16 April 2015

My Kitchen

Berry Cream Pie / www.delightfulrepast.com

British newspaper The Guardian recently started a Kitchen Encounters: My Kitchen series, in which the interviewees (people in food -- sorry if that sounds unwieldy, I refuse to say "foodies") respond to the same 10 questions. I'm probably correct in assuming that they won't be contacting me for an interview any time soon, so I thought I'd just interview myself! 

Besides, I've had an extremely busy week or so working on freelance projects with clients and haven't had much time or energy left to cook for myself and my blog, so this is a perfect way to post this week.


I hope you'll leave a comment and tell me a little something about your kitchen or anything else you have on your mind.




My Kitchen: Food writer Jean at Delightful Repast


My kitchen is ... U-shaped, not especially large but what I call "maximized" since I remodeled it eight years ago, with quite a lot of countertop (quartz) and efficient storage. The walls are pale butter yellow because that is simply a must for me; I've had a yellow kitchen nearly all of my adult life. Another must is a big, deep, single-bowl cast-iron sink (and no waste disposal unit, called a garbage disposal in the US).


Kohler Cape Dory Kitchen Sink / www.delightfulrepast.com

My favourite (British spelling, not typo) kitchen tool is ... a Danish dough whisk, the utensil in my header (see it there between "Delightful" and "Repast"?). Since I'm a breadaholic and constantly making yeast dough, it's something that gets a lot of play in my kitchen. You'll find more here at 10 Favorite Kitchen Gadgets and 10 Favorite Kitchen Essentials.

My storecupboard staple is ... organic unbleached all-purpose (in the UK, plain) flour. I panic when my flour bin is down by a quarter and I don't have a spare bag on hand. Though I also have a huge stash of other flours (whole wheat and all the gluten-frees) in my freezer, I never buy bread flour or cake flour and like to say I can make anything with my unbleached all-purpose.

When I'm starving I ... head for my Number Two storecupboard staple: 16-ounce cans of organic refried pinto beans. I usually cook dried beans, but if I need a quick hit of protein I just heat up half a can of beans and shred a little cheese on top, and my day is saved. I eat this only when alone; my husband thinks it is disgusting!

My culinary inspiration is ... my heritage. My Southern (US) paternal grandmother and my English maternal grandmother. And my mother who was an inspired cook with "perfect pitch," able to taste any sort of dish and recreate it. I learned a lot from them and I have lots of my mother's things in my kitchen, so I'm always sort of communing with them in the kitchen.

My best-kept kitchen secret is ... I have no kitchen secrets. I'm always happy to tell my readers and friends (and even total strangers standing by the produce looking lost) anything I know about food. My best-kept secret of all is my blog. Almost none of my friends and relatives even know I have a blog.

My current obsession is ... sourdough. I make all kinds of bread and bread-y things, but it had been several years since I had made sourdough. Then several months ago I decided to start another sourdough starter, and I'm constantly making sourdough breads and bread-y things. And, of course, anyone who has been reading my blog for any length of time knows of my lifelong obsession with tea (the beverage and the occasion).

Everything tastes better with ... bread. No, just kidding. Everything, well, many things taste better with lots of coarsely ground black pepper. I don't like the powdery stuff, but I no longer bother with pepper mills. My pepper snobbery is limited to insisting on coarsely ground. I buy it in 4-ounce jars and use it up quickly enough that it doesn't lose its "freshlygroundness."

When I go shopping I ... use a list and don't use a list simultaneously. I go down every single aisle of the store, picking up things from my list and from my head. If something looks especially good or is an exceptionally good deal, I change my meal plans on the spot. And I never shop for more than a few days at a time. I find a lot less food goes to waste that way than if I try to shop for the entire week.

For dinner tonight ... I'm pulling a homemade meal out of the freezer. It's been an extremely busy food week, so I'm glad I always have something homemade (like Golumpkis or Sheet-Pan Tamales) in the freezer for days like this. 

42 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

Good to know you more and better from all those questions, Jean. I too don't shop more than for 2 days and in warm spring/summer days, I visit supermarkets every day for the fresh vegetables, salad and fruit since my husband eats LOTS of salads these days. And you know what? My husbands calls me a breadaholic because I can't live one day without bread.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thank you! It was fun. And just as I'd hoped, it prompted some fun info from at least one of my readers!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

5 cleavers up front!...for the imaginative format you chose this week. Very informative. And a little surprising, e.g. pinto beans out of the can with cheese – if you had told me only that, I would’ve guessed a role reversal from the reality of whose quick meal and who was disgusted. My kitchen is full of potential and very inviting. I’m going to enter that room one of these days. So far I’ve found my way to the sugar canister and the trash caddy…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ooh, 5 cleavers! Thank you, Sully! Nope, about the refried beans, my DH (that's "Dear Husband" in blogspeak) won't eat them because to him they "look like a s---l specimen." Silly man!

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Hi Jean,
We have sooo much in common, my friend! I have been making bread forever and am never without some. I am not a food snob, except when it comes to homemade bread and jam. Someone gave me a sourdough starter that originated from the Cival War and I have kept it going for 14 years now. I wish we could talk in person, but this is the next best thing!
Happy bread making and thank you for your visit to my blog.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thank you! I'm just heading into the kitchen now to feed up my starter for a loaf of sourdough sandwich bread for my husband. You and I know what's fun, don't we?!

Linda Kay said...

My grandmother was a constant bread maker, and it always smelled of yeast in her kitchen. Delightful.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

What a sweet memory, Linda! I can still smell my grandmother's kitchen, too.

Annesphamily said...

