Tuesday, July 09, 2013

in my kitchen

my kitchen aids - styled by stef

There is an onslaught of fancy (exorbitantly expensive) kitchen gadgets on the market and almost every cookbook I pick up requires at least one of them. Do we really need advanced technology to cook good food? No, definitely not. 

I've been scouring my local op-shops for hardwearing, good quality kitchenware. It's hard to find but occasionally I stumble upon a gem. A cast-iron pot is a treasure I discover once a year, sometimes the wooden utensils are in abundance and at other times I return home with nothing. When I pop into little boutiques I'm drawn to tea strainers, handcrafted spoons and textured linen.

My essential kitchen ingredients include:
  • ginger - in tea to boost the immune system, with fruit & veg juice to revitalise and a pungent addition to an Asian-inspired meal.
  • fresh herbs - I've just planted my essential herbs after neglecting them for a fair few months. I love society garlic (you can eat the flowers, too), flat-leaf parsley, thyme, rosemary, chives and mint. Aesthetically pleasing and an absolute kitchen staple.
  • wooden utensils - I have a jug full of them in all manner of shapes and sizes. Some are stained with the red of tomatoes, others wear the burn marks of a rushed cooking session.
  • beeswax - I light a candle in the kitchen each afternoon/evening; it sees me through preparing, cooking, eating, cleaning, contemplating.
  • eggs - preferably from mama + popa's chooks who roam through the herb patch, these beauties are a meal in themselves and taste best when gooey and met with toast soldiers. The ultimate comfort, they truly make a fluffy batch of pancakes, a celebratory cake, a hearty quiche.
  • loose leaf tea and a pretty strainer - a necessity for a tea ritual and therefore a necessity in my life.
  • honey dripper - because swirling golden honey from the jar onto hot toast is one of life's simplest pleasures.
  • a tea spoon - with a curved handle it happily sits on the side of the teacup in case a little more stirring is required.
  • big handled scissors - for cutting herbs and flowers stalks.
  • sea salt + pepper - enough said.
  • garlic - always organic because nothing else compares, it's probably best when roasted with dutch cream potatoes; or saut√©ed with onion and bacon; or when it infuses good quality olive oil, or.....
  • lemons - for a citrus-inspired roast chook, or sprinkled over steamed greens, with cream cheese for delectable cake icing or with ginger in that immune-boosting tea mentioned previously.
  • linen - absorbent and soft to touch, linen pretties the kitchen setting (thanks to small batch for my glorious aqua dish towel) 
  • berries, fruit or flowers - bought, gratefully received or found, a touch of decoration on the windowsill completes the scene.
What are your kitchen essentials? 


32 COMMENTS

  1. What a gorgeous photo! Stef is amazing.
    We love our wooden spoons and wooden chopsticks here at Casa Mason. That, and a non-stick frying pan along with a rice cooker.
    In terms of ingredients, we mainly use soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, sugar and cornflour for flavouring and marinating.
    And rice. Lots of it!
    Ronnie xo

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  2. what a glowing photo, the patina on that table is beautiful.
    i love to op-shop kitchenware too and have found a couple of things recently that i didn't know i needed that i now use all the time. a cherry pitter which also de-stones olives very niftily, and an old jar opener with a worn green handle x

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    1. My beloved dining table, discovered in the kitchen of the 100-year-old cottage across the road. The owner had just passed and her daughter invited me in and told me everything was for sale. It was $50 (I know!) x

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  3. We op-shop the majority of our kitchen ware but I did splash out this year and buy a thermomix. It is my biggest and most lavish kitchen purchase ever but I use it every day and on the weekends I make all our dough, jam, butter and yoghurt for the week. I know you can do all these things without a thermomix but it saves me so much time and Audrey can easily help me.
    I cant believe it is only 17 days until the creatives, I am on major countdown mode! I have not stopped talking about it, I think my hubby will be glad to get rid of me for the day. x x

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  4. My toaster and my slow cooker are the only electronic appliances I have in my kitchen...no mixer makes life difficult sometimes and makes cream cheese frosting lumpy all of the time!
    While I enjoy doing everything by hand this isn't necessarily my preference...my kitchen is tiny and I have literally no storage for anything else and I have a hard time justifying the cost of something I know I can do without.

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  5. What a sublime picture and I can't wait to drink tea in at your place.
    I can't live without my tea strainer, although yours in much pretty and I have strainer envy.
    x

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  6. I really enjoyed this post, I agree that we do not need expensive kitchen gadgets. I don't own a Kitchenaid and mostly don't even get out an electric beater to mix my cakes, I just give them a hard mix by hand; they seem to turn out ok! I can't believe some of the latest gadgets cost in the thousands!

    My essentials are very similar to yours, love your collection. Mine are lots of wooden utensils, a Bamix, a whisk, vintage cutlery and unmatched vintage plates and serving dishes (a pleasure to use) and a large Le Creuset pot we were given as an engagement present, which has seen many a slow cooked stew, curry or soup. Ingredients.. herbs, good spices, lemons, tomatoes, veges, garlic, plain organic yoghurt. x

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  7. Slightly tarnished old silver cutlery, with bone handles, found in a car boot. Thrifted plates of blue and white chinese pattern. Coconut oil to cook everything. Green tea, loose leaf. Garlic, in every dish. Wooden spoons in a tall 1940's biscuit barrel. Fresh herbs from my back door step.

