There can surely be nothing better on a winter’s day than to go round the local shopping mall and discover a new barister bar – well, one tha also supplies delicious chelsea buns and other eats could conceivably iprove on mark one. Getting the feel for eateries can be a time consuming business – not least because of the hours of perusing their now very lengthy menues. No longer do we have the masive choice of tea, white coffee, black coffee or hot chocolate (if we are very lucky indeed). No, today we have the most amazing array of coffees ahead of us. Just looking up to the extensive menue gives me a dizzy feeling and I panic. Actually all I really want is a hot white coffee, not too much white, not too much coffee – and absolutely no cream or sugar. Bring back the tasty kitchen with just the few treats I need!
Well it is absolutely incredible to think we are already near the beginning of spring – how did that happen?! It will be an early easter this year, I’m not entirely sure how the moon phases etc. dictate these things but I do know that maundy thursday, the day before good friday, falls at the end of March. I absolutely love the easter period. Not the chocolate egg fest, well I do like them but they don’t like me and I get fat! Back to the theme – easter reminds me of glorious summer warmth to come in a few short weeks. Those wonderful daffodils and spring blooms that erupt all over the gardens and parks bring a ray of sunshine into our lives. This is reflected in our kitchens at home – more new kitchen designs are discussed, designed, paid for and installed in spring that any other period! Long may that continue too.
Now that the new year has arrived, and is in danger of disappearing just as quickly and quietly. I’ve realised my kitchen is looking just a wee bit sad and care worn. I have lived here for 16 years – the wonderful feeling of moving in to an absolutely fantastic new, clean and untouched kitchen cannot be under-estimated on the list of things to have at least once before you kick the bucket! TI don’t really use the kitchen to the full extent that I could. When I have entertained, there always seems to be a gaggle of bodies at one end, and because the way the designers placed the integral cooker and ovens, there is no scope for more than one person to be at the business end. I have decided to have it redesigned and fitted out to make more of the space and to ensure the cooking space is in more natural light!
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching the new series of a very popular cook and tv personality – she has really upmarket ideas and lives in a really nice little house in a very nice part of London. She is so very watchable that I couldn’t actuallyare less about the food itself, I am meerly interested in the layout of the studio kitchen and garden that has been built to resemble her own. I like the beautiful crockery she cooks with too. Amazing how it simply envelopes me into the programme – her saucy smile and small innuendos tossed in with relish!
When you want some tasty kitchen ideas of your own, you need to sit down first, make a list of absolutely must haves, then some really really must haves, then widen the scope a little and toss in some thigs that would improve your life but not alter it too severely. Amazing what you end up with!
When we think of house moves, probably the first thing that anyone considers these days is “how big is the kitchen”, followed very swiftly by “where’s the range cooker, and/or is there a woodburning stove? . . . .” Things are so very different from when my own parents were struggling to buy their first property way back when. Dad had just come out of the services and after year of carting us around military married quarters, they were free to start afresh. None of the fantastic choices available today – but then with less choice comes a much easier canvass to compare and contrast! The kitchens were not fitted – you were extremely lucky to get anything larger than a scullery with a wooden draining board attached to the ‘one size fits all’ ceramic sink. From the late 1960s onwards there would be running hot water to the taps upstairs and down . . . . Hmm the good old days? Maybe not all of them!
Getting the right kitchen set up is critical for smooth domestic bliss. I have a daughter who runs a very busy web based business – she and her partner are on the go all the time. To add to the mix, they have two dogs, both of which need plenty of exercise and hands on care. I sometimes wonder if they’ve gone stark raving mad.
They are currently in the process of moving to a much bigger house, out in the country. Living up to the dreams of so many hopefuls on a certain well known daytime lifestyle property search programme. We spent the last week chatting endlessly about what needs to be installed in the new kitchen “if we’re lucky enough to move . . . .” following every sentence. The new house will need new white goods in the kitchen and utility room – as a first port of call. Good job there are some fantastic online sites dealing with kitchen and homeware upgrades!
By golly it can be a very trying time to be planning weddings and anniversary parties for the average British summer at the best of times, but this year has been unbelievably complicated. Spring eventually drifted in from a cold and very wet, but not particularly notable winter. The flurry of spring weddings and easter festivities generally happned without a tremendous amount of heart ache. There was pockets of bizarre activities on the news – variouss old fashioned ames being revived for the many charitable bashes about.
When catering for a large and varied bunch of folk, there will inevitably be cause for concern that everyone has read the invite / ad and noted if they need to request any special dietary items. At a recent party held a a local boating club, the hosts had made sure there were choices, and these were kept entirely separate from main stream. Oh and don’t get me started on gluten-free!
Ah the need for a good clean kitchen – imperative when certain relatives are on the prowl. I am not big in entertaining per say, but when it is my turn to do lunch, the food part is only one minor element of a very busy session of me becoming more closely acquainted with the room at the back of the house with the strange cooking implements and large stainless steel sink.
I have got my recipe planning down to a fine art, I have six complete main meals and three alternative desserts which I select from, depending on the season and what I already have in stock. A rissotto is my default choice, but obviously not too often in case I repeat it in a moment of forgetfulness. Once the food side is clarified, getting it prepared early on is essential. I then give my kitchen a really good going over!
Ah, just as the sound of leather upon willow conjurs up the tsmell and taste of cucumber sandwiches for me the very name Wimbledon, or as it is now very fashional to do, call it SW19, brings the thought, sounds and taste of strawberries and cream! There are probably many other very good examples of such food and sport pairings. This brings me to the subject of kitchens. Whenever there is any kind of amateur sporting fixture that needs food to complete the afternoon, then someone’s kitchen is going to be needed to bring about this feat of domestic engineering.
With any kitchen related purchase, be it the full remit of cabinets, integral whit goods, thre has to be a proper plan of action before any purchase and fitting is attempted. Online suppliers offer a tremendous scope for design, installation and fitting – all it takes is a bit of cooking skill and heaven is acievable!
In a recent splurge of activity I was going around some of the more up market kitchenalia suppliers for ideas to offer a dear relative of mine who is about to reluctantly downsize house – but not her kitchen supplies. It was a breath of fresh air to me for sure, having not really taken on board a great deal of the excitement surrounding the upsurge of interest in all things baking, master chef-ing, pattisserie-ing etc. I am a basic down to earth cook but with a stunted imagination. It was wonderful to look at the kitchens themselves – great shiny gorgeous cookers of all sorts. An absolutely amazing array of appliances, big and small. What I really liked was the colour co-ordination going on in most of them.
The sheer joy of the demonstrators was unbridled passion in some quarters. What happiness can be gained from all kinds of kitchen ideas!