Recently I picked a million fennel seeds. Well maybe only around 900,000…but close to a million. This time of year you can find last year’s wild fennel totally dried out and ready to pick and store. It grows like a weed, and is actually classified as a weed in Victoria. But for those with a use for it and a penchant for foraging it’s a great asset. Fennel can be used with game meat like quail and duck mixed with a bit of citrus and works excellently when making Italian sausage mince. Of which I’m determined to make this year along with a batch of chorizo. And no doubt I’ll be using more of that stunning pork from farmer Stew and Lou from The Farmers Larder.

I love using fresh herbs, but for some herbs they work just as well dried. I’ll often pick some thyme or rosemary and hang it for a few weeks to dry, then I’ll crunch the leaves off and used them when roasting chicken and spuds. Coriander and garlic are two other plants that I like to let go to seed, then pick the seeds and use them in the kitchen, while some other herbs I’ll only use fresh. Odd little fella, aren’t I.

Cute little quail legs….

I love having my kitchen stores organised. Labelled and organised. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m one of a very limited number of ‘blokes’ that have a love affair with organised dried spice and herbs. I’m not proud of all my little quirks, but this one I don’t mind.