HOME COOKING FOR HEALING
HOME & HEARTH EMBRACED MORE THAN EVER
Winter has arrived and whilst we’re all emerging out of our COVID-19 cocoons, the cooler weather has us not minding being at home where it’s snug and cosy. These past few months have been a crazy old time and what I know for sure is that home cooking has been a source of comfort, even if many may have felt a bit of ‘FOMO’ at not being able to go out to eat.
For a small business such as mine, the pandemic has taught me a great deal about community. I know from meeting customers on a regular basis at markets and pop-ups, and from the frequent feedback I receive that Latasha’s Kitchen is a loved brand. Customers have written to me to say that my products have given them a greater passion for home cooking, especially as lockdown has thrust it upon us, whether we’ve liked it or not.
Initially, I went into panic mode at the beginning of the COVID-19 situation, as did businesses right across the world. You all rallied and supported me and I am touched, grateful and relieved, so thank you. March and April were not the disasters I had anticipated because my customers stepped up with increased and more frequent orders. May brought a rash of orders for Mother’s Day hampers, followed by some beautiful emails from grateful recipients.
Also, in order to do my absolute best to fulfil orders and keep customers happy, I spent many, many hours driving around, hand-delivering boxes of curry pastes, chutneys, oils & vinegars and relishes within a 40-50-kilometre radius. It was exhausting and draining but also incredibly satisfying. I would hop in my van and deliver directly – albeit contactless – exchanging air kisses and air hugs with wonderful people at each stop. I also got to hear first-hand how they were enjoying the products as they embraced ISO cooking and naturally, we talked recipes, even if only briefly.
Now, thankfully, the desperate panic is over. You can have your Latasha’s Kitchen products delivered to you for a flat rate of $10 anywhere in Australia and I can hunker down and plan what to cook up next.
What I’ve been up to lately
In WA where I’m based, we are at stage 3 restrictions and there is still a lot of uncertainty. Most of our larger events have already been cancelled and we are only trading at two farmers markets in June. Unfortunately, we don’t see a return to pop-ups at shopping centres in the near future because we’re restricted as to what we can do. We can’t cook or offer samples and those things are cornerstones of my brand. I love to be able to introduce customers to the aromas and flavours of my products, in person.
What I’ve been doing is concentrating on recipe development and engaging customers on social platforms. I couldn’t do what I do without the feedback I receive from all of you. It nurtures me and spurs me forward.
Trust that I will let you know via social media and newsletter when we are doing more events so you can come along. I’d love to meet you and show you some easy, tasty recipes.
Tastes of winter
Isn’t it funny how we tend to have bigger appetites in winter? Maybe it’s the shivering, or perhaps that it gets dark earlier, or maybe we just turn into human hibernators! I get to discuss home cooking with lots of people and conduct my own ‘market research’. So many say that in winter, they crave bigger flavours because they get more ‘bang for buck’ with each mouthful and therefore don’t feel such a need to eat so much. To me, that makes perfect sense!
When you get home from work or sport and it’s already dark, you don’t want to face a long cooking process (other than slow cooking that you set and forget in the morning!). That’s where my simmer sauces come in. I’ve already done the slow cooking for you to create the intense flavours and all you have to do is pick your favourite protein, add some veggies and simmer while you set the table.
You don’t have to always have beef, lamb or chicken on hand. You can use sausages, mince, tofu, paneer or even frozen fish fillets that are very economical and really good quality. How about a rich Vindaloo with a good kick of heat? For milder tastes, choose my Thai Green Simmer Sauce and whip up a quick Thai curry.
For those following a low FODMAP diet, you’ll love my Rogan Josh and Butter Chicken simmer sauces. Check out my recipe for Low FODMAP Butter Chicken Potted Pies topped with naan lids!
When you fancy an Indian curry, you can’t go past my concentrates. Head to the Madras Curry Paste page and you’ll find more than a dozen ways to enjoy it, from an Omelette and a Potato & Sweet Potato Bake to a Madras Sausage & Lentil Curry and Slow Cooker Brisket Madras. Oh, and tummy-warming Madras Curry Chicken Noodle Soup! To really get the chill off, dial up the heat with any of my pastes by adding chilli flakes, powder or fresh chillies.
Put a couple of tablespoons of Coriander Curry Paste to good use in a Lemon Coriander Chicken Curry or a Lamb Shawarma. My Tikka Masala Paste makes a wonderful Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry and if you have a jar of my Rogan Josh Paste in the pantry, you can create some of the best lamb shanks you’ve ever eaten.
Find more inspiration on the blog
There’s always something new and tasty on the blog. I’ve divulged some true confessions from my own home kitchen, provided 100 ways with chicken, talked about some old fashioned ingredients that are enjoying renewed popularity and even introduced my favourite child!
There’s always room for dessert
Winter is not the time to say no to dessert! Cherry Chocolate Baked Mascarpone Cheesecake, anyone? Pear Upside Down Cake glazed with Caramelised Apple Cider Vinegar is a terrific way to use up winter’s abundant pears.
Do come and say hello
We may be doing fewer events at the moment but we would absolutely love to have your support when we do. Hopefully, restrictions will be further eased soon and we may be able to get around more. Keep an eye on the Events page which is kept up to date.
If you have any cooking tips, stories about how food got you through COVID-19 restrictions, interesting ways of using my products or some photos of dishes you’ve made using them, we’d love to see! Email [email protected] and you might find your name popping up on our social media. By the way, if you post something to our Instagram or Facebook, be sure to include #latashaskitcheners!
Quality you can count on
All Latasha’s Kitchen products are made right here in Australia with good, honest ingredients that you would find in a home pantry. Every jar, bottle and pack is Coeliac friendly and most are vegan-friendly too. You can read more about the nutritional element here. You’ll also find that, unlike other popular brands, water is not the first ingredient in our jars and bottles. No fillers are used either so you can count on pure, intense flavour without any nasties. My name is on every label so it’s important to me that standards remain high at all times.
I look forward to creating more beautiful flavours for you to use at home and hopefully, hearing from you about your results.