Showcasing some of the things going on in the Tin & Thyme kitchen this month.
It will perhaps be with a sense of shock that Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial sees me join her In My Kitchen series for the second month running. Up to now I’ve only managed about one a year. However, today is my birthday and these posts are in themselves a sort of celebration of what is going on in so many kitchens around the world, so it seems fitting that I share this with you.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
In my kitchen, I have some very tasty chocolates that I made yesterday in lieu of a birthday cake. Sometimes nothing will do except cake, sometimes it’s chocolate that is needed, sometimes both are required. I’m feeling a little deprived of good quality chocolate at the moment and can’t guarantee I will be given any for my birthday.
These are a sneak preview of my chocolate peanut butter cups that I’m publishing on 15 July. They’ll be worth the wait.
My kitchen is not a big one and finding space to put anything in it is always a bit of a trial. However my Optimum 9200 Next Generation high speed blender gets used so often I had to give up a bit of my precious counter top to make room for it. It’s worth it though. I can put all sorts of ingredients into our morning smoothies that I could never use with my old blender; they are ground so fine their texture is undetectable: kale, linseeds, goji berries, dried calendula petals, nettles and so much more. And it’s not just used for smoothies either, I’ve made all sorts, including raw chocolate cashew spread and quick tomato sauce with seaweed.
In my kitchen is a goose egg, probably the last one I shall get this year as geese have quite a short laying season. They are good for baking, but also make terrific scrambled eggs – one being enough for both of us.
Rummaging through one of my cupboards the other day, I came across this forgotten bottle of pumpkin seed oil. It’s meant to be very good for you and it also makes a tasty edition to a salad dressing. I quickly rustled one up to go with our evening salad and it was quite delicious: lime juice, balsamic vinegar, a dash of tamari, cold pressed rapeseed oil and a little pumpkin seed oil.
It seems my winning streak has continued; my recipes for fat hen and chickweed pesto and rose syrup were picked for June’s Simple and in Season – many thanks to Ren. The prize was At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chaplin. It’s a fabulous book and right up my street too with lots of nourishing recipes using the sort of ingredients that are generally to be found in my kitchen, plus a few new ones for me to explore.
Pastry Forks and Cake Server
When I lived in Leamington Spa many years ago, there was a captivating kitchen shop which I liked to wander around. I’d dream of one day being able to buy some of the lovely things it held. Pastry forks and cake servers weren’t even on my radar then, but I did have my eye on some classic Arthur Price cutlery.
I’d just got my first post-university job and had virtually nothing in the way of spare change after buying food and paying the bills. However, one day I decided I was fed up with eating from a couple of tinny forks and spoons I’d picked up from a local charity shop and it was time to invest in something better. The Grecian cutlery from Arthur Price was both stylish and of good quality.
Thus every month, after receiving my wages, I went out and bought one or two items; a fork here and a couple of teaspoons there. I didn’t bother with any knives as I’m a fan of bone handled ones and have managed to acquire quite a collection over the years – from charity shops and the kindness of friends.
Eventually I’d built up a set of forks, spoons and teaspoons for eight people as well as four serving spoons. I’ve never looked back and never regretted my choice. They have served me, my family and my guests well over the years and get taken out whenever I have friends over for dinner or I’ve made a special meal of any kind.
Arthur Price is a British family business which was established over a century ago in the spoon and fork capital, Birmingham. Now based in Lichfield, the company is in the hands of 4th generation Simon Price who is keen to continue the tradition of high quality design and craftsmanship that made the company famous.
When I had a look at the website recently, I couldn’t quite believe my luck. Because I spotted a set of pastry forks in my very own Grecian style.
There’s something very civilised about eating cakes and pastries with a fork but it’s also practical and avoids getting sticky fingers. Pastry forks look attractive too and raise a tea table to a level of sophistication that is not often seen in our house. When you have a matching cake server, it can only get better.
I couldn’t wait to try them out. When I made my fig almond cake with whisky the other day, I made six additional mini ones, so I could christen my pastry forks with something suitably elegant. The forks are not only a pleasure to look at, but they’re good to hold too. They feel both sturdy and light at the same time. Made from high quality 18/10 stainless steel, they do not bend easily.
Our strawberries were not very prolific this year, mostly due to neglect and birds. But these five were very sweet and flavoursome and definitely worth having.
German Drinking Chocolate
My mother has recently returned from her first visit to Germany. She brought me back some Extra Dark 65% drinking chocolate to try. I tried it and it’s very very nice.
It has a robust chocolate flavour and is hardly sweet at all, just how I like it. I made mine with half milk and half water. Hot chocolate is not usually something I’m that keen to drink in the summer, but the weather has turned a bit cold and wet, so it’s actually very welcome.
Disclaimer: the Optimum 9200* is an affiliate link. If you buy one through this link, it will not cost you any more, but I will get a small commission.