Please Pass the Recipe

from one generation to the next

In My Kitchen, June 2014

It’s inspirational and educational to visit other food bloggers’ kitchens. Thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial you can do just that every month, click the link and check it out.

So, what’s new in my kitchen this month?

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I received a book voucher for Mother’s Day which gave me a guilt free reason to spend hours browsing at “Books for Cooks” in Fitzroy, an Aladdin’s cave of new and used food and wine related titles. I chose Claudia Roden’s “Jewish Food” and a preloved copy of Twelve by Tess Kiros.

Did you know that the English can thank Jewish fishmongers in London’s East End for their beloved fish and chips? In the 1850s they made it their business to cook fish for their Jewish customers and potatoes for the Irish who’d recently fled the potato famine.

In Roden’s inimitable style, she leads the reader on a graphic journey through time, all the while relating food to the people, places and faith. It’s an informative, enjoyable and hopefully delicious addition to my cookbook library.

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I feel like Dame Ladyredspecs each time a drink tea from my new tea cup. It’s delicate structure and gorgeous design are a huge leap forward from the old chunky mug I’ve been using for yonks. It’s terribly, terribly ladylike, but it takes three cups to satisfy me!

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Inspired by a salad served at Cumulus Inc, I’ve been eating fresh bitter radicchio dressed lightly with a delicious walnut oil vinaigrette. I tossed a handful of grapes into the salad bowl one day recently to discover a marriage made in heaven. It’s especially good with pork and poultry.

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Fresh limes, the gift that keeps giving. My Kiwi friend’s tree is incredibly prolific. Her generous bags full of limes have been used to make fresh homemade lime juice sodas with a slug of vodka, lime curd for toast, chicken risotto with lime and the freezer is stocked with frozen cubes of lime juice with added zest to get me through the winter.

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And lemons too, I love citrus. Here’s a jar of lemon oil in the making, enjoying a relaxing break in a dark cupboard before I set it to work in roughly 2 weeks. I was inspired by this post at Selma’s Table to make start my own lemon oil. It will be a delicious addition to so many things I make.

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Lastly I thought I’d show you the hub of my kitchen while it was clean and clutter free, a situation that lasted just long enough for me to take these photos. We underwent a huge renovation 4 years ago. I created my ideal kitchen workspace. Below the benches are drawers, even in the kick boards, creating readily accessed space. I have an amazing exhaust system, the motor is outside, and I chose the cooker of my dreams with as many BTUs as a domestic appliance can supply. The only regrettable choice in the whole project has been the colour I chose for the polished floorboards. They show every speck of flour I spill.

What’s doing in your kitchen this month?

About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

46 comments on “In My Kitchen, June 2014

  1. Moya
    June 9, 2014

    Love getting new cook books and love your new tea cup. I much prefer drinking tea from cups rather than mugs. Nice cooker and it looks like you have something cooking inside. Thank for the peek into your kitchen 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 9, 2014

      Visitors are always welcome in my kitchen Moya, thanks for dropping by

      Like

  2. The Life of Clare
    June 7, 2014

    I love a collection on lemons and limes. That cordial sounds amazing!

    Like

  3. Eha
    June 6, 2014

    I really have had a book moratorium supposedly in place for a few years, BUT! There are at least half a dozen new ones on the wish list [one of them Claudia Roden’s] but the ‘Jewish Bible’ really, really draws me! Altho’ a gentile myself, most of my high school class was Jewish and I was spoilt to bits by most of their mothers 🙂 ! Hmmm – And thank you for the idea of lemon oil. I make preserved lemons in big batches every year from my own precious Meyer – well, there are some 20-30 still on its branches as we speak . . .

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 7, 2014

      My lemon oil is still infusing, untested, fingers crossed it’s good. I went through a period not buying books, too much of the pop genre cookbook for my liking. That’s changed this year, but Roden is truly the gem amongst the newbies, still lots of wannabes getting books published!

