours’ wall. The crowds disappeared.

What did indeed stay the same were the tall dark flavours of their tiramisu gelato, now available across Australia in tubs. My local greengrocer stocks these 750ml tubs at $11.95, expensive but priceless when the memories come flooding back.

In My Kitchen: There is always Cacciatore Salami

cacciatore salami

What can I say about this oily salami? Smoky, porky and fatty it is an ever present staple in my fridge. Available at most Italian delis. Delizioso.

Slice it thin, pan fry it and crack an egg over it. Breakfast of champions.

In My Kitchen: is a bottle of Bragg apple cider vinegar.

Bragg Apple Cidar Vinegar

The benefits of consuming raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar are well documented. From lowering glucose levels in diabetics, aiding in weight loss, alkalising the body to reducing bloating.

I’d like to emphasise the words raw and unfiltered. Cider vinegars found in supermarket aisles next to the balsamic vinegar and olive oil are not the same.

Certified organic Bragg raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar contains ‘the mother’ which are basically raw enzymes and gut friendly bacteria similar to the ‘mother’ in Kombucha.

I start my day with two tablespoons of Bragg cider vinegar mixed into a glass of cold water. The taste is strong however palatable. You get used to it quickly and even become dependent on it to start the day.

Thank you for joining me on yet another In My Kitchen post.

Previous IMK posts can be found here


55 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – October 2013

  1. Hi Lisa, Love the photo of the kale. You are going to be overwhelmed with vegies this summer 🙂 It could be worse!! Terrible about Mario, there is so much tragedy in the world.
    I am very interested in your vinegar, where do you buy it? I am trying to create a mother at the moment. It may be easier if I get one in a bottle of vinegar 🙂

  2. No ways – I have never seen mint that big before and so perfect – well done! You clearly have your non mint growing problem well sorted and I can almost taste that fabulous salami delicious!
    Have a happy week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  3. You have a kitchen full of wonderful ingredients! I’m looking forward to harvesting some kale from the plants in the garden that the butterflies didn’t find… might even try a green smoothie if there are enough leaves! You tell a lovely story of a friendship made over gelato – what a terrible end though, must have been a real shock.

  4. What a horrible ending to such a lovely story. That’s just so sad. Glad you can at least have some lovely memories of him.
    My grandma used to (not sure if she still does) religiously start her days with apple cider vinegar and honey. She’s nearly 96 now so maybe it does work!

  5. Love your IMK posts, Lisa, they are always full of interesting bits and pieces. That mint is gorgeous! That’s so sad and awful about what happened to your friend Mario.

    • Hi Danielle, Thank you so much for your lovely words, I try to keep them interesting but I have to admit the days roll past so quickly and then before I know it it’s time for another IMK post and I have to think about something interesting again!!

  6. Wow those mint leaves are absolute whoppers! 😮 That’s very sad about what happened to Mario. I remember reading about the stabbing but it’s always terrible when there is a personal link or you knew the person or they were a nice person 😦

  7. So many lovely things in your kitchen Lisa. The mint is amazing. I’ve just tried making my own cider vingegar by mixing raw, unfiltered cider vinegar with a bottle of our cider. It smells OK so I’ll have to try it out. Must admit that I’d never thought about starting the day with it. Good to hear the story behind the gelato, though awful what happened.

  8. Lisa, look at that mint! It’s gorgeous! And I’ve never heard of that variety of potato before, I’ll look out for it. I’m sorry to hear about your friend…

    I’m sure I have a bottle of that vinegar in the pantry, I’m going to dig it out and give it a go!

  9. That is such a sad story, Lisa. I think I remember hearing about that shocking and unprovoked murder. He sounds like he was the sweetest man. I love how you are making good use of all your kale. And that mint leaf is the largest I have ever seen. I also buy that apple cider vinegar and I have 1 tbspn neat! I prefer to get it over with quickly! xx

    • He really was Charlie! I think the hole community was shocked, it was a disgruntled former employee with mental illness 😦
      Oh you’re brave, I don’t think I could just down a tablespoon undiluted! Its like paint stripper!! xx

  10. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!
    The ups and downs of your post has me sitting here and taking in the entirety of your story.
    I love mint- once it starts growing- watch out- there is no stopping it.
    Have a good day!

  11. Impressive mint!! And love all that kale, good to know you are putting it to great use. I guess when you get tired of eating it, you can freeze it for later.
    What a sad story about the gelato owner, still you have lovely memories of him and that’s worth a lot.
    Love your IMK post!


  12. woaah you are one lucky duck with all the kale growing in your garden. I wish I could grow that well too. The insects here are just too aggressive…
    I want your giant mint type too, people would make eyes here. =D
    Oh and the salami is mouthwatering.

  13. What a lovely mixture of goodies in your kitchen Lisa! The kale looks wonderful, wishing I’d netted mine thoroughly and it wasn’t a bit of a mess due to those pesky cabbage whites now. I didn’t realise that organic apple cider vinegar was so good for you, going to look out for some. And what a lovely gelato story but awful tragic ending.

  14. Lisa, reading your post was like reading a gripping novel; every paragraph led to some fantastic (or tragic) fact. I was sorry to hear about your “other Lisa” friend :)… amazed at your giant mint plant (inadvertently killed mine — maybe I needed to give it more time to recover?) …thrilled with your “breakfast of champions” salami suggestions… nodded my head re: the merits of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Thank you for the “relief” in between… kale, potatoes, and tiramisu gelato. What a post!

  15. Your kale is lovely! Have you been chopping if up and freezing it? It’s great to throw into a wok later after the season and that way you don’t have to eat all now! 🙂 I’ve been inspired, I think I will try a IMK post this month…a first for me 🙂

  16. That mint is massive! I can’t believe that you have trouble growing it considering you definitely have two green thumbs. I planted mint years ago. Up-rooted the plant as I moved the herb garden. I still to this day get mint continuously popping up in this garden bed, which is now native aussie plants. I can’t get rid of it!

  17. What a terrible story about the Bravo owner. I’ve got a tub of Bravo Hazelnut gelato in my freezer, I’ll eat it a bit more mindfully from now on. It’s funny, I’ve always given my horse apple cider vinegar in his food – it makes his coat all shiny – but have never thought to feed it to myself!! I’ll have to wrestle some back off him this month and try it out 😀

  18. I’m loving your kitchen this month Lisa. That salami….oh my! and those Guinness Book of Records mint leaves… my mint has really struggled this winter and spring as it’s been so, so dry in Brisbane. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that one of those mega leaves is just around the corner!

  19. Pingback: Crunchie Baked Kale Falafels. | Gourmet Wog

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