In my kitchen there is a lot going on. It’s all because of Christmas and with that comes gifts to be made and copious entertaining and all the invites to bring-a-plate events. Excellent! And it’s hot. We’re fortunate in that even though we don’t have air-conditioning, our house stays relatively cool. But it’s still 26C (78.8F) in my kitchen and climbing.
In my kitchen I have festive fruit and nut cakes that I made as gifts for Tania and Celia. After last year’s kerfuffle, this year I’m making all my cakes gluten-free. But whether you’re using flour or GF flour, these cakes only require a quarter of a cup and the rest is glace fruits, dried fruits and nuts. Then when the cakes are baked they’re drizzled with a toffee to make them pretty and glossy. I’ll share the recipe in an upcoming post.
In my kitchen I have four cakes in the oven. This is the last of the traditional cakes I’m making this season. Including these I have made 10 traditional cakes and all (except the one for my family) are being given to those who have contributed to our lives this year like teachers, coaches, pastors and personal assistants.
In my kitchen I have a Christmas cake I’ve just decorated as a gift for my parents. I’ve left it very plain because my mother has little decorations that will be stuck onto the cake by my six-year-old niece.
In my kitchen I have a near-empty bottle of brandy. It’s not me who’s been thirsty – it’s the Christmas cakes. I bought this bottle to soak the fruit and nuts and somehow I’ve managed to get through almost an entire bottle. It will be a boozy Christmas.
Speaking of boozy, in my kitchen I have a bottle of Irish Cream given to me by Celia. Celia made this herself and if you’d like to make some to give away as gifts (or even to swig on yourself), you can find the recipe here on Celia’s blog. We enjoyed our little medicinal bottle on a recent very hot night. We sat outside on the verandah and poured this into glasses filled with crushed ice. It was very refreshing and a lovely way to end a hot and busy day.
In my kitchen I have a loaf of three-nut sourdough given to me by Celia. I recently met with Celia and Tania for lunch in a restaurant and despite the heat, (a 40C/105F day), Celia had been up early baking bread for me and Tania. After eating a large and long Italian lunch I came home and had nothing more for dinner other than slices of this bread with cheese. So good!
In my kitchen I have Celia’s handmade marinated feta cheese. The cheese has been marinated in chillies, rosemary and garlic. One night when it was really hot (yes, there’s been a few scorchers), I made a roasted beetroot salad for dinner with baby spinach, mint and toasted walnuts with the feta crumbled over the top. I’d show you the photo however it’s a dud.
In my kitchen I have a beautiful disc of chocolate made for me by Celia. It’s a very rich and dark chocolate that looks so pretty that it almost seems a shame to break it up. We haven’t eaten it yet as I’m saving it for a special occasion.
In my kitchen I have a gift from Tania. I happened to mention, (I wasn’t hinting, pinky-swear) that I had run out of quality balsamic vinegar. Quick as a flash, Tania presented me with a bottle of beautiful Italian balsamic that I used when I made the salad with Celia’s marinated feta. Using a quality vinegar really makes a difference to a salad.
In my kitchen I have a bottle of Italian olive oil given to me by Tania. I don’t often buy myself expensive oils so when I received this bottle of quality virgin oil I was beyond pleased. I’m keeping it at the back of my pantry away from young adults who might use it for some random and inappropriate purpose like, ‘I heard it’s good to condition your hair in olive oil’ as it disappears down the drain.
In my kitchen I have a shortbread mould given to me by Joanne. So thoughtful! I make shortbread every Christmas as it’s such a lovely buttery treat for when friends drop in or very useful as a hostess gift. I’ve never made shortbread using a mould so that is my challenge for this Christmas season.
In my kitchen I have a bowl of Christmas potpourri. It’s filling the house with the scent of pine and spices and all things Christmasy.
In my kitchen I have a little nativity scene. On the weekend Alfie and I set up our house for Christmas. We’re good to go all except for the tree. We buy a real tree so we have to wait until the middle of December before we set it up or it will be dead before the big day.
And that’s what’s going on in my kitchen this month. If you’d like to join in on posting an ‘In My Kitchen’ post, please link up with Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial before December 10.