Kitchen Design

love your kitchen:

Deva from USA wrote:

“What is your opinion on open shelving in the kitchen? Dirty? Impractical?
Greasy? Or….you know…lovely?”

My reply:

Dear Deva, personally I like a bit of both.

I like all my eatingware to be in cupboards with doors so that they stay clean and dust/grease free. That way they are ready to use without rinsing first. By the time I need to access eatingware I am usually rushed and a bit ‘cooked out’, and done with non-essential stuff. Having eatingware always in an enclosed cupboard facilitates an ‘out with the plates and glasses, serve out and off you go’ sort of thing.

Cleaning goods and things like plastic wrap, foil wrap, garbage bags, paper towel supplies, zip-lock baggies, dishwashing soap, and other ‘out of sight’ stuff I always store in cupboards with doors, right under the sink.

I am happy to have some big cookingware on open shelves. They would need a quick check and maybe a rinse at the beginning of the cooking, when I’m fresh and able to do that anyway. They look impressive and take up a lot of cupboard space.

Always-used utensils like spoons and whisks, favourite frypans and small saucepans, knife blocks and spatulas, graters and the like – I have them at arms’ reach always, in the open.

I like to keep a dispenser with a roll of good quality paper towel right next to the stoves for immediate mop-up facility for spills, spatters, drips and boil-overs.

A full range of glass jars of small amounts of spices are always in the open in a shady heatproof place for instant access.

Bulk spices, and all bulk dry goods, including dried fruits, nuts (if they can’t fit in the fridge) grains and dried legumes, etc etc I like in cupboards with doors, so the contents are completely out of sight.

Big machines that are heavy, like food processors, dough mixers, juicers, and heavy mortars and pestles I like on open shelves at waist or chest height for easy access. No tough lifting.

Hope this sheds light, Kurma.

Custard Tarts and Lemon Curd

pie in face:

VK from Singapore wrote:

“For many years I have been looking for a good recipe for custard
tarts and making lemon curd for tarts without eggs. The results, though decent, are nevertheless lacking something. I am sure you will be able to help. Your book Great Vegetarian Dishes has been my trusty companion for many years now”.

My reply:

Hello VK! The something that your custard tarts and lemon curd recipes are lacking is …eggs. I am sure it’s possible to make some nice ones, without; however, despite your flattering plea, I have to admit that I don’t have any spectacular custard tart recipes, nor any for egg-free lemon curd. Guess that leaves me with custard on my face!

Are there any readers out there that can help?


thank you doctor:

Do you have sudden food cravings? I am sure you do, even if you’re not pregnant. Today, even though it’s way before dawn, I feel like Birchermuesli.

Perhaps it was because I fasted from all grains yesterday in observance of the holy Ekadasi day. Or it could have something to do with the fact that I published the recipe on my Recipe of the Week over the weekend. Somehow thoughts of it got lodged in my memory hard drive and have now reappeared, demanding gratification.
Desires are like that. Well it’s too bad, Kurma. You didn’t soak your rolled oats last night. In fact I don’t have any. Only steel-cut, which are way too serious for eating raw.

Birchermuesli is named after its creator, Dr. Bircher Benner, who was ousted from the Swiss medical profession in 1900 for his heretical claims that grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables had more nutritional value than did meats. Wash your mouth out, Doctor!!

In formulating the muesli, Benner had in mind his many patients from wealthy families who were suffering the effects of a diet too high in protein.

Although it was not originally intended as a breakfast food, it certainly fills that niche deliciously. Here’s the recipe. It serves 4 very modest eaters. I could eat the whole thing on a big day.

2/3 cup rolled oats (not instant) soaked in 1 cup of water overnight,

juice of 1½ lemons,

4 unwaxed apples,

4 tablespoons each of freshly ground almonds and hazelnuts,

2/3 cup yogurt,

4 tablespoons honey,

fresh seasonal fruits like peaches, apricots, bananas, melons or mango, sliced or chopped, to taste,

fresh seasonal berries like raspberries, strawberries or blueberries, to taste.

Place the soaked oats and whatever residual water remains with them in a large bowl along with the lemon juice.

Grate the un-peeled apples, and mix them into the oats and lemon to avoid discolouration.

Add the nuts, yogurt and honey and combine. Carefully fold in the sliced or chopped fruit.

Serve: transfer to serving bowls and decorate with berries.

Note: the muesli will keep for 24 hours in the refrigerator. The apple might discolour but this should not affect the taste.

Hare Krishna Vegetarian Food Relief for Haiti

I received this letter from a friend.


Hare Krishna Food for Life Global has established our first base in Santo Domingo,
Dominican Republic with the help of Ekendra Prabhu and the Hungarian team led by
Koda Nitai. Many volunteers will come to the Food for Life Santo
Domingo headquarters in next days.

On Saturday evening we distributed 100 portions of hot meals in the local
hospital, organized by Ekendra and local devotees. There are a lot of
Haitian refugees here in Santa Domingo and local hospitals and humanitarian
aid agencies can not take care of everyone, so Food for Life is providing
tasty prasadam (sanctified vegetarian food) for some of them.

Food for Life Global is continuing to receive volunteer applications and
donations from all over the world to support our efforts. A new web site
will soon be created to fully document the progress of our team.

Your donations are still crucial at this stage of the development and we
sincerely thank all who have already come forward to support FFLG. Please
continue to give whatever you can and remember: FFL can serve more than 100
meals in a crisis like this for as little as $25. So your dollars will go a
long way.

We are also appealing to the public to supply our team with the best quality
produce. If you are able to donate bulk organic produce or grains, please
contact our office now because we have a plane standing by in Florida ready
to fly over supplies.

If you would like to volunteer you can contact us at

or go to this web site:

If you would like to donate you can wire the funds to the Food for Life
Global – Emergency Relief Fund:

J.P. Morgan Chase Bank,

Address: New York, NY 10017,

Routing: 021000021,

Account Owner: Food for Life Global,

Account Name: Emergency Relief – 820603645.

If you would prefere to wire in Euros you can donate to Food for Life
European Office account with SEPA payment:

Hrana za zivljenje – Food for Life Èernetova 11, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
IBAN: SI560201 0025 7730 518 SWIFT: LJBASI2X
PURPOSE: HAITI Bank: NOVA LJUBLJANSKA BANKA d.d. Tax number: 40564371

Donors can also donate online at

We would appreciate if you could post this information to your local Food
for Life office, temple, put it on your website, inform the media and let us
know if you need any more information for the local, regional or national
Haiti Relief Food for Life campaings.


Matej Poljansek,

Director for Europe,




Food for Life Global, +447891555652, +38641777426,

Los Habaneros

By far the most prolific plant in my garden at the moment is this magnificent specimen. Grown from a single seed of a single fruit of last years’ crop, this Yellow Habanero bush is getting close to neck-high.

Habanero Grande:

“The Habanero chili pepper most likely originated in the Yucatán Peninsula and its coastal regions. Upon its discovery by Hispanics, it was rapidly disseminated to other adequate climate areas of the world, to the point that 18th-century taxonomists mistook China for its place of origin and called it “Capsicum chinense