Skip to content

Coming home – in my kitchen

September 5, 2012

Devon countryside and a tin mine on Dartmoor

After two months away, I’m back in my kitchen. I hit the ground running as soon as I return; projects for work, preparation to get the teens back to school and a myriad other tasks of everyday life. This maelstrom of activity is just as well as it stops me from thinking about friends and family, and the great, green outdoors of the English countryside which I miss desperately.

How comforting to measure out the ingredients for a loaf or feel the weight of my favourite knife in my hand as I press it down onto a worn wooden chopping board.

So in my kitchen this month is…

Union flags on mugs and scales

Mugs and weighing scales

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations morphed into Olympic fever which is still carrying on with the Paralympics. Union Flags were everywhere we went. I have never seen so much bunting. The atmosphere was electric and we carried a few reminders back in our suitcases.

Also in my kitchen is…

chickpeas and hummus



…a lot of hummus

Hummus makes a great snack for the teens when they arrive home starving after school, especially the vege teen. So I transformed a 500g bag of chickpeas, some lemons, olive oil, garlic and tahini into a vast bowl of hummus. It freezes well and in dip-sized portions it’ll last for ages…giving me a smug feeling each time I look at the overpriced cartons in the supermarket.


Back to bread making

Not the prettiest loaves I’ve ever made but by using my overnight sponge method (Hugh FW’s cheaty sour dough recipe) there was warm bread for lunch and a spare to freeze. My resolution to bake as much of our bread as possible is renewed….ten-fold!

pasta and porcini mushrooms

It’s a long story

The story about my visit from two Italian men with a refrigerated van full of cheese with which they proceeded to feed me all afternoon will wait for another time. But I must thank them for these beautiful porcini mushroom and egg pasta flavoured with the same which will be combined very soon…in my kitchen.

sausage skins

Guess what…

Not the most attractive things in my kitchen right now but some of the most exciting – trust me on this. My friend Francine, of Life in the Food Lane, is going to show me how to make my own sausages. So I ordered some sausage casings while in the UK. Where from? Amazon of course!! Francine, get your mincer at the ready, I’ll be over soon.

Oh, and I nearly forgot… My Mother-in-law made the most amazing cheesecake this summer with lemon curd. I’ve started with the first bit of the preparation…

Lemon curd

Lemon curd

Thanks as always to Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for prompting In My Kitchen. She’s sharing all kinds of goodies over here.

What’s in your kitchen this month?

  1. September 5, 2012 6:11 am

    Yay! She’s home! I’ve missed you! Lovely stuff in your kitchen as always, did you come back with any Jubilee teabags? Your hommus looks delicious – one of my favourite foods – and I think your homemade loaf looks very nice indeed! Can’t wait to see what you do with the sausage casings! 🙂

    • September 5, 2012 8:36 am

      I didn’t see any Jubilee teabags – maybe I wasn’t looking! Thanks for the kind words Celia

  2. September 5, 2012 6:26 am

    Loved the post Sally – & welcome back to Dubai. x

  3. September 5, 2012 7:58 am

    I have just discovered the newly opened Markets & Platters in the Dubai Marina. Monday night’s dinner was the most divine FRESH Sea Bass stuffed with REALLY fresh rosemary and thyme and baked in a salt crust with sliced REALLY delicious beefsteak tomatoes. I think I finally found a market with TRULY fresh and tasty fish and produce. I just may have to start cooking again.

    • September 5, 2012 8:38 am

      Someone else just tipped me off about this place too – I must pay a visit. You’ve tempted me with the sea bass particularly…and good tomatoes…I’ve been eating my Mum’s homegrown ones from the greenhouse which are divine so missing these like crazy.

  4. September 5, 2012 9:44 am

    I miss the English countryside too…

    Wonderful things. I love lemon curd, porcini, bread, hummus and anything that looks British!



    • September 5, 2012 12:49 pm

      Just dreaming of cooler temperatures in about 6 weeks time…. Thanks Rosa

  5. Claire Townsend permalink
    September 5, 2012 10:00 am

    I found myself cooking Christmas dinner last night (Ella back to Uni on Sat and one of her favourite meals!) so made me think of the beautiful Sussex countryside with it’s rolling Downs…but can’t say I’m missing Brighton’s hills…quite enjoying walking on the flat again….but again a suitcase filled with good ol’ UK bits…..but miss Asda/Sainsburys etc when here. But of course it makes my cooking more inventive (weird?) and I cook more here from scratch…so all good! But lemon curd… it, must make/get some!

