01 January 2015

In My Kitchen - January 2015



I was invited by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to write a post to link to her In My Kitchen, a series that gives us a peek into the kitchens of food bloggers around the world. Celia started her blog in February 2009, one year before Delightful Repast debuted in February 2010. She tells wonderful stories and shares my passion for bread. 
"If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens." ~ Robert Browning
In My Kitchen ... 

... January means it's time to make marmalade. Though I'm in the US, I follow the British tradition of making marmalade in January. If I can get my hands on some organic Seville oranges (the highly acidic orange of marmalade tradition), I'd like to make a batch and see how it compares to my Kumquat Marmalade. The pantry (or larder) is down to just a few jars of Satsuma and Meyer Lemon Marmalade.



And, of course, marmalade calls for excellent toast. Though I love my English Muffin Toasting Bread for toast, this month the sourdough saga continues! My Sourdough Starter is very vigorous, producing fabulous loaves of Sourdough Sandwich Bread as well as other loaves I've not yet blogged about. If you haven't tried it yet, I hope you will soon. 





January is a great month for organizing. I'll be collecting things from all over the house to donate. From the kitchen, a pair of bread pans I haven't used in decades because I upgraded. There's more stuff, but I'm afraid that little project will have to be postponed until later in the month as I have finally tackled a huge project in my office: magazines

Over the years I have accumulated more than a thousand magazines, and it's time for them to go! Some are issues of magazines I've written for, some are magazines that my mother had collected and I've held onto for sentimental reasons. Mind you, these are all housed on bookshelves in an orderly fashion; nevertheless, I've decided they are clutter that is weighing me down. 

A lifelong magazine lover, I have an eclectic collection. Of course, there are many years' worth of Bon Appetit, Saveur, Food and Wine, etc. And I love British magazines, which are so expensive here that I tend to hang onto them forever. I just pulled out a few British editions of House Beautiful and Ideal Home that are from 1993! You think it's time to let them go?! 

In 2015 I will not be subscribing to any magazines, and I will be letting all existing subscriptions lapse. No matter how fantastic the deal is, I'm going to Just Say No! I'm going cold turkey, baby! I keep telling myself it's just for one year. Hope I can do it. "One day at a time" and all that, right? 

Whew! After that confession I might have to go have a bit of a lie-down. If you're an "out-there," "tell-all" extravert, that might not seem like a big deal to you. But to an introvert like me, that was a real gut-wrenching soul-baring of epic proportions! Yes, a bit of a lie-down is definitely what's needed. Oh, and could someone fetch me a nice cuppa tea?



93 comments:

Kavey said...

Used to me a magazine addict, first the house and home ones, in the mid 1990s -- very ironic if you saw our house. And later travel. Food ones only if it was Food & Travel. Finally went cold turkey on home stuff in early 2000s. Reduced travel ones a lot and mostly got rid of the back issues now. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Kavey, now I know who to turn to when I feel myself weakening! :D Thank you!

Kavey said...

Xx

the hungry writer said...

Good for you re the magazines. I hope the withdrawal symptoms won't last too long!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Wry and dry. Yup. You may just be my new best friend. :) Do you really eat that much marmalade? Somehow, when we travel, we eat homemade jams made with local berries, but at home. Never. Why is that? But, it is. Now, I am on a quest for Seville Oranges as January is the month for marmalade. Why didn't you tell me sooner?
Happy New Year!
Valerie

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, hungrywriter. I think I'm starting to get the shakes already!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aawww, thanks, Valerie! I hope you (and I) find some Sevilles. I wouldn't say I eat a huge amount of marmalade, but I do whittle away steadily at a jar.

Nikki @ Nik Snacks said...

I've thousands of magazines too! I'm not ready to tackle them yet. So overwhelming! But I'll just focus on your marmalade... Which is making me hungry!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Nikki! I was just heading into the kitchen to have some sourdough toast and marmalade! I hope you'll make some soon. Good on biscuits, too. About the magazines, you definitely have to be feeling ready to tackle it, or you just spin your wheels. Let me know when the mood strikes you!

