in my kitchen – November

In my kitchen …

candle flame
… darkness
We had a windy day on Monday. Not a hurricane, just some strong winds that were all blown out by lunch time. Unfortunately, the winds were strong enough to disrupt the electricity supply and we, along with thousands of others in Essex, were without electricity for three days. I cooked outside in the outdoor oven (great fun in the rain and dark) until I found the aga manual on Day 3 and worked out how to boost the heat so I could cook inside. All the family gathered every evening to eat and play games by candlelight, though by third evening the younger generation were a little tired of answering Trivial Pursuits questions from the 1980s or our ‘modern’ edition that turned out to be thirteen years old.

The main problem with no electricity was that everything took so much more time – laying the fires, replacing the candles, making sure that all the food was prepared by 4.30 when daylight faded, boiling kettles for hot water and the evenings seemed long when everyone was inside by 5 as it was too dark to do any more outside. It was but a minor inconvenience to us but has made me even more grateful that lights come on when I flick a switch.
In my kitchen …

quince
… quince from the tree by the pond

quince cheeseand quince cheese

When the fridge became the warmest cupboard in the house, we had some odd meals and though we didn’t “dine on mince, with slices of quince”, we did eat some Quince Cheese with a chunk of good cheddar. Later in the year, I may sneak a piece or two to eat as an alternative to Turkish Delight.

In my kitchen …

walnuts
… walnuts

I’ve been trying to pick up the walnuts from the ground before the squirrels get to them but inevitably just find a heap of empty shells. Walnuts make a good sauce for pasta and I mixed some chopped walnuts and a grated apple into some wholemeal dough, for a tasty bread.
In my kitchen …
… quite frankly, very little else

My fridge is bare because I had a good clean out when the power was off and threw out anything mouldy or with a pre October Best Before Date. I haven’t been able to get anything out of the freezers because we loaded them on a trailer and took them to my sister’s before the contents defrosted. We ran out of butter this morning so spread dripping on our toast for lunch, which was actually not a particular hardship though there were complaints that it tasted rather odd mixed with marmite. Looks like I shall have to go shopping and restock.
Why not share your kitchen this month? Pop over to Fig Jam & Lime Cordial to find out how to join in and to see what’s happening in Celia’s kitchen and others around the world.

38 thoughts on “in my kitchen – November

  1. AndreaMynard says:

    Your kitchen still sounds wonderful even with a power cut- though I’m sure by day 3 it didn’t feel like that. Have just picked quinces too, before they got blown off in the storm and planning to make quince cheese – yours looks fabulous. Quince ratafia sounds good too (with brandy) – probably handy as a warming pick me up in a power cut too!

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  2. Pat Machin says:

    It’s amazing how we take that flick of a switch for granted! We missed those winds but the Met Office is threatening us with them this weekend. I must just check the candles and torches.

    How lovely to have your own quinces and walnuts, even if you do have to compete with the squirrels for your nuts!

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  3. Christina says:

    Glad you got your power back! The “romance” of a power cut does get a bit stale after three days. Having said that, some of my fondest childhood memories date back to a lengthy power cut during winter (I bet my mum’s memories are quite different!)

    The pictures of your quince make my heart thing. I just love quince. Unfortunately, a spring storm blew all the blossom of my tree, and it also had rust this year. Oh well, next year hopefully.

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      It was good fun for the first day but by day 3 it was a bit of a drag. Listening to people on the radio who depend on electricity for bed hoists and the like made me realise how lucky we are – though the woman who complained about not being able to use a hair drier made me cross.

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  4. heidiannie says:

    I like the beginnings of lights out-no power to be found- but after a day or so ALL I want is electricity and cold food and hot showers and well- I admit it- television and internet.
    You have done very well- making do- and using up and taking advantage of the sunlit hours.
    I think you should get an award for a very brave IMK post!

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  5. Glenda says:

    Hi Anne, Our power went off for 3 days not so long ago. (It always takes longer in the country to fix than the city.) We were in Perth so Maus went back to Bridgetown to throw out the contents of the freezer and was amazed to find everything frozen solid. It must be a good freezer. The fridges were another story, but there wasn’t much in them. I have a walnut tree but there has never been any walnuts on it. How long do they take to produce? Maybe it is not cold enough for it to fruit. Who knows.

