IN MY KITCHEN, APRIL 2012

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Following Celia’s footsteps once more, I share with you what is going on in our kitchen this month.

In My Kitchen….  A little celery miracle!

Did you know that if you cut the base of celery and place it in water for a few days a new celery plant will grow from it? All you have to do is plant it in your garden. Thanks to a tip from my friend Cindy, I have my own celery experiment going on, and this baby is now outside (fingers crossed for a long, productive life!)

In My Kitchen…
Homemade pain de mie, recipe from The Bread Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum, perfect to spread with any of the tasty concoctions by American Spoon, from Michigan. (I don’t work for the company and have not received any freebies to evaluate and/or promote).

In My Kitchen….  one of my favorite bowls, made in Italy,  with a nice image of Tuscany.  Just looking at it makes me happy!

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In My Kitchen…. two special gifts from our friends and neighbors, the super-gardeners V & M

Romaine lettuce, picked from their garden just a couple of hours earlier!


Amazing spinach, very flavorful, that went into a spinach risotto, soon to be blogged about! ;-)

In My Kitchen…. A new passion, hibiscus flower tea!

I was intrigued by this post and could not rest until I got some hibiscus flowers to play with. The color of this tea is amazing… stay tuned to hear more about it.

In My Kitchen…

A bundt cake tester with a probe that changes color when the cake is perfectly cooked in the center. Yeah, I need all the help I can get as far as cake baking is concerned.

In My Kitchen…

Normally our pepper grinder is full of black Tellichery pepper, but I could not resist getting this bag of colorful peppercorns, to shake things up a little

In My Kitchen….

My newest toy, a tortilla press! Corn tortillas from scratch are infinitely better than store-bought, and a good quality press makes all the difference. A blog post about it is in the works…

In My Kitchen… especially for Codruta & Smidgen….
THE BREAD KNIFE!

and, finally… from the backyard, two cool dudes  wanted to say hello and hope that you enjoyed this little tour through their favorite spot in the house!

Oscar + Buck =  Double Trouble on the horizon…   ;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: A Dutch Tiger

TWO YEARS AGO Banana Bread

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51 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN, APRIL 2012

  1. Sally, what a joyful post! Thanks for playing! I never knew celery would grow in just water! And I am hooked on hibiscus tea – I drink Turkish herbal tea with hibiscus and rosehip and am always amazed by how deep red the colour goes. The fresh veg look wonderful, as do those two handsome dudes in the backyard! :)

    • Celia, as you know I love to play IMK, although I’m always way behind…

      I do think the color of hibiscus tea is the most beautiful thing! did you know it is almost exactly the color of the compound we work with in the lab, that brings iron to bacteria? The iron is what gives the gorgeous color… but in the hibiscus tea, it is certainly some compound with a lot more charm… ;-)

  2. Hey Sally, that celery is so cute! I didn’t have any luck the first go round last year and never tried it again. The water got swampy, then again I never succeeded with an avocado seed either…I love my “city” pots of lettuce that were on sale for about $4.98 and I’ve had lettuce for weeks and more to come. When you have a minute, I was trying to create an index and I’ve had no luck, the instructions that I have are too involved and I just quit, any ideas? BTW love the dogs!

    • Index is a major, major pain. THere are no shortcuts in WordPress that I know of, and I had to do it manually, that is, making a new page, adding each recipe title and creating the hyperlink. Talk about a labor of love! Each new post must be entered manually after publication, but then it’s no big deal. The worst was making the index after more than a year of blogging

      took me many many evenings of work. But it’s worth it – I think it is a valuable feature in a blog, i know I use it a lot when I visit a new or an ‘old friend” blog

      • ouch.. I’ve been meaning to ask you about the index, too and I read your answer before I got the chance to ask you. What a pain… I’m in the situation of one year of blogging, more than 100 posts, and no index… so… I have to do it manualy??? :(((

        • Well, before you go into full panic mode, I advise you to go to the support forum and see if things changed recently, WordPress is always adding stuff, so maybe by now they got something in place to make life easier.

