Price Points: Gourmet salt of the world

Gourmet salt of the world | H is for Home

Salt is finding itself regularly as an ingredient, not just in savoury but, in sweet dishes too. You can’t move for salted caramel chocolate and desserts… not that I’m complaining, I love the stuff! Gourmet salt is the obvious next step in the seasoning’s journey.

I fell in love with Jacobsen Salt Company’s exquisite salt flakes when I made Alison Roman’s salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread. Alas, their gourmet salt isn’t available here in the UK.

Thankfully, there are a lot of others from which to choose. Take your pick from the three above, or match your salt to the dish you’re making. Go in search of Hawaiian sea salt or alaea, which gets its red colour from mineral-rich, volcanic clay which gives it a very earthy taste. Hawaiians traditionally use it in raw fish dishes and for making salted, dried beef.

Rare Persian salt, on the other hand, has a mild flavour and is dotted with beautiful sapphire blue rock crystals. It’s recommended for coating the rim of your Margarita glass!

Egyptian frost salt – looks just like… frost! It has a dry, soft and feathery texture. It’s very slow to dissolve, so would suit sprinkling over the top of dishes before they go into the oven.

Korean bamboo salt, (also know as jukyum or jukyeom), consists of sea salt that has been kiln-roasted inside bamboo up to 9 times. Traditionally, it’s used as a general health aid however, it’s recently been claimed to inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers in mice.

  1. Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g: £6.99, Selfridges
  2. Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag: £18.59, eBay
  3. Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand: £24.95, Harvey Nichols

shop gourmet salt of the world

Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
£24.95
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
£18.59
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
£6.99
Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
£24.95
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
£18.59
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
£6.99
Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
Rivsalt pink Himalayan rock salt with grater and stand
£24.95
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
Fleur de Sel de Guérande 250g in linen gift bag
£18.59
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
Giuseppe Giusti Balsamic Vinegar of Modena-infused Sicilian sea salt 153g
£6.99

Cakes & Bakes: Soft sourdough sandwich loaf

Home-made soft sourdough sandwich loaf | H is for Home

What do a bacon sandwich, fried bread, French toast, Croque Monsieur and Welsh rarebit all have in common? They’re all best made using a plain, white sliced loaf.

Kneading soft sourdough loaf dough | H is for Home

I’ve confessed in the past that I’m quite partial to the odd, soft slice of Warbie’s Toastie now and again. The French have a far more chic-sounding name for this kind of bread – pain de mie. I saw this recipe recently for a soft sourdough sandwich loaf and thought I’d give it a try. As I outlined earlier, you don’t always want a strong flavoured loaf with an open, uneven texture.

Doing the windowpane test on a piece of bread dough | H is for Home

The knack to making a loaf with a soft, tearable texture is to knead, knead, knead until the gluten has developed fully. You can attempt to do this by hand, but my arm muscles aren’t up to the job! The other trick is to roll it out and roll it up… twice. Finally, a couple of long proving sessions with an overnight stint in the fridge in between.

Soft sourdough loaf dough made into four rounds | H is for Home Soft sourdough loaf dough rolled out and then tightly rolled | H is for Home

Making a sourdough sandwich loaf is a long, drawn out process – the exact opposite to the mass produced, Chorleywood processed stuff. Don’t fret though, bread preparation can fit easily around the rest of your day and night.

Soft sourdough loaf dough made into 4 rolls and placed inside a loaf tin | H is for Home

The original recipe says you need to allow your loaf to have a final proof of 6 hours. I don’t know if it’s the ever-cool temperature of my kitchen, but this wasn’t anywhere near long enough for mine. I’ve made this loaf on two different occasions now, and I’ve needed at least 12 hours on both occasions. Rather than go by length of time, judge it ready when your dough has doubled in size.

Soft sourdough loaf pulled apart to show the crumb | H is for Home

I like the first few slices of my fresh, home-made bread plain & simply buttered. Justin preferred using it as an opportunity to make a bacon sandwich. Apparently, the sweetness of the bread worked perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon.

