Top 5 Most loved ingredients: May

Borough Market

Bear with me as I’m trying something new…

As we drew a close on the beautiful month of May I would like to share with you the top five ingredients/products that I loved to use in the kitchen this past month.

1. Whole milk

Vanilla Panna Cotta with fresh raspberries

Don’t laugh. I rarely buy whole milk. As a child we used to have semi-skimmed milk in our house as a staple. As an adult I wanted to look after my health without adding unnecessary calories and therefore have resorted to buying skimmed milk only and I have to admit that I have come to love it.

Since we’re in lockdown I’ve decided that I would like to try things that I don’t normally make so I bought 2 litres of fresh whole milk and made two of the most delicious desserts ever. I did find that the whole milk has gone off much quicker than the skimmed milk that was alongside it which was a bit annoying as I lost about 300ml in the end.

2. Leaf Gelatine

For some reason or another I have been quite averse to using leaf gelatine. I think it was perhaps the unknown element of the fact that leaf gelatine is:

  • a) made of pork
  • b) have to be soaked in cold water and the water squeezed out
Gelatine leaves

What I found was that it wasn’t as scary as I first thought it would be. The fact that gelatine is made of pork didn’t phase me in the end as it didn’t smell of anything really which was a relief. I found a secret thrill in seeing how the stiff sheets slowly soaked through in the cold water and that squeeze was totally therapeutic! This is probably one ingredient I would ‘t mind using again as it was super easy and it made me very very happy as I childishly watched the jelly jiggle!

Read: Panna Cotta with Vanilla Specks and Not so Authentic Rasmalai

3. Capers

Mediterranean chicken with olives and capers

I always have a little jar of capers in my fridge. I’m totally in love with those little pops of saltiness that will just dance over your tastebuds! Call me crazy, but I love the brine that it is preserved in! I use it (sparingly of course) as part of a salad dressing or even as seasoning in a dish.

Like most things during the lockdown, capers have been one of those items that I found hard to get hold of. This in turn meant that I had to use the ones that I had very sparingly – very annoying!

This Mediterranean Chicken dish is one of my favourites!

4. Whey

Glass bowl with whey

I’ve never known that there were so many uses for whey! I’ve been making my own yogurt for a while now and I’ve never known really what to do with the whey. I read somewhere that it is really bad for whey to be tipped down the sink as it can cause algae to grow in the water system, so I’ve been trying to use it in different wheys (ok, that was a bad pun!).

  • It has been amazing for my rhododendrons! Since these beautiful steel-purple flowered plants love acid, I’ve been diluting the whey with water and ensured that they get a good drink at least once every two weeks.
  • Used it as a marinade with meats.
  • Used it as a stock with my favourite risotto recipe.
  • Made some more yogurt by using the whey. I’ve frozen the excess whey in little ice cubes and popped them into a bag once they were frozen. Then when I wanted to make some yogurt and ran out of starter, I defrosted three cubes overnight and used this as my starter culture – worked like a charm!

5. Yeast

Bread flour with liquid in the middle for homemade pizza dough

This has probably been my most favourite ingredient this whole month! I’ve always loved the smell of dough – even more than I like the smell of freshly baked bread. I’ve lost my sense of smell and taste due to this dreaded virus that is making its round and the smell of yeast has been one of the first real smells to fill my nostrils and made me feel human again!

It has been so hard to find yeast and I was armed with 7 sachets (from a pack of 8) that I bought in February when things were still plentiful. I used it incredibly sparingly; sometimes I would double up the recipe with only a single sachet of yeast just to make sure that can stretch the need to buy more for as long as I could. I finally found some fantastic yeast on Amazon that I’m pretty sure will last me a lifetime. My life is complete!

Read: Freshly Baked Bread

Do you have any favourite ingredients? Let me know in the comments below.

Explore some recipes here:

26 Comments on “Top 5 Most loved ingredients: May

  1. Yeast has become a hot commodity with everyone’s quarantine baking! I’ve honestly never heard of leaf gelatine but am so intrigued!

    Liked by 1 person

    • And how! I was so excited when my consignment of yeast arrived, I texted a whole bunch of people 😂😂
      Now that I’ve used it once, it’s been on my shopping list again – brilliant for making desserts ☺️


  2. We’ve been making a lot of bread recently so I completely understand the Yeast addition to this list! I also love the smell of dough and freshly baked bread 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yeah. I got the feeling of excitement too once the yeast has activated making that dough rise:) I saw your banana bread recipe and I will be trying it:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you for asking Helen! My computer died – so I’m totally devastated 😞. I hope your day has improved at least.

      Oh no! I hope you can find some stuff soon – we’re still out of flour and my reserves are running dangerously low… May have to resort to Amazon soon 🤔


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