IN MY KITCHEN – OCTOBER 2014

I don’t participate every month, as it gets a bit too hard to compose a new post on this subject every 4 weeks, but whenever possible, I love joining Celia’s virtual party in which bloggers all over the world invite us over to visit their kitchens. This month, I have a few gifts to smile about…

In our kitchen…

tomatoes
Gorgeous pear-shaped tomatoes, a little larger than those we can find at the grocery store.  These were planted by one of our colleagues. He kept bringing boxes, leaving them in the mail room for anyone to grab a few and enjoy.  This particular batch was still warm from the soil when we got them.

In our kitchen…

Salsa
Two huge bottles of a very special salsa, made by our friend Karl according to a family recipe from his wife, Virginia.  Want to know something super cool? Virginia was the realtor who showed and sold us our home here in Kansas. She is a retired Spanish professor from Manhattan High School, and embraced a second career as a Real State agent, which clearly was a great  move for her.  She is the best, and so is her family recipe for this killer salsa.  When we get low on those, I send a few hints to Karl.  You know, gentle hints.   I never put pressure on anyone. Nagging? Me?  Never.

In our kitchen…

ChilesAnother gift from Karl and Virginia, a can of chiles that she gets in New Mexico (they are not easy to find elsewhere), and uses for chile rellenos.  She also shared her recipe with me, and I made my first batch of this Mexican delicacy last month.  It takes practice, but I’m getting there…

In our kitchen….

MCGiftAmazing hand-made chocolates from San Francisco…  A wonderful gift from a wonderful friend, MC. I imagine lots of my readers are no strangers to Farine, her bread baking blog, but if you haven’t visited her site yet, prepare to be amazed.

In our kitchen….

IMG_5448My gift for Phil, for no special reason other than the fact that he is my favorite human being in this planet of over 7 billion people.  It is a red wine aerator, supposed to make your wine taste like a liquid concocted by angels.

compositewine

Of course, that forced us to cook a special steak dinner in which we sampled the wine on a blind tasting: one glass passed through the aerator, the other straight from the bottle.  Indeed, we both noticed a clear improvement. Once it gets through the aerator, the wine tastes much more mellow and smoother.  A nice little toy to play with.

 In our kitchen….

CreamOnTop
I found this new (to me) type of yogurt and fell in love with it.  These days it is so hard to find full-fat yogurt!  I will spare you of my thoughts on this, but it is irritating.  Anyway, this yogurt is delicious and I think it’s also available with fruit, but I am partial to plain.  I wish they sold bigger containers so I could use it for cooking, but this is better than nothing.

In our kitchen….

compositeCubes
If I remember correctly, I featured these on an IMK post years ago, because they were available in Oklahoma, and I loved them.  I went through a tough phase of withdrawal syndrome, but they finally showed up in one of our grocery stores.  I stock our freezer with these three kinds, and pop a little square in my food whenever the mood strikes.  Great, great product, I highly recommend it.  Rest assured, this post is not sponsored by Dorot. I recommend it because I love it.

In our kitchen….

GenoiseClass
Something super special:  I got a one-on-one class on genoise!!!!  From a pro, who also happens to be a friend. A virtual friend for over 10 years,  Gary spent a weekend in our town, the three of us played a lot of golf, and I got THE BEST lesson on the making of a genoise.  Stay tuned for my performance later on…   Genoise is not for sissies, my friends.  And since we are on the subject of that lesson, I shall confess my first move as a student.

BrokenEggGary wanted the eggs at room temperature, but I don’t think he expected me to smash one on the floor. Obviously,  cake baking in general and genoise in particular stresses me out.

In our kitchen…

BowlGenoise

A new, shiny bowl, that was needed for proper mixing of the genoise batter. It’s called a moon bowl.  I love it!  Beautiful and functional.

In our kitchen…

Spatulas

A heat-resistant spatula (from Vollrath), and a small offset spatula for my future genoise adventures. Gary brought these gadgets in his amazing “patisserie tool box” and I could not resist a visit to amazon.com to get these babies for the Bewitching Kitchen.

