Daily Archives: August 24, 2010

i love jars. that is all.

I love jars. I love honey. I love honey jars.

I go through a lot of honey, being a honey in my tea, drizzled on my oatmeal, marinating my chicken, on my toast kinda girl. And I buy all my honey from Aldi, where it comes in these 250ml jars for just $2.99 a jar. Confession: I have been known to get upset with people when they try to throw out a used up jar of honey.

Why? BECAUSE I LOVE THE JARS (I thought we had covered this people). Re-using jars is my little way of contributing to the environment cause, because I’m so aware of being such a huge consumer. And, I decide, I will be my own little environmentalist in ways that are easy for me to achieve. I figured I would share all my JAR GOODNESS methods, because maybe they can help you save the earth a little too and stop you buying plastic containers, or leeching nasty plastic toxins into your food. So really, I’m saving your life, too. I am your hero.

You may also rub my belly for luck if you come visit and bring food. I am feeling so generous today.

1. Jars as tupperware

I use jars for keeping all kinds of food, in the freezer or fridge, or for toting a packed lunch/brekkie and even keeping condiments in the pantry. I’m trying to go eventually plastic-free in my kitchen so jars are coming in very handy for this! Let me list the ways:

  • Make massive batches of soup. Jar. Freeze or fridge. Microwave. Eat/drink.
  • Storage for nuts/soychips/snacks in small snackable portions
  • Make massive batch of pasta sauce and jar with cooked pasta. Freeze or fridge. Microwave. Pour into bowl. Eat!
  • Take fresh fruit smoothie or cooked oatmeal to work for breakfast. Steve makes a fresh fruit smoothie every morning and we also make a batch of oatmeal for the week of brekkies in the ricecooker (a post for another time!)
  • You get the idea.

2. Jars as itty bitty pieces of things storage

I use jars to sort – hair ties, hair pins, international coinage that inevitably gets carted home every trip, spare buttons for clothes, erasers and staple refills, anything small and that usually gets relegated to that top junk drawer everyone must surely have in their homes. And if you don’t have a random junk drawer (or 6) I don’t want to know about it because you’ll make me cry from feeling utterly unworthy of your domestic god(dess) nature.

3. Jars as fire safety romance assisters

Love tea light candles? Don’t want to be carted off to jail for being a nasty firebug with arsonist tendencies? Would rather snuggle up to your loved ones in FULL knowledge that you are holding safety first?

I LOVE using tea lights in jars, especially when I think there is some probability of sleep overtaking the “get out of bed and blow them out” urge. Also, in our new house, I’m really excited about having dusk-time tea light parties out on the deck that will be so full of ambience and prettiness. With hundreds of jars. Uh huh. Imagine the amount of honey I’ll have to ingest!

I hope the above suggestions have been useful, and that you are now excitedly taking stock of your pantry to see what jars you can save – coffee jars, pesto jars, pasta sauce jars, honey jars, and all that jazz! Life improvements are exciting!

DISCLAIMER: I am sometimes blogging under the influence of da good woosa tablets those great doctors prescribed for pain management. Excuse the sometimes lapse into the WOOSA!

aubergine obsession

No folks, not the colour, but the vegetable. When I was growing up, I knew this wonderful food as Brinjal, and hated it. I don’t actually remember why I hated it but I was a fussy kid who generally didn’t like anything. I didn’t like non-seedless fruit, proclaiming bones and spitting a mouthful out promptly if an errant seed in a grape or watermelon was found. I didn’t like crunchy french fries (apparently they too, had “bones”). I didn’t like corn but loved peas (the opposite now). Fussy kid or delusional kid? I don’t know – at least I was cute. I think.

Lately though, eggplant has been my ultimate food for meals. I love chopping it up and putting it in everything, and allowing its sublime texture and wonderful flavour come through. I like adding little cubes of it to my bolognese sauces and whizzing it to make a yummy dip. I like sauteing huge chunks of it with tomatoes and wilting some spinach into the mix for a dish that can be devoured warm or cold. Mostly? I like grilling it.

A few months ago, S bought me the coolest grill pan ever. I’d been wanting one of these for years but could never justify the cost. Oh yeah, you know what I’m talking about:


Be still, my beating heart.

Promptly started in Sharon’s Test Kitchen, a number of searing exercises. There was the meats – chicken, all manner of cuts of steak, venison, pork cutlets, scallops, lamb chops. There was the sauces to accompany those – with jus lovingly scraped off to accompany mushrooms, wine splashes and more. And then there was vegetables – and eggplant has won hands down.

It’s easy. So easy I weep with joy when S and I decide to have steak for dinner. You chop it up into 1 inch slices. You sprinkle it with salt. You prep your meat and SEAR it, making delicious sizzling noises the whole time, and only sometimes with your mouth. You ignore the strange looks your partner gives you as you cackle maniacally at the smell of burning meat at the pyre. You allow the meat to rest, and whilst it’s doing that, you chuck the eggplant on the grill.

grilled eggplant in le creuset pan

Whilst these babies are cooking, plate your salad and pour your wines.

And then:

Eggplant and rocket salad

Just waiting for a slab of meat to top it off!

I would show you a picture with the steaks lovingly lain on top of the stack, juices merrily running around creating a flavour explosion. I would describe how the eggplant just heightens the texture of the steak perfectly whilst making the salad so much more exciting. I would attest to how the silky smooth eggplant drenched in steak sauce is just the perfect mouthful.

But I ate it.

Do you have an ultimate food of the moment that you can’t get enough of? I would love to hear all about it – as long as you come over and grill me some eggplant whilst you regale the tales…

(And yes, this blog post was written/planned/photographed over a month ago so no I’m not trying to wield heavy kitchen contraptions in my condition. In fact at this stage the kettle is too heavy for me to easily make a cuppa.)