In My Kitchen, April 2013

One of the exciting and weird things about joining in a global event like the ‘In My Kitchen’ series, hosted by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial is that, not only do the seasons get muddled by the food available, but even the actual hours!

Celia’s April post, as she slides into Autumn, appeared in my Feedly list nearly 12 hours before the UK actually caught up with her date.

The wonders of the internet!

The world having turned, I can now say that this April :

In my kitchen is :

The replacement for the lovely tulips I was sent for UK Mothers’ Day; a lovely pot of Tête-à-tête daffodils bought from a small shop next to a revived fishmonger in a village nearby – more on that later.

They were hardly showing buds when I bought them but now they are at their peak. Heartwarming when we had yet another snow flurry in the wee, small hours today.


In my kitchen is :

A locally grown substitute for the highly priced Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Rapeseed Oil has a higher smoke point than Cold Pressed Olive Oil and has a less pervasive taste.  I like it for cooking and am not the only one.  Raymond Blanc, who is a chef with a joie de vivre I really admire and enjoy, likes it as well.

Buying cooking oil is a minefield of confusion marketing so let’s try to make some sense out of it.  The method used in inexpensive mass-market oils is solvent extraction.

You will probably never see this advertised on the outside of the bottle—it’s more that if you don’t see “expeller” or “cold” pressed, then you can assume it’s solvent extracted.

Your eyes will glaze if I go into too much detail so here is a link to an explanation if you really like having crossed eyes.

Suffice to say that I am happy with this oil and get a virtuous glow that I am not adding any more carbon footprints than I have to in order to use something I actually like better for everyday cooking.



In my kitchen (actually, in my freezer) :

Is a whole heap of zip lock bags containing fish.

For many years, I bought my fish and game from a shop in a nearby village, Hipperholme..  Then the owner retired and a succession of proprietors let it run down.

Now, I’m sure you know about the basic requirement for buying fish ~ it had better be fresh or don’t bother!  Although I live in a tiny island (compared with many of you), we are stuck more or less half way between the West and East coasts and there is no great tradition of adventurous fish eating, except the ubiquitous ‘Fish and Chips’ from the local chippy.

Now, William Rankin has taken over the shop, renamed it, ‘Will’s Plaice’ and is on the way to reviving the shop. We called in, more in the spirit of curiosity than anything else and were impressed by his enthusiasm ~ and his fish.

How could any cook not be impressed by someone who was so proud to show us his invoices from a Grimsby Fish Merchant which showed that the fish we were buying was landed that morning!

Watch this space for how we use this in freezer

In my kitchen is a load of Caramelised Onions. Yes, it’s that time of year again.  The onions haven’t lasted as well this year because the ground was so wet and they are already showing signs of wanting to grow.  These will keep us going for a while and add a lovely mellow taste to stews and soups.


Why not pop over to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and scroll down the right hand side to get a peep into kitchens all over the world.  Better still, why not join in?  Just let Celia have a link to your In My Kitchen post and she will add you to the list.


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13 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, April 2013

  1. Your frozen fish stash looks interesting! I also do caramalised onions this time every year and freeze some, only because I use the peel of about 12 onions to naturally dye Easter Eggs and don’t know what else to do with all the left over onions!!

    • I freeze some of the onions too in small zip lock bags. Another use for onion skins is to make a brown vegetable stock – not that I often do! 🙂

  2. Hi Pat, your Rapeseed Oil looks interesting.  I don’t think I have ever tasted it.  We, almost exclusively, use olive oil as we have our own trees. 

  3. It would be lovely to grow olives but, although there are some experimental commercial attempts to grow them, our growing season is too short for reasonable olive production. Generally they are grown in tubs for decoration and put inside for the worst of the winter.


    Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Fresh fish is the best!  You have so many lovely tasty goodies in your kitchen and caramelised onions are divine – I could eat them on their own.  I need to get some rapeseed oil to give it a go – I usually use grapeseed oil.
    🙂 Mandy 

  5. Pat, over here rapeseed oil is sold as canola oil, and it’s a widely grown crop. I’ve never seen an extra virgin offering though – over here it tends to be a generic cooking oil.  And how exciting about your fishmonger! I can see some fabulous fishy meals lined up in the future!  The caramelised onions are a great idea.. xx

    • I didn’t know that Canola Oil is made from Rapeseed.  Our generic cooking oil is mostly sunflower or corn.

      Fish Pie tomorrow!  Yum.

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