Bacon sandwich made with slices of home-made soft sourdough loaf | H is for Home

Save the sourdough sandwich loaf recipe to Pinterest here

Soft sourdough sandwich loaf
Yields 1
For the levain
  1. 18g/⅔oz ripe sourdough starter (100% hydration)
  2. 30g/1oz milk
  3. 56g/2oz strong bread flour
For the dough
  1. 138g/4¾oz plain flour
  2. 138g4¾oz strong bread flour
  3. 20g/¾oz milk powder
  4. 34g/1oz sugar
  5. 134g/4¾oz milk
  6. 1 large egg white (50g)
  7. All of the levain
  8. 34g/1oz butter, softened
  9. 6g/⅕oz saltSoft sourdough loaf ingredients
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For the levain
  1. Mix together the starter, milk and flour and allow to develop at room temperature (23ºC/73ºF) until mature (about 12 hours)
For the dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, milk powder, sugar, milk and egg white until it just comes together. Cover and autolyse in a warm place for half an hour
  2. Add the levain and half of the butter mixing in completely. Add the rest of the butter and the salt
  3. Knead until the dough is smooth, silky, stretchy and shiny and passes the windowpane test (this took me about 15 minutes in my stand mixer, on a slow-medium speed)
  4. Cover and bulk rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Fold, cover with cling film (or plastic bag) and refrigerate overnight
  5. Divide the dough into 3 or 4 equal pieces (I made 4 x 160g/5⅔oz pieces), roll them into balls, cover with slightly oiled cling film and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour
  6. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each piece into an oval. Roll up tightly and allow to rest for 10 minutes
  7. Roll each piece along its seam into long oval again. Roll up tightly for a 2nd time.
  8. Place the rolls, seam side down, into a 23cm x 13cm / 9" x 5" loaf tin or Pullman pan if you have one. Cover the tin loosely with cling film and allow to proveat room temperature for about 6 hours
  9. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes
  10. Turn the temperature down to 175ºC/350ºF/Gas mark and bake for a further 15-20 minutes. If the top of loaf is browning too quickly, cover over the top with a piece of aluminium foil to prevent it from burning
  11. Take the loaf out of the oven and immediately turn the loaf out on to a wire cooling rack
  12. While the loaf is still warm, brush the top and sides with a little melted butter
Print
Adapted from Cook Til Delicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Scandinavian pottery picks

Trio of Scandinavian pottery items: Egersund, Rorstrand and Gustavsberg | H is for Home

Having not found any for a while, we’ve picked up some very nice pieces of vintage Scandinavian pottery recently. And hailing from Scandinavia isn’t all they have in common. Gorgeous, colourful patterns also link them!

Small vintage Egersund lidded casserole pot with daisy decoration | H is for Home

Up first, we have the pretty yellow daisies on a lidded dish produced by Egersund of Norway.

Vintage Arabia Sirpa salt pot with blue heart and flower decoration | H is for Home

Then we have blue hearts and flowers of the Sirpa pattern designed by Raija Uosikkinen on this lovely salt pot by Arabia of Finland.

Vintage Gustavsberg bowl - Bersa pattern designed by Stig Lindberg | H is for Home

And finally, one of our favourite designs – the repeating, stylised green leaves of this Bersa bowl produced by Gustavsberg of Sweden – designed by the wonderful Stig Lindberg, of course.

So, three different countries of manufacture however, a distinct collective look. And if you really like them, check out our webshop – at least two of these pieces will be appearing for sale very soon.

5 ideas for glass rooms in your home

5 ideas for glass rooms in your home

**A collaboration with Three Counties and Direct Bifold Doors**

When we moved into our current house, we did various building works to put our stamp on the place and get the layout how we wanted. We knocked two small reception rooms together, moved a kitchen from one area to another – and replaced a fixed window with a set of small French doors leading out onto the garden. These alterations proved very successful in the main, but over the years we’ve seriously regretted one missed opportunity. Close to the newly installed French doors was another window on the same wall. We really, really should have put in much larger bi-fold doors.

Even though the current situation works quite well, bi-fold doors would have been amazing. We can’t believe we didn’t do it back then! They would have opened up effortlessly, completely bringing the outdoors in, and creating a huge space that was half kitchen diner and half patio garden. Also, our house suffers from lack of light for much of the day and this problem would also have been aided by the larger expanse of glass.

It’s never to late, we suppose – and if we decide to stay in this house for the foreseeable future, trade bifold doors will be a definite addition. And there are other glass structures that are worth considering. They can really transform a house or space within it and add value to your property. Here are 5 ideas for glass rooms in your home.

Glass conservatory

Conservatory

This is another home improvement that we’ve thought about. Having that space that is bright and airy – and usable all year round is such a wonderful asset. People style them in all kinds of ways, but we love the classic orangeries in particular. We’d have a host of tropical plants, fruit trees or vines – and then a simple seating area – a bit shabby chic in looks with weathered metal, rattan and aged wood. We can just imagine the amazing light, ambient warmth and the wonderful smell.

Shelf with gardening books and other itemscredit

Greenhouse

The conservatory or orangery is a mixed use space – for both leisure and growing plants. If you’re going for full on crop production then a greenhouse might be the answer. Also, many houses don’t have a footprint that allows for an attached conservatory, so an independent structure in the garden is the obvious answer. They can be installed with shelving, staging, seed trays and potting benches – and there’s nothing stopping you putting in a comfy chair so you can enjoy a nice cup of tea surrounded by the fruits of your labour!

Craft room

Art room

Perhaps you’d want to use your glass structure as an art or craft room. The light would be a big plus factor of course. Also, your new space could have uninterrupted views of, or be surrounded by, nature – providing endless inspiration and a calm environment for creative thought and work.

A garden room would make a good home gymcredit

Home gym

Going to the gym generally fills us with dread. I’d make up all sorts of excuses not to go. However, if we had a little room at home with a few free weights, exercise bike or rowing machine that looked out on to the garden we could happily while away a couple of hours exercising while watching and listening to the birds in the garden. Full height roller or Venetian blinds and pivot roof windows will help keep the room cool as we burn those calories!

