Wednesday 1 December 2010

Desert Island Ingredients...

Following on from my last post about some of my favourite cookbooks....and I realised that I left out one that I use just about every day:

this is an absolute bible for bakers who need lots of frequent inspiration...I can't recommend it highly enough really!

Anyway, now that I've rectified that omission, I thought I'd start a new debate: what are the ingredients you'd take of you were stranded on a desert island? Of course, we'd have to assume that there were decent cooking facilities there and that the island was well-stocked with meat, fruit, vegetables & fish...! I really mean those 'storecupboard' items that tend to be used most often in your kitchen!

I'll start:

Lemons - totally indispensable as far as I'm concerned! I use them such a lot...sweet, savoury, to season & sharpen up dishes galore.

Chilis - I'm fairly addicted to their heat & add them to lots of dishes that don't list them as an tomatoes on toast, sauteed broccolli, minestrone soup. I don't think I could live without them.

Similarly, black peppercorns - Paul & I are renowned for reaching for the pepper grinder immediately. I just love it's flavour & gentle heat.

Coffee. Just one cup. Black. Every morning. But it has to be real...

Rice - every type, every colour. I could eat it at every meal - if I wasn't eating....

Pasta! Spaghetti, preferably. i don't know why but I'm not really a 'shapes' person. Bizarre!

Tomatoes - so versatile, so delicious. I could sun dry them, eat them raw...

And I'd have to have a pulse of some kind.But I really can't choose between chickpeas and black-eyed beans. So I'd have both!

Of course, normally I'd be adding Maldon salt to my list. But I'm assuming that I'd be able to make my own by using the seawater that laps the shores of my incredible restaurant-kitchen-type island!

So let me know your thoughts...I know that I'll think of a few more necessities as soon as I publish this post, but I think I've included the ones that are most important to me!

It's so cold here right now, although we seem to have been bypassed by all but a smattering of snow so far. I'm eating far too much. Every cup of warming tea has to be accompanied by a slice of madeira cake, every glass of wine by a handful of smoked almonds. But I'm telling myself that I need the extra calories to keep warm!

If it's cold where you are, wrap up well and eat plenty! xo


  1. Oil, lemon or vinegar, salt, Dijon mustard, eggs. So I can make mayonnaise. Mayonnaise with fish, with whatever I can find on the desert island to eat.

  2. Rachel, don't feel guilty about those extra slices of madeira cake or a few more almonds - you're right - it's so cold we need to warm up eating a bit more than in summer months. I, on the other hand, am keeping warm by drinking a lot, really a lot, hot chocolate. But good stuff - dark, colombian, thick, with whole and organic milk. Such a balm for the soul and frozen body...

  3. hi i was reading your list i was thinking to myself Mauldons and Pasta...and there it was !!!! on your list too :-)

    we think alike, my friend. oh, yes we do :-)

    sending love to you and alice today,
    kary and teddy

  4. Very interesting post Rachel! At my house, I cannot live without

    1. onions
    2. garlic
    3. black peppercorns
    4. salt
    5. tomatoes
    6. coffee
    7. milk

    These would be the indispensable items I would take with me to a desert island. Oh, and by the way, would have to take all my spices with me too! ;o)

  5. I'm with guillaume - mayo ingredients to go with fish, plus a small coffee plantation, and a field full of garlic bulbs. some chili plants and a rice paddie - that should do it. Oh and some ginger roots and the odd chicken running around. I could live without cake. do I get kicked off this site for saying that? I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't want to live without cake....

  6. What a nice idea :-)
    I am a planning type of person, so my first question would be: how long would I stay at the island.
    I guess what I would love to have at the islands are several spices, I dream of a rather tropical island, so there will be loads of fruits, veggies (and of course chillies and all kind of tomatoes :-) growing there. And hope that there would be herbs, otherwise I would need some seeds.
    Spices would be Indian, Thai and South American: some cumino, curcuma, other ingridients for curry,
    and yes a field of garlic, onions and maybe cocoa beans would be right there where our cows are living :-)
    And at least one pan for frying, ...
    Some blasamico would be great.
    I guess I could life without coffee if I really, really would have to (but without chocolate - noooo).
    Love from snow burried Salzburg - we had sun today :-)


I love to read what you write! Thanks for visiting! xo