Well, the end of the year is getting close. It’s time to dust off 2014 and prepare for 2015 to be the best year ever. In My Kitchen is an initiative by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and it’s an opportunity to peek into the kitchens of food bloggers from around the world.
Starting off, I will admit that I have never made a traditional Christmas Pudding. I have only eaten it twice in my life. Both times I was less than impressed. We’re having John’s family up for Christmas and it might be the last time that John’s mother recognises her family so it’s important to me to make something she’ll remember. She always made a Christmas pudding, so I’ve made this for her.
THIS pudding was a practice. If you want to set your pudding on fire, I will rent John out anytime. We took a LOT of photos and by the time we finished, there was enough rum on this cake that it was possible for anyone to get drunk on just one piece.
Remember my sourdough bread made from Esmerelda my starter that I received from Celia at figjamandlimecordial.com? I’ve been practicing making bread and I brought one across the street to Big John and Jan. Big John made me a beautiful wooden tray last year and the day after I brought over the bread, Jan came over with this bowl, still smelling of orange oil. It’s beautiful!
In my kitchen is some granola from Irrewarra Granola Company. I received some “Original Recipe’ and some ‘Just Chunks’ and both are hand-mixed with natural ingredients. Irrewarra is Australia’s largest manufacturer of handmade granola and it’s sold throughout the country. See that bowl of chunks – John ate nearly the whole thing while he was watching tv.
I’m going to write a post about this book soon but I just love every word in this book. There’s so much about herbs and spices that I don’t know enough about, plus there are fantastic recipes to try. Ian “Herbie” Hemphill is my spice hero and Herbie’s Spices has pride of place in my pantry.
I was offered the opportunity to test out products from The Aromatherapy Company – their Therapy Kitchen collection. The products are made in New Zealand and sold in locations in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong as well as online to worldwide destinations. When I opened the package, the scent of lemongrass, lime and bergamot was intoxicating. I have just begun to use the products so I’ll write more about these later.
My daughter-in-law Ming from Atlanta sent me a dozen jars of my favorite blueberry jam from Panorama Orchards in Ellijay, Georgia. It’s made from small wild blueberries just like I grew up eating in Maine. I eat this in tarts, on toast and sometimes just off a spoon.
Finally, we’ve had some family things going on recently so poor Charlie went without a clip for far too long. He met his new best friend Dazza (Darren) from Dog Gone It groomers in Buderim today. Dazza took one look at Charlie who then looked at George, Dazza’s little dog and he started to pee on George’s head. Not the best way to start a good relationship. Chuck was really glad to see us when it was all over but for the first 15 minutes he refused to look at me. When we got home I gave him his Christmas present from Dog Gone It and now we’re best friends again.
Before you feel sad for the hairless little dog in the photo, remember that it’s summer and he swims every day, several times a day. No furs mean it’s easier to get out of the side of the pool rather than walk out the beach end. I’ll have photos of his extraordinary diving ability soon.
If you want to see links to heaps of other food bloggers’ kitchens or join in the In My Kitchen fun, visit Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and check it out. It costs nothing and all you need to do is post about what’s going on at your place, in your kitchen.
Helen | Grab Your Fork says
Wow that wild blueberry spread sounds incredible!
I love all these stuff, love your tomato and I need some of these candles of Therapy kitchen lol
You certainly have a happening kitchen. I love
using spices in my food and my pantry never runs out of them. I am now looking forward to your post on that book on spices. 🙂
I would love to get my hands on the spice and herb bible, the granola and the chef therapy kitchen collection. With the amount of time I spend in the kitchen I NEED them!
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
I just ordered Herbie’s book yesterday – can’t wait to see it. Your Christmas pud looks very impressive – not my fav either!
Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books says
I love Jam! Your photos made me smile!
wok with ray says
Like you, I am also limited when it comes to herbs and spices. So, I look forward to your post about that book. Charlie is cute. 🙂
John@Kitchen Riffs says
When I was little I always got a buzz cut like Charlie’s for the summer — much cooler. Looking forward to seeing his diving pictures. 😉 Love the flame shot! Shooting flames is hard, or at least I find it so. Awful lot of fun, though. You’ve got great stuff in your kitchen this month — thanks for sharing with us.
We had to take a LOT of photos before we got the flame to show. 🙂
Great post, Maureen…. I absolutely love the sad look on Charlie’s face, as if saying “where the heck my fur has gone? Why why you did this to me?”
Of course, your idea of making CHristmas pudding for your Mother in Law is special – as special as you are, but of course the remark about getting drunk in one piece made me forget the lump in my throat and laugh real loud out!
I guess I need to sit my derriere on a chair and work on a post for this month’s IMK
Yes, you need to get into your kitchen. We all want to see what you brought home with you. 🙂
Working on it, in the airport in Dallas, while I wait for my flight to Manhattan….. I hope to get the post up this weekend…
you gave me energy, my dear!
(short work-related trip to Houston, finally we should settle at home until March!)
Chris Scheuer says
That pudding photo is amazing! Wow!
