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In my kitchen

October 15, 2011

Pear vodkaIt’s a while since I gave you a peek into my kitchen but I always visit Celia’s over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  About my actual kitchen, as British expats in Dubai, we live in a rented house and I’ve had the same kitchen for 11 years.  There are things I love about it and things I hate.  It’s open plan into a part we used to call the playroom but really should be renamed the dogroom as Rosie and Hazel sneak up onto the sofa and chairs in here.  I love the marble work surfaces and the view out of the ‘dogroom’ window of a small palm tree.  I loathe the overhead strip lighting and the view from the kitchen window – a cement wall.  The hinges are drooping, the drawers sag, there isn’t enough cupboard space (is there ever), but it’s been the scene of so many wonderful gatherings over the years that I forgive its shortcomings.  So here’s what’s in my kitchen in October.

In my kitchen …

… pear-infused vodka (see above), an amber liquid inspired by Use Real Butter, warming and redolent of Autumn flavours and a slab Roquefort from Jones the Grocer which would go very well with pears.


… a bag from the mill at Cothele. Sadly my baggage weight allowance meant I had to bring it back empty from the UK but it’s got a stamp on ready to be posted to the mill to be displayed on their wall.

Cothele flour bag

… a brilliant new juice press.  My old one died and I’ve been searching for a good replacement for ages.  Don’t you just love it when things are designed well?  This is brilliant; you lift the spout up and down to control the flow of juice, there’s super-whizzy spin to extract every last drop and it’s easy to clean.  I bought it from Tavola in Dubai.

Cusinart juice press

…Valor chocolate.  I like to cook with the good stuff i.e at least 70% cocoa solids but it can be expensive.  (This is 22 AED for 300g from Choitrams.  Carrefour own brand is cost-effective too.)

Valor chocolate

…white truffle oil and almond oil.  Adds another layer of flavour to so many things from salad dressings to cakes.  Giorgio Locatelli was disparaging about truffle oil but I think this is a good one.

Truflle and almond oil

.. some homemade mango and fennel pickle from Pickle in d Middle.

Fennel pickle

…some cardamom sugar which I made from Vanessa Kimbell‘s book Prepped, ready for ssshhhh… I won’t mention the C word just yet .  I met Vanessa this summer and she’s warm, generous and has a passion for intense flavours.

Cardamom sugar

And always in my kitchen….

…are Hazel and Rosie.

Hazel and RosieTell me, what’s happening in your kitchen this month?

  1. October 15, 2011 11:25 am

    hello Hazel and Rosie! I love what is in your kitchen – the sugar is such a great idea and the juice press looks awesome. I love truffle oil and your little bottles are amazing – like something you would find at Crabtree and Evelyn. Have a super weekend 🙂

  2. October 15, 2011 11:44 am

    I loved this peek into your kitchen Sally……….. it looks so cozy and homely- and Rajani’s pickle looks yummy. I have to say I’m blessed with plenty of storage space. Unfortunately, nothing that exciting happening in mine currently!

    • October 17, 2011 8:38 am

      Don’t believe that for a minute Sukaina!

  3. October 15, 2011 12:41 pm

    awww. love doggies…

  4. October 15, 2011 12:42 pm

    I must do a post like this! I love to peek into peoples homes. I too am not proud of a lot of my kitchen, it’s been here since we moved in so it’s not my choice, but there are little bits and bobs which are favourite things and memories. Lovely to see Hazel & Rosie.

    • October 17, 2011 8:37 am

      I’m so glad you did your post – fabulous look round your kitchen. So neat too (unlike mine).

  5. October 15, 2011 12:47 pm

    Snap! 🙂 Isn’t that truffle oil fantastic, Sally! The company also has an argon oil which I’m dying to try, but I haven’t yet found a retailer to buy it from. Thanks again for playing – I love your puppies in the kitchen! 🙂

  6. October 15, 2011 12:55 pm

    What a neat, fun post! It reminds me of all the things I need to get…cheese from Jones, pickle from Rajani, cardamom sugar…? where can I get that in dubai? Me want. Have also tried the white truffle oil from Tourangelle…so much more fragrant and earthy as compared to the black truffle one…

    Love your kitchen show-and-tell!

    • October 17, 2011 8:35 am

      You make your own cardamom sugar – super easy. Caster sugar + cardamoms + leave for 6 weeks, sieve , use in everything from biscuits to cakes to tea.