Amy at love made my home said...

Happy New Year! xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Amy. I hope you have a fabulous 2015.

Lorrie said...

Fun post. I love marmalade but have never made it in spite of making all other kinds of jams and jellies. It is helpful to see your photo of cut up fruit to gauge sizes.

Magazines are so addictive. I have about 10 years of Fine Cooking that I need to whittle down. But it's so hard!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lorrie, thanks! Yes, it is hard to get rid of those magazines. I tried many times over the years, but never managed to part with very many. But when the time was right, and I was ready, it was really quite easy.

ImSoVintage Laura Walker said...

When my mom downsized to a retirement apartment we got rid of her magazines and donated most of her cookbooks. It was hard to let some things go. Happy new year. xo Laura

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Laura. Yes, I have to keep telling myself I'm giving away Mama's book (or whatever) but NOT the memories!

pleasepasstherecipe.com said...

Hi Jean and welcome to IMK. I used to be a magazine hoarder too, now I keep one small shelf for magazines because I can't go without altogether. If I want to keep one copy, one has to go! It's good discipline, but he downside is that I have a drawer overflowing with clippings, the next obsession to deal with!

Francesca said...

Good luck with letting go. The secret is to not look at them as they go- let them fly away without a passing glance. I also have too many magazines, but have also cancelled all subscriptions to food mags, largely becasue I find the level of advertising obnoxious. The old ones seemed to have a sensible ratio of ad to content.

Bethany Carson said...

Sounds like you have a collection of magazines! We subscribed to Country magazine for a few years, saved all the magazines, and then let the subscription lapse. For quite some time we just read through old magazines we'd saved! Now we're subscribed again.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sandra, thank you! And I think I'll adopt your idea: Buy one magazine, let one go. It's what I do with everything else, so why not the magazines!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Francesca, yes, I'm finding I'm getting more "brutal" as I go along -- at first, I was looking through each one!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Bethany. That's what I'm going to do. Once I'm past all this, I can subscribe to a magazine again!

Tania@ MyKitchen Stories said...

I can't seem to throw them out either. There is always a recipe that causes you to keep a whole magazine and then you put it on the bookshelf and dont get it back out till the next time you look and say "oh I love that recipe". I know.....I have started to get rid of all of mine too. It is a weight off your shoulders. good luck. it might take a few goes at it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tania, thanks for the encouraging words! I never realized so many people had this problem.

Milk and Honey said...

Happy New Year. Good luck with the whole purging of your magazine. I wish i had the self-discipline to do the same - one day may be!

Gretchen DALRYMPLE said...

I also have quite a bit of kitchen items going to charity this month, had to make room for my new goodies I received as gifts. As for the magazines, I completely understand. My husband has a National Geographic collection I would love for him to get rid of, it dates back to the 1940s I think. He did at least let his subscription lapse a couple years ago. Good luck to you and Happy New Year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Milk and Honey! It's almost more than I can handle right now, but I have to do it while I'm in the mood. :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Gretchen thank you for the encouragement. Like you, my husband will be glad to see the last of my stash go out the door!

Linda Kay said...

Jean, I seldom read magazines at all anymore, and when I do, they are usually picked up at the grocery check out line. But there is nothing in them but ads anymore. I can't believe you are introvert. You do such a great job of writing your blog.

Lizzy (Good Things) said...

Hi Jean, lovely to 'meet' you... and welcome to the IMK community! Your marmalade looks and sounds exquisite! That is one thing I have yet to master! Happy cooking and thanks for the peek into your kitchen.

celia said...

Jean, I've switched all my subscriptions to e-mags on my iPad and couldn't be happier! With the exception of the very occasional cookbook, all of those are now in Kindle format as well! Hard to get rid of a collection that spans back decades though - I wish you luck with that! :) Thanks for joining in, and for your kind introduction, and for sharing your beautiful sourdough with us! :)

My Garden Diaries said...

