Welcome to another edition of the Real Food Kitchen Tour. This week, we will be touring the kitchen of Ariana Mullins, author of And Here We Are.
What’s a Real Foodie?
A “real foodie” is someone who cooks “traditional” food. We cook stuff from scratch using real ingredients, like raw milk, grass-fed beef, eggs from chickens that run around outdoors, whole grains, sourdough and yogurt starters, mineral-rich sea salt, and natural sweeteners like honey and real maple syrup.
We don’t use modern foods that are either fake, super-refined, or denatured. This includes modern vegetable oils like Crisco and margarine, soy milk, meat from factory farms, pasteurized milk from cows eating corn and soybeans, refined white flour, factory-made sweeteners like HFCS or even refined white sugar, or commercial yeast.
We believe in eating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods that come from nature. So we shop at farmer’s markets or buy direct from the farmer, or we grow food in our own backyards.
This Week’s Real Food Kitchen Tour: And Here We Are
This week we travel to the United Kingdom to tour the kitchen of Ariana Mullins, author of And Here We Are.
Ariana is a California girl living in Bury St. Edmunds, England. She blogs about expat life, exploring Europe, food, culture, and the joys of country life at And Here We Are… This is her family’s third kitchen in just over two years, and her cooking is influenced by their many travels.
Ariana is also one of our newest Village Green bloggers in Europe. We’re so excited to have her join the Village Green Network.
Blog Name: And Here We Are
Blog Author: Ariana Mullins
Location: Bury St. Edmunds, England
How Long Blogging: I started a family blog about eight years ago, to keep in touch with my wide-spread family. When we moved overseas ourselves, I began And Here We Are… to share more of our daily life and discoveries about living in England with family and friends. Since then, my blog has grown into much more, and has been a key source of connection for our family, other expats, and the most interesting, thoughtful and intelligent set of readers.
Size of Kitchen: Our kitchen is small, but laid out in a very functional way. It’s about 60 square feet, but there is plenty of counter space, and storage.
Things You Love About Your Kitchen: As I mentioned just now– there is plenty of storage space, and enough counter space to work on. I can keep my ferments and kombucha tucked away in my cupboards, so it all looks nice and tidy! I love that the flooring is terracotta tile, which has such a natural look and feel, and manages to look relatively clean through plenty of use. There is a window over the kitchen sink facing out to our garden, and french doors lead into a conservatory on one side, letting in lots of light, and making it easy to eat in there when it’s warm enough.
Things You Would Change: Most sinks in England are tiny and only have one compartment. Mine is larger than some, but the one-compartment thing is a real challenge! I have heard that most people don’t really rinse their dishes, or if they do, they just pour water over the backs on them on the drain board! So, a larger, two-compartment sink would be pretty dreamy at this point– so would a dishwasher! Our freezer is also pretty tiny, so I wouldn’t turn down a bigger one, if someone offered…
Favorite Tools & Gadgets: Well, I can’t point you to any good appliances, since every single one I have bought in the UK (besides my water kettle and espresso machine) has broken within weeks of purchase. But I really love having a good immersion blender (with whip and chopper attachments) and would use those almost daily. I cook most meals in my cast iron skillets, and love my super-sharp Henckels chef knife. I cannot imagine cooking without cast iron skillets, nice, big butcher block cutting boards, and good, sharp knives!
Biggest Challenges Cooking Real Food: Well, one of my favorite and most challenging aspects of cooking real food right now is keeping food in the house. Since we don’t cook with grains, I just don’t have much in the cupboards to draw from when it’s dinner time. Pretty much all of our food is fresh produce and fresh meat, with some eggs and dairy thrown in here and there. I shop at an open market twice a week, and visit my butcher two or three times a week. We have chickens that lay our eggs, but not quite enough! And our freezer is really small, as I mentioned, not allowing us to freeze much. So I feel like I am always shopping for food. But that is also one of my favorite things to do, so it’s not terrible!
