Welcome to my Kitchen for the month of December. The very last one for 2014, and what a year it’s been. My first year blogging.
Warning: You may overdose on Christmas Spirit if you choose to read any further. Seriously. It’s like The North Pole spewed Christmas throughout my house after a big night on the eggnog. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In My Kitchen this December…
…well, it’s not technically IN my kitchen, but visible from the edge of my kitchen, is our Santa Advent Figure. Each night the Elves bring a little chocolate each (if Mummy Elf visits), or a 10c coin (if Daddy Elf visits 😦 ). Buddy rushes out of bed every morning to see if the Elves have been. His excitement at 7.30am each morning is delightfully infectious, and reminds me why we do this, and what the spirit of Christmas is about for my kids.
There is also a handmade material calendar that I bought off eBay a few years ago whilst trying to avoid the commercial chocolate advent calendars. The kids choose a different cut out to hang on the buttonholes each morning. After they’ve eaten their piece of chocolate from the Elves…
…is my ode to Nigella Lawson. I asked SO to put up fairy lights throughout my kitchen to impart the cheery, wistfulness of Nigella’s Christmas kitchen, and I got two bells. So, I’ve rearranged all our candles so I can light them up and create it myself. It may be a fire hazard, but I check and double check every night that I’ve blown them all out. This also includes getting up hours after I’ve gone to bed, just to triple check…
…is a HUGE stack of fresh fruit, veg and cheese, that I sourced from the Capital Region Farmers Markets at EPIC. I was asked (actually, I near on begged), to attend a tour of the markets, led by their Marketing team, along with a bunch of other Canberra bloggers, specifically to showcase all the beautiful and usually local, produce. We were given a voucher for $100 and told to come up with a menu that best befit that of a Christmas celebratory table. I called it my #Christmaschallenge, and certainly got on with the task with relish. I will be doing a blog post on this, it was a stack of fun, and if you check out my Instagram, you’ll see what I’ve done with my bounty so far.
…is a heady mix of spiced brandied cumquats, chartreused apricots and apples, cranberries, dried figs, sultanas, dates and a whole lotta brandy. I’ve been asked to make a couple of Christmas fruit cakes for a colleague. I made one, we tested it on Friday at a planning day, it was great, she said YES Please! Just like that one, thanks. And I promptly forgot what recipe I used. So, I’ve made one up. Based loosely on one of Nigella’s, with completely different ingredients.
And here’s one I prepared earlier. This is a huge cake, prepared with another recipe (also Nigella’s, do you see a theme here?), which will go away with us for Christmas Day, to be cut in memory of Grandma.
…is my very first Christmas Dinner Set (see, Capitals, very important). It only has 20 pieces, so only 4 place settings, and that is just never enough, so I may have to buy another. Oh, and the aforementioned Christmas cake, eaten for breakfast with a strong coffee prior to getting dressed up, as per the above, and baking all day.
And here it is all set up for our #Christmaschallenge dinner last night. Excuse the plastic wine goblets, with littlies at the table, it was imperative. For their safety, from me, in the event that something was broken.
…is a lovely surprise pack from Essential Ingredient, Canberra. I’ve used the lemon agrumato (olive oil) in many things, it’s lovely and lemony. I did a faux carbonara the other day with bacon (Pialligo Estate, as pictured), Greek Yogurt, peas and this oil and it was fantastic. I really must put the recipe up on the blog. I bought the Christmas sprinkles, as I couldn’t walk past their Christmas display without buying something from it. Check out the cake below, covered in them. So festive! I’ve yet to use the other two ingredients, but Christmas presents the perfect op to test them out.
…are the Christmas tree cake pans I debuted last month. Banana cake was requested at work, and why not make it a Christmas tree banana cake? Who remembers the Womens Weekly cookbooks? I’ve got about 20 of them, and use the Buttery Banana cake in this one, Every. Single. Time I make a banana cake. Never failed me.
And here it is in all it’s glory. Tip to the unwise, decorate your cake on a pretty board, so you don’t get stuck with it on the base of your carry thingy. The cake pans are a winner. Going to make a triple coloured Christmas jelly in them next.
…is the jolly little Buddy. He’s a sucker for an elf hat, a Christmas t-shirt and “helping” mummy bake cakes. He may or may not have licked the spatulas whilst I wasn’t looking. What do you think?
…is the view from my kitchen throughout December. Candles, singing teddy bears, Nativity scenes that change every day…
….my beautiful Christmas tree. I’m very traditional with my colour scheme, I just can’t come at purples and pinks and silvers etc. Reds, greens and golds are the colours strewn round my house. And I have to thank Becc, from The Intolerant Chef who gave me the idea of winding tuille like material around the tree to fill it a little more colour and bulk out the tree a bit, as I threw out all the tinsel 3 years ago. Eek, shudder, tinsel.
BTW, check out Becc’s upside down tree, she’s simply a Christmas legend, and my idol. Next to Nigella.
…and the view in the daylight, with just a few more of my Christmas “things”.
…is the leftover pavlova from the #Christmaschallenge, a Baileys coffee, Bing, Frank and Harry in the background, all getting me in the mood to write my Decembers IMK.
Well, there you have it. Almost a quarter of all things Christmas in the Food Marshall’s house. Or, as I like to call it on Instagram, The Food Marshall’s Christmas House of Merry Joy Joy. Tragic, I know.
Thanks for dropping by and checking out what’s in my kitchen. Head over to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial to see what everyone else is up to. See you next month. January, ee Gads, it’s a New Year!