In My Kitchen December 2011
Inspirational blogger and baker extraordinaire, Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, features a monthly segment titled 'In My Kitchen', where fellow bloggers from across the miles allow readers to peek into their kitchens via links on the page. It is a wonderful initiative and I am delighted to participate! Thank you Celia for welcoming me and thanks ever so much to our fellow bloggers for introducing us to your kitchens.
As I walked through the shopping centre in my lunch break this week, I noticed, with amusement, the harried looks on the faces of shoppers as they pushed and shoved and struggled with Christmas paraphernalia. Bing Crosby was burbling White Christmas in a store somewhere in the background and I couldn't help singing to myself 'It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!'
I must say, I am pretty relaxed about it this year. This will be the first Christmas in some 32 years (read that, three decades or more) that I will be spending Christmas Day in my home, not someone else's. Peter and I are very much looking forward it. We're planning an all-day slow feast and will be delighted to welcome dear friends and family to our place. Just quietly, if it was only the two of us, we might have even considered indulging in a Christmas pyjama day. How's that for a relaxed occasion.
With my Hungarian background, fruit cake and pudding isn't part of my Christmas repertoire. I prefer the European cakes and kalacs that my mother used to bake. She was an artisan baker and beautiful cook, and her Christmas table was always a veritable feast. While I have been in what Peter might call a 'baking and cooking frenzy' of late, I plan to start serious Christmas baking in the week or last few days in the lead up to Christmas. I may even pull out all stops and bake a fruit cake for my Englishman, Peter. After all, he did bake petit madeleines for me.
Welcome to my kitchen and good things in December. Season's Eatings to you and yours. Tell me, what's been happening at your place and how will you spend Christmas this year?
Readers, pop in and visit Celia and the other In My Kitchen participants at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.
- Fiona Johnston
Once I gathered wild rocket above
a vast ocean at Cape Willoughby,
scraggy leaves earthed wiry stalks
nubbed with mustard yellow flowers.
I thought it was a flowering weed
but a familiar scent followed me
from the car park to the lighthouse
so I picked, rubbed and inhaled -
the peppery perfume gave me all
it had promised and more
as I tentatively chewed a dusty leaf.
Now I dash into the heat to pick
baby rocket, tender garden crop
to toss with vinaigrette and slivers of pear
and soon it will be hairy-stemmed,
frilly-leaved, going to seed,
a tangy bouquet of edible memories.
© Reproduced kind courtesy of Fiona Johnston.
Fiona grew up in a family where cooking and eating were necessary functions rather a source of social and sensual pleasure. She has since discovered the joys of sharing and savouring lovingly grown and prepared food. Fiona lives with her husband, Peter, in Adelaide only a five-minute walk from the Central Market. She has two adult daughters and two grandsons who live too far away in Sydney. She earns her living through freelance writing and academic editing.
While she is a keen harvester of food from Peter's, friends' and a local community garden, Fiona has never been a gardener. Now that she and Peter live in a city town house, their own produce is limited to a few apricots on a tree espaliered on the garage wall and apples from two trees growing in large pots. But they have the Central Market! As well as enjoying preserving fruit and making jam and marmalade (mostly to give friends), Fiona shares regular cooking and dinner party preparation with Peter. She has recently become a brewer of beer, which is a fascinating alchemy and reminds her of her pharmacist father and grandfather (although they were both teetotal!).
Fiona is also involved in the life at Sophia, a feminist spirituality centre, where she manages the small public library. Her poetry has been published widely and she has produced two books of poetry,Thresholds (1998) and Kindling (2004) (Seaview Press). Copies of Kindling are available from Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.