    • September 5, 2012 12:48 pm

      Claire – I weirdly like hills! Good for you for doing Christmas in September (especially in this heat). Must make you some lemon curd.

  6. September 5, 2012 10:05 am

    I love what’s in your kitchen this month! And I am impressed with your humous. It’s very authentic looking:)

    • September 5, 2012 12:47 pm

      Thank you – I thought someone might pick me up on the sumac garnish – very unauthentic!

  7. September 5, 2012 10:25 am

    Good to have you back – not that I was around much over the summer… and similar sentiments over on this side! Noticed the little homework: will get to it, and WOW for bringing the casings!

    • September 5, 2012 12:46 pm

      Two types – collagen and hogs skin!

  8. September 5, 2012 10:53 am

    I want to know how you made everything in this post – and look forward to hearing how you make the sausages too. My son is crazy about hummus, but I never seem to get it quite right when I make it myself. It must feel fantastic to be back in your own kitchen, despite having to leave the English countryside behind. Welcome home.

    • September 5, 2012 12:46 pm

      I used a recipe from Hugh F-W this time as a guide for the hummus. He boils his chick peas for 3 hours – I think this is the key!

  9. September 5, 2012 12:25 pm

    What a contrast Dubai must be after all the green, red, white and blue from the UK! I cannot wait to see how those sausages turn out. I’ve wanted to make my own too but just have not had the guts. Looking forward to September with you (and even more to October, when I will see you in person again)

    • September 5, 2012 12:45 pm

      My very good friend and superb cook Francine will be there to guide me. I don’t think I’d attempt to do this alone!

  10. September 5, 2012 12:30 pm

    I love the idea of a little insight into your kitchen – that houmous looks delicious! England is so beautiful at the moment – we’ve finally got some sunshine (sorry, not to make you jealous!)

    • September 5, 2012 12:44 pm

      Actually, because we were in Switzerland for a lot of July we didn’t have too many really rainy days. The weather was lovely and great for walking. But the first week of July was grim!

  11. September 5, 2012 1:49 pm

    What fabulousness you have in your kitchen this month Sally.
    Welcome home.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  12. September 5, 2012 3:09 pm

    Yum! it looks like you’ve been cooking up a storm! I’m going to have to try making my own houmous!

  13. Farwin permalink
    September 5, 2012 6:19 pm

    welcome back,Sally ! What a load of goodies you’ve got with you ! Making your own sausages? I’d love to know how .my kids love sausages and i’d be happier if i can make it at home.

    • September 5, 2012 11:56 pm

      So will I Farwin – I don’t like all the ingredients I see on the packets. Will be sharing the process – highs and lows!

  14. September 5, 2012 8:56 pm

    WELCOME BACK SALLY!! Dubai and its growing foodie community is thrilled to have you back! I’m loving the vibrant flavours in your kitchen, and am more than embarrassed that I’m too lazy to make my own hummus. Your daughters are super lucky, they get to have a culinary vacation 365 days of the year!!

    • September 5, 2012 11:55 pm

      This is just the tonic for the slightly woeful feeling coming back to 40 C Dubai and leaving my fields of green. Thank you – please come round for hummus!

  15. September 5, 2012 9:50 pm

    A lovely peek inside your kitchen with all the goodies from your travels and more. So pleased you had such an enjoyable stay in the UK. It was great to meet up, hope the girls are happy to be back home. The porcini look fab!

    • September 5, 2012 11:54 pm

      Lovely to meet up too Ren – so glad to see the fruition of all your plans taking shape too.

  16. September 6, 2012 12:23 am

    Wow, such a lineup of delicious things in your kitchen, Sally. I could just tear off a piece of your bread and dip it into the hommus, Looks yummy.

    • September 6, 2012 7:48 am

      Thanks Lizzy – appreciate your kind comment. The hummus mountain is already diminishing!

  17. Dima Sharif permalink
    September 6, 2012 8:54 am

    Ok Sally, your kitchen this month is so exciting and seemingly delicious… So when am I coming over to savour all the delights? Dont worry I am not a fussy eater lol
    Totally enjoyed the peek into your kitchen 🙂

  18. September 6, 2012 12:22 pm

    Welcome back, Sally! I love your Britsih scale: how cool is that? I also love Devon!
    georgous & tasty goodies in your kitchen! i love making all sort of hummus. Yumm! Your bread looks very pretty, I say!