I like your kitchen but I like your doggy even better. He would look good in a paper sack. I really like his new haircut!
Hotly Spiced says
Poor Charlie! And that other dog needs to work on his manners – what a way to introduce yourself. And you sure did take a great photo of your Christmas pudding. That’s so good of you to have all of John’s family up for Christmas. It will be an exhausting day no doubt, with John’s mother not being well. I do hope she’s in a good mood and enjoys her pudding. I’ve never made one – I always make a frozen ice cream bombe because of the heat but I know there are a lot of traditionalists out there who would scream it’s not Christmas unless there’s a pudding. I do love the look of those aromatherapy goodies and how wonderful to be asked to give them a road test xx
Ummm Charlie peed on George’s head. I’m afraid I’m the one with the dog with no manners 🙂 It was his first visit and he wasn’t too sure about these people with dogs everywhere.
So many goodies in your kitchen this month. I love the picture of your flaming Christmas pudding. I once bought a pre-made one but I never flamed it. I was underwhelmed. Maybe the flaming/rum makes it.
Poor Charlie’s meeting with his new friend is very funny … not for the poor dog who got his head peed on of course. 🙂 And it sounds like Charlie was embarrassed at his accident if he didn’t want to look at you afterwards. I’m curious why his tail and ears get left long when everything is trimmed so short.
Charlie is so adorable, reminds me of my dog, last time I went out of town, she would not look at me. Love that blueberry spread>
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Oh Charlie I rather like your new ‘do.’ Maybe the Christmas cake could be served as a night cap rather than dessert? Such wonderful treats in your kitchen Maureen but I’m jealous of the blueberry jam!
Veronica (Roni) says
hey Maureen, the flaming pudding looks impressive…& fun. And the In My Kitchen thing looks interesting too…
love your photos :))
love Roni xx
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
The blueberry bread sounds delicious!
Love it all, but I will take Charlie….only for a visit cause I know you all love him and need him nearby.
Lizzy (Good Things) says
The flaming pudding is very impressive, as is the fact that you’re mastering the art of working with sour dough… I need to do a #bakedate with you via Skype, so you can teach me what to do! The Spice and Herb Bible is just amazing, isn’t it! And as for Herbie and Liz, they are among the nicest and most interesting people you’ll ever meet! How lovely of your neighbour to make that bowl… nice one.
The flaming Christmas pudding looks fantastic. I am with you on the blueberry jam, I canned two different types this year. I’ll have to look into that company, Georgia is our neighbor as we are in South Carolina.
Mary Frances says
That pudding looks AMAZING, look at the color of that flame, I believe when you say you could get drunk off it! Can’t wait to see what you write about The Herb & Spice Bible!
Nagi@RecipeTin Eats says
You know exactly which photo I was fawning over, don’t you? Nope, not food related…CHARLIE!! So incredibly adorable, PLEASE can you come to Sydney and bring Charlie (oh and John – I am sure I can collate a list of tech things needing fixing!!). He is begging me for a cuddle, you know he is!! Oh, and thanks for the reminder – Dozer needs a chop too. Sigh. It will cost me three times what you paid because he is so big and has so much fur. Every time he gets clipped, it fills a garbage bag. I kid you not.
Love this peek into your kitchen Maureen! Nx
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day What a great kitchen view this month Maureen! GREAT Christmas pudding and had to laugh with the photographing and how much rum…was well worth it and salivating for the wild blueberry spread!
What a beautiful kitchen this month… That wild Blueberry spread look incredible… I think it would be gone in one sitting in my house! I can’t wait for the post on the herb and spice book as I have been looking for a good one, not that I need another book! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz x
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
The fruit spread sounds amazing. 🙂 And poooooooor Charlie, bless his beautiful furry face, I can’t get over his expression, so still, he kinda looks like a photo you would find in a frame. Too cute!
nancy @ Plus Ate Six says
What a great photo to start off the post! I bet it tasted fantastic with all that alcohol in it. Oh poor Charlie is looking a little despondent there although I’m sure not not. The blueberry jam sounds lovely – especially on your home made sourdough.
It was pretty rummy 🙂 Charlie plays to the camera. A few minutes ago he crawled between my legs and the chair and I jumped. He’s all wet and must have decided to go for a late night swim. :eyeroll:
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
I’m trying out The Aromatherapy Company’s products too and I really like them! That blueberry jam really looks like something special 😀
Don’t you love the scent of those products? I have the candle on my desk because it smells so good. I know it belongs in the kitchen and it might make it there soon but right now, it’s here. 🙂
I love peeking into others kitchens!! I’ve never made a Christmas Pudding either, the presentation is so dramatic! I don’t think I’ll try it, but its soo cool to see! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the Kitchen Therapy products; they would make a great gift for my fellow kitchen friends. And lastly, your pup is soo cute…with or without hair, just adorable!!
