A Perfect Five
By Linda Parker
The cookery book I’m most impressed with at the moment (plus of course, on-line and on TV etc!) is Jamie Oliver’s Five Ingredients …
Jamie’s Five Ingredients is, of course, going to zoom to the top of anyone’s book list – especially as it’s off to uni time, and lots of parents are going to be hoping that their teens won’t be tempted to live on instant noodles and take-aways. I’m hugely impressed by this book, it’s a breath of fresh air and a relief not to have to plough through massive ingredients lists. As much as I like highly spiced and seasoned food, it’s annoying to chance upon a wonderful idea for supper and then to find that you’ve run out of the vital ingredient that will make all the difference to the complex combination of flavours (or a jar has gone off or the herbs are sitting in a slimy puddle at the back of the fridge. Happens to the best of us, honest!). The Epic Rib Eye Steak suggestion is brilliant, and I can foresee that will become a permanent fixture on my list. And of course, it can be varied by choosing different beans! The best thing about it is that it’s quick. I love serving casseroles and hearty beef stews but to be honest, don’t always get organised enough to allow four or five hours slow cooking (although I’m now getting much better at estimating the amount of liquid needed for pressure cooking, which will speed up winter meals!).
This is a new design from Smallbone , Grey & Gold, shown here above and below. It’s very beautiful, combining satin-finished Grey Oak cabinetry with champagne-gold accents. This kitchen uses Sky Gold Quartzite work surfaces; the oak doors have a discreet slatted design – meaning that Grey & Gold can be tailored to suit a multi-room brief … it’s a perfect colour scheme that can be adapted to a dressing room, bathroom or family room, providing lots of clever storage. It very much looks like the gold-red gold-copper trend is very much here to stay.
We’re very impressed by this new kitchen range too, from Tomas Kitchen Living. There are showrooms in London NW11, Cambridge and St Albans. As well as an excellent range of colours, there’s an interesting additional collection called Case Creations, which means it is super-easy to extend the furniture into the living room, dining room, study and bedroom. The smaller scale of some of the designs (such as the cube open shelves) are in solid oak, and can add a totally practical and completely individual look to any storage scheme. This is the naturalSHEER kitchen, in Olive Ash. Perfect for a simple, streamlined look. The idea of adding plain white wall cabinets enhances the light and airy them – a perfect solution for a high-ceiling space.
It’s good to see the latest range of taps from Abode include a new Urban Copper finish. See the whole range here. This is Pronteau 3-in-1 tap (regular hot, regular cold and 98 Deg steaming hot water from the same spout). Two style variations are curved, as shown here in the Prostream and squared-off, which is the Prostyle. The finishes are so on-trend … Urban Copper, Brushed Nickel, Graphite, Chrome and Matt Black. The two-litre boiler sits beneath the sink, or can be wall mounted. Definitely worth investigating.
As the lucky owner of a boiling water tap, I have to admit that I occasionally find myself missing those floaty, time-wasting ‘waiting for the kettle to boil’ moments. After all, with an instant hot water tap it takes approximately 10 seconds to make a cuppa! However, I think I’ve replaced those lost moments by trying out Stellar’s Six-Cup Espresso maker It’s become a little ritual to brew up a pot of espresso on the gas hob. This maker is 400ml capacity, a polished steel finish and makes a perfect espresso speedily and without mess and takes up next to no space – we leave it out on the hob, which is also an incentive to keep it looking clean and shiny too! See the whole range here; it’s going to be a good idea for anyone’s Xmas list, I think.
LIGHTING UP TIME
No fashionable kitchen is complete without a display of three (or two, at least, for a smaller space) pendants positioned in a row above a breakfast bar or dining table. Copper, gold and rose-gold versions are very easy to find; these (Left to right) are three of our favourites – The Marrakech hexagon-shaped one (actually it looks like a wire-work football) is £117 by Noxu Home. They have lots of exceptionally good storage ideas as well. The other two are both from Debenhams . The Fayli leaf-patterned drum pendant is £140, the Daphne Diner pendant is £110.
Continuing with the copper-coloured, autumnal theme of my shopping suggestions this month, I can highly recommend a stroll along to Wilko, especially if you like a bargain. These scales are just £12, which is an affordable treat to perk up your kitchen counter, even if you already have some electronic scales hidden in a drawer. The glasses are Tom Dixon Tank wine glasses, beautifully heavy and well balanced. A bit more of an investment treat at £65, from Nest. And my final suggestion for September, especially if you’re in the mood for indulgent suppers, try the Croft Copper Fondue Set from John Lewis.
Coming next time: Halloween preparations – pumpkin decorations, tricks, treats and recipes!