          IF they do have it, would you do me a huge favor and never telling me? ;-) I would howl in pain…

          If they still don’t have anything, I advise you to start right away – do just a few titles at a time, don’t put pressure on yourself to finish. You will be soooo happy once you are done with it, and maintaining it is a piece of cake. Or a slice of bread, in your case ;-)

          • Hi Ibbeachanata, Codruta and Sally, in WordPress, there is a way to create a very crude index of all your posts. I have it on my blog at the top if you want to see how it looks. You create a Page and you post this bit of code in it

            [archives]

            and any text you want to explain what it is and then it will give you a list of all your posts with the most recent at the top. You can then cut and paste them into other lists on other pages manually. I have started this a few times and never finished it….

  3. WOW! I had no idea about the celery… how cool is that? Now I only need to find myself a garden… our golden has completely destroyed all signs of life in our yard…(let’s just say we are prime Cesar Millan candidates). Do you know that my mom spent about 30 years trying to grow an avocado plant by placing the pit in water… poor dear, I think she’s still waiting.

    Hugs to Oscar and Buck. I wish we lived nearby Sally… I would bring Stella for a romp while you and I enjoyed a cappuccino in the sunshine… Have a beautiful weekend! :)

    • You need to get an avocado from a natural food store, and hope that they had not been irradiated, which prevents the seed from sprouting.

      we succeeded with avocados a couple of times, but it was before we went to Paris for a sabbatical, and we gave the plant to a former student. No idea if it’s still alive.

      Wouldn’t it be nice to have Stella get together with our pups? They would have a blast together – and we could do something fun, like…. bake bread! ;-)

  4. Credit where credit is due – Dawn_MO posted the celery growing tip on the eat@ recipe forum. Here’s the original link: http://providence-acres.blogspot.com/2010/06/regrowing-celery.html

    Your celery looks great. You could also try it in a pot if you think that might be safer (from “the boys”) than your garden. I have one in the garden and 2 in a bowl awaiting planting. The one in the garden looked a little sad when I got home from California but it looks better now.

    I bought dried hibiscus at the Buy for Less on Pennsylvania to make hibiscus salt. It was very inexpensive there.

    • Thanks for the proper credit – I remember you mentioned that discussion, but I completely missed it.

      the celery is in our planter protected by chicken wire, so it should be fine (fingers crossed)

  5. I love the celery- I’ve been reading about it – but haven’t tried it yet- I do the same with scallions- cut off the green and place the heads in a glass of water and the greens grow back- to be chopped off once again!
    I love your kitchen tour- I like to mix up my teas a bit with raspberry leaves, dried cherries, and hibiscus as well- it feels so much more Mine when I tailor it to fit my own tastes!

    • Scallions work too? WOW! I will definitely try that next – actually I think I have some scallions in the fridge, I could go for it this weekend!

      thank you!

      I’ve been also experimenting a lot with tea – fennel (thanks to my friend Cindy again, who gave me boxes of fennel tea), mixed with mint, but I haven’t added dried fruits, now I want to try maybe dried apple slices… hummmmm… sounds tasty

      I’ve been drinking 4 to 6 cups of herbal tea daily, or green tea, decaf. Cannot get enough of it.

  6. Hello Oscar and Buck!! and Hello to you Sally! I love that Homemade pain de mie and would love a slice this morning with my jam.. how ever did you slice such a perfectly thin piece? Mine end up being lopsided thick wedges with slivered ends.. lol! Happy Easter!!! Can’t wait to see what you do with your tortilla press!

  7. I love love love what’s going on in your kitchen (and outside, cute friendly dogs:)
    the veggies are irresistible and the bowl is lovely!

    I have Rose Levy book, but I never baked from it. Your bread looks just perfect!
    ps.You should have showed us the knife, too :)
    codruta

  8. What a splendid post, Sally! I’ve grown many an avocado plant but the celery thing is new to me. Very interesting.
    Did you know that hibiscus tea is known as sorrel in Jamaica and parts of the Caribbean? A factoid I learned on the Food Network, back when it was good….

    • Back when the Food Network was good… indeed, those were great times!

      I didn’t know this factoid about sorrel – interesting!