  19. September 6, 2012 1:28 pm

    I love those patriotic scales. Perfect for an expat in case you forget where you come from:) Everything looks great, especially those sausage casings. i would love to learn how to make sausages.

    • September 9, 2012 11:12 am

      Thanks Dima, Sophie and Glenda – you are welcome in my kitchen any time.

  20. September 7, 2012 11:43 am

    Welcome back. It’s so great you had a chance to spend time with family and friends in England. This year we didn’t go anywhere- tough for me since I hate Middle Eastern summers which seem to last forever. Looking forward to reading about your sausage making adventures.

    • September 9, 2012 11:12 am

      I sympathise – June and September are unbearable enough for me. Can’t wait to get cracking on the sausages.

  21. September 8, 2012 3:16 pm

    Do you have your hummus recipe up anywhere on your blog?

    • September 9, 2012 11:08 am

      You are the second person that has asked that. No – but to be remedied very soon. Thanks for the enquiry 🙂

  22. September 8, 2012 6:00 pm

    Hi Sally,

    Nice to hear you are home and still raring to go on the cookery front! Love to hear the recipes for the family’s hummus and that lemon curd cheesecake!

  23. September 9, 2012 3:39 am

    I love your first picture.
    And the hummus looks good- za’atar may not be authentic but then is paprika? Because that is what I always see on top.
    I should make some lemon curd- I know it is easy- I’m just not feeling like adding it to the rest of my foods.

    • September 9, 2012 11:11 am

      Actually it’s sumac, which is usually a garnish for fattoush – however as you rightly say why does paprika get used? Authentic? Time to do some research.

  24. September 9, 2012 11:49 am

    Welcome home! My sausage maker is in need of your casings 🙂 lovely things in your kitchen this month.

  25. September 10, 2012 9:26 pm

    Welcome home, Sally! I just made a large batch of hummus, as well! Black beans, as a I have a surplus, and lots of satisfying little jars in the freezer 🙂

  26. September 10, 2012 11:54 pm

    Welcome home Sally, I loveeeee the contents of your kitchen!

  27. September 13, 2012 10:50 pm

    What a lovely list of things. I’m intrigued by the two Italian men who came visiting. Tell us more! And the sausage casings have made me think I really should use the sausage attachment for my mixer one of these days. Maybe you’ll inspire me to have a go. And of course I thoroughly approve of your resolve to bake more of your own bread 🙂

    • September 14, 2012 8:39 am

      And you’ll approve that I’ve been watching the Bertinet DVD!

  28. September 18, 2012 9:26 pm

    Hello Sally,

    I have just started following your blog after you posted a “like” to one of my pictures! Your blog is awesome and an inspiration to try new things in the kitchen…like making my own sausages! I look forward to visiting you in the days ahead and keeping abreast of all the new things you do and all the recipes!!!

    Warmest regards, Olga

  29. September 19, 2012 11:15 pm

    Catching up on all the lovely posts that I have missed out on… It feels great to come back home as well, though it feels a bit heavy as you miss people back home. It’s good to have home cooked Hummous – but one question – the Tahini that you use, is it from cans? I often find the aroma too strong… or do you make your own Tahini?

    BTW, I have fallen in love with your Lemon Curd… hopped into that post and probably will never come back! Reminding me of your beautiful lemony post on Souffle!

  30. Pretty Ugly Me permalink
    September 21, 2012 10:46 pm

    I love your blog, Sally. It’s so inspirational. I tried cooking a lot of times but I guess it doesn’t really like me. :-/

    • September 22, 2012 9:46 am

      Aw – so kind. Keep persevering though – cooking’s creative (which you obviously are). I could only cook anything on toast when I left home!

  31. September 24, 2012 8:18 am

    And welcome back! I’ve been leaving comments to your posts via iPhone which I just realized weren’t going through… Anyway, lovely to read you again and see what you’re up to.

  32. October 1, 2012 9:23 am

    Sorry – I got totally derailed from the post by this: “The story about my visit from two Italian men with a refrigerated van full of cheese with which they proceeded to feed me all afternoon” 2 things I love – Italians and cheese – the two together for an afternoon sounds very interesting. 🙂 Please elaborate…

  33. paul zeidan permalink
    October 10, 2012 7:35 am

    I pointed your bread recipe out to my wife and she made us a loaf last night. it was delicious. thanks

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: