After two weeks in lovely France, I am back in my kitchen. What a difference just 14 days can make in the garden when it is spring! We have had (and continue to have) so much rain that it looks like a jungle. The plants haven’t look so lush and abundant in years. There are new herbs, lemons, and the first roses. My Lady Banks rose is growing rampantly up the back of the house onto the little upper deck. Lady Banks is a climbing rose with clusters of lightly scented yellow flowers, currently it is enveloping the entire corner of the house! I can see it through the window from my kitchen. It is reliably the first rose to bloom each year.
Jars of mint, oregano, and rosemary sitting in the center of my kitchen table, reminding me to use them to add flavor to spring dishes. Their scent is lovely.
I don’t usually buy tomatoes from the store this time of year, but these tempted me. As usual, I should have waited until July. Sigh. Tomatoes are one of the things I most crave by spring.
I brought a few goodies back from Paris and Normandy with me, not much as we packed light and there wasn’t much room in the suitcases. Unfortunately customs would not allow me to bring back what I really wanted, an entire suitcase filled with cheese, pates and wine. As always the food in France was delicious, and I found it very reasonably priced compared to the US. We had kitchens in both places we stayed and did quite a lot of cooking of dinners while in Normandy. I will be writing a short post of our adventures.
In my kitchen I have two small jars of spreads we didn’t eat on our picnics. Since they are canned, customs didn’t care.
I shall open them as a pre dinner snack combined with a bottle of rose and crisp bread. Memories of our trip to be shared with our friends who accompanied us on the adventure.
In my kitchen I have some new dish towels, I was able to squeeze them into the suitcase by stuffing them in my boots.
In my kitchen I have a package of herbs de Provence. This is a favorite herb mixture of mine, absolutely delicious used with roasted vegetables, beans, chicken or lamb. This particular mix didn’t contain lavender, which I may add depending on the dish.
In my kitchen I have a new soup/serving bowl from Heath Ceramics.
They are a ceramic company based in Sausalito, this one has a wonderful organic look and feel to it. I plan to add to the collection slowly as they are quite expensive. Heath provides quite a few restaurants with their table ware.
Lastly, I arrived home to find two new cookbooks had been delivered in my absence.
Tartine All Day is the newest from Elisabeth Prueitt at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. The Tartine Bakery website describes it as: An all-purpose, comprehensive cookbook with 200 recipes for the whole-foods way people want to eat and bake at home today, from James Beard Award-winning and best-selling author Elisabeth Prueitt, cofounder of San Francisco’s acclaimed Tartine Bakery.
Dinner Changing the Game is by Melissa Clark, a frequent contributor to the food section of the New York Times. I look forward to her columns and this book looks very interesting. I’ve only just started browsing through this one but my mouth is already watering at the recipes. I look forward to sharing some with you on this site.
My mother used to say that if you got one really excellent recipe from a cookbook, it was worth buying. As I am a unrepentant collector, those are words I live by.
I’m linking this post to In My Kitchen, a worldwide community of bloggers hosted by Liz at Bizzy Lizzy’s Good Things. Take a peak to learn all the new things in kitchens around the world. And, we would love to see your own post added.
As a note, starting next month Sherry Mackay, from Sherry’s Pickings, has generously agreed to take over hosting IMK.