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My Favourite Things

by on April 1, 2011
 

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

From The Sound of Music, one of my favourite films which I recently saw with my kids

Like Maria sings, when the dogs bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad, I simply remember my favourite things and then I don’t feel……………so……..bad.

Cherry Blossoms

Blossoms are my absolutely favourite things to welcome spring, after the cold, gorgeous white of winter, and this April my mind is on Japan, a country I’ve always associated with cherry blossoms. Do you know that cherry blossoms are edible? If you want an intro into the fantastic world of sakura as cherry blossoms are called in Japanese, look no further than Chika’s wonderful blog : She who eats. In one post, she goes a a bit gaga over sakura, exploring its depths and breadths. This year, she’s set up a relief fund for victims of the tsunami and earthquake disaster – stop by if you can.

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If you’re rather adventurous, you can venture out into a world of preserving your own blossoms as demonstrated by Merrill Stubbs in her ‘The New Staples’ column.

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Whatever you do, please add blossoms to your list of favourite things. And pray/think/meditate for Japan and show your support anyhow you can.

My Dough Whisk

Two years ago, I ordered some dough whisks for myself and my daughters from King Arthur’s Online shop- thanks to Clothilde of Chocolate and Zucchini who speaks lovingly about it, saying:

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I have put it to the test several times by now, and I am fully satisfied by its performance, be it in dealing with the above-mentioned choux pastry, the shaggy dough necessary to make no-knead bread, or yogurt scone batter.

Its secondary, less obvious usage is in guessing games, during which participating friends might speculate that it is really, and I quote, a racket to beat the dust out of carpets, or the latest model of scalp massager.

Though it is called a whisk, it looks nothing like your ballon or coiled sauce whisk, instead it has two stiff metal loops of different sizes with the large coil on top and the smaller one at the bottom, creating a bowl-like structure. Both coils are attached to a sturdy wooden handle. This weird shape allows you mix flour, water and yeast without creating a sticky mess. Just think of this as your handheld dough hook – it makes extremely light work of mixing up a batch of ‘lazy’ no-knead dough. My forté.

And because I’ve been making a lot of bread in the last few weeks, it has been my steady companion. It is called the Danish dough whisk and I’ll have to speak to some Danes I know for more context on its evolution and use in Denmark. Till then, admire it from all sides. Thank you very much.

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Pretty Bottles

One benefit of people knowing you love food is not just cooking and sharing yourself and delightful recipes with them, but receiving foodie gifts. A benefit I have received a number of times. This pretty bottle came in a sushi set which my Dutch neighbours gave me. It ended up in my Shoyu eggs.

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I loved the cap, the shape and the contents. I especially liked the fact that once I was done with the soy sauce, all the labelling came off in one fell swoop and now sits pretty in my kitchen cupboards, awaiting its day of ‘prop’ fame…..

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Markets

And this bowl of fruit was one I spotted in Prague on a sunny but cold February day. The colours and arrangement caught my breath.

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Sometimes the pleasures of life are so simple and I think of William Henry Davies who poemed:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

And so I leave you with a few of my favourite things, things that bring a smile on a rainy day. And I hope that whatever you’re going through, whereever you are, you have favourite things to bring a ray of hope.

With love X X X

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  • April 27, 2011 at 1:26 AM

    First, I love the song. I have it memorized and have taught many of my students this song through my years. Your post is gorgeous and thought provoking and artful. It filled me – as you always do, Oz. I am truly, honestly, so sorry and so sad that I have missed reading your posts over the last two months. I would see them come into my e-mail, and delete them – with a heavy heart, daily. I didn’t at first, but it became apparent I could never catch up. I am thrilled to be participating in the planning of an important local slow food conference in our area which has taken up way more time than I ever imagined it would. Important work, but I really miss the relationships I have developed through blogging and know there will be a hole from what I have missed these past two months. As I scroll through the beautiful dishes you have masterminded, I want to linger, but instead – will be back.
    I have published only three posts since February, so I am eager to cook, entertain, read, and write. Happy Easter and Spring to you, and thank you for inspiring me today!
    :)
    Valerie

    Reply

  • April 8, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    the sound of music, ahh one of my favs..your dough whisk is stunning, i always love your dark backdrop..

    sweetlife

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  • April 6, 2011 at 10:51 PM

    Thanks – I must confess that I knew the sound of music would strike a chord deep…..in the hearts of many. Stay well.

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  • April 6, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    Awwhhh, the Sound of Music. Nothing like remembering & honouring our favourite things is there. Your favourite things are gorgeous & most worthy of remembering Oz :)

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  • April 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    I also love so much the film the Sound of Music! You said it, girl! Your favourite things are great! I also love cherry blossoms a lot! Then you know, Spring is here!

    A truly wonderful post!

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  • April 4, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    I think you make a great point here. While many seem to be pawning over Kitchenaid (although good) and other gadgets, we’ve seemed to forget thhe basics. My mum always tells me off when she finds out I’ve bought the latest craze for the kitchen’ You don’t need that” and most of the time, she’s spot on. I’d use it twice then throw it into the dusty cupboard never to be found again….

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  • April 4, 2011 at 3:53 AM

    Kismet . I visit your blog now and then … kismet brings me when I need it most, I guess. This was a lovely post on a few levels. For joy – cherry blossoms and the knowledge that so many are joining to help our neighbors in Japan. For pragmatics in the kitchen … this whisk from heaven. I, too, have been making bread and do not have a breadmaking machine or a mega mixer. That dough whisk is just what my arm (with an acute case of tendonitis) needs!
    For nostalgia – the image of my daughters dancing around and singing along with Maria. Thanks, dear!

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  • April 3, 2011 at 6:35 PM

    WOW! Your blog / writing honestly moves me. I learn, I appreciate, I admire… Sensational post. I love that you hit a different flavor in your writing. :)

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  • April 3, 2011 at 2:46 AM

    Thanks for this reminder to appreciate the things we have.
    The Sound of Music was my eldest daughters favourite film for about 8 years – a slight source of embarrassment to her at times, too, as it was so very uncool when she was in her early teens.

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  • April 2, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    What a quaint looking dough whisk. I have many favourites in the kitchen. Nothing fancy but has been with me for ages.

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  • April 2, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    What beautiful photos of the cherry blossoms!! That dough whisk is interesting…I’ve never heard of one.

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  • April 2, 2011 at 6:39 AM

    A timely reminder to stop and appreciate so many things we have in life including a safe roof over our heads.
    Our whole family love the Sound of Music and we did a ‘Maria’ tour in Salzburg a couple of years ago – highly recommended!

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  • April 2, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    How I needed this tonight…I also loved that musical growing up. My sisters and I knew the words to every song. Thank you for sharing, my friend. After such a long and hard week, it is good to visit the blogs that I love. I hope you have a safe and happy weekend.

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  • April 2, 2011 at 3:15 AM

    And it’s wonderful that in this complex world with increasingly complicated material items that such beauty can be found in the simplest things which most people probably don’t even notice.

    <3

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  • April 1, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    Ditto , Joan. It is always such a pleasure to read your posts Ms K Butterfly….you are one of my favorite things

    Reply

  • April 1, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Visiting Kitchen Butterfly and reading posts like this that are beautiful and inspiring are one of my favorite things.

    Reply

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