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Gin my kitchen

September 4, 2015

Unpacking is a tedious chore so it’s essential to have some goodies stashed away to make putting away the rest of the stuff bearable. I’m back in my own kitchen after six wonderful and frantic weeks away. Wonderful food, good company with friends and family; striding up hill and down dale amid green hills, country lanes and patchwork fields; ferrying veggie teen to work experience; helping elder teen into her new flat in Edinburgh; setting my alarm very early every single day to keep on top of my freelance work; no wonder it seemed a vast acreage of time away but was also gone in a flash.

A testament to good packing, the bottles arrived intact in my suitcase. Sippable rewards from visits to Plymouth gin (the Connoisseurs’ Tour was excellent – booking ahead essential), Cotswolds Distillery and Sharpham Vineyard. Warner Edwards packaging is just gorgeous with copper embossing and wire reflecting the still (which is called Curiosity). Spring water from the farm and 11 botanicals go into this smooth, award-winning gin made by two friends. I picked it up on a visit to the lovely Tivoli Wines in Cheltenham along with some Sibling gin that’s made in the town by four brothers and sisters. Thomas Dakin was sent to me to try – and after reading this review it will probably be tonight. Totally intrigued by the inclusion of horseradish.

Mellow Yellow was also sent to me – along with chilli oil and salad dressing which received a warm welcome from elder teen when lack of suitcase space meant they remained in Edinburgh. We were messaging today about Jamie Oliver’s Sugar Rush (do watch and sign the petition) when she said “that chilli oil….really really nice…made some cauliflower coconut soup and a drizzle of it on the top really lifted it. Very reminiscent of the chilli oil that sits on the tables of every restaurant throughout South East Asia, the obvious quality of the rapeseed oil combines with the chilli flakes for an oil that brings another dimension to a meal when drizzled on top.” The good news is that it has just arrived at Al Maya supermarket in Dubai so I can try for myself. The rapeseed oil is not organic but is LEAF certified. There is a lot of controversy at the moment over rapeseed as the neonicotinoid (the chemical that is killing bees and birds) ban from Brussels has been countermanded by the UK government probably due to pressure from rapeseed farmers who have experienced crop-losses. Watching this one with interest.

A sandstorm has just gathered pace and the wind is howling round the house. These visual snippets from July and August are all the more poignant:

Regular readers will notice that something is missing from my haul. Cheese! Tight on time and unable to park nearby in Edinburgh meant I had to give a visit to I.J. Mellis a miss. Torture. Bereft. In mourning for cheese.

By the way, totally rumbled when KP not only noticed the new vintage scales in the kitchen but picked them up and realised they were made of cast iron. He was aghast as he is verging on a phobia about travelling with more than 10 kilos (yes – I know, it’s impossible).

Thanks for following my travels on Instagram and all your nice comments. Itching to get cracking with inspiration from my new cook books especially Mamushka. It’s interesting to see the parallels and the differences between Polish and Ukrainian cooking. Just a trip to Hyderabad for an Indian wedding to fit in first….

If you are wondering what’s in other kitchens around the globe, visit Celia’s page and follow the links in her side bar for this monthly event. You can also look back on past goodies in my kitchen here.

What’s in your kitchen this September?

26 Comments
  1. September 4, 2015 5:34 pm

    What a haul! I was absolutely jealous of your lovely trip in England, but I suppose I really shouldn’t be as I al far closer to England and visit much more often, tho sadly only for short trips πŸ™‚

  2. daver001 permalink
    September 4, 2015 6:29 pm

    Wow – just how big is your suitcase? Or do you just jettison clothes to make room for more F&B goodies! Sorry to read a couple of days back that Pernod Ricard will not be renewing the licence for its Protected Geographical Indication sow presumably in future anyone making smooth gin will be able to use the name. Shame.Must pop down to the distillery when back in Devon in a few weeks and stock up…

  3. The Real Geordie Armani permalink
    September 4, 2015 7:05 pm

    Hungry Bikers have a new series out, this weeks episode was from Poland, very interesting. Welcome back Sally hope to see you soon x

  4. September 4, 2015 8:21 pm

    Hi Sally, that is a great holiday haul. Good on you.

  5. September 5, 2015 4:40 am

    Your instagram photos over the summer were just break taking. I wouldn’t be able to resist the beautiful scales either. So many magazines and books – what a great way to while away a sandstorm.

