It’s November, the start of the holiday season, oh my. Are you ready or does the thought give you a panicky feeling as it does me?
The beginning of each month is also time for the monthly series “In My Kitchen” hosted by Celia of the blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Of all the virtual blogging clubs on the internet, I think this collection of posts is one of the most fascinating. The bloggers come from around the world; and the posts reflect both the seasons and the individual style of the writer. As winter starts in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is starting in the Southern. I drool over photos of tomatoes posted by Australian bloggers in February and pin the recipes for use in six months. l’ve learned a lot from the dedicated bakers, cooks, and gardeners in this group. Come join us by clicking here, we’d love to hear what is happening in your kitchen.
Now on to my own kitchen. In my kitchen I have sunflowers. They are a colorful reminder that it is still fall, winter hasn’t started quite yet. Because of the drought here in California I don’t have a garden this year, but the farmer’s market is still full of flowers.
In my kitchen I have a new cookbook, Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian Recipes. I was drawn to this book by a recipe I found online for “Odd Flavor Sauce” (although the combination of flavors didn’t seem odd to me at all).
I renamed it “Yum Sauce” and have used it with several dishes over the last week.
It added a big punch of umami to a simple rice bowl with roast vegetables, a comforting bowl of Jook or Congee, and some baby lobster tails I found at Costco. What a treat! I brushed them with Yum sauce, wrapped them aluminum foil, and baked them at 450 degrees F. for 22 minutes. Delicious!
In my kitchen I have Mandarin oranges.
I made a batch of Mandarin Orange Aigre-Doux with them. The oranges are canned with red wine, vinegar, sugar and black peppercorns. The result is a sweet and sour combination popular in France and Italy.
I will use them to make a sauce for the duck confit I purchased on my recent Costco trip. Isn’t that place amazing! For the sauce you drain the oranges and reduce the liquid until syrupy. Then blend the sauce and oranges together to make a wonderful red wine/orange sauce. It will be lovely with the duck.
In my kitchen I have Parmesan oil.
It was a post on IMK from several months back that gave me the idea. I couldn’t find the original post so please speak up if you read this, I’d like to give you credit. Covering your leftover rinds with olive oil for several months infuses the oil with the most heavenly flavor and aroma. I use it as a finishing oil or on a salad of spicy greens.
In my kitchen I have sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes. They are a member of the sunflower family and, if allowed to bloom, produce tall (some over 6 feet) branching plants with small sunflower like blooms. The chokes or tubers grow along the roots like potatoes. Sunchokes taste like a cross between an artichoke and a water chestnut. When cooked they have a firm skin and a meltingly fluffy inside like a russet potato. Unfortunately they can cause gastric distress in some people and are sometimes nicknamed “farti-chokes”. Enough said! They are tough plants and have survived in my garden with almost no water this summer. I’ve roasted them, pickled them (they lose their uncomfortable side effects), and made them into soup.
In my kitchen I have samples.
We are starting to gather ideas for a remodel of our cabin on the Northern California coast, our retirement escape. These are a few of the samples for the bathroom, kitchen cabinets, and flooring throughout.
What do you think of blue kitchen cabinets? My thought is to have the upper cabinets in a different color, maybe a light grey. I want butcher block for some surfaces (it’s not a very big kitchen) but have been advised against it around the sink (much to my disappointment). I’d love to hear your thoughts.
And lastly in my kitchen I have dogs, always underfoot hoping for a treat or something tasty dropped on the floor.
What’s new in your kitchen this month?