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      My walnut tree is probably about 40 years old – MIL bought it at a Scouts bring and buy sale as a tiny plant in a plastic cup and it’s thrived. Not sure how long they take before they start to produce though.
      I think I’d have risked it with my freezer as it’s fairly new, but Beth had a freezer filled with fruit for her gin that wasn’t worth the risk of losing.

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  6. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    We become so reliant on electricity don’t we Anne, not giving it a thought until it disappears. Great that you managed a post this month! Your quince cheese looks so delicious, what a beautiful colour, I can almost taste it with a chunk of cheddar. I can imagine how good those fresh walnuts taste too. I find it difficult to buy walnuts and use them before they smell and taste stale. It is lovely calling into your kitchen as usual 🙂

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  7. Lisa the Gourmet Wog says:

    Oh Anne! I’m sorry you went so long without power, I’m not sure i’d cope very well. I do love the look of that quince jelly! Wouldn’t mind a piece with a slice of brie right now.
    Hope you get more walnuts soon, stay away squirrels!!

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  8. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Three days without electricity, you survived far better than we would have, Anne! I’m glad it’s fixed now. Also glad to hear you managed to save all the stuff in your freezers, I was worried about that! Your quinces look lovely, and it’s been years since I’ve shelled a walnut!

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  9. nancy@jamjnr.com says:

    Your comment about the old Trivial Pursuits made me laugh, I can only imagine how out of date some of the questions must have been. Three days without electricity is such a long time in this modern age as we take so much for granted don’t we?

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  10. dontboilthesauce says:

    Hi Anne, the colour of your quince cheese is brilliant! The power cut sounds wonderful for family times but I’m sure the romance of it wears off after about 1/2 hour. I’d be lost once my phone was flat 🙂
    cheers
    Jason

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  11. Jas@AbsolutelyJas says:

    Oh no! 3 days without power would have been hard! At least you were able to relocate your freezers before they thawed 🙂

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  12. Jane says:

    A 3-day blackout – part of me thinks ‘how fun!’ and part of me shudders. I imagine it could be fun if you had the opportunity to plan for it, but you never can! Mmm… walnuts, just like little brains and I think they are good for your brain too!

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  13. sophiezest says:

    I always find your posts entertaining, Anne! Sounds like you were very organised about coping with the power cut.
    Dripping with Marmite sounds revolting to me, but my husband eats Marmite with marmalade, so what would I know…

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  14. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Glad power has been restored and everything is back to normal. We had similar here although i was away for part of it and felt faintly guilty as a result! I think it’s good to be reminded that although inconvenient, for most of us, it is possible to manage without at least for a bit – encourages resourcefulness and I hate feeling utterly dependent on gadgetry. I found the dark more difficult to deal with this time than the fridge and freezer slowly thawing and no hot water. Even though we had plenty of candles. Must be getting soft in my old age! E x
    PS I have been hunting for walnuts too but those pesky squirrels have taken the lot – their card is marked!

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    • Anne @ Life in Mud Spattered Boots says:

      I found the dark hard too. I wondered if it was because the clocks had just gone back, which is always a bit of a shock to the system and also because often a power cut is accompanied by snow that brightens everywhere up.
      The wind blew the last of walnuts down and the squirrels got to them way ahead of me.

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  15. thecompletebook says:

    Oh my. 3 days without electricity! Not sure I would still have a sense of humour after 3 days. How lucky you were to be able to save the contents of your freezers.
    Have as super day.
    🙂 Mandy

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  16. dianeskitchentable says:

    I hate to hit ‘like’ on posts when people are having a rough spot but I do love that photo of the candle although not you losing power. We’re in an area that gets knocked out on such a regular basis, especially in the bitter cold of winter that part of all our renovations has been to wire & buy a generator. We’re thinking that by buying the generator we may have scared off power outages but that’s ok too.
    That quince cheese looks beautiful. It sounds as if you’ve got very fast squirrels – but great that you were able to rescue some walnuts.

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  17. Kim Bultman says:

    Anne, did you eat your quince (and quince cheese) with a runcible spoon? 😉 So glad you were able to salvage your frozen supply… we’re about to enter “ice storm season” here with it’s intermittent power outages. Your post was a good reminder to start making ice for the inevitable. I also loved your candle photo and trying to beat the squirrels to the walnuts. Lol about the modern version of Trivial Pursuit, too — that’s the one we have, too.

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