Home: Amanda from The Women's Room
Location: Barnes, London
What do you do in the kitchen and who with? Music and mess happens. Although the kitchen is the centre of my cooking universe, three teenage sons and middleagedad also think it is the music capital of the house and so I have to share the domestic bliss with heavy rock. What usually happens is that I am pottering around happily listening to Joni Mitchell when a son or middleagedad will come in and say "Oh not this rubbish" and changes the music to Animal Collective/Led Zepplin/Dizzee Rascal. They will then instantly leave the kitchen and I am left listening to some hideous hip hop rap junk with unsavory lyrics or Robert Plant's wailing. When I do get the place to myself I hang around the aga, listen to Radio Four and cook too much food.
How would you describe your style? A cross between the British Museum and a junk shop. I love displaying stuff and find it impossible to buy just one of anything, I have collections of pestle and morters, weighing scales, glass jars, Victorian jelly moulds, rolling pins, old keys, antique patchwork tablecloths and other weird stuff picked up from our travels. I also buy furniture that is not meant for kitchens, my knife drawer is an old printers setting chest, cookery books are stored in an old French baker's shop fixture and my condiments sit on an old garage zinc tool bench. I'm not a fitted kitchen girl.
What is your most useful item? I rely heavily on my two clock timer (Lakeland again). With an aga you can't smell when stuff is burning and I have a memory that is degenerating with age, so without it everything would be cinders. It is not unusual to find fossilized remains of baked potatoes months after they were put in to cook.
My favourite item is my newest set of chrome Santo Stefano scales bought in Italy last year. They are gorgeous and deadly acurate.