Friday, July 23, 2010

What's in the Bag?

I paid a visit to the Essential Ingredient today, to pick up some chestnuts (pre-cooked vacuum packed).  More on that below.

I usually avoid this place like the plague, not because there is anything wrong with it, rather its array of condiments, spices, plates, cooking implements, cookbooks and other provisions is so mind blowing I always end up leaving with something lovely but pointless like a mini-grater or tiny porcelain tart cases.

But I had to go, because I don't know anywhere else in Melbourne that sells these chestnuts. 

You know those magazine fluff pieces where someone like Miranda Kerr is asked to disclose the contents of their handbag?  The contents are always semi fake aren't they?  No used tissues, bits of rubbish, phone chargers, Cabcharge vouchers, Medicare rebate forms or elastic bands.  No, it's things like pristine Chanel lipstick,  a full tub of Eve Lom eye cream and an unscratched Hermes wallet.

So in that same fluff piece spirit, here is my bounty from Essential Ingredient.  

Sushi rice and nori seaweed, as I thought it might be fun to make sushi with the children although as I write this I realise I don't have one of those little wooden rolling mats. 

Walnut oil for a batch of Nick Nairn salad dressing.  Can you believe how expensive this stuff is?   I find it hard to bring myself to buy it, hence the small tin. 

(Sigh) a measuring cup, very hard to find and the very best style in my opinion, as it measures down to 25 ml, in plastic, to replace this: 

which my husband describes as a heirloom, he has had it for 20 years.   Never mind that the markings have rubbed off so you have to feel the levels with your fingers as if it were braille.  

Some small baking trays, for the children's dinner.   No not for them to eat, but to cook their little sausages etc in.   I am not sure what Non Attacca !!!! means, but I think it is something good like non - stick.  These are to replace this embarrassment: 

Some little French tartlet things, to fill with egg and mayonnaise for my egg eating child, and maybe avocado for the almost vegan one. 

And finally, the chestnuts.   To cook with apples, cider, cream and pheasant breasts, one of my favourite, 
winter, only cook once a year dishes.   

Happy cooking to you all this weekend.. 


brismod said...

Oh, if only I could pop in for dinner. Your once a year winter meal sounds wonderful. Loved how you were measuring in braille too - think how much quicker your measuring will be now! Enjoy your weekend. xx

Millie said...

MOTH has just fallen off his chair with a thud Jane. He goes absolutely nuts for anything chestnut-y. Adel. to Melb. isn't that far he reckons, expect his knock on your front door any second.
Millie ^_^

Tonia Lee Smith said...

Walnut oil is very expensive, do you know how hard it is to crack a walnut?

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

Hi Jane,
If you saw the contents of my handbag, you would probably not speak to me anymore !!
My cooking tins are all very much like your well used one that you have shown, as well !!I say that it gives everything more flavour ! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.
I love all of your purchases and you are going to have a wonderful dinner with the chestnuts. I think you now have to go back to The Essential Ingredient to buy the sushi mat and, you will probably come home with another 10 purchases, which will maake another interesting post !!
Have a wonderful weekend, Jane, and a great pheasant dish. XXXX

ImplausibleYarn said...

I never thought about it before but its true, those handbag reveals? Never reveal the odd chapsticks and eight jumbled pens and misc. change huddled at the bottom. I go crazy in those stores also and buy well things really. The last time I made it out with a beautiful soufflé dish, tea, and three scones. I have yet to make the soufflé.

Mise said...

Snap! I too leave shops like this with delightful accoutrements that I never use. But they look cute and make me feel Competent and Caring. I sometimes make sushi without my longlost sushi mat and it works fine. Maybe Non Attaca! means 'Don't attack anyone with this expensive tin.'

Laura said...

Well this place sounds wonderful but would quite clearly be my downfall! I envy you your cool weather and lovely pheasant. I've been craving stews and braises lately but with such horribly hot weather I just can't quite justify it!

Ann said...

All absolutely essential ingredients... I am glad you have "tins of shame" in your baking draw too and here's a tip - don't dishwash your new measuring cup or you'll be back reading braille again. I am also feeding a little vegan, quite tedious...! Enjoy your weekend in the kitchen.

Kerry said...

I realise I am reading this well after your purchases so hope by now you've eaten all those yummy things you've described. I avoid the Essential Ingredient like the plague too...but my it's wonderful isn't it?

Kellie Collis said...

Hmmm my handbag is filled with lolli wrappers... oops! x

karen said...

Sounds like a delish winter meal....and the essential a wonderful place to shop. Wish I lived out there...especially for the cooler weather. We're melting out in these parts.

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