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In my kitchen…sort of

July 19, 2011

Rhubarb tartsMy walking boots have hardly been off my feet since I arrived in England at the beginning of the month.  I have a few precious weeks out of the year to get my fix of the green and rolling countryside and have been alternately baked in sunshine, saturated by driving rain and had my breath taken away by howling winds in Gloucestershire and Devon.  That’s English summer weather for you.

I’ve cooked almost nothing.  It’s not that I don’t want to, but I’m on the receiving end of a lot of love by people I haven’t seen for a year.  I’m being fed by family – and what could be better than siting around a table sharing home-cooking after being out in masses of fresh air.

So I’m not in my kitchen this month but someone else’s and having been an expat for 16 years some things in this English kitchen seem rare and almost exotic.

So in my Mother-in-Law’s kitchen…

A homemade Victoria sandwich cake (according to my ex-domestic science teacher M-in-Law it should never be called a sponge)…

Victoria sandwich cakeUnwaxed lemons, and fresh beetroot from the garden; don’t these golden ones look beautiful?…

Unwaxed lemons and beetroot

Local cheeses from the South-West (from Country Cheeses) including creamy, soft, ripe Goldilocks, and a plate painted by my daughter for her Nan-nan after her dog had died (can’t you tell it’s a springer spaniel?)…

Goldilocks cheese and a plate

New potatoes and pork sausages from pigs raised in the village (more of these sausages to follow soon)…

New potatoes and sausages

Rhubarb tarts and bright yellow homemade custard (300 ml cream and three egg yolks from hens who live up the road)…

Rhubarb tarts and homemade custard

And finally the view from the kitchen window when you do the washing up…

View from kitchen window

Visit Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what’s in Celia’s kitchen this month.  I don’t know whose kitchen I’ll be next month, but would you like to have a peep?

  1. July 19, 2011 11:42 pm

    Oh dear, pity about the weather but what a win in your MIL kitchen and as for that view from the kitchen window – even I am willing to do dishes for that view.
    I would love to have a peep in the kitchen you visit.
    🙂 Mandy

  2. July 19, 2011 11:44 pm

    Oh, the view is breathtaking… ♥
    (So is the custard :D)

  3. July 20, 2011 12:22 am

    Sally, so happy to hear you’re having such a good time! And look at how yellow your MIL’s custard is, must have been a true joy for a custard lover such as yourself! All the produce looks fresh and inviting, and the view so peaceful. And absolutely, would love to see whatever kitchen you’re in next month, if you get a chance.. 🙂

  4. Anna permalink
    July 20, 2011 12:36 am

    The rhubarb tarts look delicious!

  5. July 20, 2011 1:19 am

    am drooling at your rhubarb tarts Sally! x

  6. July 20, 2011 6:29 am

    Your MIL appears to be a domestic goddess 🙂
    Of course I can see it’s a springer spaniel!
    What a glorious view, it would make any chore seem a treat.

  7. July 20, 2011 7:40 am

    Sally, I’m really enjoying your “in England” series of posts. I’m so hungry now for proper English food! Can you believe it, I had all these things for the first time only after 2009 when I moved there? Now I miss the food, AND the views so very much. Love, love, love the countryside, and I’m so glad you’re blogging from there and giving me a glimpse of a place I honestly consider one of my homes.

    • July 22, 2011 11:34 am

      What a lovely comment Dee – I haven’t had time to post many of my countryside ‘view’ pics but have masses in my camera. I miss our green and pleasant land so am making the most of my time here.

  8. July 20, 2011 10:01 am

    I just love the plate! Your post is wonderful, and the kitchen treats are making me long for a good farm shop 🙂

    • July 22, 2011 11:36 am

      Plenty of farm shops here in Devon.

  9. July 20, 2011 1:39 pm

    Drooool. And that view is gorgeous! So good to know you’re having a lovely time. 🙂

    • July 22, 2011 11:37 am

      Every view is fabulous – when not raining!

  10. July 20, 2011 6:05 pm

    Lovely post as usual. I always wanted to be a domestic science teacher!

    • July 22, 2011 11:37 am

      Did you? I’m just lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a talented cook.

  11. July 20, 2011 11:35 pm

    Hope you’re enjoying your ‘exotic’ holiday in England Sally!

