in my kitchen December 2013

Once again, I’m joining Celia who hosts In My Kitchen at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.

In my kitchen this December …

last tomatoes of summer
… the last few tomatoes from the greenhouse brought in to ripen. They may be a bit spotted and split, but the’re the last reminder of summer.

In my kitchen this December …

… silence.

I spent yesterday at a Christmas Fair selling Beth’s Slamseys Gin and from 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening, Christmas songs blasted from the speaker just above my head. They didn’t have many CDs so there was a lot of repetition; if I hear Frosty the Snowman once more in the next few days, I think I shall scream.
In my kitchen this December …

cider vinegar
… cider vinegar.

I read in a book – somewhere, but no idea where – that you can make your own cider vinegar by mixing proper cider vinegar that contains the mother, with cider. We have plenty of home made cider and I had a bottle of (expensive) proper cider vinegar so thought I’d try it out. I mixed them together, covered the mouth of the jar with a J-cloth that I secured with an elastic band and put it down in the cellar where it’s a constant temperature. After three weeks it was mellow with a definite apple taste and an acidic kick, so I bottled it* and started to use it. Buoyed by my success I made another batch, left it in the cellar and promptly forgot about it. This batch is much more acidic and more like a commercial bottle of cider vinegar so I use it where subtlety isn’t a necessity.

In my kitchen this December …

… the reality.

Usually, I tidy up a little before I invite you into my kitchen. Sometimes, I bake you a cake or bring out a loaf of bread. But welcome to my December kitchen where rigger gloves that are wet from handling Christmas trees all day are left to dry out; where boots and coats are dumped by the aga to warm up before going back outside and where damp sheets are draped over the hot covers of the aga to dry out. The floor needs sweeping and the aga needs cleaning. The effort to take the bottles to the bin seems to have been too much for everyone last night but I expect the bottle fairy will whisk them away as usual.

Next month I’ll bake you a cake.
What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with bloggers around the world who open their kitchens for everyone to take a peek. You can find a list of everyone taking part and details of how you can join in at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.


* I poured off the vinegar, leaving the sediment and and about 1/4 pint of vinegar, which I’m planning to use as my starter for another batch.

45 thoughts on “in my kitchen December 2013

  1. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    I love the windows into your kitchen when you’ve been baking and brewing but this has something very special and inviting about it. Such a lovely aura of being “home”. Your dog looks so serene – and dogs always know! I am with you about old Frosty though – can’t stand him! No wonder you want a bit of silence! E x


  2. Jayne says:

    Oh those tomatoes! I thought I was looking at an older post from the summer 🙂 Your dog is adorable! Nothing is going on in my kitchen, I’ve been busy sewing, knitting and of course glittering 😉


  3. andreamynard says:

    What a warm and welcoming (and quiet) kitchen even if you haven’t tidied up – so lovely that you’ve invited us in without doing so this month. Very interested in that cider vinegar, we’ve just bottled our cider and there’s quite a lot to drink. Would be brilliant to have our own cider vinegar.


  4. rusty duck says:

    Had the Frosty experience yesterday in Tesco too. Bah! I hope it worked for you though and you sold lots of gin. Morris has the right idea.
    P.S. How did you get the snow?


  5. Sarah says:

    Freshly picked, home grown tomatoes and Frosty the snowman all in one day – that’s quite a mix of seasons! I hope you have a very peaceful week.. anyone who’s endured Christmas songs all day deserves some quiet time.


  6. Jane says:

    Hmm, I might have to put some music on at home now because I have Frosty the Snowman in my head, thank you very much 🙂 Love the dog by the stove.


  7. lizzygoodthings says:

    I miss seeing the view to your garden, Anne. But I do love the reality shot of your kitchen! And the puppy xo


  8. Marian at Apricot Tart says:

    Hi Anne, I think that your house has a lovely warmth and lived in feel about it. I especially love that your dog has very sensibly found a warm spot by the Aga Cooker!

    Do have a wonderful festive season – I hope you get to keep one of those Christmas trees for your house! Merry Christmas!


  9. Gather and Graze says:

    Lovely to see a post with photos showing life ‘au naturel’ and not all dolled up for the blogging world! This time of year is so busy for everyone, it’s just wonderful that you’ve found time to post with what you’re up to this month! Fantastic little shooting stars/snowflakes across your photos – very Christmassy! 🙂


  10. Maeve Heneke says:

    I agree with Gather and Graze…wonderful to see a normal, working kitchen! (Love the dog. I have two Chocolate Labradors.)


  11. Kim Bultman says:

    Anne, I enjoyed your “real life” thoughts, homemade cider vinegar, and silence… Nothing drives me bonkers faster than repetitive music in shops or stores. I hope your ears have stopped ringing. And that the bottle fairy showed up. 🙂


  12. says:

    You can’t beat a bit of silence when you’ve been aurally assaulted by Frostie. I hope one those bottles helped to dull the pain…..


  13. Misky says:

    I made apple cider vinegar a few years, and thoroughly loved the whole process. I have an excess of apples this year in storage, so I might try making vinegar again. Thanks for reminding me how fun it was. 🙂


  14. dianeskitchentable says:

    The reality of your kitchen looks just about right and the way my house is especially this time of year and pretty cozy to me. My oh my, I know what you mean about the Christmas carols repeating over & over – did you hear them in your sleep that night?


  15. heidiannie says:

    I feel so much more at home in a real setting. Thanks for sharing your everyday moments with us. I know how you feel about the music- I was at a Teddy Bear Craft show one year selling bread bears and they kept playing “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” over and over and over. I still HATE that song.
    And silence is so rare and yet so necessary to keep one’s sanity; I dwell in silence until someone else comes home- then the radio and TV come on- the phone keeps ringing and voices are calling out from everywhere and I just close my eyes and think of the quiet time of my days!
    I love the tomatoes. I wrap my green ones in newspaper and leave them until they ripen slowly then treasure them until they are all gone. They aren’t as exciting as summer sun tomatoes, but they sure beat supermarket tomatoes by a country mile!
    Thanks for sharing!


  16. Lisa the Gourmet Wog says:

    oh Anne, I love the reality of your kitchen too because I so very much sympathise with you! I have a crazy 2 year old who comes and goes like a cyclone. I clean the kitchen and a millisecond later its all over the place again. Such is life!
    Love that you can make cider vinegar with store bought and cider! What ratios did you use?


  17. frayed at the edge says:

    I am thrilled to be able to say that this evening in my kitchen is my newly baked Christmas cake …… we woke up this morning to no power, and at one point it looked as if it wouldn’t be restored until tomorrow, so it was a great relief when it came on at 1pm, and the cake could be baked!!


  18. knitsofacto says:

    Loving your reality, although it does look like December is hard work for you … but then you sell Christmas trees, how could it not be.

    Cider vinegar always seems like a waste of good vinegar to me 😉


  19. tableofcolors says:

    Yes, I understand you completely…I occassionally just love the silence especially after a busy evening when I can take a deep breath! Your cider vinegar looked like it turned out wonderful. What a great experiment.


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