My grandmother used to make marmalade! Yours looks so fantastic friend! Wishing you a happy New Year full of new adventures! Nicole xoxo

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Linda Kay, thank you so much! I've sure been enjoying *your* blog. And I think you've got the right idea about magazines. Maybe I'll try just picking one up at the grocery store once in a while.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Liz, lovely to "meet" you, too! Let me know when you make some marmalade. I want to hear all about it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Celia, thank you. I've got a lot of catching up to do at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Looking forward to it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Nicole! I am looking forward to "new adventures." Maybe marmalade will be one of *yours* this year. Hope you have a fabulous 2015!

aroundthemulberrytree said...

Golly, you sound very determined. Good for you! Is there such a beast as magazines anonymous in case your resolve weakens? Thanks for sharing :)

Angie Schneider said...

More than 1000 magazines...o my..your office must be really big.
Have fun with reorganizing, Jean!
Angie

Elizabeth Connolly said...

Hi Jean!!! Yay, welcome... I love making marmalade, but only like eating lime marmalade! Go figure? Everyone seems to enjoy my effort though! Thanks for sharing! Liz xx

Donna | Bountiful Hunter said...

Hi Jean. Loved reading about your marmalade making. That is my winter hobby too, but obviously being in Australia, that takes place in June. I adore seville orange marmalade and have taken to adding a splash of good whiskey at the end of the cooking process (just prior to bottling). It seems to bring out the sauterne type flavours. Works well in the cumquat too. Re the magazines, I've taken to subscriptions on the ipad. No storage of mags needed now and everything at my finger tips! I love the NZ mag called Dish. The kiwis are great cooks and know their wine too. Love your blog, look forward to sharing and chatting more. Donna (TBH)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

ATMT, great idea! If there isn't such a group as Magazines Anonymous, I should start one!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, no, my office is actually quite small. BUT it has 40 feet of shelving! Initially that seemed like a good thing, but now I'm wondering! :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Liz, as much as I like eating marmalade, the making of it is what I like best; so I understand! Must try lime sometime soon.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Donna! I'm looking forward to visiting TBH; loved the few posts I've read so far. Hate to sound like a dinosaur, but I do not yet own an iPad or other tablet. When I get one, I think I'll follow your example and get my magazines online.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

This looks delicious, Jean! My grandmother always made jellies and jams, and I can remember the endless hours of love poured into them. Her specialty was crabapple jelly, and she gave it to people at Christmas since it was a) delicious, b) was a nice Christmas color, and c) was in high demand from anyone who was a fortunate recipient. :-)

When I think of marmalade, I always think of the British aviators who came to train in Florida during WWII and were cautioned not to overindulge in the large Florida breakfasts (including orange marmalade) lest they make themselves sick after war rations. I read that somewhere, and it made me have a healthy new respect for marmalade. I could easily over indulge, myself, but that's another story! ;-)

Happy New Year to you!

xo

Sheila :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sheila, thank you. And thank you for the story! I love history, particularly British history, and I had never heard about this. Your grandmother's crabapple jelly sounds delightful!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

If I didn’t like marmalade, I’d still love the word itself. That alone is enough to get me to put it on a toasted English muffin or raisin toast – toast makes my exceptions list for eating bread. As far as that backlog of magazines, consider the collector’s value and you may pay for all the subscriptions past and future. Amazing what people buy and collect. Just Google an issue of something you think might be valuable and see what you come up with. Tut-tut, no finder’s fee necessary for me…well, OK, save me a spoonful of marmalade from your last batch.

Cheryl said...

You struck a chord with your magazine story! Several years ago, I made myself part with boxes of magazines that I had collected for nearly thirty years. I had begun by browsing through each one to see if there was any article/photo that I wanted to keep, but you can probably imagine how that went. Finally, I just told my husband to take the rest of the boxes out...as long as he didn't let me peek into them as they went out the door. (I had already pulled out several "special" issues.)

