In the Glad kitchen.

gl half tsp 4Because of the strange and wonderful arrangement of me having two housemates to share my big house, my kitchen is a warmer and livelier place than it would be otherwise. Kit has her favorite mugs and her red teapot that she frequently fills, and a collection of tea that has swelled my original holdings to bursting.gl kitchen scene 4-16

The tins are mine, special because they used to sit on my grandma’s kitchen shelf. I don’t remember what she kept in them, but I keep tea.

Mrs. Bread gave me a cape violet, which has blooming offspring now, bgl violet P1030899(1)ut this flower is on the original plant, which is not a frequent bloomer for me, but because of that each flower is even more exquisite and precious. Every kitchen should contain something growing, and at least occasionally blooming, don’t you think?

We women all like to cook (though I must admit to cooking much less than I find myself eating what Kit cooks), and Susan seems to like to clean up — at least, she does it a lot. One thing I made recently didn’t require cooking: a vegan chia seed pudding which I found on Minimalist Baker. I’ve made it twice, and the second time I also created a pumpkin-spice version that has yet to be perfected. We really like the chocolate one, but variety is nice.

While concocting these nice jars of breakfast or anytime-food, I used measuring spoons from different sets, and noticed a discrepancy in the size of the half-teaspoons. gl half tsp 3The one on the right above is Oneida brand, and it is almost a whole teaspoon, as I found out with the agl half-tsp measure cupsid of a medicine cup. The one on the left is new and relatively inexpensive, and it seems to be just right, while the one in back is probably a hundred years old, and it seems to be a little less than a half-teaspoon. I often have wondered if the really old measuring spoons have had their edges worn down over the decades…. But what am I to think of this overall lack of standardization?

Kit says she has been semi-consciously avoiding that bigger spoon when she needs a half-teaspoon, and now we know why it — it isn’t what it purports to be! Are even our measurements getting supersized?gl pudding 4-16 chia

P1030842(3)

We seem to be focusing on brown and orange foods lately. The chocolate pudding is brown, of course. And the light and crispy sesame flax crackers that we’ve made three batches of. That recipe comes from a library book, Food 52: Vegan by Gena Hamshaw. Moving on toward orange, Kit made carrot-ginger soup with cashew cream for a topping.

But for sheer elegance, I present one of my favorite foods, whose presence in the kitchen is to me always either promising or comforting. It takes so little effort to cook, and is versatile and healthy. It is what I call a yam. If you do a little research on what is a yam and what is a sweet potato, you might go a little crazy with the impossibility of being both botanically correct and a non-weird member of your local culinary culture.

gl Sweet_potatoes,_Padangpanjang wiki

So, my recommendation is to just call it what you always call it. I love all the sweet potatoes I’ve ever cooked and eaten, but for some reason I buy this Garnet Yam more often. Here is the last piece of yam from the recent batch I baked. It’s time to put a few more into the oven, to make this rainy day warm and nourishing.

gl yam apr

11 thoughts on “In the Glad kitchen.

  1. I adore sweet potatoes! They are so tasty and versatile.
    That’s bizarre about the measures being different! I’ve always been confused by them!

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  2. To combine two of the things mentioned in this Kitchen post, my mother often rooted a sweet potato in a glass and had a little vine on the windowsill above the sink. I often do, too, though at the moment I have a Christmas cactus and a primrose I’m trying to keep going until it is warm enough to plant outside. Sometimes I have a small collection of mustard pots begun with two from my mother and sometimes some luster ware birds. I love my kitchen and wish it were much larger than it is….

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    1. Your mention of the sweet potato vine seems to connect me to a vague memory of doing that myself once long ago, and it also makes me want to try it now! A college roommate had a book The After-dinner Gardening Book that told how to root all kinds of things that might otherwise go into the compost, and I bought it myself years later. It seemed fun to have odd pots of onions or celery or avocados sprouting around, in those hippie-era households, before we were in situations where we could have real gardens.

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  3. Your kitchen is brimming with warmth and heart and California sunshine. It brings joy and nourishment. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    I’ve also been curious about the disparity of my measuring implements, but I think that I’ll let them go untested.

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  4. You have such a happy kitchen there, with lovely smells, I imagine. 🙂

    We try to grow some herbs and flowering plants on the windowsill even in winter and we are lucky because the kitchen window gets the most sun.

    Thank you for sharing this interesting post. Have a blessed new week!

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  5. I love sweet potatoes, too, and especially during Lent, I have been known to roast 6 or 7 at a time to be part of my lunch every day for the week. I leave them in their jackets till wanted. Also, regarding the sesame/flax wafers, I am reminded of the benne seed wafers which are a treat from the low country (coast) of South Carolina. Do you know of them? Benne seeds are the same as sesame seeds, and the wafers, which have a little brown sugar, are light, thin, crisp and just a little sweet. Apparently benne a word for sesame in the Middle East.

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  6. I LOVE your food posts, GJ. They are so healthy, pretty, and comforting. I’ve sometimes wondered about measuring spoons/cups also — does anybody actually regulate that? But your post shows that it’s a real concern and might affect our recipes and their tastes. Makes me want to go check ours! Sweet potatoes are so delicious. I’m the only person in the family who really likes them. Adam makes s.p. fries, which are good, but not as good as a soft baked s.p., slathered in butter. Yumm.

    I’ll say again just how wonderful it is that you have TWO house mates to keep you company!! I know not all women could do that, but when women can share space and chores and good company, what a wonderful boon to everyone! I’m very happy for you. May God bless all your labors.

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