In My Kitchen – November 2023

It’s the first of December – can you believe it?! Because I can’t! The first of the month means it’s time to link up with Sherry and friends for this month’s look back at in my kitchen.

I’m very excited because it’s also time to crack open the advent calendars! Talking of advent calendars, last year David and I had beer and wine calendars respectively but this year have swapped the booze for food. I got David this pork scratching advent calendar – he’s looking forward to all the crispy, crunchy goodness!

I’ve got this beauty from Bonne Maman – it’s almost too pretty to open. I’m looking forward to the 17 jars of mini jams and spreads, the 6 sachets of herbal tea and a mystery gift on Christmas Eve!

It also came with a free gift with 3 jars of spreads and the cutest little knife. It’s jamtastic! I am particularly partial to the caramelised apple spread. I made some little caramelised apple puff pastry parcels using my 4 ingredient Jam Puffs recipe. They were crazy good!

Even Teddy Roosevelt got in on the act with a calendar from his favourite dog food company, Lily’s Kitchen.

It felt like I spent much of my time in the kitchen in November preparing for December! I swapped the autumnal leaves for a berry garland, my Orla Kiely tablecloth for a more christmassy covering and added my nutcrackers to the fireplace.

My neighbour went to Ireland and got me this super cute house from the Danish shop Sostrene Grene. It’s totally delightful!

I don’t have lots of photos of new and exciting recipes because I just haven’t been in the right headspace to be very creative in the kitchen recently so we’ve been exisiting on a diet of our tried and tested favourites all of which are ugly but delicious! Plus the clocks have gone forward so sunset is about 4 o’clock which is not conducive to dinner photography at all!

I had to rehome my Christmas dinner set in Sydney and I miss it so! I was all set to get this Gingerbread dining set when my neighbour offered to lend me one of her ‘spare’ Christmas crockery sets for the month of December. Although my Christmas loving heart was set (excuse the pun) on the Gingerbread, my minimalist head won the day because by borrowing my neighbour’s set, I save space and money and who can argue with that? Although I may have left the dinner service behind in store, I couldn’t resist bringing the gingerbread tea bag holder home with me!

Earlier on in the month, my friend Vicky from Darwin came to stay – we felt very lucky that she was able to fit a visit to us in while she was in the UK spending time with family. We were introduced on Instagram via a mutual friend and although we’d chatted online and virtually loved on each other’s pets – Vicky has a cat called Teddy – we’d never actually met in real life until she came to stay! It wasn’t weird at all, it was like we’d known each other for years (which we have really, just online!) Anyway Vicky brought the most thoughtful gifts including these Christmas tea towels from Kmart because she knows how much I miss Kmart… A lot. A whole lot.

Our living room is so small that if for every item we add to the room, we must take something out! As the Christmas tree was coming in, the bar cart had to go out and it’s been relocated to the kitchen for the festive season.

Talking of the bar cart , the latest addition is this bottle of Darwin Gin which Vicky gave us and as it’s name suggests comes from Darwin and is full of local, native botanicals. We can’t wait to try it.

I finally pressed publish on these Bramley Apple Bars which are so easy to make and totally appleicious (and if that’s not a word, it should be!) I am so excited to be cooking with Bramleys again! That said, if you can’t get your hands on Bramleys, Granny Smith’s will work just as well.

One of the things that we’ve loved most about being back in the UK is the next level crisp (that’s chip for my Australian friends,) situation. The variety and crunch are just mind bogglingly good. We are particularly excited about the Christmas crisp situation and the special seasonal flavours. We started taste testing early with these beauties from Aldi – apologies in advance to our waistlines!

So I’ll wrap up this month’s edition of In My Kitchen with a crunch and a munch! That’s all the news from my kitchen. What’s been happening in yours? Tell me everything!

Linking up with Sherry for In My Kitchen