Monday, 11 October 2010

Orderliness and Harmony?

Gaston Bachelard in the chapter entitled 'drawers, chests and wardrobes' in The Poetics of Space, quoted Colette Wartz:

"Orderliness. Harmony.
Piles of sheets in the wardrobe
Lavender in the linen."
Colette Wartz 'paroles pour l'autre, p26

For me orderliness and harmony are:

Jars of pulses in the pantry
Vinegars and oils in the cupboards
Fish in the freezer


Writing this meme has actually been a revelation to me. I love my pantry for the feeling of satisfaction it gives me to know that the kilner jars are well stocked with rice and grains and standby bad weather hoards of canned tomatoes and tuna fish. That the top of the cupboard resembles a mini bowling alley with it's little collection of skittle like bottles of oils and vinegars brought back from trips to Europe. The baking cupboard is full of flour and yeast...the tea and coffee cupboard it's usual assortment of teas and coffees....and it goes on....

I always thought I had simple requirements...you know the biblical jar of flour and jug of oil simplicity but this exercise made me realise just how many different ingredients I feel that I need.

Here's a little peep inside some of my secret stores.......and a few questions that I asked myself...


.....Step into my pantry.....



















and a few questions that I asked myself...

Nigella Lawson keeps a secret stash of pigs ears in her freezer that she deep fries for a crispy solitary snack. Do you have anything similarly sordid in yours?

Not at the moment thank goodness. I have often under duress had a sheep's head there! It's a Persian delicacy (also Icelandic I'm told) which I'm sure is delicious and up there with the trendy pigs cheeks that seems to be on the menu of all best restaurants at the moment (well in the UK) but as I don't eat red meat I'm afraid I can't vouch for.

What foods would I always find in your fridge and why?

1.Eggs, because they are so versatile and we do lots of baking, and scrambled or poached or made into an omelet they make a substantial meal....in like five minutes...
2.Butter....the baking thing again
3.Parmesan cheese. I love cheese, runny Caprice des Dieux Camembert (literally 'whim of the gods,') tangy varicously veined Oxford Blue, versatile Cheddar, creamy Boursin coated with crushed black pepper seeds that explode on your taste buds when you catch one with your teeth. But I know that cheese is not that good for us - all that animal fat, and I've cut down. But Parmesan is magical. From what looks like an ugly little old dried brick of cheese........


....just add a grater and hey presto magical mounds of golden angel hair produce an intensely cheesy hit that can turn a bowl of pasta into food fit fit a 'principe.' So you only need a little bit for instant flavour.....

4.Portobello mushrooms because I'm obsessed with them, just saut├ęd in a little olive oil and garlic, crunchy toast twist of sea salt and black pepper and I'm in food heaven....it can beat a steak hands down every time....ooh and with tomatoes even better.....



Do you have a stand-by, never fail recipe, that you like to have the ingredients on-hand for unexpected visitors?

Mine would be my favourite prawn and chili spaghetti. We aren't great pasta eaters but I like to always keep the spaghetti jar stocked. Chilli, root ginger and garlic are ingredients I use all the time, so have on hand and I go through mountains of sweet peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions a week (trying to eat the rainbow) so there's usually no problem there....



but I feel so much happier if I know deep down on the fish shelf of the freezer there are a couple of packs of raw prawns....thankfully at the moment there are...so all is well in my little world.....


It's a very quick and easy recipe to make which you can link to here if you'd like. As long as you've got enough pasta it can stretch to feed a multitude. Just make sure that each person gets a few prawns......really tasty and quick and easy to make even if you're a bit flustered....and spaghetti always seems a fun food to eat....


What is your favourite comfort food?

Comfort food, by definition for me has to be something that you can eat out of a bowl with a spoon or a fork but no knife. Preferably on a sofa in front of the television on a Friday evening, not at the dining table. It has to have some form of potatoes in it and be creamy and resemble some kind of nursery food (sad isn't it...)


A big bowl of mashed potatoes with Parmesan melted in or a really soft baked potato with garlic mushrooms, preferably twice-baked would be real comfort food for me....

