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jaci on horse 

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Gippsland outside the town of Loch. As a young girl, I would read the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. As there was always flour, butter, milk, and eggs in the house, I was continuously searching for new recipes for baking.

As a girl, I would make spend my weekend baking puff pastry to make tarts, creating new versions of candies and baking all the colour rainbow cakes. Not much has changed; I’m still searching for recipes that I can cook using what I have on hand or growing in the kitchen garden.

Now that I am grownup, I can cook what I want, using any type of milk. How happy was I when Gippsland Jersey started producing buttermilk? I now use that in everything I bake.   

Buttermilk pancakes recipe by jacican

But I am going to start you off with a simple buttermilk recipe, pancakes.

We all need to know how to make pancakes from scratch. This recipe will be with you forever.

This recipe will make a dozen 10 cm fluffy pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes recipe

  • 2 cups of Oak & Swan stone ground wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of GJ buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of GJ butter

Method

If you haven’t noticed its same measurement of all the ingredients in this recipe, hence it is easy to remember forever; 1 part to 1 part to 1 part to 1 part.

  1. Into a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and crack in the eggs. Pour over the buttermilk.
  3. Beat together until smooth.
  4. Heat a little of the butter until foaming in a frying pan. Add two spoonful of pancake batter. Swirl around into a round shape.
  5. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until firm enough to flip. Then cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Serve warm

Buttermilk pancakes made by Jacican

I had mine with topped with berries I saved frozen from the summer, warmed homemade berry jam and whipped Gippsland Jersey Crème Fraiche. #yum

Buttermilk pancakes made by Jacican

Over the last few months, I have spent many hours in the kitchen garden weeding, planting and mulching. The one thing is though, the weeds never seem to go away. So, I have come up with a way to deal with them – Eat them!

 jaci holding a plate of warrigal greens with oyster sauce

There is always an assortment of greens growing wild in my kitchen garden – kale, nasturtiums, rocket and this year self-seeded red leaf lettuce has lined the patch around the citrus tree all by itself. I am always cooking blanched and braised green. I do love mine braised with white wine, seasoned with a little salt and pepper and finished with some cream.  

I'm going to get back out in the garden and see what weediness I can find.

Braised Warrigal greens with Oyster Sauce

Warrigal greens (Tetragonia Tetragonioides) is a native ground cover found in Australia, New Zealand, and eastern Asia. A little while ago, I visited an urban farm in Melbourne, their nursery was selling very small plants for $20.00 each. Mine just grows wild from a cutting someone gave me and has a spread of about two square metres.

Jaci picking Warrigal Greens

We pick this leafy green in my harvest lunches and serve alongside beef dishes. It turns out I like it boiled and dressed with oyster sauce - just like you would find greens served at the local Chinese restaurant.

To cook your Warrigal greens

  1. Pick as many as you would like to serve. Warrigal greens will not shrink down like spinach so only take what you will need.
  2. Pluck leaves away from stems and wash very well.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add Warrigal Green and boil for two minutes. Drain.
  4. Place in serving dish and drizzle over the oyster sauce.

Warrigal greens with oyster sauce

 

… I mean make musk sticks.

I don’t call musk sticks, musk sticks as they come in all the flavours including, but not limited to, musk. To me, they are Jacican sticks. 

Lately, I’ve made musk, peppermint, bubble gum and lime flavours. Experimenting with Lemon, Lime and bitter, as well as Gin and Tonic flavours.

Like you like your Jacican sticks with no artificial colours or flavours, they now come in natural raspberry!

lemon lime bitters and gin tonic sticks at jacican  raspberry sticks at jacican

Because lately, we all have time, here’s the recipe for you to make at home if you need something to do. This is a great recipe to do with the kids.

Musk stick recipe

Ingredients

Jacican musk stick ingredients

640 grams of icing sugar

1 teaspoon of glucose

1 teaspoon of gelatine

75 ml of water

1 ml of musk flavouring

1 ml of pink food colouring

Remember you can make any colour or flavour of musk sticks you want!

Method

In a small saucepan combine glucose, gelatine and water. Gently heat until glucose and gelatine have dissolved. Mix slowly to combine.

Jacican musk stick saucepan

Shift icing sugar into a large bowl. Pour in water mixer in three parts, mixing between each addition.

Add flavour and colouring. Mix well combine.

Jacican musk stick flavour

Using a 5 mm star nozzle, fill a piping bag with your mixture. Pipe onto baking-paper lined trays. Leave in a dry place to dry out and harden up. This could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. It will depend on the weather – the warmer it is, the quicker they will dry.

