discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

In my kitchen ~ December 2015

Here we are at the end of another year and the final installment of my IMK series hosted by the lovely Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.  If you'd like to take a peek into other peoples kitchens from all around the world pop over and take a look....grab yourself a cuppa or a wine and settle in to see what's been happening in my kitchen.

So, December...one of my favourite months.  I know there are many who don't like Christmas or the craziness that seems to come at this time of year but I love it.  I don't have to worry about overloaded social engagements (just a nice steady stream....)nor do I have to spend too much on gifts and I think this has a lot to do with it.  I'm lucky to have never really had any Christmas family dramas of drunken fights or other bad behaviour - smooth sailing I'm very blessed to say.  Two years ago I took over the reigns of cooking Christmas lunch and I love hosting this as my gift to my family...

In my kitchen is lots of fresh garden produce...these carrots I love roasted with cumin, 
our purple garlic didn't fair that great a crop this year but I'm making lots of garlic butter for the freezer so I can use it for months to come.
this years basil has been so leafy I'm in heaven!  I just wish the tomatoes would hurry along so I can enjoy them altogether :)

lots of cavolo nero and mint - I love the cavolo nero lightly blanched, drained well and then tossed with evoo, garlic and lemon juice.
In my kitchen I've been making ricotta gnocchi with fresh sage & lemon burnt butter as a potato substitute that is sublime.

that heady smell of frying sage, butter and evoo gets me everytime
In my kitchen I've been crushing on this unfiltered evoo that I got from a trip to La Manna in Melbourne - perfect to dress a salad or add a slug to finish off dishes. 
In my kitchen is duck fat for my roasted potatoes on Christmas day.  I buy a whole duck and render the fat which I find is more cost effective than paying for just the duck fat and the added bonus of roasted duck for dinner!  Aldi stock Luv a duck at this time of year at only around $14 a bird which is great when you can pay up to $10 just for the fat at some grocers!!!
In my kitchen has been the sweetest locally grown cherries that we have been eating by the kilo - yum!
In my kitchen is this Turducken that I'll be roasting Christmas morning.  I know, I know, it's cheating but it will make for a dreamy lunch service ;) I've never had one before and am really looking forward to trying it - fingerscrossed it's good!! I wonder if any of you had tried one?
In my kitchen on Christmas day will be my treasured carving set brought from the Waterloo markets in Belgium a few years ago.
It wouldn't be December in my kitchen without my shortbread
rosemary salt that are all perfect for gifts or just to enjoy in your own kitchen ;)
In my kitchen sits my latest crochet project that I'm loving creating.  It will be a large blanket for the end of my bed.  I originally started the pattern from here but I've changed colours and some stitches along the way so now I'm just flying solo with my own ideas.
and finally, I'll leave you with a quote that I think just puts life into some sort of  perspective for me!

Ciao, Jan x

36 comments :

  1. It sounds like you have Christmas completely under control. That's very good advice about buying a duck because it works out economically to be the best option. I must do that very soon as I'm serving duck fat potatoes on Christmas Day too. And you have so much beautiful produce from your garden - I'm loving the basil! xx

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    1. How good are duck fat potatoes Christmas or no Christmas!!! Thanks Charlie - I'm making basil butter today to help spread the basil out a bit longer this year xxx

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  2. I absolutely love that quote-it's quite true indeed! And what gorgeous finds in your kitchen. $14 for a duck is very reasonable! :O Thanks for the reminder about your shortbread Jan!

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    1. I'm sure you have a million shortbread recipes Lorraine, but you know the saying, ours is best :)x

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  3. So much homegrown goodness in your kitchen! I'm surprised to see your kale is still growing - mine wilted a couple of weeks ago when the hot weather arrived. The chickens are enjoying what's left of it now :-)
    Your garlic looks great! I think I'll have to try growing some next year. Is it easy to grow?

    Jealous of those cherries!

