on the April table


I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.

April has flown by! Once again, this moment captured was a quiet one, with a cup of tea. This teacup and saucer comes from a set of three with jug, which I picked up at a car boot sale at my old secondary school, when the eldest boy was a babe. It’s the prettiest patterned china that I own, and when I moved it off the dresser to make space for our Osterbaum, I just had to pour myself a cuppa in it.

The Kilner jar with the yellow label feels like the sixth member of the family- it’s my pampered sourdough starter, given to me by Tom Herbert and still very much alive, I’m pleased to say. My commitment to the #52loavesproject has only deepened over time. I love the camaraderie with my fellow bakers and am amazed at my developing skills and the way in which the confidence to regularly bake bread has subtly altered the very fabric of our family life. I’m generally baking a couple of loaves a week at the moment and my latest sourdough loaf was pretty much perfect, I just hope that I can recreate it! The orange 1984 notebook is my dedicated bread-making notebook, where I write down the details of every bake: proving time, water temperature, oven temperature. It’s pretty geeky, but it really helps with the learning process, and my loaves have definitely improved as a result.

As a vase, I use a Horlicks mixing glass, inherited from my Granny. Rather marvellously, it comes with a plunger, not unlike a cafetiere! I have yet to make Horlicks in it, however. Lilacs are some of my very favourite flowers, and my joy at having a lilac tree in our garden is unbounded; having spent many years scrumping sprigs over walls, I can now pick lilac to my heart’s content. It smells divine, and I am reminded, as I am every year, of the T.S. Eliot poem, Portrait of a Lady: 

‘Now that the lilacs are in bloom

She has a bowl of lilacs in her room

And twists one in her fingers while she talks’

As for the coloured knitting needles, well, I cannot see a pair in a charity shop without buying them for my collection. I don’t actually knit with them, preferring to use metal or wooden needles, but there is something so very cheerful about their brightness and the way that they jumble together in the jar that I keep on my shelf. The brooch, a Mother’s Day present from the boys a few years ago, came from Howkapow and was made using cross sections of plastic needles just like these. I love its colourful constellation.

Lilac, green, lemon and orange : the April table.

The kitchen story so far:

{the January table}

{the February table}

{the March table}

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