“In My Kitchen” August 2019

Good gravy!   Where is the summer going?

So, here’s what was new in my July kitchen!

I made some mulled blackberry vinegar and after letting it set on the cabinet for four weeks, I finished processing it.  I strained it and was left with a delicious smelling pulp, full of blackberries macerated in warming spices.   I couldn’t bear to throw it away so I decided to try my hand at turning it into a mostarda.

I know mostarda is typically used on meats as a condiment or as a side on cheese boards.   I found it delicious on peanut butter.  🙂

I ended up with one small jar.  I will probably post a recipe at some point this summer.  I’m call this “Mostarda from the Dregs.”

There’s a great eclectic garden/home decor shop in Joplin, MO that I always try to visit when I’m passing through.  If I don’t walk out with garden statuary, I will certainly purchase some sort of kitchen gadgetry.  

I love the Charles Viancin designs.  (If you have not tried the drink covers, Google them immediately and order some for the patio!)   I am really digging this cutting board (especially since I can pop it in the dishwasher).

I struggle with utilizing eb0oks but when I saw I could get a Giada cookbook for $1.99, I had to do it.

There seems to be some recipes I want to try like almost every pasta sauce listed!

We’re getting ready for a few days at the lake so I’m stocking up on magazines and deck-sitting reading.

Perhaps we’ll make some BBQ pork at the lake.  I’ll definitely make some hummus!

Brazilian Starfish Peppers

We’re getting a few tomatoes (enough for sandwiches and salads) and I’m in love with this new pepper.

Unique, star-shaped fruit. The baccatum pepper species originated in Peru, but this variety was domesticated in Brazil. Brazilian Starfish boasts complex floral and fruity tones that are perfectly offset by medium heat. Expect surprises when snacking on this pepper. The fruit varies in heat but often medium spicy, sometimes exceeding that of jalapeños. Fruit is always juicy and quite sweet. Curious-looking fruit reaches 2” in width, ripening to brilliant red at maturity. Plants are vigorous and unusual, having an almost weeping, vine-like habit. Slow to yield but, by the end of the season, amazingly prolific. (from RareSeeds)
We bought two plants at our local zoo’s plant sale in May.  The plants are doing very well and I can pick a few peppers a week.   I will save some seeds for next year.  Eating it can be a bit dicey, but I haven’t found the heat on any of them to be outrageous.  Typically, the peppers will have a sweet pimento like taste.  I love them on sandwiches and in salads.  Aren’t they cute?

I picked about a five gallon bucket of peaches off our best tree.  We don’t spray our fruit trees (which, depending on how you look at it is fortunate or unfortunate).   I had to pick them a bit green because they were turning brown.  I gave a few to the neighbors and then I was a bit embarrassed to have done so.   The “good” peaches were few and far between.   I processed enough into one batch of jam.   Again, I overcooked the jam well beyond the jam stage.  It’s a bit taffy like but still good.   I also made one cobbler.  Most of the peaches went into the compost pile.  🙁

I guess we will get proactive with the fungicide next year.

Hopefully, we will be more successful picking bananas.  We’ve planted trees every spring for the last four years (overwintering them in the green house or placing dormant plants in the garage).  This is the first year we’ve gotten blooms so early.  I think we might get a harvest this year.  (It usually freezes here before the bananas are ripe.)

“In My Kitchen” is hosted by Sherry’s Pickings.   I look forward to it each month so I can peek into kitchens around the world.   It’s so interesting to see what people covet and collect as well as vicariously experiencing the other seasons around the world.  


7 comments to “In My Kitchen” August 2019

  • Cool banana plant! I love the idea of serving mostarda with peanut butter :-))

  • Mae

    Growing bananas seems amazing (even though I don’t like to eat them at all). I’m with you all the way on Charles Viancin — I use the lids of all sizes.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • Well done you in repurposing the pulp. Have you ever made a shrub? A fruit and vinegar based syrup that you add to soda or wine or…. (I have a recipe on the blog). The reason I ask is that you end up with a leftover pulp that needs repurposing. I’m inspired. Could you treat the green peaches as you would green papaya in a Thai salad. Shredded and treated as a savoury rather than sweet Ingredient? A thought for next year.


  • I would like to get an Olive magazine. Better head to the book store. And a Giada cookbook for 1.99 ?! I’m on it.

    If there is a kitchen store I want something from it and rarely can browse and not purchase. Love the cutting board!

  • hi debra
    thanks for joining in this month. we had banana plants in our backyard years ago. they just did their thing and gave us heaps of bananas. ironically neither of us eat them! i must say i do love a physical book especially cookbooks. it’s so nice to see the recipe on the page, i find. i love gadgets and have far too many. i just can’t resist cute and probably useless things:-) have a good month. cheers sherry

  • What fun! Your banana tree and all those bananas look great! Hope the weather holds so they’ll ripen. Love the cutting board. So cute.

  • I never even thought to grow bananas! Neat idea. Fun stuff in your kitchen this month — thanks.