    Sarah x

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    1. Our Kale goes strongly into January Sarah - I'm in South west Vic so we haven't had much hot weather yet. The garlic isn't hard to grow as such but can be tempermental!! We keep back bulbs to plant out each year - so one clove will produce one bulb, there's heaps on the internet and it really is worth trying as the flavour is sublime. xxx

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  4. I am with Lorraine. I love that quote. how perfect. So much that you have organised already. How amazing your garden must look with all that edible greenery. Have a great Christmas

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    1. that quote just puts my mind at ease Tania - perfect! I'm lucky to have a green thumbed husband and I couldn't imagine not having all of our greens - so addictive! You have a wonderful Christmas too. x

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  5. I am coming to your place for Christmas..... simply beautiful.

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    1. You my darling friend are so welcome to come xxxxx

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  6. Think I needed to read that quote right now Jan. Lots of treats in your kitchen. I was actually thinking about ricotta gnocchi for tonight as I haven't made it in a while and I have heaps of beautiful sage growing for a sage butter sauce.

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    1. I think that quote resignates with a lot of people Jem xxx such a simple but delicious recipe that gnocchi - great minds!!

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  7. Your basil looks so fresh and healthy!
    Thank you for a look inside your kitchen.
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways
    xx

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  8. Looks like a busy month in the kitchen and the crochet is coming along nicely....Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

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    1. Thanks Kathy - I'm not looking forward to the heat of summer with my crochet!!! xxx

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  9. Love the quote! We stopped having family drama's when we stopped going to the family on Christmas day ;) I need that purple garlic in my kitchen as well :)

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    1. It just puts life so well doesn't it Tandy :) hahaha yes that would stop the family dramas for you definately!!! xxx

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  10. A very nice kitchen! The gnocchi look great!

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  11. You have it all under control for Christmas don't you. Me too - it's just the two of us and we're going for a foot massage and then to our favourite Italian for gnocchi and pizza. Which reminds me - the plate your gnocchi is on is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing the lovely quote - we all need a reminder now and then that this imperfect life is quite perfect x

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    1. Your Christmas Day sounds wonderful Nancy!! Yes we do need reminding don't we :)x

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  12. Love the quote, it puts things in perspective. We will enjoy a quiet Christmas this year and I am hoping to have more time to enjoy it, even if the boys will drive me insane being home from school! I've seen talk of duck potatoes for Christmas on several IMK post now, is this an Australian tradition? All your garden produce looks delicious, I can't wait until spring arrives here and we can plant again.

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    1. I too cringe slightly at the thought of 6 weeks of no school Gretchen!! We can do it!!! :) I'm not sure if the duck fat potatoes are an Australian thing but you must make them - they are ah-mazing!!! x

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  13. So many goodies... and homegrown too. I adore basil - it's summer in leaf-form. I've never tried turducken. A few of my friends are serving it this year. I've been hosting our big family Christmas since my oldest son was born, 15 years ago. It, too, is a gift to my family. Last year I did a huge spread of Dude Food for Christmas lunch (BBQ ribs, pulled pork, slaw, home made dinner rolls, corn on the cob...) I haven't decided what to serve yet - may be turducken.

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    1. Love the dude food idea but not sure my traditionalist would go for it!!! We might have to compare nots in January Jennifer about the Turducken :)x

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  14. Jan, such gorgeous post. The gnocchi has me wishing it was in my kitchen right now. And cavolo nero is my all time favourite. Happy December x

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  15. Ohh jan, every time I read your blog. I instantly feel better. You 'get' the essence of living and I'm always inspired by you - and your love of good food..

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    1. My dear friend your words always make a tear spring to my eye - you are inspiring to me too :)x

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  16. This is the 2nd post in a row where I've spied duck fat - can't wait to put some in my own oven and reap the rewards! Meanwhile, Mr Tiffin is nagging me for Turducken so I expect it to be on the menu. Love the little dish the garlic is perched on.

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    1. You must be dying to get into your new kitchen Fiona!!! x

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  17. It looks like Christmas lunch is going to be a feast in your home! Oh and I love the rosemary salt gift idea!

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    1. Haha yes it sure will be!!! That rosemary salt is so simple but delicious!!

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  18. Hi Jan. I love all your produce. My vegie patch is a bit slow at the moment. Looks like you are going to have a wonderful lunch on Christmas day. Enjoy it.

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