In My Kitchen – July 2015

Once again it is the beginning of the month and time for another IMK post. Where does all the time go?? Days in the summer drag on since the boys are with me ALL THE TIME, yet in general the summer is whizzing by quickly. Thanks to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this wonderful event.

It has been another busy month in our house. We continue to dine twice a week at swim meets and I am so out of ideas. It is an adventure getting the kids packed up to swim, let alone fixing and packing dinner for everyone! Luckily we only have two evening meets left, I’m counting down until our dinner schedule is back to normal. Better yet, when my sourdough schedule isn’t interrupted. Between the late afternoon practice twice a week and evening meets twice a week I am having to squeeze in my bread whenever I can.

So here is what else is happening in our kitchen this month. Tomatoes, lots of cherry tomatatoes. The cherry tomatoes are the first to come in and they are growing like crazy. I pick them every couple days. Sean and Ewan will eat a couple but otherwise it’s just me. As a result I make roasted sauce with them, I can only eat so many tomatoes (don’t want to repeat my tongue problems from last year eating too many tomatoes)! The orange cherry tomatoes were made into four jars of smoked paprika tomato jam. It’s quite tasty with a kick, thanks to red pepper flakes and cayene pepper. The full size varieties are also starting to ripen. The first BLT of the season was fantastic.

Tomatoes

Last weekend we went blueberry picking and came home with three gallons of blueberries. Wow, that’s a lot of blueberries. We ate many of course and baked a lemon poppy seed cake with blueberries. Then it was time to make jam, a great way to enjoy the blueberry flavor year round. We now have LOTS of blueberry jam, ginger blueberry jam and maple blueberry jam. The boys enjoyed biscuits with jam already! I also made a blueberry simple syrup and the grown ups enjoyed some delicious cocktails.

Blueberry Bonanza

During our trip up to Brevard, North Carolina I was able to enjoy browsing the town shops by myself while the boys were in art camp. It was wonderful! I finally could leisurely look at things, no kids whining or wanting something. I had lots of fun in a little tea and spice shop, Spice it to a Tea. After looking at everything I settled on a tea sampler including black lychee, orange spice, Irish breakfast, English breakfast, and mango ceylon. I also got a bigger bag of peach oolong. The spices that spoke to me were African peri peri, Greek seasoning and zaatar. I can’t wait to use everything!

Tea

Spices

Here’s something in my kitchen I received as a birthday gift back in April. It’s actually more of a gift for the boys. They always ask what’s for dinner so now that they (well Jack and Ewan anyway) can read it was time to put up a menu on the fridge. Enter this magnetic chalkboard. It also helps me plan meals a little better, not always though! I write the menu and the boys add a little artwork at the bottom. The lighting by the fridge isn’t the best so sorry for the photo quality.

Magnetic Chalkboard

This is my new favorite kitchen find, chalkboard mason jar lids by Mason Tops. I just love them!! I use mason jars to store some pantry staples as well as leftovers. These labels are a fun way to label them, a nice alternative to using my washi tape and a marker.

Chalk Tops

That was a glimpse in my kitchen this month. What is happening in your kitchen? Check out Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what is happening in kitchens across the globe.

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40 thoughts on “In My Kitchen – July 2015

  1. Maggie

    I love the chalkboard idea! I used to have a whiteboard that I would write on for various things but I lost the eraser and I just stopped doing it! You make me want to restart!

    Reply
  2. emmabarrett1508

    mini yellow tomatoes are my most favourite variety. I grow them in my greenhouse every year. I have a plant growing now. Should get some fruit in August. Cant wait. Loved this post.

    Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      I love the little yellow pear tomatoes, so tasty and a little less acidic. Glad to hear you like the little yellows as well. Thanks for popping by!

      Reply
  3. emmabarrett1508

    Reblogged this on SurreyKitchen and commented:
    Another of my favourite IMK’s to share with you. This is from the wonderful team at ‘Feeding My 3 Sons.’ Enjoy the beautiful photography. Can’t wait for my mini yellow tomatoes to grow this year!

