Do you have an item in your kitchen that hums or rattles pleasantly?. Something that gives a bit of background noise other than your radio or TV?
Until recently mine was my oven. It had a noisy fan which you could hear rumbling away all the time you were cooking. It was also thirty degrees out and set on an angle so anything that went in liquid came out set on a slope. It also blew hot air out of the sides of the door – I suspect it warmed the kitchen more effectively than it did the food.
Now my kitchen is quiet and cooler. My old noisy oven is no more, it has gone to the place where tired ovens go to die. In its place stands a shiny replacement. On top of it is its twin. I always wanted a double oven and now I have one. I can now roast while I grill and braise while I bake. Cakes no longer have a fourty-five degree angle and food is cooked evenly and in less time. But it, or I should say they, are quiet. Eerily quiet. No noise (or heat) escapes from those metal boxes.
But is that silence making me uncomfortable? Do I miss the rattle and hum? Not at all. My background noise comes in the guise of a toddler and two cats that are feeling the cold weather and are constantly meowing for food. Quite frankly a quieter, cooler kitchen is like respite.
What’s being going on in the kitchen over the past week?
This week I cooked more recipes from my challenge and a couple of meaty old favourites. Spicy crab pasta is a firm favourite and one we have every couple of weeks and Jamie Oliver’s Linguine Alla Carbonara Salsiccia is another. But my absolute favourite recipe of the week had to be Mushroom Ragu with soft polenta. Any one who says that mushrooms are boring, bland and dull has never had them cooked like this. It was amazing.
Challenge recipe number fifteen comes from Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegetarian book and is red cabbage cooked slowly with red wine and chestnuts. Number sixteen was courtesy of Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall and was a spicy red pepper stew served with baked eggs. Read more of my challenge over at Sweet Pumpkins.
I am also still taking care of Herman my sour dough starter. He had a mishap a couple of days ago when the cat stood in him (thankfully there was a tea cloth over him) and then I forgot to feed him yesterday but he looks OK. He is still bubbling which, I am told, is good. In another few days I will feed him again and then it will nearly time to part company.