  7. October 15, 2011 1:07 pm

    I want to live in your kitchen, it is just the sort of kitchen I love ~ similar to mine too…….but I still want to live in yours too! Flavoured sugars are magical, I always have some Lavender and Vanilla sugar on the go, as well as Apple Pie sugar too……I totally approve of boozy concoctions in jars and your jar has my name on it! Flavoured oils and artisan cheeses…….YES, as I said, I need to move in with you, or, we can do a house swap!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

    • October 17, 2011 8:28 am

      House swapping considered!

  8. October 15, 2011 1:32 pm

    A lovely post! Your dogs are so sweet!



    • October 17, 2011 8:27 am

      Part of the family Rosa! Thanks for the comment.

  9. October 15, 2011 4:29 pm

    This is a cool post Sally. I am absolutey loving the pear vodka! I must make that, do you have a recipe? Love the new juicer too, good brand 🙂 Adore the dogs! So glad you are enjoying Vanessa’s Prepped! recipes too. Must join in with this sometime, it’s fun!

    • October 17, 2011 8:27 am

      Click the link to Use Real Butter for the ‘how to’ but basically you put pears in vodka, leave for a week, strain and decant. Easy peasy! Yes elderflower and lavender is impossible for me to use but cardamom is aplenty here so loving that chapter.

  10. October 15, 2011 5:22 pm

    You had me with the first picture!
    The reflection on that jar of pear infused vodka is so lovely!
    I do enjoy these small interludes of kitchen sharing- Thanks for sharing your favorite places and yummies!

    • October 17, 2011 8:25 am

      Thanks Heidiannie – it’s gone a bit darker now so not so pretty, but a lovely flavour.

  11. October 15, 2011 6:08 pm

    This is so much fun, I would like to do one of these myself.. even though I can pretty much guarantee that it is much smaller than yours!
    Love the dogs.. and I love C*******S! best time of the year and I look for it every passing of New Year’s eve, love the gatherings, roast turkey, mulled wine oh my… cant wait! cant wait!
    I love it so much I have 3-4 gatherings.. hehehe 🙂
    Question: what do you use the cardamom sugar in.. that looks great

  12. October 15, 2011 7:12 pm

    Sally, this is as darling as the first post. I totally understand how you feel re: the rented space as opposed to your own permanent space. This is the challenge of cooking in an expatriate kitchen. You still manage to make it feel homely and cosy.. .so much so that the doggies agree! Now that is something worth feeling good about!

    • October 17, 2011 8:19 am

      Yes the kitchen is the heart of the home in my opinion!

  13. October 15, 2011 7:55 pm

    Nice post Sally. Today in my kitchen we had a RIPE box, home made apple puree, home made salsa verde to go with the beef tongue that simmered for ages….

    • October 17, 2011 8:19 am

      I can’t say I’ve ever had beef tongue….but adore salsa verde.

  14. October 16, 2011 8:14 am

    Is there ever enough cupboards and drawers? Amen to that! Love the gourmet in your kitchen 🙂 Flavoured sugars are fabulous for flavouring drinks and even cakes. I find it very stylish to have a variety of flavoured sugars on the tray with tea, love it 🙂

    • October 17, 2011 8:16 am

      It’s my new craze Dima – inspired by Vaness Kimbell 🙂

  15. October 16, 2011 8:06 pm

    I totally agree – there is never enough cupboard space. Last year, when we made our new kitchen, we made so many cupboards that I was wondering what to put in them. Look at them now – overloaded and no free space.
    What’s in my kitchen this month – vanilla infused rum; a 1 meter long garlic braid and a red hot chili peppers string from Ivan’s parents’ garden 🙂

    • October 17, 2011 8:04 am

      I now want some metre-long garlic!

  16. October 19, 2011 11:12 am

    discovered your blog recently and found it amazing! I`m from germany, one of my daughter`s living in southern louisiana. my wife and I experienced some of the local stuff there, and it was delicious all the time.
    now i`m searching for more, and the pics are awsome!
    We visited ny in may 2011, we really love your city!

  17. October 19, 2011 12:14 pm

    what a lovely peek into your kitchen and some great ingredients there. I particularly like the homemade mango pickle. Must try that sometime, my mum has a recipe I must steal!

  18. November 4, 2011 1:19 am

    I’m only just catching up with the In my kitchen posts. Live this series, there are always good ideas or things to admire. The Cotehele flour is my standard wholemeal flour, so although I know you’ve been over recently, it still seems strange to see it on a Dubai blog.

  19. November 7, 2011 11:38 pm

    I love the idea of cardamom sugar (cardamom anything, really). I was laughing about your truffle oil. I always read chefs disparaging it, but really I can’t bring myself to spend any more on it–it’s truffle oil or nothing. I’ve been wanting to try some of those speciality nut oils–almond, walnut–one of these days.


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