      I hope you try the celery, and the green onion too – heck, I might start sticking all sorts of veggies in water, crossing my fingers and hoping for the best! ;-)

      • They were fun times, Sally. A network all about food was novel. Ah well, things change.

        First I intend to try my hand at the scallions. I use lots of chives or green onion tops, and it would be great to have them always available.

        • Marcia, would you like some garlic chive seeds? If the answer is yes, first you must promise you will not be angry at me when they try to take over your garden. Cindy

          • That’s very kind of you, Cindy, but no thank you. We live in a heavily wooded property and there’s no good place for the garlic chives. For various reasons, I can’t keep potted plants in the house, plus I’ve had the experience of growing garlic chives. You’re very thoughtful and I do appreciate your sweet offer.
            Marcia

  9. Hello Sally, your kitchen looks like such a warm and welcoming place! Thank you for the tip on celery! So good to know that… I have just started to grown my own, but am not sure how it will go with the frost. I love all the good things in your kitchen… and the two puppies too! Happy Easter BTW

    • Oh, how sweet! Your comment made me smile – the “warm and welcoming place” is anything but while I’m attempting to bake a cake. I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, but it is the absolute truth. If I told you what happened with the last cake I baked, you would sit by my side, hold my hand and offer a box of Kleenex. Maybe two… (sigh, sigh, sigh)

      but, I digress…. hope you try this celery trick, mine is a bit “paralyzed” outside. Maybe he (she?) heard about the blog post and got stage fright.

  10. Happy Easter Sally, Phil and those sweet dogs!! Your blog is one of my very favorites..and although I am a novice in the bread field a friend and I have tried some of your recipes..with success ..mostly!!!
    Best always… Barb

    • Barb, thank you so much! I know exactly how you feel about the “mostly” – breads are finicky creatures, and every once in a while a loaf will be disappointing. Sometimes it happens even with recipes that I use on a regular basis. Frustrating. So… you are not alone.

      I usually do not blog on culinary failures, but some are worth discussing…. I’ve got one set to go live on Monday… huge, huge, disappointment and a waste of special ingredients.

  11. Boa Páscoa!
    grata pelo seu super gentil comentário lá no pitangas. grata de coração.
    estou seriamente pensando em copiar este tipo de postagem.
    uma querida amiga esteve ai e me trouxe uns mimos, acho que vou iniciar um marcador “na minha cozinha”, do you mind??
    bjs

    • I have been enjoying it cold, but never thought of the rose water, great idea, I need to find more and more uses for the bottle of rose water I have in the pantry… as you know ;-)

  12. Oh these pups are just too darn cute! And loving that bread knife! I think I’m going to try this celery trick with Miss A. She’s on a celery kick (and planting kick) lately. This will be fun for us both. But I have to say I’m really looking forward to the risotto post. I love a good risotto! :)

    • You want to have the pups? Give me your address, and you’ll be the proud owner of two “marvelous” specimens of the canine world.

      I am very sad to inform that the celery was murdered sometime between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.

  13. Hi Sally, properly! I love your kitchen, full of great gadgets and your celery is a real little cut and come again treasure, Misk was doing something similar with spring onions (scallions) the other week. I have caught celery doing this in the chiller box in the fridge once or twice too, strange and mysterious plant “The force is strong in this one” hee hee – Love the pic of the dogs looking so sweet and happy Xxx

    • Yeah, they are sweet and happy, aren’t they?

      unfortunately, “the force” was not strong enough to face their paws and teeth.

      The two sweet darlings somehow managed to open the gate of our chicken wire enclosure (not sure HOW they did it, but… they did) and my celery is history. History.

      there was a lot of profanity involved, a lot of screaming, hand waving, and bad doggying around.

      (sigh, sigh, sigh)

    • yes, I did try, and also made a nice drink with it using ginger and vanilla.
      It is in a recent guest post I wrote for The Gingered Whisk,
      if you want to take a look.

      I have to add a little sugar or honey to the hibiscus tea, which
      I don t do to any other kind, but I donlike it very much.
      It is pricey, though… :-)

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