I really do love this beautiful, quirky and customized, finally for real and not just on paper kitchen! I love how the room has opened up, how the cherry counters gleam and glow with just the right warmth, how the cupboards open and close without any loud magnets, and of course the beautiful craftsmanship of each detailed trim piece and mitered corner. As the days are beginning to cool, I’m eager to give this heart-of-the-home its first fall and winter experience: fill it with heavy pots of apple sauce and the scent of stews and floured counters and floors as we cut out cookies for the holidays… Food is an amazing thing, isn’t it? How physical and basic it is, but how deeply it nourishes souls and creates community and family identity? Amazing.
One of my favorite quirky-custom parts of the kitchen is this long, shallow drawer right next to the stove. I wanted a space for my spices, and I knew I didn’t want an open shelf because too much dusting, and I didn’t want them just in a cupboard because I was tired of digging and rearranging and knocking them over. And so I designated this space for them. I open the drawer, and ta-da! There they are. (I bought those jars on Amazon for my most-used spices.)
And below, my flours and oats and sugar have a pull-out drawer perfectly sized for the jars I keep them in. They used to sit on my counter top, and as much as I love the look of them, I just didn’t want to devote the space to them anymore. I also didn’t want my kids pulling huge jars out of cupboards, so this seemed like a good solution. So far, I love it.
Also, I love the hardware on this little corner of the kitchen! It matches the patina and style on the antique Swedish hutch across the room, and that little tie-in just makes me happy. It’s the little things, right?
And because I’m thinking about food and kitchens, a quick nod to summer eating:
Those tomatoes have seriously changed breakfast and spoiled me for all winter eating. I don’t know what I’m going to do when my CSA pick-up is devoid of them. Seriously: if you’re local, you need to try a Kent tomato. Their veg is simply some of the best I’ve had.
While William and Jameson have rather commandeered the kitchen as far as baking goes (cookies are their new passion!), I do manage to slip in every other week or so to make a big batch of granola. I have not delegated that task, as it’s primarily for me and I have particular ideas of how I like it. Probably you do, too, or maybe you’re still looking for the perfect granola recipe. I can’t promise you that your particular ideas will be satisfied by my particular recipe, but if you’d like to give it a whirl, here it is:
My Granola (at least, currently)
Mix in large bowl:
6 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 – 1 cup whole wheat flour (optional; helps bind)
1 – 2 cups unsweetened coconut
2 cups mixed chopped nuts (I do walnuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, and pepitas)
1/2 – 1 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
In small bowl, stir together:
1 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 T kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla
Add wet ing to dry ing and stir well. Spread in sheet pan. Bake at 300* for 90 minutes, stirring halfway through. (This makes a crunchy, fairly loose granola. Lower baking temp and shorten time for chewier results.)