In My Kitchen – April 2017


Eiffel Tower, Paris

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.

Lady Banks rose


Lady Banks rose

Lady Banks rose

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.

Spring herbs

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.

Rillettes Sardine

Duck Terrine

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.

French dish towels

French dish towel, isn’t it a lovely pattern?

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.

Herbs de Provence

In my kitchen I have a new soup/serving bowl from Heath Ceramics.

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

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

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.

20 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April 2017

  1. Hello there and happy April to you. Thanks for the shout out. Loving your beautiful roses. What a beautiful welcome home they gave you.

  2. Ah Paris, it’s so beautiful in the spring. I love your banksia rose, I had an enormous one growing on an arbor at the entrance of a house I lived in years ago. It gave me a lot of pleasure.

  3. Your trip must have been ideal — Paris in the spring is so beautiful. Too bad your suitcases weren’t more expandable.

    best… mae at

  4. You certainly do have a lovely view out your kitchen window of the roses…how nice. Clever girl for finding room in your boots for those pretty dishtowels.

  5. Hi Liz
    Thanks for the mention. Yes always nice to come home even if the trip was fabulous Clever you stuffing those tea towels in your boots. Enjoy your rillettes. The books look interesting. I agree with your mum if you get one recipe out of a cookbook it’s worth it 🙂

  6. Liz, it makes me wonder what the customs folks do with all the “absconded” items — surely they must eat well — or cook well! Glad you made it home with a few precious treasures. Your roses are SO beautiful. I love how they “dangle”, climb profusely, and bring you JOY outside your kitchen window.Your new kitchen towels (stuffed in your boots! 🙂 are lovely reminders of your time in France. Herbs de Provence is one of my favorite seasonings, too (try it on scrambled eggs!) and your “in absentia” cookbooks made me wish I could try a taste of your duck terrine. ENJOY every bite!

  7. Fabulous roses Liz, and I love that you brought back the dishtowels in your boots! They’re one of my favourite things to grab as a souvenir too 🙂 I also have my eye on both those books, you’ll have to let us know what you think of them…

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