in my kitchen – December

What’s in my kitchen this month?  At the moment – not very much. Well, not that I’m going to photograph. There are hats, coats and gloves discarded on the floor as it’s warm in the kitchen and nobody wants to leave them down in a cold hallway, the dog lies pressed up against the aga and my  recipe file has been sitting on the dresser for the last fortnight with cuttings and recipe cards spilling out while I try to reorganise it.

christmas wreaths-001

I’ve been making some simple wreaths from twisted branches cut from the hedgerows, which I’ll decorate later in the month but meanwhile, they’re drying out in the kitchen.
christmas cake

The Christmas cake has been closeted in the pantry for the past month, removed every now and then to be laced with brandy.



Being fairly thrifty nature, I try not to waste food. It’s illegal for us to feed livestock (and that of course included my hens and ducks) with food that originated in the kitchen. I don’t want to be the person who accidentally introduces a disease that devastates the British livestock industry, so I keep scrupulously to the rules, however pointless I think they may be. That means that the crusts of bread have to go in the food waste bin to be carted away by the refuse lorry and though I know that it goes to compost, it does seem a strange thing to do. If I have the end of a loaf left in the bread bin I try to make breadcrumbs to store in the freezer, though sometimes I find the bread has gone mouldy before I get around to it. At this time of year I’m far more diligent so that I’ve got plenty of breadcrumbs for stuffings and bread sauce for Christmas Dinner.


drinks advent calendar

The Advent Calendar. I wish I’d thought about this earlier and wrapped the bottles in decorative paper, tied with pretty ribbons and put them all in a stylish box. Instead of that, the bottles are wrapped in tissue paper that’s come from parcels delivered in the post or been wrapped around clothes purchases and the bottles have been stuffed into an old cardboard box. It’s not a pretty sight in the kitchen, but the contents make up for it. Next year I shall plan ahead. Maybe.

garden view

The view through the kitchen window onto a frosty vegetable garden. Leafless trees, frosted plants and a lot of bare earth with the sun casting a feeble light on the wall. We’re still pulling beetroot and digging up artichokes, leeks and parsnips but that’s about all. Roll on spring.

What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with  Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

14 thoughts on “in my kitchen – December

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Anne, I didn’t know you had a sister in Sydney! Did you live here before? I adore gazing out your window at your garden, at all times of the year. I feel like we’ve followed its ebb and flow, and like seeing it even empty and cold. The advent calendar is a wonderful idea, and I agree with you on not wasting bread – at least here we’re allowed to feed our scraps to the backyard chooks and worms!

    Hugh FW freezes all his bread ends until he has enough to make a giant batch of breadcrumbs – he puts all the bits and pieces on a tray and roasts them on a low heat for hours and hours until all the moisture is gone from them, then blitzes them up. They keep well in the pantry for ages then.


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      No, I’ve never lived in Sydney (though if I had to live in a city that would be my choice). My sister lives there because she married an Australian. Thanks for the tip about freezing the bread ends Celia; I’ll have to give it a go.


  2. heidiannie says:

    Hi Anne-
    I love your hedgerow wreaths. I have little wreaths sitting all around the place waiting to be bowed and hung. And thanks for the view out your window- I like the starkness of winter for a season.
    Your Advent adventure is neat and unique- all bottled up like that!


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      I saw your wreaths on your post – what a good idea. I like the starkness of winter too. I’ve never been one for “interesting bushes and shrubs” in the winter as I just want bare branches and earth.


  3. theclevercarrot says:

    I had to laugh when you mentioned that all sorts of winter gear were strewn about the kitchen. That’s my house everyday, and I will never, ever photograph that! I think that your advent calendar is adorable. I like all of the colors!


  4. Jane @ Shady Baker says:

    I love your kitchen Anne…it looks so warm and wholesome. I love your wreath, what a perfect gift or decoration. I can almost smell your Christmas cake from here, yum. It is very interesting what you say about feeding your livestock food waste. I think it is illegal here too but perhaps not taken as seriously , I certainly give my chooks kitchen scraps but never meat.

    Your kitchen window is always so interesting.


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      One of the problems with livestock disease in the UK is that we are so close to one another that it spreads like wildfire. I used to feed my chooks bacon rinds that they used to fight over (they probably thought they were slow moving worms).


  5. bizzylizzycooks says:

    Anne, I aways look forward to seeing the view from your kitchen window… I feel that I am getting to know you this way. Love the wreath and the cake, and the thoughts of the dog lying close to the Aga. Thank you for sharing.


  6. csamom says:

    I love the wreaths, particularly the chandelier! My husband hates my willow tree, and I am sure would be thrilled if I used ALL the branches in wreaths.

    With regard to bread crumbs, I process the bread in the food processor and freeze them, fresh or dried. I also pull the crumbs out from the toaster tray and freeze those in the breadcrumb bag as well. This has the advantage of catching sesame seeds, poppy seeds etc. off bagels and other misc. items that get toasted. I will admit, this may be taking “not wasting anything” to the extreme, but I like having a mixed bag of breadcrumbs always ready to go. 🙂


  7. Garden Correspondent says:

    That cake looks full of promise. It reminds me that I ought to take mine out and douse it… It was interesting to read about your not being able to feed kitchen scraps to livestock. Still, it is always good to have some breadcrumbs handy, especially, as you point out, with the holidays imminent.


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