In My Kitchen – April 2019

Well, as one blogger wrote last month, this should be titled Not In My Kitchen. Why, because I haven’t been very inspired to spend quality time there. Do you ever get that way? The grey days are getting to me and I hunger for fresh tomatoes, basil, grilled food, and a glass of rose sipped on a deck warmed by the sun. Alas, it is not to be for several more months.

Meanwhile the garden provides wonderful lettuce, and kale…lots of kale.

Arugula, radishes, and lettuce

To maximize the deliciousness of that lettuce I purchased a new salad spinner. The old one threatened to jump off the counter whenever I used it and inspired the dogs into fits of barking.

Austrian Technology

The new one is by Mueller from Austria and it is very well made, in fact they mention European craftsmanship in their brochure. While placing my order on Amazon they suggested that other folks who have made this purchase also bought a container for storing the lettuce (those Amazon folks are clever and devious). Anyway, I fell for the sales job and purchased it as well, and I am very happy I did. It does seem to keep the lettuce fresher for longer. I feel a little less guilty because I’m not buying those plastic clam shells of lettuce from the store. I’m on a kick to reduce the amount of plastic that flows through the house, which is very difficult.

Anyway, here it is:

Lettuce keeper

It has a tray in the bottom where you can put a few drops of water. It stores a generous two dinners worth of salad, and we eat a large portion each meal.

 

Lettuce

Lettuce Keeper

All in all I think it is quite clever.

We are eating a lot of wonderful main meal salads.

Typical salad

Also new in our kitchen is this electric kettle. We drink buckets of tea and I find the electric kettles heat water faster than one on the stove, and it lessons the disaster of a kettle boiling dry. A common happening if you (or I) get distracted. Unfortunately they don’t seem to be terribly well made and we have already gone through 2 in the last 12 months. Maybe we just use it very frequently. Hopefully, this one will be different as it was more expensive. We shall see.

Electric Kettle

Meanwhile, soups and chili seem to be on the menu frequently.

Deconstructed Wanton Soup

Best Ever Chili Without Beans

In My Kitchen is this lovely tea towel, made by my friend Wendy to commemorate our Alaska trip last summer.

Alaska tea towel

And that is about it for this month.

In My Kitchen is part of a monthly review of kitchens around the world. Each month is a fascinating glimpse into what is new, I have learned so much about new ingredients and utensils from reading the posts each month. Do stop in, it’s hosted by Sherry of Sherrys Pickings. And please chat with us about what is new in your kitchen and in your part of the world.

18 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – April 2019

  1. Salad — a great idea! I also love my lettuce spinner and lettuce keeper. Having the lettuce ready makes lunch or dinner prep so much faster. Buying whole lettuces and washing them yourself is also a way to avoid the contaminated boxes that have caused so much misery… no guarantees, but if you put all the lettuce in one big vat of water then just one contaminated leaf can ruin everyone’s salad.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    • Yes, it’s much safer to purchase whole heads and prepare them yourself. I must admit a weakness for those baby salad mixes but I don’t like the spinach in them, which is often a large part. Having salad ready and just needing a quick dressing encourages us to eat them every day.

  2. hi Liz
    thanks heaps for joining in with IMK this month. Love your lettuce keeper; very useful if you love lettuce:-) we too are trying to cut down on plastic; not easy in this plastic-ridden world of ours. That tea towel is just so cute. what a lovely gift. Our electric jug just decided to leak from the bottom so we are now using the stove top kettle which has a lovely piercing whistle so you can’t forget it.. It actually boils the water quite quickly. Kale!? noooooo

    • I do think I should love kale, but it’s a struggle. Thank you for hosting. And I agree on the plastic, it is impossible to avoid.

  3. I’m with you Liz, I can’t wait to see our local produce start showing up, but it’s still a bit away. Mueller is a top notch brand over this way. I don’t know if you can get there electric kettle, but if you can I highly recommend them. We have the 1.8 liter cordless model. It’s fantastic.

    • Thanks for the tip. If this one goes the way of the other two, I will see if I can purchase that brand.

  4. I have the opposite approach to keeping greens. A friend recommended this a few years ago and it’s worked for me. Let’s say you buy a bag of baby lettuce, and use half. Then fold over the top tightly, compressing it as tightly as possible without smooshing the lettuce. I then put that into a left over supermarket plastic bag to keep the lettuce bag from opening. Much better than my old method of blowing air into the bag and closing it with a twist-em. It’s counterintuitive, I agree, but as I said it works for me. I don’t bother to wash the hopefully triple washed purchased bags and perhaps that helps as the greens have no drops of water on them. The statistics on plastic use worldwide are frightening. What will be left after climate change kills us will be cockroaches, sharks, and plastic. 🙂

    • Hi Dan, I agree entirely if you are keeping pre-washed lettuce from the grocery store. That’s a great method. And in that case you should not be washing them again. I attended a food safety conference for work a few years ago and the recommendation from professionals was not to rewash those triple washed greens. I only store my home grown lettuce in the container, after the lettuce has been washed by me. I squeeze a lemon half in the last rinse water. That way it’s ready for a salad at any time. Amen to the problems with plastic, unfortunately I think any solution is going to be painful. We can send rocket ships to Mars, we should be able to come up with a biodegradable, compostable substitute.

  5. Goodness – WP can be picky. I tried twice yesterday to leave a comment but no success! I wonder what the story is with your kettles? Mine last for years and years but then again, it sounds like you use yours a lot more often. Sounds like it might be time for some ‘European engineering’. I laughed at your comment about the salad spinner making the dogs go beserk. Who knew salad making was such a family activity?

    • Hello, I am glad your comment finally made it on board. I had trouble with my WP account a couple of days ago as well, it wouldn’t accept a couple of media photos I wanted to post. I also had to update my computer and the WP app since there were some incompatibility issues.

      I agree, next time we will try some European technology for the kettle. They are not as well used here in the US so maybe not as well made. But we both drink a half dozen cups of tea each day.

  6. I think I should invest in a lettuce keeper – will have to see what we can get here. I decided to not get an electric kettle and use my stove top one in the main kitchen. But our cottage kitchen, study and guest rooms all have Breville kettles which so far have lasted years 🙂

  7. Breville is an excellent brand. We have Breville toaster ovens and they are a joy. Sounds like you are instantly ready to brew a cup of tea, my image of good hospitality.

  8. As far as i’m concerned, the kitchen garden and anything that goes on at the kitchen table is fair game for IMK! Love your greens! I just have 2 heads of radicchio left over from winter. They will be gone by tomorrow, and then it will be months till I have anything from the garden. That deconstructed wonton soup is making me salivate and warm up! Yum. And you are correct…..Amazon is rewriting the book on clever and devious! Ciao, Cristina

    • Thank you for visiting. I look forward to seeing what happens in your garden once the weather warms.

    • Thank you Tina, I consider it invaluable for garden greens. I harvest into the outer largo outer bowl, then fill it with cool water with a squeeze of lemon or squirt of vinegar. The acid encourages any pests to rise to the top where I can pick them off. Then I lift the greens into the basket, any dirt or grit stays in the bottom of the bowl. Then I spin them dry and store them ready for salads.

  9. Liz, your “typical” salad looks fantastic! Salads are so customize-able, especially with a variety of fresh greens, and apparently you’re a “whiz” at it. (Please pardon the pun… love your new salad spinner!) Your bowl of chili, too. Did you top it with goat cheese? Feta? It looks tastier (to me) than melted Cheddar.

    • Hi Kim, thank you. I do top it with goat cheese, my favorite. My husband prefers cheddar but we get to doctor our own.

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