And, now it is time to let our furry friends come out and play…

BurrsHello, my name is Oscar, and last night my Mom spent 25 minutes cleaning my body of all burrs. She says I am a wuss because I whine too much and “make it impossible for her”. Anyway, this is how I came back from the backyard this morning, after spending just 5 minutes outside.  I don’t get all her weeping and gnashing of teeth. Do you?

SnakeKiller
Hello, my name is Buck and I am a professional snake killer.  On my walk the other day I noticed a small snake on the side of the street. In a nanosecond I grabbed it, flinched it very high in the air, then killed it, spreading snake blood all over Mom’s ankle.  I don’t get all her weeping and gnashing of teeth, do you?

 and now,  a couple of videos that are worth a thousand pictures…. 

Oscar has been very upset because his brother showed off the rolling over in the last In My Kitchen post.  He insists that his skills are good enough to share with the Bewitching friends…  For his amazing performance, click here.

I close this post with another short video. In one of my long walks with Buck, we go all the way to the university farms where they keep research cows.  They are adorable!  On that day they were following us in line as we walked back and forth the road.  Finally, as we decided to walk back home, I approached the gate for a chit-chat with “the ladies”.  Buck was not too interested in them, but they were very curious about that tiny four-legged creature.  You can see the video on youtube with a click here.

If you are wondering about Chief, he says hi, and hopes to be around next time. He’s been a bit too frail lately to pose for pictures. He is a trooper, though, heading steadily for his 16th Birthday.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of our kitchen… A huge thank you to Celia for organizing it. If you want to take a peek at other blogger’s kitchens, stop by Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and look at the side bar where she lists them all.

ONE YEAR AGO: Grilled Steelhead Trout

TWO YEARS AGO: Brown Butter Tomato Salad

THREE YEARS AGO:  Spelt and Cornmeal Rolls

FOUR YEARS AGO: Roasted Potato and Olive Focaccia

FIVE YEARS AGO: Multigrain Bread Extraordinaire

45 thoughts on “IN MY KITCHEN – OCTOBER 2014

  1. You’ve got some lovely goodies, both edible and non… to help with the making and enjoyment of the former. 🙂 I hope to hear more about your genoise making.

    Weeping and gnashing of teeth seems to be a theme with your 4 legged fuzzy friends. And, in conclusion, I hope Chief has more good days than frail ones in his future.

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    • It will take a while, due to the number of things waiting to be blogged, but I will get to the genoise at some point… 😉 Chief has good and bad days. This weekend not too good. But he is better today

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  2. Yup! Exactly how I start any baking process. All over the floor….Yesterday it was a whole bottle of olive oil smashed to smithereens and we are still “gliding” away on the kitchen floor.

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    • Last week Buck tried to enter our sacred home with some type of rodent in his mouth. I will spare you of the details. Our marriage had a bit of a rough time, but the husband finally came to his senses.

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  3. Of course I can’t help but comment on the videos – the cows are too cute! They look completely confused and fascinated with Buck, adorable. I don’t think I’d ever heard your voice before – nice to put a voice with the name/face! 🙂

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  4. that family salsa sounds delicious – lucky you to be surrounded by such generous friends! Funny enough, I’m doing a homespun version of dorot this weekend — we were gifted a huge (as in tree size) quantify of basil from our neighbor on Friday – I wasn’t sure how we might use it all (or most) while minimizing waste — decided to make pesto for freezing in ice cube trays, etc. Yes, the darn burrs… it’s a constant preoccupation in this household too. Even the cat is covered. And look at Oscar back at it the next day! Sigh, moms are ruefully under-appreciated ;-).

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    • Glad you liked the little tour, of course, the more the merrier in our kitchen! I hope you don’t mind a blond dog jumping on you, constantly, oblivious to the command “Oscar, down…”

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  5. Oscar: you are very definitely not a wuss and Buck: OK: you can get rid of them at that size . . . but perhaps just walk away if they are much bigger – no, you definitely will not be a wuss either . . . oh, say thank you to your Mom for the post, won’t you!!