Current Family Favorite Meal: Garlic and Thyme Marinated Spatchcock Chicken! It is so tender, juicy and delicious! I usually make some salad and a side dish of veggies, and then serve it with plenty of cold butter and home-made sauerkraut. So satisfying and delicious! We pretty much always eat the whole chicken (two adults, and a little girl.) I have also been experimenting lately with various fruit-based probiotic beverages, and those are always popular, too.
Favorite Cookbooks:I don’t actually cook out of a lot of cookbooks– I like to play with whatever I have on hand. That said, Nourishing Traditions was very influential for me, and my husband is learning to cook very well from the Nigel Slater cookbooks. One that inspired me to try to cook my way through the whole thing was The Arab Table — such beautiful food and flavors!
Me holding a pig’s leg as I was being taught by my local butcher how to break down a pig
Inside my cupboard — a strawberry lacto-fermented cider is brewing, and this is where I keep my few pantry staples: coconut oil, coconut flour, and some nuts and seeds.
I love having plenty of counter space to work with!
My favorite element of the kitchen– all of the sunlight that floods through the windows!
Our coffee station
I love open shelving, where I can see a few of my dishes pieces displayed.
I have a small but effective oven, and love cooking on a gas range.
I like to keep the basics handy, right by the stove: Olive oil, butter, Maldon sea salt, and pepper.
We keep most of our fresh produce on the counter — I love seeing all of the bounty, and nothing gets forgotten about.
Spices in glass jars — I love to be able to see my ingredients clearly, and I think food is beautiful!
Here’s a family favorite: Spatchcock chicken marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, ginger and thyme, then grilled!
Check Out the Previous Real Food Kitchen Tour Posts
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Whole Green Love
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Homemade Mommy
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Pantry Book
Real Food Kitchen Tour: McKenzie McCarty
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Dimes2Vines
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Gutsy
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Wannabe Homesteader
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourishing Our Children
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Life Is A Melody
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Too Many Jars in My Kitchen!
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Natural Health at Home
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Promise Land Farm
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Mama and Baby Love
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Healthy Habit Coach
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Life From Scratch
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Our Nourishing Roots
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Jody Brantley
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Eating My Vegetables
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Well Fed Homestead
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Farm Food Blog
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Unmistakably Food
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Health
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Prairie Homestead
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Bubbling Brook Farm
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Taste is Trump
Real Food Kitchen Tour: CHEESESLAVE
Real Food Kitchen Tour: GAPS Diet Kitchen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Mom
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Radically Natural Living
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Amanda Brown
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Pamela Montazeri
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Cracking an Egg with One Hand
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Yolks, Kefir & Gristle
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Okparaeke Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Holistic Kid
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Artistta
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Nourished & Nurtured
Real Food Kitchen Tour: May All Seasons Be Sweet to Thee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Horting Family
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Hybrid Rasta Mama
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Granola Mom 4 God
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Devotee
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Real Food Forager
Real Food Kitchen Tour: The Leftover Queen
Real Food Kitchen Tour: Health Home & Happiness
Let Us Tour Your Kitchen
Are you a real foodie? Do you have a kitchen that you’d like to see featured on CHEESESLAVE?
Please email me at Questions AT realfoodmedia dot com. Either send me a link to a Flickr set or email me your photos (minimum of 5, but more is better). Note: Please send me LARGE photos. Minimum 610 width. If they’re too small, I can’t use them.
Oh, and please send the answers to the above questions (at the very top of this post).
As much as I’d love to include all the photos I receive, I can’t guarantee that I will use your photos in the series. I’m looking for creative, good quality photos.
Some ideas for photos:
- Show us what’s in your fridge or what’s fermenting on your counter
- Take some snaps of some of your favorite kitchen gadgets, or show us how you organize your spices
- Got backyard chickens? Send some pics!
- How about a lovely herb garden?
- Kids or pets are always cute!
- Try to include at least one photo of yourself, ideally in your kitchen
And no, you don’t have to have a blog to be included in the tour.
Photo credit: A warm welcome Project365(3) Day 10 by Keith Williamson, on Flickr and photos by Memories by Michelle
Disclosure: cmp.ly/4 and cmp.ly/5