Meanwhile Back at the Ranch…

Living The Dream

I can’t tell you how glad I am to be home. (Or, maybe I did already.) If so, sorry for the repetition. It’s just that I’m acutely aware of the contentment, relief, and multitudinous blessings that the Universe has continued to dole out since my arrival here last month — without asking.

Pinch me.

Maybe it was that lil’ side table that recently arrived from Jaipur…

Jaipur Coffee Table

I’ve since remanded it to my Garden Room (aka “office”) because it didn’t afford adequate space for cocktails and remotes and whatnot in the living room as my beloved & I attempted to re-acclimate to our long-neglected “mutual space” while we got used to each other once again. (Such is life.)

Plus… feeling selfish, but entirely blessed… I love it so.

That, and it needed some green to offset its rich, dark brown hues. (See it there on the left?) Apologies for the lighting. Every day is an adventure at the lake.

Garden Room update

I still have to break out the paint to transform that bench on the far side of the room to the glory I once envisioned. (Tangerine? It may end up paprika!) Or, as the Monet I dreamed of painting in my Music Room long ago… which has since been converted to a “Tool Room.” My hubby gets to play, too! (We miss our garage.)

In the meantime, I’m relishing creative license — revising dreams daily — and going with the flow.

I wish you the same… and some mighty tasty vittles. (Sneak peek below.)

When life — or your surroundings — or painting projects — don’t work out as planned, feed your soul. Enjoy every bite and every spontaneous revision along the way. It’ll work out eventually!

You’ll know when it’s “just right.”

And you’ll be glad you waited. (Or changed your plans.)

Enjoying flux,

~ Kim

In My Kitchen ~ June 2016

Smoked Salmon Mousse and Wilton replacements

Sometimes all it takes is one photo to encapsulate my state of mind (and everything else) In My Kitchen… a combo of the old and new. But then, isn’t that what life (and IMK) are all about? Integrating your past with your present.

Pictured above: Smoked Salmon Mousse (recipe coming soon) on cucumber slices with dill from my fledgling herb garden (!) served on a mid-1950’s tray after my recent foray to Minnesota, plus a Wilton tip (or two) to pipe the filling.

2-4-1 bonus!

The point of this brief essay (bearing in mind that our hostess, Maureen, is still recovering from back surgery and our next IMK isn’t slated ’til September) is this:

Live life to the fullest and tastiest to the best of your ability. Get what you need (or can afford) to make it happen, or throw a few relics into the mix just for fun. And never, ever look back. Forward momentum people!

Make each day and meal your own, even if it only consists of appetizers. (Make ’em just for you!) Eat what YOU WANT to keep you happy and forward moving.

If you’d like to join (or peruse) this world-wide gathering of Kitchen-philes, please see Maureen’s In My Kitchen side bar (or post your link) by June 10th.

Enjoying eating smoked salmon by the pound ;),

~ Kim

 

Comfort Zones

Comfort Zone

The first day of Autumn has come and gone and I’ve officially entered my Comfort Zone. “A place or situation where one feels safe and at ease without stress.” (Definition courtesy of Google.) I’d add: “An area within your soul that feels like you’ve finally come home… a sacred place that nurtures creativity.” 

Whenever I listen intently to my soul (particularly this time of year) that “still, small Voice” speaks volumes. It also guides me to some amazingly comforting, creative places.

My kitchen ranks right up there as a Comfort Zone, followed closely by my piano bench. (Sometimes it’s this trundle bed, courtesy of my sister.) Other days, Comfort wraps its loving arms around me in the passionate embrace of cooler nights and invigorating mornings. I feel wide awake. Rarin’ to go. Or, content to simply “be.”

Autumn isn’t a dying season to me — it’s full of renewed possibilities — and I need to (must) take advantage of it.

That said, I’ll be spending more time offline than on in the coming weeks as I renew and “regroup” — and possibly take a nap (or two or three) on that trundle bed. Ahhhh…

Where (or when) is your Comfort Zone?

Enjoying everything Autumn,

~ Kim

The Big Reveal

Bourbon Drizzle
Bourbon Drizzle from “Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport For Adventurous Palates”

For months I’ve been hinting about a project I’ve been working on, and here ’tis at last.

Every once in awhile you run across somebody who inspires you to look at life differently. Someone who makes you giddy considering the possibilities in front of you. An instigator… an energizing spirit… an innovative foodie… a kindred soul!