Of course, I have accumulated more during the ensuing years, although I have been better about letting them go month by month. It's probably time to cull the collection again. :)

Thanks for visiting Thinking About Home and leaving your kind and encouraging words!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, thanks for the tip. But if I got into selling these things, it would slow me down! I feel like I have to clear it out before my fire goes out! Mr Delightful loves his toast, too, so I've got another loaf of sourdough rising on the counter.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, thank you for sharing your magazine experience with me; it really helps! Sounds like you got to what I call the "brutal" stage -- I always call it "getting brutal" when I just start hauling stacks out to the recycling bin without even looking through them! :D I go back and forth with that. Today I'm back to looking through each issue. sigh

Pom Pom said...

This post makes me think of Paddington Bear!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Karen, I always thing of Paddington when I'm making marmalade! :D

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Orange marmalade, yum! Say no more...love the premise of your blog, comfort food is my favorite! You have a new follower. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, PP! Much appreciated! I think comfort food is the only way to go -- families can't bond over a fussy plate of trendy nonsense.

Kari said...

Welcome to IMK posting - and thanks for the peak into your kitchen :) As a fellow introvert I relate to the need for a lie down with a good cup of tea, and think I'd rather like to pair that combination with some of your marmalade on toast too. It looks great! I also had to click through to see what English muffin toasting bread is, and am utterly intrigued with the notion.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kari, thank you so much! I hope you'll be a regular visitor now. You can tell already, I'm sure, that I'm a breadaholic!

Greg said...

Your kitchen looks really bright and tasty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg! I do love my butter yellow walls. And butter!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

I'm with you on the magazines but I did that cleanout last year. It's really difficult because I know when I toss them out, I'm going to want one of them. I found I wasn't going back through them because I just didn't have time. They went to a good home.

I love your marmalade fixings in the pan. I haven't made marmalade for nearly a year so I think it's time for me too.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, thanks. I'm so glad to learn I'm not the only one who collects too many magazines. I hope once I'm done, I can "stay clean"! Have fun making marmalade!

Pauline Wiles said...

Oh dear, I've never actually liked marmalade, which is terribly sad as I'm a big fan of Paddington. As for your magazines, well, very best of luck with an admirable goal! I love putting my feet up with a mag but am fairly ruthless about getting rid of them after - I have a single binder where I keep articles I can't bear to part with, so maybe you could consider a small "best of the best" collection...

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks for the tip, Pauline! I think by the time I finish this project I might just run screaming from any magazines at all! How can you possibly not like marmalade? :-)

Jen Vandervoort said...

You had me at sourdough....I have pinned it...our cat keeps us busy. But I love sourdough!!

Jen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jen, you sound like us! Mr Delightful and I love cats and sourdough! Thanks for the comment and Pin!

Marian@Apricot Tart said...

Hi Jean! Welcome to IMK! I loved your first post - as a marmalade lover you had me right there! I am going to have to follow your lead this year and send my many magazines to op shop heaven! I just find it so hard to part with them!!! Happy New Year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marian, thank you. I know we'll feel better when we do! :D I'm tearing my hair out today trying to figure out what to do with all the pages I've torn out. Sheesh!

Kirsty said...

Jean, I can so relate to the magazines. I hazard a guess of how many I have! I even have a US mailbox (I'm in Oz) to get a couple of US mag subs (they are so cheap!). We have a charity bookfair (Lifeline) every quarter and I stock up when I can on overseas mags. I too have retreated on the number of subs I have, and am concentrating on only a few, SBS TV's 'Feast' is a good one.
Your marmalade looks lip schmackingly good! Welcome to IMK!
Happy January, cheers Kirsty xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Kirsty! I appreciate the encouraging words. Happy January to you!

Fiona Ryan said...

I was given a huge case of oranges last winter that just seemed to go on and on so I made maramalde for the first time. Quite a hit but a lot of chopping and certainly not as neat as yours. Welcome to IMK and hope to see you back soon. Fiona

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Fiona. And, YES, a lot of chopping! I'm really picky about the kumquat marmalade especially, and cutting those really fine is quite fiddly work! But I so love my food traditions. :-)

Liz said...

It feels good to clean out clutter. My problem is all the pages I've torn out from magazines which are in boxes in my office. Every once in a while I will go through them (it's almost like reading a magazine) and throw out the ones that are no longer of interest. But I don't do it often enough.

