In My Kitchen, November 2013

Well, that’s it for Halloween so down here in Oz, (as we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving), our next big event in the calendar is Christmas.  On with the Christmas baking.  In my kitchen I have dried fruits and glace fruits and nuts soaking in brandy and orange juice for the Christmas cakes I will bake next week.  I always make one for us and one for my parents.  Miss Arabella asked, ‘Why only two, mum?  Can’t you make more?’

‘Who for, Arabella?’ ‘I don’t know’, she said, ‘It would just be nice to have a few more’.  Feel free to place your order.

Dried and Glace fruits and nuts soaking in orange juice and brandy

Dried and Glace fruits and nuts soaking in orange juice and brandy

In my kitchen I have real marzipan (not that awful paste made with artificial flavouring) and royal icing to frost my cakes with.  I have in the past made my own royal icing but it wasn’t able to be rolled.  I do like to roll icing over a Christmas cake so I buy the packaged icing.  I bought these items today because I live in fear of there being none left at the last minute like that scene with the ham in Christmas at the Kranks.

Well stocked!

Well stocked!

In my kitchen I have a new soap.  I’m always washing my hands and I became tired of using supermarket brands and felt my ageing hands could do with some VIP treatment.  I indulged in this beautiful lavender fragranced soap which is beautifully packaged and looks lovely on the window sill in my kitchen – a touch of blue which is exactly what I’m trying to introduce.

Lavender soap

Lavender soap

In my kitchen I have a lovely Romy hand cream that I won at Lorraine’s Halloween party for the best death scene.  It was probably also the longest and most drawn-out death scene of the night and some would put that down to talent, others to excessive alcohol. I’m actually very familiar with the Romy brand and have used their products a lot.  It’s an Australian owned company and all the products are made using natural ingredients.  I believe that if you travel first class on Qantas you’re given Romy toiletry gift packs.

A prize!

A prize!

In my kitchen I have new placemats and let me tell you, this upgrade was long overdue.  My other sets are stained and faded and I’ve had them for so long I was just tired of looking at them.  I bought this blue set that I think will be most useful with all the upcoming summer entertaining.

They will be ironed before I use them!

They will be ironed before I use them!

Not quite in my kitchen but just outside the door is my laundry basket filled with air-dried beautifully clean washing.  And making a nest in my washing basket is strictly forbidden however, when it comes to my two girls, I’m known for glossing over their sins.  Most dachshunds are born with springs in their legs so they can jump up onto furniture like sofas and beds which is actually very damaging for their backs.  But my Ruby was born without any springs and she has never ever been able to jump up onto anything.  Except for clean washing.  If clean washing is around, suddenly she finds her springs.  And for that accomplishment, I leave her be.

Beautiful Ruby has made herself a nest

Beautiful Ruby has made herself a nest

So that’s what’s happening in my kitchen this month.  If you’d like to share with us your own kitchen goodies, please link up with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. If you liked this post, you’re welcome to share it.

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  1. Yummy preparations and I like your touches of blue.

  2. You could bake Christmas cake for the whole street, Mum! Clever idea to stock up on marzipan and icing now – it might well be gone in a few weeks time! And congratulations on winning the prize at Lorraine’s party, I’m sure your death scene was Oscar-worthy (no pun intended).. 🙂

  3. Charlie, how wonderful to see some “TLC” items in with your IMK goodies… a timely reminder to take care of ourselves first so we can better take care of others. By the way, If you’re inspired to make another Christmas cake, please put me on your list.;)

  4. Lets keep it local and say I think your death scene Charlie was only outshone by your husband because he didn’t have so many fits before he dropped off. Nice work though scoring the Romy. I am glad to see that you too are completely blind to the rules when it comes to your Ruby as I am with mine. Happy November dear Charlie

  5. and I meant to say that he only out shone you because the photo of him was marginally less blurring than the one of you ( because of aforementioned fits). I got a bit lost and forgot to finish the comment above

  6. L’Occitane used to (maybe still do?) do a lemon verbena handwash that rocked my world, and I bet that lavender one is gorgeous too – they do such beautiful products! I love young adult logic, it comes from a different world 🙂

  7. The new placemats are a beautiful color!! ANd if you feel so inclined to send a cake my way…I wouldn’t so no. Though I”m not quite sure how it would survive such a long travel time. 😛

  8. I definitely agree with Arabella!

  9. Air dried laundry is the best. I’ve been known to hang laundry outside in January with snow on the ground. Yes, in Minnesota. If it’s a sunny day, the clothes will mostly dry by the time the sun slips below the horizon.

