*One of the things Austen talks about in the podcast is the idea of the objects in our kitchens also carrying the stories of our lives. I thought it would be fun to ask readers and listeners to send in pictures of your kitchen items that have great stories behind them. You can do this a few ways - tag @novascotiakitchens in your Instagram post with a picture of your item and its story in the caption. Email firstname.lastname@example.org a write up and picture, or -best of all- record a voice note of the story of your item on your phone, and email it along with a picture of your object to email@example.com. I'm hoping to include some in future podcasts!*
When I'm talking with someone about potlucks (listen to the Christmas potluck episode and read the post for every detail), I'm often asked "But what if everyone brings the same thing?" That happened at one memorable potluck, where we had almost entirely desserts. And no one complained.
For Nova Scotia Kitchens, since I am essentially inviting myself into people's homes and asking them to cook for me, I try to make it as easy as possible on the people I feature, and place no restrictions or limits on what they choose to make. Austen graciously welcomed me into her home at short notice and chose to make biscuits and vegetable soup. You may recall that Barb made butternut squash soup and biscuits back in November. It's the potluck conundrum, in a much more virtual and disconnected form! I think that indicates a few things: a) squash soup and biscuits is a perfect, delicious meal to share b) great minds think alike and c) this offers a great opportunity to compare and contrast their recipes and tweak them to find your very own favourite variation.
On the day that I visited Austen, I was in Dartmouth for my son's provincial basketball tournament. She was so very gracious to agree to have me over, especially because the time I was able to visit depended on basketball outcomes, so it was all very last-minute. We dashed over to her home between games, recorded the episode, and dashed back to the gym for the final game with minutes to spare, and extra biscuits in hand. And the boys won the tournament! My oldest son even called them the "best biscuits ever". In the audio, Austen talks through perfecting the biscuit and her successful shaping method that ensures tall, flaky, layered biscuits every time.
Austen's kitchen is filled with vintage pyrex, great cookbooks, and lots of light. The biscuits and soup were delicious, the tea was hot and steeped to perfection (check out that "tea" mug!) and the company and conversation were first rate. Much silliness ensued.
In the audio, we mention:
The café at Alderney landing, which apparently has the best buscuits (ham, cheese, and chives!) in the HRM.
Shipston Designs (Hi Julie!)
The Aveda tea which I copy by blending peppermint, basil, fennel, and licorice root.
We had extra biscuits for dessert, topped with 5 Fruit Marmalade that Austen made. It's a labour of love and takes a long time to make, but the flavour is rich and complex and wonderfully balanced. And it is absolutely beautiful.