Tuesday, January 6, 2015

In My Kitchen: January 2015


Happy New Year, 
and welcome to my kitchen.



In my kitchen:
Two enthusiastic anthurium celebrate the New Year in the window bay by opening new flower buds; bright spots of color that provide a tropical contrast to our cool and stormy Pacific NorthWest weather. Currently sunrise arrives around 8 a.m. and sunset is scheduled near 4:30 p.m., though the afternoons seem masked with a misty gray filter. During these shortened days I really appreciate the plants' glow and constant indoor cheer.

In my kitchen:
We finished the last of the Christmas cookies, candy  and Mango and Peach Mini Bundt Cakes; their tempting presence has been replaced by an inviting array of fruits and vegetables. Other produce like tender baby bok choy, kale, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, ginger, fresh herbs and salad greens are hanging out in the fridge. I look forward to some healthy salads, salsas, sauces and stir fry opportunities. 



New additions to the kitchen include: 

...RL's charming Santa mug gift from Hilary. Notice the handy opening designed to hold cookies, plus the accompanying flavor-popping, vanilla-frosted, peppermint-sprinkled Oreo cookies. The mug works best if you are left handed: go ahead, ask me how I know this detail.   


...my nautical-themed package of brightly-colored tea towels, charming fish snack plates with carrier, and practical anchor-shaped tea infuser. These will add a pop of color to the boat galley.  


...a U.S.-produced six-pack of tangy apple cider delivered by Laci. Eons ago I fell in love with Canadian hard cider, a refreshing alcoholic beverage that can pack a sneaky wallop if you drink it like a soft drink. Unable to find a comparable product in the U.S. I confined my cider-drinking to our summer trips. All that has changed and hard cider is now a fast-growing U.S. alcoholic beverage component. (link) Today craft breweries abound, hooray!! Rumor has it that a family member is aging her first batch of pear cider; I volunteered to taste test.


In my kitchen:
This pepper grinder is almost as much fun as some toys. It runs on four (yes, four!) AA batteries and lights up your plate as it grinds peppercorns into coarse flakes. We first saw this grinder in action in a restaurant's dark dining room. What a practical way to avoid a too-heavy coating of freshly-ground black pepper! Instantly intrigued I pestered queried various local kitchen shops, but none carried the device. Finally I searched online and AmazonFresh came to the rescue, delivering several grinders along with my grocery order. Now I have extras; one for the house kitchen, one for the boat galley, one for a gift, one just because... 


While organizing kitchen drawers I rediscovered an unused box of individual salt and pepper shakers, neatly tucked away with my stash of white linen napkins. I wonder if these cuties will ever get any use if the electric grinders are available. Why are they still in the kitchen? I haven't hosted a large-group dinner party in ages, but rationalize that the glass shakers don't take up much storage space. Did I intend them as photo props? or do I just like owning them? 


Flavored salt has earned more shelf space in the spice cabinet, joining the various smoked paprikas. We both love smoked salt as a finishing seasoning; just a pinch provides such a big flavor pop. Hmmm, charcoal grill-smoked salt could be an interesting, warm weather DIY project later this year.


...and that's a little bit of what's in my kitchen. 

Each month Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial invites bloggers to share posts about what's in their kitchen. I discovered Celia's blog and the IMK group last month and loved a quick peek into so many kitchens from around the world. Click over and visit some of the IMK bloggers, I think you will enjoy this fascinating international group. 

20 comments:

  1. I'm a sucker for different salts, so these sound lovely and that cider sounds interesting! Warm regards, Jan

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    1. Lately I seem drawn to anything smoked or smokey. It's my frugal nature that prompts a DIY experiment.

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  2. I wonder what hard cider is? It's certainly flavour of the month these days isn't it - growing up it was the first alcoholic drink we teenagers tried mixed with blackcurrant cordial. Us and the down and outs I think! It's come a long way since then.

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    1. Yes indeed, cider seems to have gone uptown with artisan breweries popping up everywhere.

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  3. My friend has a pepper mill that runs on batteries and she swears by it. I have a few little salt shakers just like your, use them for large dinner parties and of course great little props. Happy New Year Jan :)

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    1. Props for sure, but I should thin out my holdings - share some with friends and let them figure out what to do with them.

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  4. Happy New Year. I like the sound of Apple Wood smoked salt. I wonder if hard cider is like the English scrumpy which also packs a punch?

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    1. Google research indicates scrumpy is a rustic, unfiltered still cider while the alcoholic hard ciders I'm familiar with are clear, filtered and often carbonated. And then there's the best forgotten, home-brew stuff we concocted eons ago in a college dorm; cloudy and unfiltered, it was stuff packed with noxious yeasties that gave us all stomachaches.

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  5. All this talk of cider, it's making me thirsty! Cider is all the rage in Australia too though most are too sweet for my tastes. I like the very dry French or Spanish ciders but any port in a storm (as you'd know only too well). Are you really sure you need all of those salt shaker bottles? Just exactly how much space do you have? Thanks for the nautical tour. cheers

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    1. Nope, evidently don't NEED those salt shakers since I had forgotten all about them. I really must get busy decluttering, if only to make room for new little treasures.

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  6. The pepper grinder is lovely, I may have to do a search on Amazon. I'm a sucker for salts these days, my spice cabinet is overflowing with them. The varieties are so interesting, I've used the smoked ones with a simple grilled chicken. It was very flavorful yet subtle.

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    1. Liz, what is your favorite "go to" salt choice? I seem to reach for the smoked varieties first but the thought of bacon salt is intriguing.

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  7. I love the fish snack plates, so colourful and cheery! What delicious snacks will you serving on them?

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    1. Sushi and crab-filled wonton cups were the inaugural snacks; they looked right at home on the fish plates.

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  8. It all looks lovely. Hard cider is indeed nice, if you find a good one. I found a great place in Asheville that has some local hard apple cider as well as pear. I had those same salt and pepper shakers and just recently got rid of them since I couldn't remember the last time I ever used them! I had to make room for other fun props! Happy New Year! Go Seahawks, if you're a fan!

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    1. Thanks, Gretchen, and New Year greetings back to you. Go Seahawks!!

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  9. Love those little fish plates, how cute! And what beautiful, colourful produce you have in your kitchen! Hope 2015 continues to fill your kitchen with colour and light! :)

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    1. Celia, thank you for hosting such an interesting group of bloggers on IMK each month. Here's to a terrific 2015 for all!

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  10. I have a pepper grinder just like yours. They are great aren't they. I am a huge fan of flavoured salts too. I love the sound of the apple woodsmoke version. Yum!

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    1. Apple woodsmoke sounds like there should be a party involved somehow.

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