November 2016 – In My Kitchen

I’m back!!!! Back from Ireland, back from England, back from meetings in VA, back from my friend’s daughter’s wedding…whew! There has been a lot going on and most of it has not been in my kitchen. The situation is especially disappointing because I have a new kitchen in our cabin in Fort Bragg, I haven’t been able to spend much time there. But, lucky me, this whole week I am working remotely from the kitchen counter.

Early morning walk

Early morning walk, getting the day started on the right foot.

“In My Kitchen” (sometimes called IMK), is an ongoing series of posts from around the world. Our host is Liz at BizzyLizzyGoodThings. It is a wonderful chance to peek into other people’s kitchens, who doesn’t love being a fly on the wall? You will get some great ideas along the way as well.

This is going to be a quick post because the entries close on the 10th and I really want to take part this month. I will elaborate more on items in this post later.

I saw these silicone pot lids on a couple of blogs in the past few months and wanted to try them. They are really useful and create an airtight water-tight seal on any smooth rim surface, are microwave oven and dishwasher safe, and can be used to prevent stove-top splatters and retain steam while cooking.ย I purchased a set from Amazon,ย Charles Viancin Silicone Lids, and am finding them very useful for storing food in the fridge (no plastic wrap) and covering pots on the stove. They are pretty as well.img_5413

In my kitchen I have black garlic, all the way from Ireland. I was a little concerned getting them through customs but there were no problems. They are an ingredient I see mentioned more frequently but had not seen in the states yet. Black garlic is made when heads of regular garlic are aged under specialized conditions until the cloves turn inky black and develop a sticky date-like texture (from Bon Apetit). The aging brings out many rich subtleties, sweet and earthy minus heat.

Black Garlic

Black Garlic

I cannot wait to experiment, someย say the flavor is like aged balsamic, prune, licorice, molasses, caramel, and tamarind.

October is my birthday month and cookbooks are a favorite present, I have some new ones and will be posting some representative recipes in the next few months.

New Cookbooks

New Cookbooks


In my kitchen I have this gorgeous gratin dish, a gift from Spain from the lovely woman for whom I hosted a wedding shower. Thank you Jamie.

Gratin Dish from Spain

Gratin Dish from Spain

There is lots to get caught up with and I am excited to be back. Meanwhile, cheers from Ireland.

Cheers from Ireland

Cheers from Ireland

35 thoughts on “November 2016 – In My Kitchen

  1. Oh yes, cheers to you also. A lovely IMK post… such fun. Happy November and thank you for the very kind shout out. PS love those silicon lids. I have them too! xx

  2. Liz, what an amazing October you have enjoyed; can’t wait to hear more about your coast-to-coast hike, etc. The silicon pot lids look like a must-have item (practical and so darn cute), and the “neverheardof” black garlic sounds intriguing.

    • Hi Dee, it is good to hear from you. Steve and I have been looking at boats to live on in the bay area, we are considering selling our big house here and splitting our time between the boat and our place up the coast. My plan is to retire next year. I have been inspired by your tales cruising, and we lived on a 50 foot cruiser when we were first married. It was great fun.

      • We’ve enjoyed our 16+ years of combined liveaboard/shoreside living. Retirement sounds a perfect time for a major lifestyle change… can’t wait for more updates. Let’s try an e-mail connection – I’ll try the address on your About page.

  3. Liz, your excitement (and relief) came through in this wonderful post. Glad you’re back in your kitchen at last. LOVED your “cheers” pic… made me think: “Got Guinness?” ๐Ÿ™‚ The gratin dish is beautiful, as is your lime crop and new silicone lids. (The latter reminded me of Monet’s Water Lilies.) Sounds like you’re enjoying YOUR life after a busy stretch. Yay!

    • Hello Kim, thank you for stopping by. They are actually called water lilies. I am enjoying it but plan to retire next year, that I am looking forward to so much. My husband fell in love with Guinness in Ireland, myself that was probably the only glass I drank. It was at the Guinness factory. He says it doesn’t taste the same here in the US.

  4. wow it sounds like you had a fabulous month. i love those silicone lids, and the gratin dish is a beauty. love the colours. marvellous to have your own limes too. what are paperwhites? some kind of bulb?

    • Yes, they are a bulb that you can force in water. They have clusters of little white flowers with an intense fragrance. A few bulbs with spread their scent through the whole house. We usually see them starting in September in the garden stores. Unfortunately they never bloom again if you force them in water, I’ve put them in the garden and each year they put up green but no more flowers. They are related to daffodils.

      • i didn’t know you could force them in water. we used to grow freesias in our garden. they loved the sandy soil. i was digging around them one day and i unearthed a tiny bearded dragon which opened its little yellow throat to scare me off. so funny.

  5. Welcome back! I also bought a few of those silicone lids after reading about them – also sells them. They are great. Absolutely love the swirling glaze in that Spanish gratin dish. Now, after seeing yours, I need to check on those limes growing in the back garden – our first crop.

  6. Cheers to you Liz, we love a pint of Guinness in the cooler weather. The success you are having with you lime trees is inspiring. My potted tree is flourishing, but no flowers, no fruit…. yet. Retirement on the horizon is exciting, lots more time to do the things you love

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