Sunday, 24 August 2008
A Peek inside My Fridge
Good morning everyone. It sounds like a beautiful day out there this morning. The birds are singing happily away, even though it's a little bit dark out still. My goodness, but the days seem to be drawing in now, and getting shorter, and it seems to be happening very quickly! It feelslike just a few days ago it was still light outside when Todd and I were going to bed, but now, it's dark . . . and it's dark now when I get up as well . . . soon we will start noticing that the leaves are changing colour I am sure.
You have probably wondered why I have a picture of two children peeking into a refrigerator at the top of my post this morning???? I thought I'd do something quite different today and give you all a peek into . . . my refrigerator! Not only will it be fun, but it's a darn good excuse to clean out the fridge!
One of the first things I wanted after I moved over here, was a decent sized refrigerator. The one Todd had was very small, about the size of a bar fridge, and a good portion of that was the freezing compartment. For a person who loves to cook as much as I do, it really wasn't adequate enough. I longed to have something that held at least half of the ingredients that I wanted to use, if not all! It took me about six months, but I did finally convince him that we really needed one, and we went to Iceland (which is a shop over here that sells frozen goods etc.) and bought a lovely Bosch Refrigerator/Freezer, with the freezer on the bottom, which is something I had always wanted. Oh what a difference!
Todd said, "You'll never fill it, it's so large!"
I said, "Watch me!" and then I filled it.
I won't bother to show you the freezing compartment. It is only three deep drawers behind a door on the bottom, and it is filled with a variety of meats, fish and leftovers, ice cream, vegetables and of course frozen oven chips . . . McCains Rustic ones, that are chunky and less than 5% fat and still have the skins on! They are the closest thing to homemade oven chips that you can buy, and let's face it, sometimes you just don't have the time or inclination to do it from scratch! (let's be honest here!)
This is the inside of the door. It's nice and large and holds quite a bit. I have maple syrup (you can't be a Canadian and not have that!) and salad cream, mayonnaises, shortening, cream cheese, Sweet chili sauce (A MUST!), tomato paste (two kinds . . . regular and sun-dried with garlic and herbs) . . . juice, butter (soft and regular) grainy Dijon mustard, Hoisin Sauce (another must) and a delicious bar of Green and Black's Organic Milk Chocolate for . . . I am a woman after all . . .
Shame of all shame, I see a can of squirty cream . . . I can't think of what that's for . . . probably a leftover from Christmas and it's about time I got rid of it! (being honest here!)
Now in the fridge proper, you see two lovely vegetable bins on the bottom, one of which is cracked, alas. I was pulling it out once and it was overfilled and I actually pulled a piece out of the plastic! (I was so annoyed with myself!) There's lots of salad stuff in there . . . a few different lettuces, cucumber, radish, spring onions . . . and some lovely un-waxed lemons. There's also a few fresh herbs like flat leaf parsley and coriander. I love, Love, LOVE using fresh herbs. There's just no comparison!
On the next shelf up, you will see a lovely variety of cheeses. I don't know how anyone can live without cheese. I always have several different kinds around . . . usually a cheddar or two, strong and mild, feta, a blue (stilton or Danish, or both!) a good emmental and of course Parmesan! (and not the pre-grated stuff either, a nice big block that I can grate myself, with my micro-plane grater of course!) There's some celery that didn't fit into the bottom and some fruit, which is good for you, and, shame of all shames, a packet of puff pastry. (I am blushing here.) Let's not forget the packet of fresh bread crumbs, invaluable for making stuffings of any kind . . .
Next shelf up, there are an assortment of olives . . . green and black, and those lovely little black Spanish salted and dried ones, that have so much flavour. I just adore them! They are just wonderful on pizza's! There's more butter (for baking of course) a jug of cheese sauce . . . or is it custard . . . some more veg that didn't fit in the bottom drawer, (broccoli, I think) and my prized can of A & W rootbeer, that I am saving for a rainy day and nobody better touch upon pain of death!! Rootbeer is not all that common over here and I have been saving it to make myself a rootbeer float when I can't stand to be without one any more, and yes . . . I will probably share it with Todd! . . . . maybe . . . . if he's really, really good.
Top shelf . . . mind your step as you alight . . . cream, buttermilk, pickle (Branston's, a must have in a ploughman's lunch), relish ( a much coveted jar of American sweet relish!) and in behind more of the same . . . sour cream, gherkins from France, capers . . .
There is also a compartment under that first inside shelf that I showed you, that contains meat. Right now it's some lovely fresh filet steak and diced shoulder of lamb that is destined for a stew pot soon. There's also some dry cured streaky smoked bacon, a few sandwich meats (turkey and Todd's favourite Corned Beef) and a nice smoked sausage, which I don't have any plans for yet, but was craving last time I was at the shops.
And there you have it, my fridge . . . well the big one at least. I also have a smaller bar sized one that is stogged full of milk and eggs and other essentials and a smaller bar sized freezer and yes . . . a medium sized chest freezer. Not to mention a larder full of a cooks essentials and potatoes, onions, shallots and squash . . . butternut, not the kind you drink, although there are drink mixes and water in there as well. I have three wheelie trollies, with several drawers in each, that contain in one, all my baking goodies (chocolate, flavourings, etc.) another, all of my nuts, dried fruits, etc. and the last one all my extra spice mixes etc that won't fit on my spice rack!
I guess one could say, I'm rather a serious cook!
Speaking of serious, I made the most awesome Guacamole yesterday!! I just love a good Guacamole. It's the that stuff dreams are made of . . .
Makes about 1 cup
You just can't beat a good quacamole. This recipe is a combination of my favorite versions all rolled up into one. It's so easy to make your own and wait til you see what I did with it after I made it . . .
3 ripe Haas Avocado's
1 to 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced (it all depends on how much garlic you like)
1/2 a lime, cut in half again
1/2 of a small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
salt to taste
chopped fresh coriander to taste (cilantro)
1 small green chili, seeded and finely diced (optional but gives it a nice bite)
Cut the Avocado's in half. Remove the pit and then using a spoon remove the flesh and put it into a mixing bowl. Add the minced garlic and the juice of one piece of the lime. Mash it all together to your desired consistency, using the back of a spoon. I prefer mine to be a bit chunky.
Stir in the diced tomato and onion, a good pinch of salt and the juice from the remaining piece of lime. Stir in the coriander and chili, if using. Taste and adjust as needed.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 to 45 minutes before using, in order to allow the flavours to meld.
This is great on tacos, enchiladas, burritos and of course with lovely homemade Tortilla chips! Or, you can do what I did and use it in a delicious Turkey Club sandwich bun . . . no recipe, just plenty of sliced turkey, crispy fried bacon, some lettuce and sliced tomato . . . . ahhh . . . . bliss!
PS - I'm giving a talk in church today, wish me luck!