Maureen, I have Herbie’s book (1st edition) and it is a great reference source. I should comment on your other wonderful items but I can’t take my eyes of poor Charlie. Tell him, I at least, feel sorry for him. 🙂
So much going on in your kitchen! GREG
Lucy @ Bake Play Smile says
Awww your little Charlie is so gorgeous!! My golden retriever went to the groomers yesterday too. She came home with a little red bandana with Santa’s Paws written on it. Cutest thing ever! You have had a lot going on in your kitchen this month!!
Sugar et al. says
I am so impressed with your flaming pudding…I have never tried anything like it before. The wooden tray and the wild blueberry spread are my favourites in your kitchen but I actually like all of them.
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
Poor old Chuck! I’m under a lot of pressure to have our Border collie clipped this year, but I’m not sure he will be able to stand the shame.
Christmas is not really ‘my’ holiday but I hope and pray that the one forthcoming for you with your Christmas Pudding will be one of understanding and contentment as far as your in-laws are concerned. Great you are trying!! [Oh, would love to sneak into your kitchen and ‘pinch’ the Hemphill Bible – have bought of them forever but do not have this 🙂 !!
“by the time we finished, there was enough rum on this cake that it was possible for anyone to get drunk on just one piece.” John, you’re hired!! My mother use to soak her fruit cakes in brandy for 3 months, adding more as it evaporated; therefore, I can’t relate. 🙂 Jam, aromatherapy, cookbook and fresh tomatoes – Great kitchen stuff!
Jennifer from Milk and Honey says
I love your flaming pud (I’m not swearing, just describing) I make my own Christmas pudding every year. It wouldn’t be Christmas for my oldest son (the one who doesn’t like dried fruit!) without it.
Poor Charlie, he does look very forlorn! I hope you informed him that peeing on heads is not standard etiquette! 🙂 What a gorgeous bowl your neighbour gave you – he must really, REALLY like your bread. And that first photo is good enough to adorn a Christmas card! What a stunning blue flame! Pudding looks pretty good too! 🙂
Judit+Corina @Glamorous Bite says
Haha poor little George had quite the introduction, but Charlie does look nice with his newly groomed coat! You are so thoughful Maureen to make a special Christmas pudding for John’s mom. Wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Woah, that photo of the pudding’ flame is great! I love pudding, but only the one made from my mums recipe. I keep meaning to treat myself to a weekend in Sydney and do one (or two) of Herbies’ Spice classes. They look good and are reasonably priced. There could be worse ways to start a relationship! 🙂 Merry Christmas.
InTolerant Chef says
So many goodies Maureen! Your pudding looks so beautiful and I bet it will be a huge hit at Christmas 🙂
Marian@Apricot Tart says
Maureen, your pudding is more than impressive for a practice version! And the photo – perfect! I’ve not seen The Herb and Spice Bible so must look out for it! I will look forward to your post on The Aromatherapy Co products. I am currently using the Therapy Kitchen Hand Lotion – and can only say good things about it!
Enjoy Christmas with John’s family! I’m sure his mother will be impressed with your pudding!
Sherry from sherryspickings says
Some great things here maureen. Poor Charlie looks very sad! What a flaming great pudding! (Aussie slang for those who don’t get the pun). That jam looks like a real treat. Have a great Xmas maureen!
What a great idea! I love a little behing the scenes 😉 I have had my eye on the Aromatheraphy Co Stuff and as a fellow Kiwi I am stoked they are floating around log world! Bec x
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
That photo is amazing Maureen. I did have to have a laugh thinking about how many photos you and John must have taken. The Aromatheralpy looks fantastic and i just cant get over how handsome Charlie always looks bless his little furry paws.
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
I love your in my kitchen posts, I love to be nosey 😉 That blueberry jam sounds great. I love the flavour of blueberries.
Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice says
Awww, love the Charlie picture! That pudding looks like a special effect. Bravo!
Shashi Runninsrilankan says
Haha – Maureen – I laughed reading about Dazza peeing on Charlie’s head reminds me of what our Ollie did when he was a puppy – he straddled our older dog, Tawny, and went to town!!! 🙂 And my – you are so sweet in making a Christmas Pudding for John’s mom seeing the history of it in her life – so sweet! I need to check out Panaroma Orchards with my daughter soon – if you ever visit your daughter in law – please let me know – it would be an honor to meet ya!!
No no, Charlie peed on George’s head. Dazza is the groomer. 🙂 If I get to Atlanta I’ll not only see my daughter-in-law I’ll see my son and grandchildren and YOU! 🙂 They live in McDonough.
Fiona @TIFFIN bite sized food adventures says
Well I’m glad to see that you have industrial quantities of that jam to last you through the months. Small pleasures. And aren’t you lucky to have a neighbour who turns wood? You could have one who parks on your footpath but instead you receive lovely bowls and trays. All the best to you and yours at Christmas Maureen. Thanks for being a regular reader of my own blog and taking the time to comment. cheers Fiona xx
Mary @ Fit and Fed says
That’s one otherworldly photo of your flaming Christmas pudding!
Thanks, Mary. It took a lot of takes to get one I really liked. 🙂
Napoli Restaurant Alert says
Hi! Have just discovered your blog and it is great! Look forward to reading more!