Jacican musk stick pipping 1  Jacican musk stick pipping 2

Jaci

If you can't be bothered to make your own Musk Sticks, there may be Jacican sticks for sale in my shop. You will have to be quick, they normally sell out! 

Tomatillo from the Jacican kitchen garden

Always on the lookout for things to grow to cook, this year, I tried tomatillos for the first time.

Tomatillos need to cross-pollinate with each other, so I pick up four plants from the farmers market.

From the four plants, I ended up with a haul of about 5 cups.

Not enough to made jam, but enough to come up with a cake recipe.

Recipe - Tomatillo upside-down cake

Tomatillo upsidecake recipe from Jacican cooking school Gippsland

Gluten-free, made with tomatillos fresh from the kitchen garden, stone-ground cornmeal and Gippsland buttermilk.

Ingredients

2 cups of tomatillos

1 pinch of vanilla seeds

330 grams of caster sugar

4 eggs

2 egg whites

160 MLS of buttermilk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

110 grams of cornmeal

90 grams of almond meal

1 teaspoon of baking powder

0.25 teaspoon cream of tartar

tomatillo jacican kitchen garden website

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. Weigh out sugar into 165-grams, 110-gram and 55-gram portions
  3. Grease and line a 23 cm springform pan. Place the springform onto a sheet of aluminium foil and bring up the sides of the pan to prevent the syrup from leaking during cooking.
  4. Random place the tomatillos in the lined springform pan.
  5. Place the 165-gram portion of sugar in a small saucepan with 80 MLS of water and a pinch of vanilla seeds. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Cook until thickened, but not golden. Pour over the tomatillos.
  6. Separated eggs. Place egg whites, with extra egg white in the bowl of the mix master. Whisk to soft peak. Add cream of tartar and the 55-gram portion of sugar. Whisk until you have stiff peaks
  7. If you only have one bowl for the mix master, scarp out the egg whites and put in a spare bowl. Put aside until needed. Wipe out the mix master bowl, you may want to rise out the whisk.
  8. Combine egg yolks with the 110-gram portion of sugar in the bowl of the mix master. Whisk until egg yolks combine to a ribbon.
  9. Fold the cornmeal, almond meal and baking powder into the whipped egg yolks. Stir in the buttermilk.
  10. Fold in the egg whites. Pour the cake batter over the tomatillo.
  11. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
  12. To serve, invert on to a plate.

Jaci

 

Tomatillo upsidecake recipe from Jacican cooking school Gippsland

How to cook couscous with cucumber and greens recipe

Braising cucumber and greens is not something that jumps to mind when you are thinking about using this summer’s cucumber crop in dinner.

But years ago, I came across a recipe for braised cucumber and greens.

I think it was served with couscous, but who really knows.

Sometimes I can’t remember where the recipes I have in my head come from!

For this recipe, I use the larger pearl couscous.

Braised cucumber and lettuce with pearl couscous recipe

To cook the couscous

    • Finely dice two shallots. Heat a little butter in a saucepan, that has a tight-fitting lid. Add shallots and fry until translucent.
    • Add couscous and two cups of stock. For this recipe I used turkey stock – that’s what I had in the freezer and I’m trying to use up what I have on hand at the moment – but you could use chicken. Bring to the boil.
    • Place on the lid and reduce the heat to as low as possible. I cook with induction, so down to number one it goes.
    • Leave the couscous alone for the next 15 minutes.
    • After 15 minutes take off the lid and stir with a fork. You have to use a fork, as to not squash the couscous. It should be cooked.
    • If it isn’t, place the lid back on the saucepan and leave for another 5 minutes.

I used Blu; gourmet Pearl Couscous, which I had in the cupboard. At the moment I am trying to use up what I have on hand and not visit the shopping centre, unless really really needed. Gabriel Gate had no part in me deciding to use this product and I would have paid for it sometime in the past.

blu couscous used in Jacican recipe

To braise the cucumber and greens

    • Go to the garden and pick two cucumbers and lettuce.
    • Slice the cucumber into rounds. Wash and break up the lettuce into bite-size pieces
    • Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan, that has a tight-fitting lid.
    • Add the cucumber and fry off for a couple of minutes. Add the greens.
    • Add one cup of white wine (I had to open a bottle for this and drank the rest).
    • Season with salt, white pepper and sugar. Place lid on the saucepan and cook for five minutes over medium heat.

To finish off, fold the cooked cucumber and lettuce into the couscous.

Enjoy!

Jaci

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