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.
Hello there and happy April to you. Thanks for the shout out. Loving your beautiful roses. What a beautiful welcome home they gave you.
Love this and your many treasures in both your garden and from your trip! Thanks for sharing.
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.
Your trip must have been ideal — Paris in the spring is so beautiful. Too bad your suitcases weren’t more expandable.
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
We tried to pack light in small suitcases and they were already expanded 🙁 I was tremendously jealous of my British cousins who joined us in Normandy. They were able to pack their car with French goodies before heading back home.
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.
Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely post – It’s a treat for those of us who are armchair travelers!
Your roses look fantastic! I love the new tea towels too. I hope you enjoyed the time away as well as returning home.
It is always lovely to return home isn’t it? After a couple of weeks we miss home and the dogs.
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 🙂
How lovely to come back to a thriving garden! Wish I was indulging in some French duck terrine!
The pates and terrines were to die for! I am still carrying along the evidence around my middle.
Oh your garden…. !! So lovely. And all your beautiful French treasures too!
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!
Oops…meant to say Tartines (in reference to your latest cookbooks) — which would be spectacular slathered with duck terrine. Glad it made it through customs! Again, enjoy, xo.
Thank you Kim, good question about the customs guys. I will try the herbs with eggs, that is a new one. We love it with chicken, lamb and beans.
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…
I am looking forward to cooking out of them, we have been gone so much the last few weeks that I have barely set foot in my kitchen.
Just a Wonderful Post! thank you for sharing! 🙂
Thank you for visiting and commenting. Now have to get ready with one for May.