Ladies and gents, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of meeting Ally Phillips, I’m tickled to introduce her to ya…

Ally

Ally entered blog world a few years ago, and since then she’s been off and runnin’ — cooking, creating, capturing mouthwatering photos, competing in contests (and winning!) — not to mention writing a one-of-a-kind cookbook.

When this cohort in cooking-dom asked if I’d be willing to edit it last year, I didn’t have to think twice before saying YES. The prospect of combining my love of the King’s English with her unparalleled savvy in the kitchen, sensational stories spanning the globe, and innate sense of adventure was meant to be! Plus I’ve always wanted to work at home in my jammies. ;)

Bonus points for getting a first-peek at Ally’s scrumptious recipes, too! Here’s the Croatian Potato Salad I made for dinner the other night. OH MY!!!

To see what other folks are saying about Ally’s Kitchen~A Passport for Adventurous Palates, check out the “Blog Tour” (May 1-28) here. 

And, for a brief (3 minute) FUN video about the cookbook click here.

Life’s been good ~ blessed ~ and “boholicious” every day! (Thanks, Ally, xo.)

Enjoying multi-talented friends ~ and words,

~ Kim

The Movies — More Than Just Entertainment

Oscar night nibbles

When was the last time you really listened to someone’s story?

In a previous post I mentioned the snack tray I put together to accompany the glitz and glamour of the Academy Awards — nothin’ fancy, just a few “made-with-love” goodies to enhance Mom’s escalating excitement surrounding that event. (And please bear with the photo above scanned from one she sent me — hover, people, hover… I’ll be rectifying that soon.) Anyway, Mom loves parties.

She loves movies even more.

I heard her story often while I was growing up — no electricity, no running water, a mild-mannered Mother and a domineering Dad. Nothin’ against my grandparents — life was tough in the post-Depression era and apparently they came to an amicable compromise before I was born. (I honestly don’t remember their relationship being so “volatile.”) But, recall is subjective, and for my Mom (a sensitive — and may I add sensational — human being despite the odds), it meant bearing the brunt of hard times and folks trying to cope. I’m so glad I listened to Mom’s story again, and that she felt compelled to tell it once more.

Enter Hollywood…

Saturday nights during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s, my Grandpa favored visiting the local pool hall after a hard week of tilling the soil. For whatever reason — I’m certain Grandma had a hand in it (she wasn’t as meek as she made out to be) — she and my Mom (from age 5 onward) rode into town with him to be deposited under the marquee of the local theatre. While Grandpa enjoyed his libations around the corner, they watched movies. And, depending on how long he fancied to stay, they gladly sat through the second show.

Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman, Katherine Hepburn, Greer Garson, Vivien Leigh, Celeste Holmes, Judy Garland, and countless others (not to mention their handsome leading men) appeared larger than life and yet somehow “real.” Whether they realized it or not, their performances sparked a young girl’s imagination and made an indelible impact on her ability to reconcile life as she knew it. Movies weren’t just entertainment, they were a means of survival. And possibilities…

The big screen provided more.

Movies filled Mom’s heart with hope. (Still do!) Bonus points for costume designers — Edith Head was her favorite. I suspect she was the inspiration for the many, many home-sewn garments Mom later expertly designed and constructed for my sister ‘n me. Side note: A few years ago I was honored to view Edith’s creations (and Oscars) in Bartlesville, OK… breathtaking! I thought of Mom the whole time…

For those of you who snored through the “technical” and other obligatory categories during this year’s Academy Awards, I wish you could have seen the look on my Mom’s face. Rapt attention. Respect. Darn near reverence. She appreciates each and every facet of movie-making — and no wonder why.

We should all be so mindful.

A brief word to aspiring (and veteran) actors… please know that your performances contribute more to life than just momentary amusement. Somewhere “out there” a young lady (or gentleman) may be desperately yearning to be transported from “reality” into a world they can only imagine in the dim lights of a movie theatre. They’re dreaming of the future — their own! Follow your heart, and Lord willing, they’ll follow theirs.

My Mom’s life (and mine) have been inexorably altered by “the movies.”

After my last visit home, I don’t think I’ll ever feel the same about watching them. “I’d like to thank The Academy… and my mother. Her life story (and yours ‘n mine) are etched in history — forever.

My advice? Listen to stories even if you’ve heard them before. (Tell your own, too!) Who knows? One day a Best Picture nomination or a better life (the stuff dreams and movies are made of) may result.

