There’s something to be said about spending time in the kitchen that evokes memories. Food is inherently tied to our culture, our childhood, and knowledge that’s passed down from generation to generation. But beyond that, thanks to expanding culinary tastes we’re able to enjoy, sample and cook with unique ingredients. It’s no secret that we love expertly-made food around here (Tamu’s Cafe, anyone?) so we’ve shared some of our interesting kitchen products and ingredients. Bon Appetit, eat your heart out.
In Our Kitchens
I always have lemon, ginger and manuka honey in my kitchen. I drink a brew of the three ingredients the moment I feel a cold coming on or after shooting outside on a cold winter day. This infusion does wonders to warm the bones, fight off cold symptoms and to wake you up when exhaustion starts to set in.
The one thing we always have in our house, without fail, is some rooibos tea. Perfect for colder days, this herbal tea is made from the rooibos (meaning red bush) bush, indigenous to Southern Africa and is usually grown in the Western Cape. It’s known for being rich in antioxidants and being naturally caffeine-free, making it an ideal drink for anyone who’s trying to cut down on stimulants.
Another product we usually have in our kitchen is fruit chutney, a sweet condiment made from peaches, apricots and sugar that can be used to marinate meat or as a sauce for hot chips.
If there’s anything in my kitchen that could be called life-changing, it’s my KitchenAid Stand Mixer. I picked one in the most gorgeous cherry red and I use it regularly, as in, at least once a week. I use it so much, creating a couple of cakes per week, that I’m currently on a one-month ban (pre-Christmas because ‘tis the season to bake) – but she still looks beautiful on my counter.
Another regular ingredient in my kitchen is coconut milk, thyme and garlic – combined together I can use these to make several West Indian recipes, including Grandma’s pumpkin soup.
Thanks to Tamu, an ingredient that I keep on hand is fresh ginger. She drinks fresh ginger, honey and apple tea regularly and now it’s my number one recommendation to my family and friends. I drink it as a tea and I add it to recipes like roasted vegetables with rice. Ginger has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer properties, so it can benefit everyone.
Beyoncé keeps hot sauce in her bag, I keep Old Bay. It’s a spice used primarily for seafood but can also be used for poultry. It comes from my hometown, Baltimore, Maryland and it’s a necessity in most kitchens there. I love seafood, but in Baltimore particularly because of our famous crab cakes with Old Bay being the most important ingredient. At home, I put the spice on almost everything I cook.
Tamari is a must in my kitchen; I use it as a simple dipping sauce with sushi to even slathering it on my turkey before I roast it. Instead of adding salt, I add tamari for flavor to anything I feel is lacking a bit of taste. It is a gluten-free Japanese sauce, always made from fermented soybeans.
I also have to follow in Tamu’s footsteps with the manuka. Anytime I am feeling under the weather, I just dollop that goodness on everything. My husband also eats a spoonful every morning.