In My (Finally) Spring Kitchen

Easter and May Day have both come and gone. I’ve been away and silent on the blog. But…now I’m now back and hope to get through the list of posts that accumulated in my absence. A change that I first noticed when we returned home was the transformation of the garden. The spring bulbs are up, new fresh green growth is showing in the herb garden, and the fruit trees are in full bloom. Even the weather has recently turned wet with those Spring showers.

cherry_blossom_May2015

Baking in my kitchen this past month included quite a few special holiday pastries. One was kallitsounia, little sweet cheese pies from Crete, that I posted on last year. I tweaked the recipe a little by substituting butter for the olive oil in the dough and standardised the ingredients to metric measurements. An updated recipe can be found on the originial post.

kallitsounia_2015

Another Easter seciality made in my kitchen was Moravian sugar cake, made from an old Pennsylvania Dutch recipe, but my variation used my sourdough starter, Muriel. After a first trial run, I tweaked the traditional recipe some more to come up with what I call “Moravian” Cinnamon Sugar Swirl Buns. Suprisingly, they look and taste just like Scandinavian pastries we had in the little cafés in the old Haga district of Göteborg, Sweden.

moravian_sugar_swirls_top

But, in anticipation of warmer weather, the ice cream machine is once again churning out lovely gelatos. I’ve been experimenting with Sicilian style gelatos that do not use eggs, but are based on corn flour/starch to thicken the custard base. I think I’ve now come up with a system – well, at least a system that works well for me! I’m writting up my notes and hope to post on the results of my experimentation soon.

strawberry_rhubarb_gelato

It is also that time of year in the kitchen again for what my grandmother would have said is a “good bottoming” – nothing risqué, but a good cleaning from top to bottom. I’m not sure, but I suspect that very few people actually enjoy the process of cleaning. I certainly know that I do not, although I appreciate the end result.

The blog, itself, has also had a spring clean – a little more streamlined and (eventually) an updated About page. Just need to get around to doing it! Some of you may also have noticed a new icon image – no, not really me, but of a Greek woman on a 19th-century postcard from Istanbul.

gavatar_iconDebi @ My Kitchen Witch

It seems I cannot put off the real spring cleaning any longer… Cupboards to empty, the pantry to be scoured, the ovens and stovetop made to shine, the windows polished to a sparkle. It is so much more enjoyable writing my blog, but I know a diversionary tactic when I see one. Off to get the mop, bucket, cleaning rags and other paraphaelia. Until next month in my (clean) kitchen.

A monthly IMK (In My Kitchen) post. Check out the fabulous Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who lists all of us IMK bloggers, writing about what’s been happening in our kitchens each month. A chronological listing of my In My Kitchen blog posts can be found on a separate page, just click the link or look under the heading of Diaries in the Menu bar above.
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35 comments

  1. Isn’t it wonderful how life at home goes on in your absence. The garden never goes on holiday! I hate cleaning too, but love having everything spic and span. I’ve tried paying cleaners but always end up doing more after they’ve finished. How was the greek house?

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    • They were very good. The butter, egg and potato inclusions really did change the texture of the bread – soft, light and slightly flaky. I’m thinking of trying a potato-based (savoury) sourdough bun using the same techniques, though perhaps without the egg. Having lots of experimenting fun with my sourdough!

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  2. Debi, I loved your grandmother’s phrase re: a “good bottoming!” 🙂 I tend to clean from “top to bottom” (nothing risque’ about that either 🙂 and probably am one of the few folks who still enjoy Spring Cleaning — or Fall Cleaning, as the case may be there. (It’s entirely therapeutic!) Loved your sugar cakes and blossoms and blog re-do, as well as your mysterious Greek lady icon.

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    • Sorry, fingers slipped and sent reply prematurely! I meant “exception to the rule”. Darn iPad min-screen and corresponding mini-keypad! My Grandmother was one-of-kind, too, who loved to clean. The Moravian buns were definitely delicious and they are on the list of things to make again. Meanwhile, my own cleaning is still going on at a snail’s pace…

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  3. Your Moravian buns look delicious. As for spring cleaning, not exactly my favorite thing either. I still do it as the end result makes like run smoother. Hubby will be building me a new pantry soon and they should be a pain moving everything, but I am hoping it will allow me to be much more organized.

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  4. Welcome back Debi! I too have had a quieter period in blogging. Life just became so busy and choices needed to be made. But hoping to get back into the routine…Love blogging and was missing it dearly. Love the photo of the Greek woman and your new look on the blog.

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    • I, too, look forward to communicating with blogging friends. It is amazing the community you build. I’ve also slowed down on posting – too many things going on! However, I refuse to give up! I do enjoy writing my posts, but also reading others. So, here’s to continued blogging friendship…

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  5. I love your holiday pastries Debi, sweet yeasted (or sourdoughed!) cakes are the best! I’m interested to hear about the Sicilian gelatos, I’ve read about cornflour thickened gelatos and ice creams before but never tried making them…

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    • Hi Celia! It has been a hectic few months, but I try not to miss my IMK posts. I really do love writing them, even if they end up rather pithy. Those cinnamon pastries I made with Muriel were extremely good. I must make them again…soon. Meanwhile, Muriel continues producing lovely loaves, baguettes and pizza crusts. I am so glad you sent that packet of sourdough starter!

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