In My Kitchen, July 2013

In My Kitchen posts are some of my favorites to write and to read. If you want to join in or just read what’s going on in other kitchens around the world, pop over to Celia’s page, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

This month it is heating up, and August looks to be even hotter. I am counting the days until then, though, because Baki and my mom return on August 5. He is having a whale of a time over there, and being kept very busy at day camp. They just went to the Bronx Zoo, where Baki was apparently very taken with the tigers, the penguins, and the polar bears (I hope it was nice and cool in their habitats…).

Although we don’t have Baki here with us in the garden this month, in my kitchen I have this great drawing that he made right before he left:

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We use our stove top espresso machine every day (and it shows — I will have to wash it a little better, ahem…) which may be why Baki chose to draw it. I love his drawings because they seem to amplify everything he sees, which is really a good indication of how he barrels through his days — it’s all superlatives with him.

In my kitchen, I have this wonderful little gadget that my mother gave me:

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It’s a sesame seed toaster. Now, you may be thinking, “that’s a completely ridiculous thing to have,” and I would understand; I was a bit skeptical myself. However, I think it belongs in the same category as some other gadgets that sound useless, (like grapefruit knives, cherry pitter and salad spinners) but when you need them, you really need them, and they make the job a lot easier.  Not every tool has to perform a lot of functions!

For instance, I like to make a cucmber salad that goes like this: I slice cucumbers thinly on the mandoline (being mindful to stop slicing at the precise moment when I have the thought “I can just go a bit more before my fingers are in danger…”) and toss them in a bowl with 1T soy sauce, 2T rice vinegar, grated ginger, 1t sugar, 1 t sesame oil, a big pinch of red pepper, and some salt and pepper. This salad is good just like that, but with toasted sesame seeds on top it is the kind of thing that makes you greedy.

Because of the hot weather, we try to get up as early as we can so we can get some work done before it heats up. The sky lightens at around 530, so we get up a little in advance of that to have a cup of coffee on the terrace. One morning, I went in to the kitchen to make the coffee and surprised a visitor to our kitchen:

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I apologize for the image quality — it was still dark out. But it made me feel like I had stumbled out of my dreams and into a Beatrix Potter book to be staring this little amphibian in the eye. I’ll have to look through Baki’s animal books to see what it is — some sort of toad, but what sort exactly?

Our kitchen is both outdoors and completely open in summer, so I am surprised that I do not get more guests. We do have a tiny mouse that pops up here and there, but it is quite camera shy.

And that is a quick peek at my kitchen this month. Thanks for stopping by!

16 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, July 2013

    1. There’s something about the way Beatrix Potter drew their eyes, I think; she captured the attentive gaze of animals so well. I felt as if I knew those characters. And I’m glad you liked our grubby coffee pot! (Makes me feel less guilty for not keeping it cleaner…)

  1. While your son is away I’m sure it is lovely to have a sample of his artwork on the wall of your kitchen. I love the sound of your sesame seed gadget – as someone who has a cherry stoner and loves it, I’m sure this is something I could grow to love xx

    1. With Baki so far away I have become quite greedy for photos if him over there – my mother emails a steady stream. In between photos, though, it is nice to have something if his on the fridge.

  2. I’m so glad to hear Baki is having a great time away! Good for him! His drawing of the espresso pot is very good! I think I’d quite like to have a sesame seed toaster and your toad is very Beatrix Potter – or Wind in the Willows! 🙂

    1. Oh how could I have forgotten Toad of Toad Hall! I think there was something about this toad that struck me as ladylike, so I blotted him out. But now that you’ve mentioned it, I daydream about Mole and Rat and Toad!

  3. Great toad shot. Happy to learn Baki is having a great time in NYC. He will be going non-stop for days about the things he did and saw, in the Big Apple and at camp, upon his return home. You are going to need extra pots of coffee.

  4. I’m sure you are excited that you son and mother will be arriving home tomorrow. I know that Baki will be drawing you new pictures soon…perhaps some of the animals he saw at the zoo. 🙂

  5. I have always adored your outdoor kitchen. If i designed a place of my VERY own it would have an outdoor kitchen and an out door bathrooom and a shower under a tree. All connected with covered passageways.. I LOVE the separation of smells and noise and the heat from the cooking staying out there. Do you eat outside your outside kitchen? Is this common in Turkey? You are in Turkey right. I am too lazy to go back and check and have to rely on my sad memory. Now if i were to build an outdoor kitchen here, where would i put it!? Hmm. I can dream about that while i chop the corn stalks for the animals and drag the hose around. We are getting dry now.. Imagine if we were all desperately wealthy and we could visit each other. This would be the season that i would visit you. c

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