Friday, 7 January 2022

Christmas In My Kitchen

Happy New Year!  January is traditionally the month for starting anew.  But it seems that this year will bring more of the same.  A lot more if we look at Covid cases in Australia.  The country has gone from 1,710 on 4 December to 47,813 on 4 January and today has more more cases per capita than the USA.  How did it come to this after 2 years of controlling Covid in Fortress Australia!  Testing is out of control, restrictions are being reintroduced and everyone is anxious.  Thank goodness for stone fruit and chocolate.

And in retrospect, perhaps we were lucky to enjoy Christmas as much as we were able.  Here are a few memories of some good food over the festive season.  Above is a picture of our Christmas breakfast at home.  I baked cranberry and walnut rolls on the previous day to have with swiss cheese, cranberry relish and orange juice (with pink lemonade for Sylvia)!

We visited my parents in the week before Christmas.  My brother was visiting from interstate.  It was good to go to the beach with him.  Then he made a wonderful tofu larb made with onions, vegan fish sauce, lime juice and, the secret ingredient, roasted and ground rice.  Delicious with flatbread and lettuce.

On another night my mum and Sylvia and I had amazing wood fired pizza from Pizza Bar.  The base was wonderful light and charred around the edges.  The margherita in the photo was really good.

These baked triple cream brie and quince paste crisps from Coles were rather tasty and a little fancy.

We had to try this Cobani flip with santa's milk and cookies.  It was a cute packet but the cho chip cookie crumbs were not enough chocolate for me.

Christmas lunch in Geelong with my parents and siblings was a lovely feast as usual.  I made my favourite Christmas nut loaf, my mum made crispy roast potatoes and a miso ginger pumpkin, my aunt brought a vegan roast and my sister made her signature cauliflower cheese.  Another sister and her daughter made bon-bons from a kit she found in Spotlight.  We also drank punch and ate pudding and toblerone cheesecake.

I went home that night with lots of leftovers.  The next night I had everything but roast potatoes so I cooked up some gnocchi with garlic olive oil and parmesan.  It worked really well.

And there were presents.  This Mary Lou Pittard bread and butter plate, small salad bowl and dip bowl with poppies are so lovely.

And there was chocolate and a novel.  I am really enjoying reading the book about a very infectious virus that affects only men.

Here are some of Sylvia's presents.  I love the notepad with the jotting "socially unacceptable ideas and impure thoughts" with such an innocent little girl on the cover.

On New Year's Eve we had a quiet night.  It was 38 C and so hot that rice paper rolls seemed the best thing to eat.  I made some tofu bacon to stuff in them with vermicelli and salad.

New Year's Eve was not without some indulgence.  We had a supermarket gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce.

The pudding did not come out of its tub properly but the gold was really sparkly.  It was really delicious with the butterscotch sauce and ice cream.

It has been nice to have a break over the last few weeks.  I have had more time for Sylvia, visited my family in Geelong, been swimming at Torquay beach, met some friends for lunch and watched a lot of Chicago Med on Netflix.  I am back to work next week.  The government is strongly recommending we work from home if possible. 

NOTE: Sherry of Sherry's Pickings is taking a well-earned break in January fro, her monthly In My Kitchen round up but is back in February.


  1. Happy New Year Johanna! It sounds like you had a lovely festive season regardless the situation. I like all those products and dishes. We are having a lot of cases here in Denmark too, hopefully it will improve soon.

  2. Your Christmas/New Year time looks lovely. I hope you continue to have good times in 2022.

    best... mae at

  3. It looks like you had a fun Christmas. I was grateful just to be able to spend Christmas with family this year. Your Mary Pittard crockery is lovely.

  4. Happy New Year to you Johanna and to little Sylvia. Your right many of us were still very fortunate to enjoy Christmas as much as we have been able too. Toblerone cheesecake sounds interesting, as does the gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. The poppies ceramics are lovely. I so need to make rice paper rolls, i keep meaning to and then never do. I am still working from home and tbh it's getting tiresome. Home and work boundaries blurring.

  5. so many brilliant things here on your post johanna. LOVE the china/ceramic pieces. i do love colourful things. cranberry and walnut rolls - yes please. and yes the secret to any larb is the toasted and ground rice.

  6. Love everything in this post - there's so much yum! The book about the men's virus sounds especially interesting! Pleased you had a fun festive period and hope that 2022 starts to deliver!


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