In my kitchen – November 2015

Welcome to my kitchen. I’m linking in with Celia and other bloggers as we welcome the new month and virtually visit each other. I always feel that November is one of those months that nobody gets excited about. It tends to be a bit dreary, washed out and meh. But as I got on with my day today, I came to realise November shouldn’t get all of that bad press. My first day of the month began with a burst of colours and home comforts.

IMG_6137

Bourbon and vanilla brioche French toast – drenched in icing sugar and maple syrup and with a generous serving of fresh raspberries. I have baked sourdough brioche earlier in the week and the end of the loaf could have ended up as toast but since this was our last day of holidays, I decided to push the boat out a little. I am not usually a fan of French toast but this one was utterly delicious and made for a very luxurious start to the day.

IMG_6211

Crown prince squash – just before it went in the oven. I have roasted it simply with some olive oil, fresh thyme, pepper and salt. I love this particular variety for its amazing flavour hiding within the blue grey skin and contrasting deep yellow flesh. Once the squash was soft and caramelised, I added it to sautéed onion, celery and carrot and topped up with vegetable stock. Cumin, chilli and a pinch of ginger rounded of the flavours nicely and made for a very tasty meal. With a swirl of creme fraiche and toasted pumpkin seeds, this smooth soup was very well received by everyone.

IMG_6139

Tiger loaf – to accompany the soup, I have baked a white bloomer with its distinctive cracked coating which I always think looks more like a giraffe than a tiger. The effect is achieved by applying yeast and beer paste onto the surface of the loaf and as the bread bakes, the coating cracks and creates random patterns. Tiger loaf is a firm favourite in this household and this one was no exception.

IMG_6206

Beef brisket pot roast – went in the oven at the same time as the squash and bubbled away all afternoon leaving me to enjoy some late sunshine in the park with both girls. It felt wonderful to be returning home to the welcoming smell of ready made dinner. The beef was meltingly tender and the vegetables together with red wine jus created deeply savoury dish. We had it with some smashed potatoes and young sautéed kale with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow. Stews and pot roasts are often on our menu at this time of the year and during the week I reach for my slow cooker to do the job efficiently. It makes a big difference when things get busy in the family calendar.

Clementines – are in my kitchen on the console table, sweet and juicy. Citrus fruit is always welcome at this time of the year and clementines are my son’s favourite. He takes at least two of these as part of his packed lunch everyday and is capable of demolishing a bowl like that in one sitting.

IMG_6240

Pomegranates and persimmons – adorn my dinning table at the start of November. We all love pomegranates, both on their own as well as additions to other dishes. One of the family favourites is a side dish of shredded brussel sprouts, chestnuts and pomegranates which is no longer limited to our Christmas table – in fact, it makes a delicious accompaniment to roast duck. Persimmons on the other hand will be consumed as part of small plates alongside of cheese and biscuits selection when we settle down to a few of family TV evenings.

IMG_6242

Fresh chestnuts – to be roasted and to accompany the pomegranates. I love chestnuts at this time of the year. In fact at any time of the year. These ones will be roasted in the oven but I am already looking forward to visiting markets and eating chestnuts that have been roasted on a fire, all sweet and smoky.

IMG_6252

Chambord – and a raspberry collins to round off the last day of holiday. The raspberry liqueur is full of flavour and simply delicious. Its packaging is eye catching too, very regal looking in both the shape as well as the adornments . It has taken a prime position in my drinks cabinet and with few celebrations planned later this month, perhaps one bottle is not quite enough…

IMG_6204

Chrysanthemums – we had an unexpected but a lovely visit earlier in the week and these flowers remind me of our visitors and the good time we shared. They are also very apt for this time of the year since today is All Saints Day and for me they are synonymous with celebrating all those that have departed and are no longer with us. Back in Poland the day would be spent visiting cemetaries and graves of our loved ones with bunches of chrysanthemums and candles placed upon them. Late in the evening, all of the graveyards look stunningly beautiful with sea of candles flickering in the wind.

IMG_6143

Tea-coloured roses – to mark the memory of both my Mum and Grandma alongside of a lit candle I have these beautiful flowers keeping me company in the kitchen. They were both incredible women, strong and loving and their beliefs live through me and my children. This particular colour of roses was their favourite and I love it as much for its warmth and beauty.

So that’s my November kitchen’s round up. Wishing you a happy month ahead x

35 thoughts on “In my kitchen – November 2015

  1. So many delicious and pretty thing happening in your kitchen! I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    I like to use the slow cooker at this time of year not just to save time but because we can enjoy a roast without having heated up the house with the oven. And it is lovely to walk in and smell dinner done 🙂

  2. Ania, you proved without a doubt that November need not be a dreary month — it’s as colorful as you make it! Your kitchen is filled with so much warmth and flavor (and color), it’s breathtaking. I especially loved the traditions you shared about All Saints Day and the tribute to your Mum and Grandma, xo.

  3. Pingback: Squash, kale and pine nut tartlets | Milk, Toast & Honey

  4. Hi Ania, Great food and great photos. I am particularly interested in your tiger bread. Have you posted a recipe for it? I would love to try and make some.

  5. The French toast looks heavenly. I’m intrigued by the sourdough brioche and can’t wait to try it sometime. The seasons are definitely changing in your kitchen. My boys can also demolish clementines in one sitting…or not even sitting. Just grab and run!

  6. Fabulous things in your kitchen in November! I did have to laugh about nothing happening in November – not unless you’re American where folks spend weeks getting ready for Thanksgiving. I’m in Australia but my yank roots have me doing the same thing. Oh and getting ready for the Christmas cake.

  7. I can see the change of the seasons in your kitchen, what wonderful colors and flavors. I could smell that post roast, just right for the cooling weather.

    November is a busy month here, Halloween just over then Thanksgiving and Christmas is not far behind.

  8. We love November in Bahrain as the weather tends to let us spend more time outdoors… after the searing hot summer months. Love french toast and yours would certainly cheer up a dull day. That tiger loaf looks amazing and like the added paste to create the effect… must keep that in mind. Your pot roast looks amazing as do all the other lovely goodies in you kitchen 🙂

  9. November is the start of the party season at this end of the world. Today is Melbourne Cup Day – full of silly hats and Champagne and it really doesn’t let up until Australia Day in January. I love persimmons but you really don’t see them around much. I think they are considered ‘old fashioned’. Perhaps they will have a Renaissance.

  10. You certainly have been doing a lot of wonderful cooking. The brisket roast sounds amazing. I love that type of pumpkin too. Our lovely to have your own bread. Flowers always brighten a home xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *