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In My December Kitchen

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It’s heating up in my December kitchen. With less than four weeks until Christmas day, preparations are underway to stock the fridge to help cope with the pressures of the busy lead up period. I find the caterers brain clicks into gear in anticipation of a time poor and fun rich month. I marinate fetta and olives, pickle vegetables and fruit, stock up on cheese, vacuum packed prosciutto, salami, smoked salmon and white anchovies. Airtight containers I fill to the brim with pita crisps to serve with dips, oatcakes to serve with cheese, grissini to serve with antipasto.

I’m always generous in the amounts I prepare as Christmas marks the beginning of the summer holidays in Australia. I like cooking to be a discretionary pastime during January’s lazy days, so longlife leftovers form the basis of lazy lunches.

The days of Christmas fruitcake and fruit mince pies passed with my parents. Those with a sweet tooth won’t miss out though, I’ll make panaforte, hazelnut bread and chocolate Yuletides log. They were a big hit last year and all have a long shelf life

We’re free this Christmas day to sleep in, hog the whole bottle of brunch champagne and laze around until late afternoon. Then we’ll be invaded by excited grandkids and their weary parents. Because they’ll have eaten a huge lunch of roast turkey and plum pud with the inlaws I’ll keep it light. Seafood, salads, cherries, berries and gelato all feature on my current plan.

Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial generously hosts the wonderful monthly In My Kitchen forum where bloggers from around the world share what’s happening currently in their kitchens. I highly recommend you take a look.

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About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

46 comments on “In My December Kitchen

  1. sherry from sherryspickings
    December 17, 2014

    have a great xmas. looks like you are getting ready in plenty of time unlike me! i meant to make more edible gifts but just haven’t seemed to get to it. oh well. next year. tho i did make some truffles and home made worcester!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 17, 2014

      I anticipated an horrendous December so got in early. Still lots to do though including catching up on reading the IMK posts. Have a great Christmas Sherry…

      Like

  2. Sandra, you’re very wise – I find December is (counterintuitively perhaps) a month of trying to cook as little as possible! It’s a nicer way to enjoy the festivities than to be flat out! All your food looks outrageously delicious and I’m so happy you get the grandkids in the afternoon, when someone else has tired them out first.. 😉 Have a fabulous Christmas! xx

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 14, 2014

      Well it looked super organized 2 weeks ago, then we sold our beach house with 3 weeks to clear our stuff out. All hell broke loose…I might have a week to get ready if I’m lucky! Have a happy family festive season Celia.

      Like

  3. missfoodfairy
    December 10, 2014

    WOW! You’re busy preparing beautiful gifts too! I wish I had the time to prepare edible gifts – they all sound lovely. Enjoy your relaxing Christmas morning and all the very best for the New Year – see you next IMK x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 11, 2014

      It was all looking calm at the end of Nov, chaos has taken over unfortunately but there is still a couple of weeks to take control. Thanks for visiting….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. emmabarrett1508
    December 10, 2014

    Stunning photos. You are far more organised than I am. Your pickles and marinades look incredible. Emma.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 10, 2014

      Thanks Emma, organization is the key, but it does seem to be getting away from me this week…Enjoy the festive season

      Like

  5. Francesca
    December 9, 2014

    That lovely photo callage is so inviting. Who would need anyting else! And the marinated fetta looks delicious too. Lucky that you are offthe hook.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 9, 2014

      Thanks Francesca, i’d happily cancel Christmas the way things stand at the moment, if it wasn’t for the excpectations of little people….

      Like

  6. MamaD1xx4xy
    December 6, 2014

    You look very organized! I’ll get done what I can for Christmas, though cookies are a must. The oatcakes sound wonderful, will look into that. I will NOT be sleeping in Christmas Day as my boys will be up early, though probably closer to 5 than 3! Enjoy you quiet morning and happy holidays.

    Like

  7. Kirsty
    December 5, 2014

    Oh Sandra, I really like the sound of your oatcakes, and the recipe looks nice and easy. I might whip up a batch this weekend to have with some cheese and red grapes, and maybe some nice Moscato. One lazy afternoon on the balcony watching the incoming storms rolling in coming up!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 5, 2014

      The oatcakes are simple to make, it really makes you wonder at the high cost o the commercial variety. Enjoy nature’s fireworks Kirsty,mthanks for dropping by….

      Like

  8. Fig & Quince
    December 4, 2014

    Your kitchen is like a little corner of heaven. And Champagne brunch and sleeping in on Christmas day sounds heavenly as well. That first photo of the feta in the jar made my mouth water! Ha ha! xoxo

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 4, 2014

      We’ve done our penance with kids up at 3am to check if Santa has left presents under the Christmas tree, we revel in our empty nest existence!