  10. I’ve never liked marzipan but now I’m thinking maybe its because I’ve been eating the fake stuff? My husband goes on about how delicious it is and I just don’t get it. I think I better give it a go again!
    I love that you are going to iron your placemats. You are amazing! I’m so lazy, I’d just hang them under the sun and hope the creases just smooth out themselves, and if not, then pop a plate over them and hope no one notices!! Love the colour and the blue touches 🙂

  11. Fun, but I like the laundry basket of pups best of all.

  12. Love the place mats and your outdoor table! Perfect for summer food photography. I had no idea you could buy a marzipan mix.

    Ruby is the sweetest thing. 🙂

  13. Oh I’ll legit eat the marzipan.

  14. Yeh!!! I´ld want one of your Christmas cakes!!!! Can you send it to Argentina…. please….!!! 🙂

    Lovely outdoors place, too!

  15. Like how you think and plan. One Christmas cake for me please. My ageing hands could do with some VIP treatment also, must look into this.

  16. I too will stock up on Christmas pantry items, because I too am afraid of not being able to find what I need! I’d like to order one of your Christmas Cakes, do you think Customs would let it through? 😉

  17. I love your delicious lavender soap Charlie – I have lavender right next to my front door so I can pinch it and sniff every time I go past.

  18. Hehe I’m glad that you’re enjoying the cream! And they have it in First Class huh? I actually love the Maelin and Goetz products in Business Class. Alas never been first class!

  19. Your post reminds me that I’m in the market for a new tablecloth (actually several for various seasons). I’m looking forward to seeing your Christmas cake post.

  20. Hmm – you’ve inspired me to start on the xmas pudding.

    ( I’ve been asked a couple of times by lovely (but unthinking) Americans what we do in Australia on Thanksgiving!)

    • It’s amazing, Melissa, that you’ve been asked how we celebrate Thanksgiving. I would have thought they’d have known it’s an American and Canadian day only. But having said that, I do wish the celebration would filter through to here – it does seem like one of the best days in the calendar.

  21. Was Arabella offering to help make the extra Christmas cakes? I’m like you with stocking up on things early. Nothing worse than rushing around trying to find it at the last minute.

  22. I love the nesting 4 legged fur buddy the best feature of your kitchen lol!! Love the teal.

  23. The L’Occitane products are so wonderful! The verbena is great. I highly recommend the milk body wash for a lovely bubble bath and. Their candles are fabulous too. My dad used to spoil us girls with it every Christmas.

  24. You are absolutely well stocked in the icing department! It is starting to feel close to Christmas now – more, I think, because Perth has moved into summer weather (which I associate Christmas) than actual time proximity – and I hope the baking goes well even if Miss A thinks 2 cakes isn’t enough. I think 2 Christmas cakes is enough effort for anyone.

    As for Ruby – how could you complain. She looks so peaceful!

  25. G’day Charlie and thank you for this month’s kitchen view!
    I have never tried marzipan and perhaps now I should for the holidays thanks to you!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Look forward to your holiday cooking and baking too! 🙂

  26. Looks very busy in there. I bet those Christmas cakes will be good.

  27. Looking forward to seeing the completed cakes. Ruby gets a kiss on the snozz from me 🙂

  28. I would like to place my order for Christmas cakes now, please. I suppose shipping overnight will be a little prohibitive, but I am tempted to put you to the test. LOL! Seriously, though, I am impressed with your advanced planning. I can hardly handle thinking about the end of the year, but soon I will have to get with it!

