In My Kitchen, December 2013

Amazing how quickly this year has passed. I want to express gratitude to Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for hosting this wonderful series of In My Kitchen glimpses from around the world. It is fascinating to see what is different and what we all have in common.

Being the first of December, it is time to start using the “holiday china”.

Lenox Holiday China

Lenox Holiday China

I  use it the entire month of December and put it all away on New Years Eve. Actually, the china gets pulled out while putting away Thanksgiving dishes. That’s because we seem to use every dish in the house for Thanksgiving and while everything is out of the cabinets, it’s easy to reach the holiday stuff before replacing everything we just used.

I’ve been studying “The Taste of Herbs” course and have been ordering many herbs for the exercises. The ‘homework’ has resulted in making some of my favorite lip balm. I’m one who can’t leave home without lip balm. It’s always in my pocket. Since it is something that goes on the lips, it is also ingested so I prefer using all natural products.

Lips All Natural Soothing Balm, my own lip balm!

Lips All Natural Soothing Balm, my lip balm! Yes, I actually made it.

And wouldn’t you know, it can get expensive and not always ‘perfect’. So one of the assignments was this lip balm. I ordered the tubes online and made a small batch. This stuff is amazing. It is my new go to solution for all my lip balm emergency needs.

Ever made Chai  at home from scratch, rather than bought tea bags?

Homemade Chai Spiced Tea

Homemade Chai Spiced Tea

Well, if you want a home with an amazing aroma, and an entire body warming that feels like a great big bear hug, you’ve got to try making your own. I simmer the concoction in a crock pot on low either overnight or during the day. If you simmer it on the stove top, it is ready to sip and feel dreamy after an hour.

We’ve been enjoying using my tea pots and tea cups. They were in storage for so long, it’s nice to be using them again.

Cups and pots on the shelf

Cups and pots on the shelf

Each day we make at least two pots, one traditional orange pekoe black tea and an herbal tea. We sip them both hot or cold, sometimes we need to make more, depending how cold it is outside.

I am gearing up for Christmas with gifts and cookies from my kitchen.

A plate of Christmas Cookies

A plate of Christmas Cookies

I’ll be doing posts on ideas and things as the month progresses. I refuse to be part of the shopping hoards, just refuse. I need to be practical though because how many would actually appreciate a bottle of Burdock Root Tincture?

A pile of herbal supplies

A pile of herbal supplies

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26 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, December 2013

  1. I love the Christmas holiday as much as you seem to- I set out my Christmas dishes Dec 1. And enjoy using all month. We decorate the Christmas tree the weekend after thanksgiving also. So house is festive for all the holiday activities. I look forward to your Dec posts. Hope you have time to check in on my dec preparations. Sue
    Womenlivinglifeafter50.com

    • Thanks Sue, I will definitely be visiting your site! I wish I had the energy to have decorated this weekend, perhaps this weekend I’ll get to bring out all the decorations. I love the scents and sights of the holidays!

    • I’m posting how you can make some too, in the next few days. I may be a bit biased, but I like it better than all the commercial ones out there. Make some and let me know what you think!

  2. So many wonderful things in your kitchen. Christmas dishes, chai tea and your homemade lip balm. I have not made my own chai tea but my sister did once bring me a box of authentic tea from India and it was delightful.

    • To me, homemade gifts are the best! It could be a pot holder or a candle holder, it doesn’t matter. It’s the thought someone put into making something that means so much.
      Your chocolates are certainly a hit at Christmas!

  3. I agree, Pamela- a gift made for friends and family is far superior to something bought on Black Friday! I have family that waits for the Christmas Brunch in a box I make every year. Frozen quiche, assorted muffins, homemade chai tea and fruit compote is the regular fare in a large food box or picnic basket.
    I make lip balm, too, with beeswax, peppermint oil, vitamin E and coconut oil.

    • How does your chai recipe compare to mine? I’d love to see what all you use in yours. I like to top mine with a few shaves of fresh nutmeg too.
      Peppermint balm is next on my list! Thanks Heidianne!

  4. Pingback: Making Spiced Chai at Home | Spoon Feast

  5. Loved your homemade lip balm. I can’t live without it and Mr Tiffin was grizzling last night as we’ve run out of our regular natural one and had to resort to one with suncreen in it. I’ll point him in this direction – if he’s really keen, he can make it. Great grab bag of things this months and cute and festive snowflakes too!

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