In My Kitchen – February 2021

This post is part of a fascinating collection of blogs from around the world. In My Kitchen posts (also known as IMK) are about kitchen (and maybe garden) happenings over the past month. They could include dishes that have been cooked, pickled or preserved foods, herbs and veggies from the garden, plus new and interesting kitchen gadgets and other goings-on… You’ll find almost anything kitchen related. Since the blogs come from around the world (both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere) it’s an international gathering. Please join us over at Sherrys Pickings, add your own post or simply have a good read.

My February is being consumed by the move from out apartment in Oakland to our new (to us) condo, also in Oakland. We’ve been doing some renovations before the big move which happens in 10 days. Oh my, there is still a ton to do! I have only just started packing.

New cabinet doors in the kitchen and the bathrooms were installed last weekend. The painting of the entire unit continues and hasn’t yet been completed. Our painter has assured us that it will be completed at least 5 days before the move. Fingers crossed!

Consequently the cooking part of my life has been fairly simple and uninteresting, although nourishing.

But…stay tuned for next month when there will be lots of new things. The same day we move out, our daughter is moving into her own place. Consequently we are dividing up the contents of our current kitchen. We each have our favorite pots, pans and utensils so there is a lot of negotiating.

On to some details about the remodel. For such a beautiful place, the cabinets were shockingly awful and in terrible condition. They must have gone with the very lowest bid possible when they first installed them, it shows. They were laminate and particle board with cheap hinges that were hung badly. The cabinet doors didn’t really even fit.

Here are a few pictures of before:

As you can see, the pantry doors were too small. All the doors are hung unevenly, sagging a little on the hinges,  and the line of doors over the stove side of the kitchen don’t match in height.

The new cabinet doors are the same color, but actual maple with brass pulls. They did a beautiful job.

Just as an aside, the orange wall hasn’t been painted yet (and the disco ball light fixture will be replaced at some point).

Oakland Condo After

Oakland Condo After

It was the view that sold us on this particular unit. You can see the port of Oakland and San Francisco off to the right. By the way, this picture was taken from the kitchen window.

View from new condo

View from the kitchen, new Oakland condo

The waterfront at Jack London Square is only a block away. Restaurants, theaters, coffee houses, breweries and bars are a short walk. There is a Sunday farmer’s market plus lots of walking/running trails along the estuary. It’s quite a contrast to our rural life in Fort Bragg where we will still spend the majority of our time.

But I am looking forward to having a city home as well.

There is one very interesting new thing in my kitchen in Fort Bragg, rice koji. I will use it for shio koji marinades. I read about this on a chef’s blog and was intrigued. Rice koji is rice kernels covered in a fragrant white bloom of Aspergillus oryzae mold. It has been used to make miso, soy sauce, or koji pickles among other things. As rice koji is fermented with water and salt, it thickens into a porridge-like consistency and takes on a sweet funky aroma. You can see the gas from fermenting in the jar on the right. It’s rich in protease and amylase enzymes that can break down proteins and starches. I plan to use it as a marinade for meat, fish and vegetables. It is supposed to impart savory and subtle sweet notes to food as well as tenderize them. I will let you know.



It is common in Japanese cooking and currently popular with chefs.

Have any of you out there used it? If so, what are your favorite recipes?


Stay well everyone, and get your vaccinations when it is available.


13 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – February 2021

  1. Your new place looks fabulous — I hope the rest of your move goes well and that you enjoy the view and the new kitchen.

    be safe… mae at

  2. The rice fermentation looks cool. Frank and the m2p crowd would approve of your project but would probably like it if you optimized the protocol with a “patented flower plate” 😉

    • Ha ha!!! How are they doing? Have you heard anything? I did buy a flower embellished mug as a valentine’s day gift to myself.

  3. I’ve never tried the rice koji but I like trying new things in the kitchen so thanks for highlighting that.
    Love your new condo and kitchen!

  4. how exciting to get a new kitchen. we did ours when we first moved here over 20 years ago and i would love to get it renovated again. our house is over 80 years old and it’s had a few kitchens. oh my i dread the thought of moving house! we are sort of planning it in the next couple of years – 20 odd years of stuff! thanks for joining in IMK. good luck with the move!!

    • Hi Sherry, the apartment to condo move won’t be that difficult…its contents are more on the minimal side. But when we moved out of our home of 30 years (that was 3 years ago) that was a huge undertaking. We had accumulated so much stuff. It took months to sort everything out, and it was heartbreaking to find it was difficult to find homes for things that we couldn’t take with us but didn’t have room for anymore.

    • I have used it several times as a marinade, the food turned out wonderfully tender. I haven’t done a comparison yet though, one things marinated and another of the same kind un-marinated. That has to be next on the agenda.

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