I was reading your post and you made me smile! You talked about pinto beans with cheese! My sister Mary would say I was disgusting, she would say "Why do you eat a carb on a carb?" LOL! I love to spoon some beans over a dab of mashed potatoes! It is so good and so filling. Loved visiting you and will be new following you as well.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you soooo much, Anne! I hope you'll find lots of things here that you and your pham would like to eat.

Bernideen said...

Wonderful tips and ideas. I really enjoyed this!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Bernideen, thank you! But it wasn't as pretty as *your* latest post!

Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen said...

What a fun post Jean! I love learning more about the authors behind their blogs! I loved it!

Jacquelineand.... said...

I, too, am a breadaholic. I'm finally going to get to try bialys, which were first made in a small Russian village named Bialystock. A small bakery which opened near me is making them fresh almost every day!

On a serious note: thank you so much for your kind note; now be careful not to wear yourself out!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kristi, thank you. I do, too. That's why I decided to come out of my shell a little bit.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jacqueline, I've heard of bialys but never had them. I'll have to look into the matter and make some! I'll let you know when I do, but if you've got that great bakery nearby ...

Amy at love made my home said...

How great to read your answers! xx

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Amy!

Cheryl said...

It was lots of fun reading about your kitchen this evening, Jean! It sounds like a warm and cozy place to be. Who can resist homemade yeast bread? I find it especially fascinating that you're keeping your lovely blog a secret from your friends and family!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, thank you so much! And I'll have to tell my husband you found my secretiveness fascinating; he just calls it nuts! :D

Parsimonious Perfection said...

Very witty! The tart looks sooo delish. You can never have enough sourdough...it's a staple in our house!

bj said...

When someone said, "Man can not live by bread alone" I must have not heard it...I love it so much, it's almost sinful....:(
I don't make it often...homemade, hot bread, with butter, makes me go into a trance...I'd do almost ANYthing for it...*shameful...
Now, a quick question for you..I am stumped on how to stretch 8 grilled chicken breast (in the freezer) into something to set my heart a'dancing for 12 people. I have several salads ready, BREADS,
potato/cheese casserole, ham and cheese puffs...but would like another dish to add to the menu..
seems it must be some sort of casserole that can stretch that delicious grilled chicken...but not just a run of the mill casserole...(having 11 other ladies over for Bunco on Mon night)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

PP, thank you! Always happy to hear from a sourdough fan!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

BJ, "a trance" -- you know how I feel then! :D About that chicken -- maybe cut the 8 pieces into 2 or 3 pieces each and make a dish of little chicken parmigianas. Or slice them thickly and lay them on a bed of my Mexican Rice.

Melissa AuClair said...

Jean, this was SO much fun to read through! I love making bread, but I'm scared of sourdough- I'll have to try your sourdough.
I didn't know what a Danish whisk is- I'm going to have to add it to my list of kitchen utensils to try.
Also, so funny that many of your friends and family don't know you have a blog- it's a little easier that way I think :) Thank you for sharing more of your world with us-I hope the Guardian knocks on your door one of these days for an interview.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Melissa, thank you SO much! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. And, yes, do try my sourdough. The way I "manage" sourdough is so much simpler than usual.

puttermuh said...

Wonderful post...I found myself hopping back and forth between you and Amazon...what a fun way to spend the morning, thank you!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, puttermuh! Glad you enjoyed it.

Sippity Sup said...

No pepper mills? I need more info on that one. XOGREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Greg, I gave them up when I discovered that storebought coarsely ground black pepper delivered just as much flavor as if it had come out of my pepper mill. And that's coming from a pair of real black pepper lovers!

Swathi Iyer said...

I like to read your post, it is always interesting, and funny. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, thank you, and I'm glad you liked the humor!

April J Harris said...

It sounds like we have a lot in common, Jean! We definitely shop the same way :-) It was so interesting reading your post - this is a fun idea and I'm really glad you shared it with us at the Hearth and Soul hop. Thank you :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, April! Glad you could visit My Kitchen!

Priscilla- She's Cookin' said...

Hi Jean - I love this format and learning more about you! For me, my quick protein fix is a handful of almonds. I also dislike the term "foodie", too, and often use "food lovers". My favorite bread is sourdough, and I've always been intrigued about the nurturing of sourdough starters. Recently, I was fortunate to see a demonstration by Thierry Delabra in Paris whose pain levain has become legendary and led to his discovery by Alain Ducasse. I, however, would be awful at feeding my starter - I can hardly remember to take my own vitamins!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Priscilla, thank you! I do love a handful of almonds, too -- especially when traveling. They've carried me through many a flying day. Had to laugh about the vitamins -- I have the same problem! :D

Jann Olson said...

So fun! I enjoyed reading all of the great answers. I shop a lot the same way! Thanks for sharing with Share Your Cup. I'm sure it's not intentional, but I'm not seeing a link back to the party.
hugs,
Jann

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jann, thank you so much! About linking back, I'm not sure what that even means (I'm soooo low-tech!).

Cranberry Morning said...

What a fun post, Jean! I'm totally with you on the pinto beans and cheese. A great combination when you're short on protein. Balanced with carbs, beans are an essential! My kitchen is yellow too, and about 6 months ago I purchased a very very pale sage-type color,, 'tousled grass' to repaint it. However, I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm going back for simply a slightly paler version of the yellow I already have. I agree, yellow is a great kitchen color - bright and cheery! Have a wonderful day. My last couple weeks have been so busy I've not been visiting blogs as I'd like.

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh, one more thing. Everything tastes better with 'cayenne.' :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Judy, I'm so glad to hear you're going to keep your kitchen yellow! I think every kitchen in the world should be pale butter yellow! Your very, very pale 'tousled grass' could be used on a piece of furniture in the kitchen for a nice accent to the yellow.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ps I love cayenne, too. Also use a lot of crushed red pepper flakes.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...