    It is funny, as I was celebrating my birthday... my friends and I got talking about our silver spoon collections. I think a series is coming out of that on my blog.

    Love your tea strainer!
    Lou x

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  8. A very fine assortment of essentials! Mine include:
    Chilli - it seems to grow very well in our garden and gets added to many of our meals!
    Eggs - my husband makes a mean omelette and I bake all the time (I have an insatiable sweet tooth). It's a sad day if we are without an egg.
    Chocolate - does this need explaining?
    A large Dutch oven - for making stews and stock.
    An electric wok - stir fry is a firm favourite round these parts and we don't have a gas stove.
    Kitchenaid stand mixer - this is the latest addition and has already paid itself off in my opinion... I was able to whisk egg white for a cake while making dinner and feeding my baby. It meant there was a chocolate cake for dessert on a 'school night'. Winning.

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  9. Beautiful post and photo. My essentials are the same as yours....my most favourite things to use in the kitchen are those 'pre-loved'...although I wouldn't be without a block of parmasen and a microplan!

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    1. excuse my ignorance but what on earth is a microplan? x

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    2. You'll know it when you see it :) Microplane

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  10. a rather fancy grater/zester- I use it at least three times a day! x

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    1. I'm considering buying a mandolin slicer after seeing Rachel Khoo from Little Paris Kitchen beautifully slice a carrot in mere seconds. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll find one at the op-shop x

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  11. My favourite kitchen purchase was my bamboo cutting board. At the time I thought $60 was so very expensive, but ten years on it still does not have a single mark and does not hold the 'smell' of anything you chop on it.
    My other favourite thing s the dishcloths I have made. If you add up how much money is spend on chux and other kitchen wipes you would be surprised. For less than five dollars I made half a dozen cloths that have been on the go for almost two years. Once used, I simply pop them in the washing machine. Coloured coded for different cleaning purposes.

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  12. A beautiful collection, Jodi - this image is lovely (top job, Stef!)
    An assortment of herbs & spices are essential in our kitchen - chilli, ginger, bay, rosemary, sage, basil, cajun, green pepper, paprika, curry, cloves, oh the list goes on!
    Canning & preserving jars are also on high rotation - during the summer we make any array of relishes & chutneys & preserve stone fruits, in winter it's all about stocking the fridge with chicken stock for soups & broths.
    xx

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    1. Bonne Maman jars are my favourites - they measure exactly 1 cup - perfect for stock! x

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  13. This is beautiful. I admit that I prefer the sensory experience of cooking with a few wood spoons and my own two hands. But my hands have arthritis and I would not be able to bake bread if I didn't have my expensive (and, fortunately, beautiful) Kitchen-Aid mixer to do the kneading for me. So I do make that one exception for technology. :)

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  14. I completely agree with you. I like to keep the kitchen simple.

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  15. Absolutely beautiful photo, and beautiful sentiments, Jodi.

    I also like to keep the kitchen simple. When we first got married, we had a kitchen full of the latest gadgets, most of which have since been given away or donated. If there's one I consider to be a necessity, it's a simple toaster!

    Lots of love. Thank you for your beautiful space.

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  16. Beautiful photo and I totally agree with your sentiments. We also have a simple kitchen. My high-tech must-haves are an electric kettle, slow-cooker and standing mixer. But I also love my whisks, wooden spoon and sharp knives.

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  17. Olive oil, milk, red wine, basil, pasta and home-made marmelade and tomatoe sauce

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  18. Oh, and I was almost forgetting: my kitchen-aid, not so useful (if you think about how much it costs!) but it makes me cheerful, just to look at it!

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  19. Such a lovely glimpse of your kitchen Jodi! I love simple utensils too... I got used to using very little in our tiny Paris kitchen. And am pretty spoiled for space back here. Currently loving daily - whole butter and coconut oil for cooking and frying, cold-pressed olive oil for drizzling, glass jars for holding and fermenting kefir and sourdough starter, big ceramic mixing bowl for letting bread rise, and a discarded tile (picked up at reverse garbage) for cooking pizza and bread on, quinces and rhubarb from the produce markets, beetroot, sweet potatoes, fresh ginger, rosemary, haloumi cheese...

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  20. and I love love my old-fashioned stove-top whistling kettle.. it guarantees I use the water when its boiled instead of forgetting about it (and re-boiling tonnes of times, which I would surely do with an electric one)

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  21. love this post. i saved up all my rewards points from my cradit card and bought myself a really nice tea kettle. i use it all the time. i recently found a beautiful linen tea towel with a map of vancouver on it. it is my newest treasure.

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  22. Beautiful photo. I think my essential ingredients are garlic, salt and cumin, and essential utensils are wooden spoon, tea pot and giant tea cups. Visiting from Maxabella Loves. Zanni Louise.

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  23. It is so very fitting that a honey dripper is amongst your kitchen essentials. It makes me want to ditch the butterknife and buy a dripper immediately.

    Thanks ever so for linking up. x

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  24. I love wooden utensils and those scissors are to die for. Seriously I'm drooling over the simplicity and beauty of them. Is that even possible in a kitchen scissor? Sure, why not.

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  25. What a nice post, I love your list. I'm glad to hear someone else has recently planted herbs, after I planted mine recently everyone has told me they won't take because it's too early. We shall see.

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  26. That tea strainer is absolutely darling!

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