In My Kitchen – September 2023

I will get this post into Sherry at Sherry’s Pickings for the monthly blogging party just under the wire. In My Kitchen is a regular collection of blog posts from around the world, highlighting what is new in all our kitchens. Thank you, Sherry, for continuing to host this long-running party for us.

So what is new in my kitchen? Not too much actually. I was sick with COVID-19 for almost three weeks, at the end of August and the beginning of this month. Not terribly sick, thank goodness. But I relapsed after taking Paxlovid, turning positive and having to isolate again. My enthusiasm for cooking waned and my dear husband took the reins. The surprise hit was a very simple dish of shredded sharp cheddar mixed with mayonnaise and spread on crisp whole-grain toast, with sliced tomatoes on top. We saw the recipe in the NY Times cooking section. It’s something that would only be fantastic with aged cheddar and perfectly ripe summer beefsteak tomatoes. It needed nothing else although he sometimes added rotisserie chicken or arugula. I will add some pictures in the future because he will be making it again, this time to enjoy with a chilled glass of wine.

Late Summer Tomatoes

Late Summer Tomatoes

This bread was a discovery. It’s from a local bakery and makes the most delicious base for those open-faced sandwiches; a mix of rye and wheat flour plus seeds.

Hanne's Austrian Seed Bread from the Fort Bragg Bakery

Hannes’ Austrian Seed Bread from the Fort Bragg Bakery

But while a languished in our guest bedroom, the dahlias bloomed. Fresh flowers cheered my days, seen from the kitchen.



Dahlias, a Sunflower and other mixed blooms from the garden

Dahlias, a Sunflower, and other mixed blooms from the garden

The zucchini didn’t stop their growth while I was away from the kitchen. We are starting to grow tired of our usual method of serving them, grilled simply with olive oil and salt. Still grilled but topped with a spicy sauce and fried shallots gave them new life.

I purchased a new cookbook while cruising the internet. I love the pictures in all of Donna Hay’s books, this one is full of healthy vegetable-heavy recipes as well.


I have grown tired of fumbling through my overcrowded utensil drawer for serving spoons and forks. Adding another caddy to the counter put them easily at hand.

Serving Utensil Caddy

Serving Utensil Caddy

These oil sprays came from Trader Joe’s when I was there a month ago, useful when you only want a bit of oil to glaze a chicken when it’s ready for roasting or a hot skillet.

Olive oil and avocado oil spray

Olive oil and avocado oil spray

And lastly, here is a quick photo of our new water dispenser. Our problem with a well that has been contaminated with salt is too long (and boring) to write about here. The water is safe for washing and watering plants, but not ideal for drinking. We have begun getting deliveries of water, both for us and the dogs. Here you can see me, in my COVID-19 bathrobe (I was living in that thing), taking a picture of the water cooler (and inadvertently myself).


15 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – September 2023

  1. The NYT cooking section is a great place to look for recipes! That sounds nice and easy. I hope you are cured of covid for good!

    best, mae at

  2. Hi Liz-I hope the covid is history and you are on the mend. Hope your taste buds are not out of commission for too long.Your dahlias are stunning. I wish I could paint them! Ciao, Cristina

    • I never completely lost my taste or smell, thank goodness. The dahlias are spectacular…I would love to see a painting.

    • Thank you. I got my post in just under the wire this month. I am feeling recovered, it was just a horrible head cold type of illness and I was surprised at the positive covid test.

  3. Wow.. three week with Covid – hope you are doing fine now. Your flowers are exquisite! I love the recipes from NY Times . Just tried a zucchini recipe too..

    • I am a big fan as well, especially Melissa Clark. There is a glut of zucchini everywhere right now, I love all the different shapes and colors.

  4. Sorry to hear you had Covid. Seems to be doing the rounds again. I am steering clear of anyone remotely sick as we are travelling a lot between now and the middle of next month. Hope you heal completely. And that water cooler looks really impressive. Awful to hear about your well water though. Love the cover of the new cook book 🙂

    • Thanks Tandy, I have no idea where I got it. We have done a lot of traveling in the spring and stayed safe (we masked in airports). This was some random person who brushed by me at the grocery store or coffee shop. Enjoy your travels and thanks for visiting and commenting.

  5. It’s good to hear your COVID experience was not severe.
    It’s always a pleasure to see what’s going on over your way. The toast hubby made sound yummy, I love avocado and goat cheese spread on toast often and include sliced tomatoes when I have one around. The mayo cheese version sounds tasty as well.
    But, you intrigued me with your zucchini dish. I’d of never thought of such a combination, but intend to try it over the weekend when we grill up some meat.

  6. that’s awful about the covid. Hope you are feeling very well now. Love that photo of you in your robe 🙂 I often take photos of myself with reflections too. Love the colourful flowers. Great to see you have Donna Hay’s book – a great Aussie chef! Thanks for joining in this month.

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