...I think the potato element is a real throw-back to my childhood diet. Every meal included potatoes...not mounds of them, but at least some. Mum didn't think she'd provided a good wholesome meal if it didn't include meat or fish and at least two vegetables, one of which had to be potatoes. Now a days I don't consider potatoes to be a staple but an ingredient, so although I always like to have some in the pantry we wouldn't dream of eating them every day. But I would definitely consider them to be comfort food.....potatoes....or a big bowl of creamy risotto or rice pudding.....ooh I'm getting so hungry writing this.....or a homemade egg custard...ooh....or baked eggs with spinach.......must stop.....


Do you have a chocolate drawer or secret hoard of sweet or savoury snacks?

Thank goodness my chocolate drawer is virtually empty now....H has gone back to uni so I don't feel the need to keep it stocked and it's just too tempting for me if I'm busy at home and get a sudden urge for sugar and can't be bothered taking the lid of the raisin jar. But 'A' does keep bringing me home boxes of Quality Street that his students give him or if there's a late meeting he'll bring me home a piece of luscious chocolate cheese cake....it's so sweet of him.....but not good for me.


But the one thing that I really do like to have in the chocolate drawer and which I persuade myself is healthy is Green & Black'sorganic Dark Chocolate with crystallised ginger.....well it has a really high cocoa solid content....and ginger's good for you...not sure about crystallised ginger though... ]it is a bit sweet.....sadly there isn't any there at the moment..

But what's inside your store cupboard? I wonder if like me, you too squirrel things away like a little mammal preparing for a hard winter? Or maybe you favour zen-like sparsity? Don't you just love nosing inside someone else's cupboards?

I've tagged some of my blogger friends Caz who writes a very imformative blog over at the lovely Bird with the Golden Seed blog and Lucy whose cookery writer at The Kitchen-maid and Alyshajane at her lovely fun blog of the same name and a few others may be joining too....everyone's welcome and you can pinch any of these images if you want to use one for a link......

Ooh and then they are going to tag some people too...

7 comments:

  1. OOooooo Debby I'm so shocked that you don't keep your fruit and veg in the fridge! Shocked to say the least, isn't that interesting?
    As a retired foodie, ood and the kitchen are a long way down on my list of priorities and definitely no longer my fave place.
    I'll play along in a couple of days, Thank YOU so much for the invite!

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  2. He hee..how cool to be shocking.......am I really? I should have explained the image of the peppers and mushrooms are in my fridge salad draw....My fridge is in my pantry a tiny space so the only way I could get the shot was to looking down into it. But I keep all the rest of my fruit and vegetables out of the fridge....is that bad? I find it has no flavour when I keep it in the fridge...and then read that Italian women wouldn't dream of keeping their fruit or veg there so haven't ever since. The vegetable stores and markets don't either only dairy meet and fish. I wonder if it's to do with the climate.

    I'm so glad I started this meme it's so interesting to see how different we all do things......

    I'm intrigued to hear more....

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  3. I loved reading about your pantry and food likes. I'm the same with comfort food - must have potatoes in it!

    Thank you for inviting me! My post coming up tomorrow! Sorry I have taken so long.

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  4. Oh thanks AlyshaJane.......can't wait to see what you write......
    Deb

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  5. This is so lovely - sorry it's taken me so long to come and have a look. I feel quite homesick looking at the things in your pantry, particularly the Ticktock and Jacksons of Piccadilly teas, because they really remind me of my London kitchen (which, admittedly, was so tiny that instead of a pantry there was a cupboard, and not a very big one at that!) Bit of chaos at ours at the moment (visitors, work deadlines, inquisitive toddler), but will be back to contribute soon!

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  6. Thanks Lucy but please don't feel under pressure to contribute unless you have time...it's just a bit of fun......life is so full.....especially if you have a toddler and she's your priority......I've had a bit more time than usual lately but things are changing so won't be able to write so much either.....

    Let me know if ever there's anything you really miss from the UK and can't get...I can easily send you a tuck box....

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  7. Lovely blog posts...how on earth do you manage to do so much!!!! Penny xx

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