    Reply
  4. Kim

    Yum Tomatoes!!! We just picked our first three, and they were so yummy! The jams and spices looks delish too!

    Reply
  5. Glenda

    Hi Gretchen, I am so glad I am not the only one who gets tomato over load. I pulled out all my plants this week. We had a frost and they got burnt. That was just the excuse I needed. We can only dream of excess blueberries here. We get very, very expensive fresh ones or frozen ones. I tried to grow some bushes a couple of years back and they all died. Oh well.

    Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      Someday I’ll remember to plant less tomato plants! This year we also had several that sowed themselves. I just gave the boys’ swim coach a bucket of cherry and yellow pear tomatoes. As for blueberries we can’t get enough of them. The boys weren’t extremely helpful picking, someday hopefully they will! We planted About ten blueberry bushes last year but they are still small. What few blueberries they did produce little creatures got to them before they ripened. Someday we hope to actually have enough to pick. Thanks for popping by!

      Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      Maybe the chalk lids will make it to Australia soon! I also saw that some people paint their lids with chalk paint, though it may wear off over time and be less smooth.

      Reply
  6. Holistic Wayfarer

    I’d love to come over. LOL. The jars rock. You might consider a nonstarchy veggie with the mashed potatoes so you don’t double up on the starch. Easier on the digestion. =)

    Reply
  7. Ania @ Milk, Toast and Honey

    Blueberry love! And those tomatoes are like little rays of sunshine. Great post x

    Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      We just love blueberry season! The tomatoes, especially all colors, are the true taste of summer. Caprese salad for lunch. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      The recipe is in Preserving by the Pint by Marisa McClellan. Next time I plan on tweaking it a little, but I think my orange cherry tomato plants are done producing. I may try to seed some to grow late in the summer.

      Reply
  8. Jan (A gluttonous wife)

    I had a chuckle at you with the boys all the holidays – we love them but they can drive us mad!!! Sending you the patience of a saint hahaha. Your tomatoes are making me sad as I’m dying for a decent tomato – our crop lasted 7 months and the taste of the supermarket ones just doesn’t come close!! Love your chalkboard idea too. Cheers, Jan

    Reply
  9. shaheen

    I am absolutely loving everything in your kitchen, its hard to choose one thing – but the chalk mason jar tops make me wish I had some.

    Reply
  10. EllaDee

    I’m not quite sure I’d be able to manage feeding a family, swim meets, bread baking, a vege garden, a lot of preserving, etc… I’d need a break browsing the shops too (plus a cup of tea and a good lie down)! The tea sampler and spices look wonderful. And I love that the boys can read what’s for dinner… I always like to know what’s for dinner, and I’m the cook πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      It does get tiring! I am looking forward to the end of swim season after the banquet next week. The garden is great for all the delicious produce, not so much for the work it creates. A cup of tea helps some of the stress go away though. Right now it’s definitely more iced tea weather, I don’t drink it hot too much in the summer as it is so hot and humid here.

      Reply
  11. Liz

    I am drinking lots of tea these days. It’s nice to hear you found a tea shop. I am sipping chamomile tea right now. It tastes subtle and nice.

    Reply
  12. missfoodfairy

    Such an abundance of beautiful colours from your tomatoes Gretchen! I love the sound of your smoky paprika tomato jam πŸ™‚ Enjoy your spices – I just love spices and I’m always stocked with new & different flavoured spices. Let me know what you cook up with the zataar, I’m always looking for inspiration. Lovely goodies in your kitchen this month, see you next month for #IMK

    Reply
    1. MamaD1xx4xy Post author

      Thanks for stopping by! The spices have been fun to play with, still plenty of experimenting to go around. The tomatoes are so delicious, I’ll miss them once summer is over.

      Reply

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