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    • Chocolate makes anyone smile, isnt’ that the truth? I only know ONE person who doesn’t eat chocolate, a Japanese-Brazilian, former technician in the lab where I did my PhD. She would not eat chocolates nor French fries. It’s hard to grasp this type of reality.

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  6. I do sympathise about the burrs – the dog I had before Spot had long hair and I had a dreadful time with her. Spot has short smooth hair and only gets the odd one between his toes.
    Love the cows! There is a circus near me at the moment and we walk past the paddock where the horses are – i think Spot would be happy to stand and watch them all day.
    I bet you had some furry helpers to clean up that egg!.

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    • No, I actually cleaned the egg mess myself – the idea that Oscar would have egg whites dripping from his beard made me shiver. He’s got a beard that gets totally messed up, and he IS a wuss, so cleaning him is a nightmare…. (sigh)

      Buck would probably do a good job, but he was outside when the tragic egg incident took place.

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  7. I have to find those frozen herbs. Fabulous!!!! I’m going to start my search for them this week. What a great idea. That will save me so much money and wasted leftovers. And your tomatoes – Miss A would finish them in one seating easily. Whenever we have them in the house she eats them by the pint (in one sitting!). I’ve been eyeing one of those aerators as well. Think I may have to pick one of those up soon too. 🙂

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  8. I love, love tours through your kitchen. I always learn something new. Never heard of genoise but looked it up and learned about this special french cake. I might try making it after my second retirement! Sounds even more tricky than making chiles rellenos! Do you buy Dorot products in our town?

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  9. Don’t anyone be fooled by Sally’s protests. She did a great job making the genoise after a little coaching on the various techniques and tricks of the trade. Once she gets a couple more under her belt, she’ll be ready for Iron Chef.

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    • Iron? did you say iron? Well, I think I’ll stick with radioactive iron in the lab…. 🙂

      Your influence is showing – I baked a cake on Tuesday evening… not genoise, but it involved the dreadful creaming of sugar and butter. The universe is changing…

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  10. Thos baby pear shaped tomatoes look so good, makes me yearn for summer and austumn to come here too. We are just planting ours now. And some lovely exotic stuff too. Hand over the chocolate.

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  11. Snake?? And I was so enjoying the post until then.. 😉 Seriously though, love those tomatoes – oh how I wish I still had some in the garden, but hopefully they’ll be back soon. And I’d love frozen ginger and coriander in my freezer, what a great idea. Darling, you baked genoise? That’s very impressive, I remember how cake averse you used to be. You’ve gotten so good at it over the years! 🙂

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    • Genoise was an adventure! But now I realize most recipes around do not give you what is truly important… Nothing like having a personal patissier chef to coach you 😉

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  12. Wow! There is so much going on in your kitchen, Sally! What a wonderful and fun place to peek into. Love that moon bowl and wine aerator. I am thinking of purchasing an aerator for my husband as he keeps trying to aerate wine with a spoon (it is really comical to watch). The chocolates and homemade salsa look great too – what a nice story behind the salsa. Your poor dog! 🙂 Hope he’s all better now. Have a great week.

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    • Aerating wine with a spoon! That is priceless, and something I bet my beloved would attempt… Chief is not doing too good, he has so-so days and that’s about it. This past weekend was better than average, today not so great… and life goes on….

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  13. I have heard that Maple Hills Yogurt was very good. My favorite part of this article are the two dog stories at the end. I have spent many hours cleaning burrs out of my favorite dogs! That picture brought back some good memories.

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  14. I agree with you on full-fat yogurt! Fat-free things disturb me, and there is nothing better than full fat yogurt. So much creamier and satisfying! I’ve had some luck with the full quart containers of yogurt, but in the individual size it’s almost impossible, especially if you want to stay local and somewhat organic. All I’ve found is from California, which is a large carbon footprint when you live on the East Coast.

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