In My Kitchen – April 2018

It’s that time of the month again, time for an update from kitchens around the globe. In My Kitchen (sometimes simply termed IMK) is hosted by Sherry of Sherry’s Pickings. You can read this month’s posts here. You will find a fascinating private tour around an amazing variety of kitchens.

To get on to my own, I am now down to a manageable two kitchens as our Oakland house has sold and we have moved out of temporary digs into a lovely apartment in Oakland. We now have our rural kitchen on the Northern California coast (Fort Bragg, CA); and the urban one in downtown Oakland. The absolute best of two worlds.

This will be your first peak into the new apartment kitchen. The layout is sometimes termed a galley kitchen. Everything is very compact and economical, on two sides opposite each other.

From the kitchen I have a view right into the living/dining area plus greenery from the tree outside the living area window. It works very well indeed.

Much to my joy we were able to bring our antique pine armoire with us to the apartment. It was our coat closet at the house in Oakland. Now my very clever husband was able to repurpose it as a pantry, as well as fitting spice and condimentΒ  shelves on the kitchen closet door.

So, I have tons of storage in a comparatively small space.

The corner window seen from the kitchen is the perfect place for a large houseplant, but so far I haven’t had time to do a proper search. It’s been years since my “hippy” days when houseplants were all over my apartment, now I generally concentrate on my outdoor garden. However, the corner is the perfect spot with tons of indirect light. I discovered (thank you for contacting me Gary), this very helpful article on the best houseplants. Houseplants are actually recommended by NASA because of their positive impact on our home environment. You can read more about the top 35 houseplants by clinking on the link. I found it very helpful in narrowing my search. And will keep you posted on the final results.

Good light even on a rainy day

Best news is that the apartment is near the “Urban Wine Trail”, plus walking distance to the ferry to San Francisco, Bart, and the Oakland waterfront.

Rosenblum Cellars

No, the best part Mom is that we get to be in the apartment with you. Dogs not only allowed but welcomed.

On to what is new in my kitchen.

In my kitchen is this strange fruit. I do volunteer work in the botanical garden in Mendocino and was gifted with it. The tree was growing right through the greenhouse roof. Do you know it? It is called a Tamarillo and also sometimes a tree tomato. The other gardeners were not crazy about the taste but didn’t think they had let it ripen enough. Have any of you tried it? I thought it was beautiful, a lovely color. How do you know when it is ripe?


In My Kitchen I have this lovely tea towel a friend brought back from her trip to Brittany. It is almost the same color as the tamarillo.

Tea towel from Brittany

In My Kitchen I have preserved lemons. These are Meyer lemons, harvested from the backyard tree in Oakland before the house sale was finalized. Elaine at the Foodbod gave me the idea of using different flavors when preserving them in salt. I drooled over her idea of Christmas flavors. I salted the lemons and let them sit for a week, then added additional lemon juice to cover plus a cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamon pods, and cloves. To the other jar I added turmeric, ginger, peppercorns and chili flakes. They will need to sit for several months before using them. I will let you know how they turn out. You can read more about the process on her link. The ones you preserve yourself are way better than any you can buy at the store.

Lastly, as a result of reading a blog post for bacon fried rice written by Chef Mimi, I ordered this fish sauce on Amazon. It wasn’t available at any of the local stores and was highly recommended by her and several others. I look forward to trying it.

Fish Sauce

Although there are several other new things, I will wait for next month. What is new in your kitchen?



25 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April 2018

  1. I love your pantry cupboard! There are loads of tamarillo recipes out there but I mostly like to make chutney with it. What a great idea to use different flavours for the preserved lemons. I am so going to do that πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Liz we love tamarillos poached in syrup until soft, slipped out of their skins and served with sweetened Greek yoghurt. How clever is your husband. What a wonderful repurposing of your armoire.

    • I will try that. How do you know when it is ripe? The gardeners disagreed, one said the skin should look shriveled and another that the fruit should be soft.

  3. What a fabulous use for the armoire. Clever hubby. Don’t you love the shape of tamarillos? Good for chutney. And I like the idea of different flavours for the lemons. Great idea. Tea towel is fab too. I am a huge fan of them. Gorgeous dogs! And I do love a bit of fish sauce. Thanks for joining in. Cheers S x

  4. I must be slow — can’t find the link to the houseplant article, which I’d be very interested in reading. I want houseplants that don’t shed!

    Your new kitchen appears very efficient, especially with the cleverly added storage in the antique cupboard.

    best… mae at

  5. Your armoire is exactly what I need in my kitchen as my pantry, and large 3-shelf lazy susan are not big enough to hold all my ingredients, etc. By the way as an alternative fish sauce try BLiS small batch bourbon barrel aged fish sauce. BLiS and Red Boat collaborated together to barrel age their sauce for 7 months in bourbon barrels – recommended by Food 52, me and others I’m sure.

  6. Hi Liz your new kitchen looks very organized and love your beautiful pine cupboard. And your apartment near a wine trail… lucky you. Love preserved lemons too and I am sure yours will taste lovely with the added spices. Cute dogs πŸ™‚

  7. Your dogs are adorable and so nice that they are welcomed. I don’t overly love tamarillos but my husband likes them. To me they aren’t savoury or sweet, they’re a bit in between and a bit tart too. I like tamarillo jam though.

    • I will see if they will let me take enough for jam. Sounds interesting, maybe if I share with the gardeners.

  8. This looks more like your kitchen that the temporary space did- much more light and well set up! Also- I’m happy yo managed to keep the farmhouse table– it’s very welcoming and warm- to match the food and the company!

  9. Liz, what a terrific “re-purpose” of your pine armoire. (Yay!) Nostalgia + present day life = an incredibly flavorful future! Had to Google tamarillo — never heard of it, but it sounds like you’re on the right track letting it ripen for awhile yet — three cheers for Sandra’s (Lady Red Specs) advice… gotta love “eyes on” worldwide.) Also loved the pics of your pups, wine-tours w/in walking distance, and Mimi’s fish sauce recommendation. I inquired about it, too! xo

  10. Great to see preserved lemons here Liz – they are such an underrated staple to have in the kitchen especially when homemade. I’ve been adding them to everything – including pestos…

  11. I love tahini and have never thought of using it in a marinade! This is an amazing recipe and I get hungry just reading it! Delicious πŸ™‚

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