Enjoying real-life screenplays,

~ Kim

What’s your favorite movie — and why?

© Kim Bultman and a little lunch

Gumbo and Other Gobbledygook

Gumbo

Please hover for the full effect…

This past week I spent an hour of my life developing a roux the color of chocolate mahogany. Was it worth it? Absolutely! Gumbo worth eating is gumbo worth cooking properly from the ground up.

As I stood over an antique cast iron skillet stirring (and stirring and stirring…), flavors from the past subtly mingled with my present day quest for soul food. Regional food. Food rife with history.

Did I mention flavor?!!

(Quick aside: cast iron is the ideal vessel for making a deep, dark roux.)

Standing over the stove also gave me time to consider how I’m doing “life” at the moment — or how I might do it differently. (I love cooking, if for nothing more than the uninterrupted thoughts and unsolicited advice.) There’s a lot of therapy in an hour spent on roux done right.

This coming week I’ll be heading to Minnesota for a visit with family, snowbound though they may be, which means I’ll be breaking out the BIG winter coat before I leave Oklahoma. (Shiver me timbers!) Thank goodness I grew up learning how to “layer.”

Which brings me back to Gumbo.

The depth of this dish was intriguing, inspiring, and entirely sensational! I heartily recommend this recipe for starters. (Thank you, Queen Jeanne!) I took the liberty of adding shrimp to the mix, along with bay leaves, thyme, and chopped tomatoes ala Alton Brown’s Shrimp Gumbo recipe (my hero) on Day Two of my eating enjoyment extravaganza. No such thing as too many cooks in my kitchen; the more the merrier!

Which brings me back to “life,” et al. At the moment, I have no idea what direction my blog will go in the coming months. Part of me wants to write exclusively, while another part says “break out the camera and share that food photo with the world.” (Never mind the lack of bokeh or background props…) A third part teases music, music, music. Don’t ya just love possibilities?

Maybe after I visit the frozen North my thoughts will become crystal clear. There’s nothing like being smacked in the face by 40 below to weed out what’s important and what’s not. (Survival of the fittest, and all that…)

In the meantime, I’m gearing up for Gumbo Round Two next week (it’s that good!) — plus, I’ll need a lil’ Southern fortification before I head out.

My wish for you on this day is to live life warm and wonderful — or at the very least, flavorful!

Enjoying a multi-layered life,

~ Kim

© Kim Bultman and a little lunch.

In My Kitchen ~ January 2014

There’s something about the first week of a new year that appeals to me. Maybe it’s the contrast between last month’s pace, this month’s peace, and the prospect of a fresh start? Or quite possibly, it may have to do with new kitchen toys and goodies…

Ramekins & Salt

In my kitchen are a pair of snowflake ramekins and a jar of Jurassic Salt. The ramekins were a gift from my Sis (xo!) and the salt was a gift to myself. Since Minnesota and the Himalayas are rather snowy places, I thought it would be befitting to photograph these on my favorite wool sweater. Oklahoma has been colder than usual, too.

Hazelnut Flour

In my kitchen is hazelnut flour. I purchased it with the sole intent of baking a cake, but between unexpected guests and cooking for the masses, the closest I got was throwing together some mini hazelnut tarts filled with chocolate ganache. (Sorry, no photo; they were gone in a flash.) I will have my cake and eat it, too — in March. Every year I’m on the lookout for “the” birthday cake and Hotly Spiced’s Gluten Free Chocolate Hazelnut Cake is “it.” (Thanks, Charlie!)

GF Flour

In my kitchen is a growing assortment of gluten free products. The verdict is still out whether or not gluten will be my lifelong nemesis, but the variety of options is a delight for someone who loves to experiment with ingredients. So far I’ve made popovers, pizza, and focaccia and they’ve fulfilled my bread-lovin’ heart… and stomach.

AirBake cookie sheets

In my kitchen is a set of AirBake cookie sheets. (Again, courtesy of my Sis, xo!) I’m in baking heaven and apparently the cookie sheets are, too — they look like they’re floating on air in this photo! I’m confident they’ll live up to their name.

What’s in your kitchen? If you’d like to join in, please contact Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who graciously hosts this world-wide round up every month. Or, take a look at the links in her sidebar — guaranteed to warm your heart.

Happy New Year!

Enjoying new kitchen toys and goodies,

~ Kim