  12. July 21, 2011 12:19 am

    What a fabulous view, what wouldn’t most of us give to have that in our kitchen. Glad to see you’ve got Cornish potatoes in – that’s my patriotic bit coming out. The rhubarb tarts look wonderful too as does your daughters plate. Sounds like you’re having a whale of a time being spoilt and enjoying our lovely weather 😉

    • July 22, 2011 11:38 am

      I can’t stop eating new potatoes – it’s the simple foods you miss most.

  13. July 21, 2011 12:43 am

    Ooh I didn’t realise you were going to Devon! Say hi to my home county for me. Local hen eggs definitely make the best custard. It all looks delicious!

    • July 22, 2011 11:39 am

      The cake is bright yellow from those eggs too. Devon is such a wonderful county – trying to say hi to every corner!

  14. July 21, 2011 2:10 am

    What a beautiful view from the kitchen sink! Your inviting photos make me want to jump on the first plane to England. Love rhubarb and love curd!!

    I can relate to being in another’s kitchen. I just got home from a 2 week vacation, and though it was awesome to be fed, cared for and rarely do the dishes….it is so nice to be back in my own kitchen. The 3 things I missed…my hubby, my kitchen & my bed. But mostly my kitchen. haha….

    (sorry…for some reason I’m having issues. It keeps linking to my gravatar.)

    • July 22, 2011 11:40 am

      Missing KP, my dogs and my elder daugher – but not much else! Sorry you had problems so appreciate the effort of leaving your comment.

  15. July 21, 2011 10:40 am

    Yum. The tarts and the sausage really call to me! What a gorgeous view from the window — so picturesque.

    • July 22, 2011 11:41 am

      The sausages….well more to follow.

  16. July 21, 2011 1:46 pm

    Fabulous looking beetroot Sally. I can only imagine how good they must taste 🙂

    • July 22, 2011 11:41 am

      Really good – the golden ones are slightly sweeter than the purple ones.

  17. July 22, 2011 6:09 am

    Thanks for the English view of “In my kitchen”- everything was very lovely.
    My heart went pitterpat for the plate- so sweet- and the golden beet!
    I really love golden beets- they are earthy and lush and friendly all at once.

    • July 22, 2011 11:42 am

      Thanks Heidiannie – I picked the beetroots myself from the garden…simple pleasures.

  18. July 22, 2011 11:50 am

    What an adventure. As an American the notion of two whole months away from home is foreign to start with. The notion of a foodie on someone else’s kitchen, a challenge. Your beautiful images and post show that those with the love of food survive and flourish no matter where they are.

    Adore the view then “washing up”

  19. July 22, 2011 3:30 pm

    Never seen orange beets! How lovely and crumbly the victoria cake is. And the pictures are breathtaking. Glad to have come here following a tweet.

  20. July 25, 2011 9:23 pm

    Oh my gosh, those tarts look incredible! Great pictures 😀

  21. July 26, 2011 4:36 pm

    Of course it should be called sandwich cake – that’s so smart, who’d want to eat a sponge anyway?! what’s that tempting thread running through the cake…cinnamon? jam? If I can’t eat it, I may as well sit here and torment myself by dissecting it to pieces.

  22. July 26, 2011 6:31 pm

    I’ve only been to the UK once, but oh my GOD I wanna go back! Esp since I’m sitting here, looking outside at the brilliant sunshine which refuses to give up, and will soon be in my car, getting BAKED in the Dxb heat! *sigh*

  23. July 27, 2011 3:28 pm

    Hey Sally,
    I love these “in my kitchen posts” and I have been visiting your site regularly over the past 7-8 months. I am craving a proper barbecued english sausage.. yummm!
    Thanks to you, I have managed to muster up some courage to start up my own blog – This little baby of mine is only a couple weeks old and its still work in progress. Do make a visit 🙂 cheers!

    • July 29, 2011 2:17 am

      Good luck with your new blog and thanks for such kind words.

  24. July 29, 2011 2:06 am

    Love your MIL’s kitchen goodies – it is wonderful to share the joys of your kitchen. Someones kitchen. Anyone’s kitchen. Have fun and enjoy being spoilt!

  25. August 2, 2011 10:51 pm

    What a lovely view from the kitchen and those tarts look great.

  26. August 5, 2011 8:21 am

    its so good to have someone make something for you once in a while. that custard has my name all over it.

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