      Like

  4. i have to agree with everyone else here. love the tea cups and the book (I have it too) and you have inspired me to use my organic lemons in oil. so i now have a jar infusing. i usually make lemon curd and preserved lemons so this is another great item to make.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 6, 2014

      Thanks Sherry. I still haven’t tried the oil, I figured the longer it was left the better the flavour would be. I make lemon cordial too when there is a glut. There is a recipe on my blog site if you are interested. Glad you came for a visit

      Like

      • I always have lemons in my fridge but it is better this time of year when I can get fresh ones from friends’ trees!

        Like

      • ladyredspecs
        June 6, 2014

        Oh absolutely, I always welcome those sort of gifts!

        Like

  5. thewoodenspoonsblog
    June 5, 2014

    Thanks for the tour. That tea cup is divine!

    Like

  6. My Kitchen Stories
    June 5, 2014

    Beautiful red cups indeed. What a treat to have fresh lemon oil. I understand why irt was the cooker of your dreams.

    Like

  7. We are just about to embark on a kitchen renovation so your advice is timely. Drawers in the kickboards huh? Great idea. Thanks for the inspiration. xx

    ps: jealous of those limes

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      I recommend using a good cabinet maker rather than a kitchen design company. Half the price and much more flexible. Yes kickboard drawers, cupboards to the ceiling, all the space below bench height soft close drawers, except under the sink. Visit lots of showrooms, get lots of quotes (use the kitchen companies at this stage), it’s your work space optimise both function and look. Good luck with the reno, it’s worth all the hassle in the end…..

      Like

  8. Elizabeth
    June 4, 2014

    What a fantastic look into your kitchen! Ive seen that Walnut oil at my local Deli and was wondering what to do with it (when, not if I buy it), so thanks for the tip… I might just go and get it this afternoon!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      Glad you visited Liz. Be sure to keep the walnut oil in a cool place and use it quickly. Like all nut oils it tends to go rancid at the drop of a hat. I only ever have it in my pantry over winter, for a treat!

      Like

      • Elizabeth
        June 4, 2014

        Thanks so much!! I will keep that in mind since I live on the Gold Coast…it may need to live in the fridge! xx

        Like

  9. Michelle
    June 4, 2014

    Roden is a treasure. And thanks for the tour of your kitchen.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      I agree Michelle, Roden IS a treasure. I now own all her books. They are all well used.

      Like

  10. nancy@jamjnr
    June 4, 2014

    I have shiny black tiles in my kitchen so I feel your pain. I have to swipe the floor clean every day or it just annoys me every time I walk in there! Walnut oil with grapes and radicchio sounds perfect – Cumulus is one of our favourites too which probably explains the constant queue to get a table.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      We hate queuing, so plan a visit to Cumulus Inc when we have tickets to a concert, arriving 5.30-6pm, you can generally get a seat. Their radicchio salad had candied walnuts and manchego mmmmmm. Sympathy re the floor!!

      Like

  11. Oooh lovely post, Sandra! I love your new teacups – what brand are they? We had the most delicious meal at Cumulus when we were in Melbourne, so I can understand you being inspired by their food. Love your kitchen, particularly the vented exhaust, and thanks for the pointer to the lemon oil – I missed that post of Selma’s and our tree has gone bonkers, so I need more lemon recipes! Funny story for you – when we built our first kitchen, I was 24 years old and chose a white tiled floor, because I just LOVED how clean and shiny it looked. When we renovated, I brought home a sample of mottled green tiles, emptied the crumbs from my bread board onto it and then poured oil over them – and when I couldn’t see the mess, decided that THOSE were the tiles we’d go with. 😀

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      The tea cups are from T2. I think they’re gorgeous. Love the floor story. We have only ever put our stamp on one other kitchen which was south facing with one small window. The slate grey floor was OK there. Move on 20yrs, windows N, E , & W plus skylights, open plan, I chose a walnut stained floor. It looks fab when clean but every drop of water dries with a dusty crust, every speck of everything shows. We just bought a Dyson stick vacuum which is helping easily keep the floor under control, but walnut was a very bad choice.