  29. Love your little dachshunds. We have one too, but it’s a kelpie cross.

  30. I definitely think you can never have too many fruitcakes on hand Charlie- lucky I have so many in my family!
    It’s nice to have some pamper products in the kitchen, how lovely 🙂 xox

  31. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen and the darling Ruby in the clean laundry. I’ve been known to put a wicker laundry basket on top of the upright freezer in the laundry room and filling it with old sheets that I’ve put in the dryer to warm up. The cats love it. They like being in the basket and Charlie can’t get to them.

    I think I told you I’ve never made a Christmas cake but I think this is the year I should start. 🙂

  32. I love that L’Occitane soap.

  33. I love the entire post!
    The fooOOood.
    The Cranks.
    AND especially that little furry gem in the laundry basket! Xx

  34. #2 Son’s Girlfriend has decided she wants to learn to bake some of my specialties,(nothing too fancy).She has been here working on them, although some are already posted on my blog.She tries to take short cuts and make substitutions of inferior products…yeah,I’ve straightened her out good! Although I love Thanksgiving,I envy the extra time you have to get ready for Christmas.

  35. Does Christmas Cake meet the latest dietary requirements or are we making an exception for a day? I’m too lazy to iron place mats Charlie – I’d just stick a plate on top and go with the ‘rustic’ look!

  36. Love the ham scene from The Kranks! I see you really did stock up on the icing, how much is in a box? Maybe you can do a kitchen post next week when the cakes are done, I want to see those too, though I remember your cake from last year.
    Lovely fruit, and your touch of blue and the lotion. Cute little Ruby too.


  37. Rather safe than sorry Charlie, so good on you for getting your icing now. I love the look of your new soap – I too am forever washing my hands and for the last year have bought a liquid soap for the kitchen purely based on it’s smell. It is green which doesn’t match anything in my kitchen! As much as I love the look of your new place mats, I love your table even more! One day, we will own a lovely table like that – one day!
    My cats get away with murder so I fully appreciate your lovely Ruby nesting in your clean laundry.
    Have a super week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

  38. I do admire your Christmas preparedness! I need to get started on my cranberry liqueur and just can’t seem to get in action yet. You have some wonderful things in your kitchen including that sweet little dachshund.

  39. Good for Ruby! I’d leave her as well! Do you have a clothesline out back? I’d love to have one here, it makes all the difference, especially with sheets. I splurge on nice hand soap and cream as well. It’s a little treat for all the work we do in the kitchen, right?!xx

  40. I’ve also got fruit soaking for a Christmas cake to be baked today. It’s the first one I’ve ever made!

  41. Christmas cakes already? Oh, Charlie! I’m soo not ready for this. Considering her jump-less existence, there’s just no way anyone could command Ruby to leave the clothes basket. Besides, what’s a little dog fur among friends? I had a cairn terrier that put on some weight, later in life. He’d beg for me to lift him onto an old sofa, poor thing. Then one afternoon, I saw him leap and catch a sparrow in flight. I never lifted him onto the sofa again. Surprisingly, he rediscovered the spring in his leap shortly thereafter. 🙂

  42. I’m loving all the glimpses into everyone’s kitchens this month. I love that it’s nearing summer for you and the touches of blue are perfect! I’m definitely not thinking of Christmas yet. Have to get through Thanksgiving first. Then the time crunch for Christmas will be on. Just the thought of it makes me want to curl up on warm laundry. 🙂

  43. I use the same Occitane soap, but I am partial to the almond scent. My mother, however, is a lavander fan.
    P.S. I can’t believe how organized you are about your Xmas baking… I am in awe…

  44. Well I laughed at that Kranks trailer so thanks for the giggle. Busy times ahead with the Christmas cooking so glad you got the jump on it. Thanks for the tour!

  45. sounds like halloween is over and christmas planning is underway – I am constantly washing my hands in the kitchen too and buy a nice soap I like for it (though not very fancy). And I like your idea of blue decor for summer – very mediterranean 🙂

  46. Beautiful Ruby, my dogs haven’t climbed into a laundry basket for many years but I have some very funny photos of them squabbling over one left in a sunny spot one day. I love lavender scented hand wash, I use one made by ecover. How nice to have a peek in your kitchen! much love Jo

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