The first month of 2018 is behind us, so here are my January favourite finds! It’s been a good month of cooking, eating & exploring for me, that’s for sure. Actually, because I didn’t do one of these posts in December some of my favourite finds are actually from then too, but I’m sure you’ll forgive me. I’d love to hear about your January favourite finds as well (or y’know, December!).
Ceramic Fermentation Crock
For Christmas my sister bought me this amazing German fermentation crock, to make water-sealed fermented foods. I love eating fermented foods, especially kimchi and sauerkraut, so I was excited to use my Christmas break to get started making my own. I went with a relatively simple cabbage, carrot and garlic mix as my first attempt (using the step-by-step instructions I found here) and have just recently popped the finished product in to jars.
I’m so happy with how it turned out, especially for a first try! There’s lots of flavour, still enough texture and even a little sweetness from the garlic. I have been serving it with everything and even gave away a whole jars worth, so I ‘m sure I’ll have to make the next batch soon. I think there might need to be some homemade kimchi on the horizon as well!
Fitzroy Mills Market
A couple of weeks before Christmas the Fitzroy Mills Market kicked off, and I’ve been a few times already! It’s a foodie delight, with everything from amazing organic produce to baked goods, teas, cheeses and all kinds of other deliciousness. Some stall holders have been there each time I’ve visited, and others have switched around so there’s always something new to discover.
I’ve picked up a range of goodies on my visits, including this locally made grapefruit syrup that went excellently in some G&Ts over Christmas. I also brought home some of the best tempeh I’ve ever had – it wasn’t at all bitter and was so good to cook with!
The other product I brought home to try was this plant pasta – it’s made of out chickpeas! I loved the flavour and texture of this, and the fact that it only takes a minute or two to cook. Not to mention the boost in protein from all those chickpeas!
Needless to say I shall be back to the Mills Market on many more occasions, I have no doubt about that!
Dirty Doug’s Relishes
Speaking of markets, I also picked up these Dirty Doug’s relishes at a market pre-Christmas. The Sweet Mustard Pickles went straight out to my folks place to be served with salads and BBQs over Christmas, but I wasn’t giving away the Smoked Jalapeno Relish! It’s so good with pretty much anything – eggs, tofu, grilled veggies, the lot. I’ll have to track them down at another market soon to restock, plus the Smoked BBQ Sauce has my name all over it as well!
My last January favourite find is Bentwood cafe in the back streets of Fitzroy. It opened in December and I’ve already visited a few times! The menu is full of breakfast standards with a bit of a twist, as well as some less standard additions like a breakfast panna cotta (which I’m yet to try!).
The vegetarian options make up a fair proportion of the menu which is always a winner in my book, and even better than that they have all been delicious so far. My sister and I shared a couple of dishes on my first visit, and I’ve since been back with friends and my cousins who were in town from New Zealand. Everyone’s loved the food, so I’d call that a success!
Thankfully not only is the food delicious, but the coffee is excellent as well. I’ve had more than a couple of iced long blacks there this summer!