A New Kitchen in Miami!

Welcome to Miami!

We arrived safe and sound last Saturday and the last 5 days have been a whirlwind.

After two nights at the hotel where Glen was staying we moved Monday into our new flat on the 28th floor of The Waverly with a really breathtaking view of Biscayne Bay. The apartment is airy and bright and has more than enough space for the three of us. It also happens to have a compact yet well appointed kitchen with absolutely fabulous light for taking photographs.

I am very lucky to have a big and well stocked kitchen back in Vancouver and when I was first contemplating exactly what I would need to bring for this temporary move my mind began to race. What should I try to fit into my suitcases? I knew we were renting a furnished apartment but what would that mean in terms of kitchen supplies? One dull knife and a plastic colander?

In the end I opted to travel light and embrace this transition as a way of cooking more simply. There is no way to replicate my old kitchen here, so far away, in another country and climate. There will be no seasonal cooking like at home, no braises and roasts, hearty fall stews or winter dishes. And while I know that I will miss the very specific fall, winter, spring and summer menus, I also realize that in terms of cooking utensils and tools it certainly lightens the load. It also lightens the mind.

I am excited to see how my cooking will change while I am here. There is a fantastic growing season in Florida and from what I have purchased over the last few days from the grocery store down the street, the quality of the vegetables, meats and dairy is exceptional.

Of course, I did need to bring just a few of my very favourite things from home. Some things that invoke time and place, things made by or given to me by people very dear to me, some things that are just too necessary to my day to day cooking to leave behind.  Here they are in no particular order:

1. Bowls that were handmade by my sister Lisa. I brought two of my favourites down. One is stamped with “eat” and the other with “food” and I use them for my fine and coarse grain sea salts.

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2. My favourite fine grain sea salt. Not always available everywhere.

3. My favourite knife and a stack of my faded, striped blue dish towels.

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4. The pepper grinder given to me by my sweet and devoted cousin Leslie. This was made by the husband of a good friend of Leslie’s on Vancouver Island and not only is it stunningly beautiful but it works like a dream.

5. Two very, very carefully chosen cookbooks. Canal House “Volume 1 – Summer” and Suzanne Goin’s “Sunday Suppers at Lucques”. Trying to decide what cookbooks to take was like trying to choose your favourite child…and I have hundreds of “children”! Cookbooks are heavy and overweight luggage costs money and I know that they have cookbooks in the USA and so I chose two books that I would happily cook through from beginning to end.

Just going out for my birthday dinner with Max and Glen but I promise to be back very soon with a recipe.

P.S. Before I dash I wanted to welcome the newest member of our blogging family: my son Max! He has started his own blog to recount his experiences in Miami. The address is:

www.maxmiamiandbeyond.blogspot.com

Please feel free to stop by and say hi.  xo J

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10 Responses to A New Kitchen in Miami!

  1. Sarolta says:

    Looks beautiful my friend! Can’t wait to see what kind of creations come out of the kitchen. Seems like you’ve already been gone an eternity and we’re just coming up to a week. This could be a long few months!
    xo rolti

  2. Sarolta says:

    AND I hope your birthday dinner was fabulous! Photos please!
    xo

  3. Sheryl says:

    Happy Birthday to the whole family – did you take some photos of your dinner??
    xo

  4. Tracy says:

    Hope your birthday was special. Everything you brought from home, especially the dish towels, all genius choices. Everything else will be waiting for you when you get back. Hope everyone is not feeling too homesick.

  5. Sheryl says:

    … also, I’m looking forward to Cuban influences…
    Can you get good coffee there? What will be your focus of exploration to begin with – like those really pretty cookies in Paris?

  6. Rolti: I can’t believe we have only been here a week. Once Max gets started at school on Monday, the cooking and photographing will resume. Birthday dinner was very good, but I missed hanging out with you. Didn’t take any photos either!

    Sheryl: Thanks for the birthday greetings! Still finding my way about the food scene here. Have been so busy unpacking and cleaning I haven’t really checked out too many food shops or restaurants yet. Glen and I are going to rent some Deco bikes this morning and he is going to show me some of his favourite spots. Stay tuned!

    Tracy: Thanks for the note. Truth be told we are all feeling a few pangs of homesickness (Max more than me or Glen of course) but also moments of excitement and freedom. I know this is going to be an amazing few months, I just need to convince my son!

  7. I hope your favourite knife was checked baggage and not carry on.

    Hugs,

    Ross

  8. Leslie says:

    Oh my goodness….I’m all teary now. I must tell Stu again how much his workmanship is appreciated. Happy belated birthday to you, little cousin.

  9. Sheryl says:

    Hey Julie, are you nervous about Irene coming for dinner? Jenny says quit looking out the window….!

  10. I hope your birthday dinner was special and fun. Good choices for your new apartment. A favorite knife or two, good salt, and my pepper mill would probably be my top three selections.

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