It's a trip down memory lane to see a recipe I used to make. A history of time in the kitchen. Blogging is beginning to serve the same purpose although I am new to it. Great blog you have.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Liz! I've come up with a huge pile of torn-out pages, so now I have to hit that before I lose momentum! I'm determined to never let this happen again!

Don't boil the sauce said...

Hi Jean, what a lovely first IMK! I must admit I've never been a fan of marmalade but the colours in your photo make me want to try it again.
Sourdough English muffins would go perfectly with it
cheers Jason

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

It's funny that you're getting strated on Marmalade. I am getting started on apricot jam despite our opposite seasons! :D

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jason, thank you for the welcome! But I wish you hadn't said "sourdough English muffins" -- now I'm craving them! Made pizza with sourdough crust this evening. I'll remember, Don't Boil the Sauce!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh, Lorraine, how I love apricot jam. And I don't make it as often as I'd like because some summers I manage to get only enough to eat fresh (which I also love). I'll be enjoying summer early at NQN!

Chantille Fleur said...

Jam making, yum!
I've recently discovered the joys of making (and eating!) sourdough and I am absolutely hooked!

Sarah x

sherry from sherryspickings said...

yes i stopped subscribing to mags some years ago as i just couldn't justify the price and there was nowhere for them to live.
happy new year!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sarah, good for you! Another one for the sourdough club! It is so fun. (My husband loves to eat the bread but doesn't "see what all the excitement is about"!)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sherry. My problem is people want to send me subscriptions for very low cost -- so it's like "I can't afford NOT to subscribe!" But you've got the right idea, no doubt. I'm going to remember your "nowhere for them to live."

Sue/the view from great island said...

Happy New Year Jean --- all your gorgeous marmalades are giving me the jam making itch!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Sue! I hope you have a wonderful 2015! I can't wait until summer to make some apricot jam.

Marilyn Scott-Waters said...

Jean, hello! What a great post! Good for you for letting things go. I always do "The Great Tidy after the holidays and organize everything for the new year. The thing about magazines, and even cookbooks, is that I often would end up googling the recipe online.

I just got passed on about two hundred books after my office remodel. Now I have space for new books and new ideas.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Marilyn, thank you! And well put! That's exactly how I feel, that I now have "space for new books and new ideas."

Magnolia Verandah said...

Ooh I'm a bit of a magazine addict too. I think I have Ideal Home from 1987 and Home Beautiful from the 70s. Once you have had them this long its very difficult to part with them. 2014 saw very little magazine buying (there are only so many you can house) I am now into borrowing so that I can return them to their owner after thoroughly read from cover to cover. Grapefruit marmalade is definitely on the cards in January.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Mmm ... grapefruit marmalade! Yes! Glad I'm not the only magazine addict, but I like your idea of borrowing. AND my local library has a great selection of magazines; why don't I check one out from time to time!

Annie Cholewa said...

I hoard old magazines too ... I had a complete set of UK Country Living going back to '92 ... like you, I'm letting them go, it feels quite liberating!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Annie, thank you so much! That's exactly the word -- liberating! I've still a ways to go, but I'm feeling so much freer already.

Ania @ milktoastandhoney.co.uk said...

Happy New Year Jean!

I do love a good home made marmalade! The smell fills the house with the most amazing aromas, doesn't it?

Your teapot is really cute :-)

See you next month for IMK x

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ania! Yes, I love the aroma that wafts throughout the house on marmalade day! That teapot is just one of many -- I have a LOT of teapots.

deb @ frugal little bungalow said...

I can only imagine how wonderful your kitchen must smell when making marmalade :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Oh it does, Deb! And I have fragrance and chemical sensitivity/allergy, so when I need an air freshener I just boil up some citrus and spices.

Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

Wow, that must have taken some time to wade through all the magazines. I try and not keep everything as the clutter is too overwhelming. Glad to meet you through #IMK :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tandy, glad to meet you, too! Yep, it's been quite a job; I will *never* accumulate magazines again!

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