      Like

      • Fig & Quince
        December 5, 2014

        ha ha! that’s the ticket! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. thecompletebook
    December 3, 2014

    You are very organised and everything sounds heavenly!
    Have a super day.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 4, 2014

      Thanks Mandy. I wish it was as organized as the post sounds, but I’m working on it.

      Like

  10. Fae's Twist & Tango
    December 3, 2014

    I’d love to be in your December Kitchen! I’d love to be able to make fruit cakes some day as I love them so much. The marinated feta looks amazing (a beautiful photo)! Jingle all the way!!!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      You’d be very welcome in my kitchen Fae, we could drink tea and compare travel notes and learn from one another!

      Like

  11. ChgoJohn
    December 3, 2014

    Although I’ve gotten all of the canning and pickling finished, you are far more organized than I am, for I finished early due to good luck, more than anything else. It does sounds like you’ve a beautiful Christmas ahead of you, surrounded by your loved ones. Wonderful!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Thanks John, the lead up to Dec 25 is seriously crazy this year, but that means that January is just around the corner, a time to rest and enjoy the summer break. Enjoy your festive season….

      Like

  12. Joanne T Ferguson
    December 3, 2014

    G’day and a wonderful festive IMK post today that brightened my day!
    if we could only give each other more time bottled up as a present…wouldn’t THAT be great! Great photos and thanks also for you kitchen view too!
    Cheers! Joanne

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Oh Joanne, if only we could bottle some time as a Christmas bonus, wouldn’t that be fabulous. Have a happy festive season, and thanks for visiting.

      Like

  13. Margot @ Gather and Graze
    December 3, 2014

    So many beautiful ideas Sandra! I just hope that when the 25th rolls around I’m as organised as you are! 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Thanks Margot, we all manage in our own way. I’m always amazed how easily I slip into my long gone work role. Have a happy Christmas

      Like

  14. Elizabeth
    December 3, 2014

    Oh your kitchen looks delicious as always! You are way more organised than me… I still have fruit soaking 🙂 thanks for sharing! Liz x

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      I stress if I’m disorganized. It’s my way of ensuring I enjoy the festive season….have a happy Christmas Liz

      Liked by 1 person

  15. lapetitecasserole
    December 3, 2014

    The marinated feta must be amazing! Beautiful pictures!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Thanks Marguerite, it add a special touch to antipasti and to salads

      Like

  16. tinywhitecottage
    December 3, 2014

    You have some very good ideas here Sandra. Marinaded feta sounds fantastic and love your oatcakes! I love this time of the year and having these types of food handy for guests is brilliant. Happy Holidays!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      and happy holidays to you too Seana. It’s particularly crazy this December so I decided to be prepared for all comers…

      Like

  17. Claudia Anderson
    December 3, 2014

    Oh Oh Oh! I like this jar full of savory go-with-crackers items! I should really try something like this myself. You are such a tasty morsel of a blogger!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Now you have appeared I realize you had disappeared! I’ve had big issues with blogs disappearing off my followed list, anyway all fixed now. Thanks for dropping into my kitchen….

      Like

      • Claudia Anderson
        December 3, 2014

        That happened to me too! I don’t follow many, but when I don’t see the ones I enjoy for a while I go check their home page to see what’s up.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Jennifer from Milk and Honey
    December 3, 2014

    So handy (and industrious) to have all those pickles and marinades at this time of the year. Makes me feel very disorganised… and hungry 🙂

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Thanks Jennifer, it’s my way of dealing with unnecessary stress, have a happy Festive season

      Like

  19. My Kitchen Witch
    December 3, 2014

    Oh, so organised! I love all your pickles and marinades. It is good to have these things to hand in the holiday season (or any season, for that matter). We usually polish off a bottle of Prosecco before the crowds descend – great lazy Christmas brunch tradition. You’ve also reminded me to make more of your oatcakes – very moreish!

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Thanks Debi, I’m sooo glad I have my butt in gear as we just sold our beach house with 30day settlement which means we have to have it cleared by Xmas Eve. December is a write off! Boy, am I looking forward to that Christmas Day brunch champagne….

      Like

      • My Kitchen Witch
        December 3, 2014

        I know the hassle of moving all too well! Good luck with that. You will certainly deserve that bubbly!

        Liked by 1 person

  20. cheergerm
    December 2, 2014

    Sounds just perfect. Love the feta cheese in a jar photo Mrs Recipe!

    Like

  21. Glenda
    December 2, 2014

    Sounds like you have it all sown up. Good on you.

    Like

  22. nancy @ Plus Ate Six
    December 2, 2014

    You are super organised and it all sounds very calm. Years of practice and tried and tested popular recipes I guess. And you get the bottle of champagne all to yourselves – perfect.

    Like

    • ladyredspecs
      December 3, 2014

      Oh I wish it was calm Nancy, chaos reigns right now, roll on Christmas, holidays and champagne

      Like

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2014 by in FODMAP diet, Food, In My Kitchen, Pantry Essentials and tagged , , , .
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