      Like

  12. My Kitchen Witch
    June 4, 2014

    Love the aulos players on your fancy red tea cups – very Greek. Great stuff in your kitchen. I lust after that speckled radicchio. Am also making some of Selma’s lemon oil (great with roast chicken). Fantastic space you have and so clean and clutter free – got a lot to live up to.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      The kitchen is rarely clutter free, though organized storage certainly helps. I’m really looking forward to using the lemon oil

      Like

  13. Glenda
    June 4, 2014

    Hi Sandra, Love your tea cups. New cookbooks are always welcome.

    Like

  14. Such interesting facts about fish and chips. I have Jewish Irish heritage so it makes it feel quite personal. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 4, 2014

      Roden reveals so many gems in her books, they are always a pleasure to read.

      Like

  15. Karen
    June 3, 2014

    I must try radicchio with walnut oil and grapes, it sounds like a nice combination. Beautiful tea cups even if they don’t hold as much as your mug. 🙂

    Like

  16. theintolerantchef
    June 3, 2014

    Lots of goodies indeed! Love your cooker, wish mine was stronger too. Thanks for the tour 🙂

    Like

  17. G’day! LOVE your teacups and having grown up in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in New York, have an affinity for Jewish foods, true!
    I’ll look forward to what you make too!
    Thanks also for this month’s kitchen view!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      Hi Joanne, I’m loving reading “Jewish Food”. It’s a culture that interests me enormously. Looking forward to visiting your kitchen too.

      Like

  18. marymtf
    June 3, 2014

    Jamie Oliver mentioned Jewish fishmongers and fish and chips on one of his shows. A bookshop dedicated to cook books, how delicious. Can’t wait to visit.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      Books for Cooks is in Gertrude St Fitzroy. It’s worth a visit if you have an hour or two to spare.

      Like

  19. Selma's Table
    June 3, 2014

    I do love these posts – there is nothing like a nosey around other people’s kitchens to get inspired. Radicchio, walnut oil and grapes – I’m in! I love the way Clauda Roden writes and must add this one to my wish list as I do love a bit of history with my food. Those teacups are rather gorgeous; I hope you have your pinkie raised when you are sipping the Lapsang Souchong! I have complete and utter cooker envy and love the idea of drawers in the kick boards – such a waste of space otherwise. Thrilled, of course, that you have the lemon oil on the go – can’t wait to hear what you think when it’s ready!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      Thanks for dropping by Selma. Jewish Food is another great read from Roden, I’ll read through before cooking from it, I’ve book marked numerous recipes. This is the first cooker I’ve ever chosen, it ticks all the boxes for me. I keep opening the lemon oil, smelling, tasting, I need to be patient!

      Like

  20. Danielle L
    June 3, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful kitchen, it looks like you nailed your kitchen design!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      Thanks Danielle, yep, we squeezed so much storage into our small space it works like a dream

      Like

  21. Fae's Twist & Tango
    June 3, 2014

    It is always a pleasure to visit your kitchen. Interesting cookbook with the factoid, beautiful teacups to drink from and clean stove, even if it is for a minute or two. Always a pleasure. 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      Claudia Roden is a social historian as much as she is a cook. All her books are incredibly well researched, informative to read AND useful as cookbooks too. It’s a shame the stove doesn’t stay clean for long!

      Like

  22. Francesca
    June 3, 2014

    Some great treasure in your kitchen this month Your Highness Lady Le redspecs, Life is too short to drink tea from bad cups. Love the books, the ( Ilve?) stove, the limes, but I have a special fondness for Radicchio, that lovely bitter leaf – nice touch with the grapes. I planted a truckload before I left and I refuse to come back until they are ready.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      June 3, 2014

      I love bitter flavours but have always struggled with radicchio, until I tasted it with walnut oil. It really brings out the nuttiness of the leaves. I apply the “life’s too short” principal to most things, wine, haircuts, coffee, but never before, tea cups. They are lovely, just too small!

      Like

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This entry was posted on June 3, 2014 by in Food, In My Kitchen and tagged , , , .
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