This post is part of a regular monthly gathering of food loving bloggers. “In My Kitchen” is hosted by the lovely Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. It’s a wonderful welcoming community and a facinating look at what is happening in kitchens around the world. Come join us and tell us what is happening in your kitchen.
Here is what’s new in my kitchen this month.
Sourdough starter from Celia, who has gifted the blogging community with little packages of promise. Her starter has gone around the world and I am a bit intimidated by the loaves the children of Priscilla (the name of Celia’s starter) have birthed.
Meet Sam, named after Sam Spade (of “Maltese Falcon” fame) and the gifted writer who created him, Samuel Dashiell Hammett. He lived in San Francisco from 1921 to 1929 and used city locations for his novels. My Sam has returned home, as one of Celia’s original starters came from San Francisco. Sam is also one of those names which can be either male or female, appropriate for yeast.
Here is Sam after the first feeding, bubbling away and ready to go.
Also new in my kitchen is a Falcon enamel baker, recommended by Celia for baking crusty sourdough. It came all the way from the U.K., I’ll be using it for the first time today.
My first two efforts were rated a C to C+ by the resident critics. I’m hopeful that the enamel pot will increase my score.
This loaf just came out of the oven, it’s 11 pm (well past my usual bedtime). Sam definitely has my number and is in control. But, I think this loaf will get an A from the in-house critics. It smells divine and the falcon baker has made all the difference. Thank you Celia.
Also new in my kitchen is an Emile Henry clay baker. I’ve been reading a lot about cooking in clay lately and am excited to try it.
New in my kitchen are two bottles of wine. These were made by my friend Barry Snyder from Crawlspace Cellars. I helped pick and crush the grapes for the rose and we bottled them both this past Saturday. The labels are not ready yet, the two bottles were a reward for an entertaining afternoon of work with the winemakers.
From my kitchen I can see my orchids blooming, the white one has been in bloom since early December and is still gorgeous. The pink orchid came into bloom the end of last month.
Amazon just delivered the March/April cookbook selection for the Cookbook Guru, an online cookbook bookclub. “The Food of Morocco” is by Paula Wolfert, one of my favorite cookbook writers. I’ve already settled on chicken tagine with prunes and almonds in the style of the Rif mountains as my first dish. Doesn’t that sound delicious? The bookclub is open to everyone if you would like to join in.
Lastly in my kitchen are two sauces, spicy lemon salsa verde and avocado sauce, ready to give instant pizazz to dishes of simple roast meat or vegetables.
Thank you for visiting my kitchen, what is new in your own?
Your bread looks great – it does get easier!
Thank you, the timing wasn’t great and I need to work on it. Sam was ready to be cooked and I was ready for bed. Everyone else in the house was snoring away.
What a stunning loaf. I proof my loaves in the fridge overnight, then take them out of the fridge for about an hour in the morning before baking. It means I’m not up at 3am taking loaves out of the oven. 🙂
Hi Jennifer, do the rise even in the cold? You form them, then put them in the fridge and bake the next day, is that right? I will have to try it. The timing issue seems to be the most difficult. Sam has his own schedule.
Yes, cold rise. Slow, cold rise means better flavour. Here’s a link to my recipe if you’re interested. http://milk-and.blogspot.com.au/2015/01/country-sourdough.html
I am interested and will bookmark it for next time…baking at midnight is not much fun.
G’day and wow I can almost smell your bread from here and LOVE your enamel baker!
Thank you for this month’s IMK view also!
It is amazing what a difference the enamel baker made! The bread got an A this time.
Loving reading all about Priscilla’s offspring! My (first ever) IMK introduces your Sam’s London-based sister, Pussy Galoaf!
Love the name! How interesting to see where Priscilla’s offsprings have landed. I’m pleased to meet Sam’s sister, your bread looks wonderful.
How exciting to help make wine! Your loaf looks fabulous – I’m sure it’ll rate A*.
It did get an A. Love your “English” muffins as well. Did you use a mold on the girdle or just shape them and bake?
Oh how I love your new cookware! I think I am ready to tackle sourdough again, so an investment may be in order. I have an orchid on my kitchen counter, it may even bloom again. It’s been a year since it did last, but there is a new shoot with two tiny buds that show promise. 🙂
Orchids are the only houseplant I manage to keep alive 🙁 I’ve had mine for over 15 years and they rebloom every year (only once a year). But, the blooms last for months. I think they like the kitchen because it’s humid.
I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your’s is ready to put out a shoot.
Hi Liz, lovely enamelware and clay pot. Clay pot cooking is great for flavor, thought it does take a little adjustment. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Hi Emily, I have never cooked in clay before. The bottom of this pot says flame so I understand that it can go on the stove. I can’t decide what to cook in it first.
Can’t wait to see what dish you cook in it first! 🙂
Your bread looks great! So glad the enamel baker helped, I have one coming in the mail tomorrow. I made my first loaf this morning without it. It was good but I know it will take more practice and the baker will help.
The enamel baker made a big difference. The bread still isn’t as light as I would like but it had a wonderful crust. I definitely think practice will make a difference. I’m looking forward to reading about your baking.
I don’t have an enamel baker and have been cooking mine on a pizza stone. They have been very ‘rustic’ and so far, no two have been the same week to week. I probably don’t have the critical audience you do but there is certainly a lot more to learn. As to your own wine – get out! What a wonderful think to do and have. Hope it tastes wonderful. cheers
Hi Fiona, I haven’t tried a pizza stone although I have one. I agree, there is a lot to learn.
We are looking forward to tasting the wine, it’s resting now as there is a certain amount of “bottle shock” when it is first bottled. The rose was fun because I helped pick the grapes, then crush them last September.
Aw, happy baking Liz! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen!
Hi Liz, i love your new appliance. I’m looking forward to readiing about your adventures with it.
Hi Liz, Can’t wait to see your Cookbook Guru post. It is a great book.
It does look like a good book and I haven’t played with Morrocan food very much. It will be a lot of fun to play with the flavors.
It will be interesting to read all the posts from the group.
Liz… FALCON enamel bakeware? Loved that, especially after your reference to Sam Spade of “Maltese Falcon” fame. (Or maybe my hubby & I have been watching too many Humphrey Bogart movies, LOL!) Your avocado sauce and wine and orchids also lent a ‘flair for the exotic’ to this delightful read.
You are the only one who picked up the reference, well done!
Your sourdough looks amazing Liz! Well done!
Hi there, thank you! I think I still have a long way to go though. The bakers who are making sourdough with Pricilla’s progeny are amazing.
I’m not great at baking bread either, but the more you bake, the better we get right!? 😉
Yum Liz, finally getting around to checking all the IMKs for March, just in time for April 🙂 That enamel Baker looks so amazing, I can’t wait to get one! Everything looks so delicious and isn’t fresh homebred bread so great, especially all the way from Australia! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx
IMK is a wonderful community, and the yeast that has gone around the world! The enamel baker seems to be essential to making a lovely loaf (in my case anyway).
Thanks for visiting, late is fine. I am also just getting around to all those later posts.