Play room with glass doors

Play room

Is your home being over run with kids toys and furniture? A dedicated play area might be the answer. The children could see it as their own little den or clubhouse. It could be attached to the house where they can play in a safe, bright, well ventilated space. You could join in the fun – or get on with a few household jobs close by. Perhaps you might like something outside – it would be an adventure in itself heading for their own room at the bottom of the garden. They could help you decorate the glass with fun decals or transfers. It could be filled with toys – perhaps even a year-round padding pool with a beach theme. You might actually have the luxury of being able to monitor activities from your deck chair close by!

[disclosure*]

Get their look: Pastel sitting room

I’m not great at conscientiously posting a daily photo to #Myhousethismonth on Instagram, but I do like to see other people’s efforts. That’s where I discovered this lovely pastel sitting room.

The trio of pink, green and yellow shades is very appealing to the eye. It makes for a restful environment. The bespoke artwork on the wall above the sofa blends perfectly with the furniture and accessories, again using the same colour combination. The metallic elements in the tables, vases, lamp and shade bring it all together and contrast nicely against the soft furnishings.

  1. Textured abstract acrylic painting
  2. Hue pendant shade in desert sage and copper
  3. Clear glass beehive vase
  4. Quilted velvet cushion cover
  5. Rose geometric vase
  6. ALSEDA banana fibre footstool
  7. Aula coffee table
  8. Kolong rug

Get their look: Pastel sitting room | H is for Home

Get their look

Kolong rug
Kolong rug
Aula coffee table
Aula coffee table
ALSEDA banana fibre footstool
ALSEDA banana fibre footstool
Rose geometric vase
Rose geometric vase
Quilted velvet cushion cover
Quilted velvet cushion cover
Clear glass beehive vase
Clear glass beehive vase
Hue pendant shade in desert sage and copper
Hue pendant shade in desert sage and copper
Textured abstract acrylic painting
Textured abstract acrylic painting
Kolong rug
Kolong rug
Aula coffee table
Aula coffee table
ALSEDA banana fibre footstool
ALSEDA banana fibre footstool
Rose geometric vase
Rose geometric vase
Quilted velvet cushion cover
Quilted velvet cushion cover
Clear glass beehive vase
Clear glass beehive vase
Hue pendant shade in desert sage and copper
Hue pendant shade in desert sage and copper
Textured abstract acrylic painting
Textured abstract acrylic painting

Cooking with gas!

Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home

Well, this is a first for us in the purchases department – a vintage gas cooker!

Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home

It was recently taken out of someone’s home who’d had it from new – and it was still being used. All the more remarkable as this model dates from the late 1930s! It was destined to be weighed in for scrap unless we saved it – and we just couldn’t let that be its fate.

Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home

It’s such a fabulous item. We love the design – solid and functional. It has oven, grill and hob. The top collapses down neatly when not in use to provide an additional work surface if required. And there’s a fold out plate warmer too. The entire body is covered in a warm, cream-coloured enamel. It’s very cute!

Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home

The condition is amazing considering its age and usage – it even has the original instruction card!

Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home Vintage New World gas cooker 1430 series | H is for Home

We found some original advertisements for this model New World gas cooker online. This example could easily go into some kind of living museum. However, as we said, it was still being used until recently, so could go straight back into a domestic setting.

1939 ad for New World gas cooker 1430 series Instructions for for New World gas cooker 1430 series

credit | credit

It’s been lovingly cared for for 80 years – there’s no reason why it can’t have a few more!

Designer Desire: Stanley Stubenberg

Mosaic of Stanley Stubenberg graphic designs | H is for Home

Stanley Stubenberg (1925-2001) was a graphic designer born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He designed scores of restaurant, bar and room service menus and table cards. Venues such as the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel’s Ale Ale Kai Restaurant, the Luau Hut and the Pupu Bar; the Tahitian Lanai and the Papeete Bar at the Waikikian Hotel and Beneath the Reef and the Torch Room at the Reef Hotel.

As well as menu design, he produced the odd woodblock print artwork (see above) and a mural at the the Lounge at the Buccaneer.

Menus, by their very nature, are ephemeral items; therefore, not a huge number have survived the past 50-plus years. The few that have, can command prices up to £150. There are currently a couple for sale on eBay. There are however, modern prints available from Love Menu Art and Monterey Bay Photo Lab.

He illustrated Young Folk’s Hawaiian Time: A Collection of True Hawaiian Children’s Stories, and Hawaiian Time both written by Genie Pitchford. Some of his designs are included in Sven Kirsten’s book, Tiki Modern, (including pride of place on the cover!) and Menu Design In America which we reviewed here.

Stubenberg died at the age of 74 in St Croix, Virgin Islands where he spent his latter years.

Portrait of Stanley Stubenbergcredit

Additional image credits:

Pinterest | Worthpoint