  6. September 5, 2015 5:57 am

    Um. This is amazing.

  7. September 5, 2015 9:47 am

    Seriously, any IMK post featuring gin is a winner in my books. Absolutely.

  8. September 5, 2015 10:41 am

    Haaaa, can’t believe you carried cast iron scales in your luggage. I’m not travelling light to Canada but we’ve had to do trips on very light luggage before, I think for Falklands we had an allowance of 12 kg each for the whole trip because of the internal flights between islands. That was tough!!!

  9. September 5, 2015 11:30 am

    A woman after my own heart πŸ™‚ that’s a rather impressive haul you’ve got there! You suitcase must have been so heavy with all that gin AND cast iron scales. You really are super woman. Pour yourself a gin to celebrate πŸ˜‰

  10. September 5, 2015 11:38 am

    Brillliant as always, Sally, and too funny about the vintage scales. I am like KP though, and terribly paranoid about weight allowances. I managed a week in Portugal with just hand luggage – but of course no lovely ceramics were brought back. 😦 I hope to catch up with you the next time you are in Edinburgh. We will have cheese.

  11. September 5, 2015 2:41 pm

    Welcome home!! Lots of lovely goodies to ease the pain πŸ˜‰ I love the scales, and that oil is so good πŸ™‚

  12. Fuss Free Helen permalink
    September 5, 2015 3:19 pm

    I am impressed that you managed to get so much of that home! It was lovely to have seen you this summer. Hopefully next year too!

  13. andreamynard permalink
    September 6, 2015 12:44 am

    Sounds like a great trip, you fit in such amazing things luggage-wise! Your travels in UK sound wonderful.I love the Cotswold distillery gin too but really interested to hear about the Cheltenham one too.

  14. My Kitchen Stories permalink
    September 6, 2015 3:59 am

    I love a person that can carry back more than they took with them.,. At least all that gin makes sandstorms bearable. I missed your instagram so am going to have to go back and have a look.

  15. September 6, 2015 11:41 am

    Ooo, good stash you brought back Sally. Problem in our home is making it all last long.
    Have a wonderful time settling back in after your fabulous trip.
    πŸ™‚ Mandy xo

  16. September 6, 2015 7:25 pm

    Have you tried G’Vine gin? It’s made in France, and it is of the botanical variety. It’s like drinking heaven!

    • daver001 permalink
      September 6, 2015 7:40 pm

      G’Viner is delightful. Available at Dhs 221 per 70cl from Centaurus…

      • September 6, 2015 8:33 pm

        I’m in the US, and I was lucky to find it!

  17. September 7, 2015 4:37 pm

    what a nice yield. Impressed you managed to bring those scales back within your luggage allowance! hope you had a lovely break πŸ™‚

  18. September 7, 2015 4:46 pm

    “a phobia about travelling with more than 10 kilos” – you knew this and married him anyway??! ;o) Love that you got the scales back. I once was so worried Nick would freak out about a stack of plates bought on a trip that I accidentally left them hidden in a hotel cupboard in Melbourne :o) Looks like you had a superb summer – welcome back. And in my kitchen? Pattypan squash. LOTS of pattypan squash!!

  19. September 8, 2015 9:30 am

    it sounds like you had a fabulous and really busy time away. always nice to get back to one’s own kitchen and bed. and what a great haul of liquor:) much drinking ahead for you it seems. and all i can say is wow! you must have a Dr Who type suitcase- bigger on the inside:)

  20. September 16, 2015 12:18 pm

    Your images look retro and delicious. Sounds like you had s busy but fantastic time..sally

  21. September 16, 2015 2:23 pm

    We shopped at I.J. Mellis for cheese and bought some of the best blue cheese I have ever had. Looks like you had an amazing time away and glad all the bottles survived intact xx

  22. September 30, 2015 12:09 pm

    When I was in Edinburgh recently, my friend and I stopped at 56 North. It was my reintroduction to gin for the first time since I was about 21. Definitely really liked it. I would love to go back and try some of their Fruit Gin Liquers. I have to say that I love your vintage scales. It’s gorgeous.

  23. October 1, 2015 9:49 pm

    I am glad that you had such an enjoyable time. You are definitely a good packer to get all those bottles intact at home! πŸ˜‰

  24. October 6, 2015 12:18 am

    I am so happy to hear that you had a fabulous time, dear Sally! Lovely photos too! x

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