The kitchen gets major glory at Thanksgiving with its over the top turkey-and-all-the-trimmings dinner, but Christmas in the kitchen? In my mind, Thanksgiving doesn’t hold a candle to the wonders of Christmas in the kitchen! That is why I am sooo excited to be a part of a group of bloggers who are sharing their holiday kitchen and a recipe or two with you today. I think you are really going to enjoy this.
Christmas in the kitchen brings to mind dozens of happy moments…
Teenagers making whipped cream topped hot cocoa after attending a holiday concert …
Popcorn popping for a Christmas movie-watching marathon.
(The Santa Clause and Home Alone are usually among the first we watch.)
Peppermint ice cream pie for dessert (just because we love peppermint at this time of year!) served with cappuccino made by a group of giggling nieces.
Then there are all those cookies and cakes that get prepared in the kitchen during the holidays for our friends and family (and Santa.)
And don’t forget the delicious smells that come out of that room at Christmas…ginger and spices in Swedish gingerbread baked for a treat to enjoy by the fire on a cold winter’s night…the cinnamon and clove scents from hot Christmas punch that’s made for every single party of the season here, or the fruity smell of oranges mixed with those same spices for a cup of hot Christmas tea to sip while reading a holiday novel. (Have any of you read Shepherds Abiding this year?)
Yes, I dearly love Christmas in the kitchen, and I love love love decorating it for the season. From the fresh greenery wreaths in the windows to the little bottle brush trees sitting about, it is a fun space to fill with holiday touches.
And since our kitchen and dining area are one long room, I want to share what is on the other side of the island with you as well. For the last few years, I have decorated our kitchen and dining area with gingerbread houses to accompany our Christmas china, (Williams Sonoma Christmas Icons) but this year I wanted something different – something with even more of the childlike magic of the holiday. So what better place to find inspiration than a memory from my own childhood. I don’t have many specific memories of school from my childhood, but I do remember some of our Christmas decorating from way back then. (Pretty sad for an elementary school teacher to admit, right? LOL) I’ve mentioned before my love for this cracked and worn Santa mug that I have enjoyed for many Christmases since I was a little girl.
Santa Claus, the North Pole, reindeer, and sleigh bells from his sleigh all came together for the dining table.
I even carried the whimsy to reindeer names on tags with sleigh bells tied to the napkins.
The centerpiece is Santa’s red sleigh (thanks Louvina) filled with holly from our yard. It is sitting on a red platter (from Target) in a layer of
The built in cabinet has a wreath that matches those in the window.
Santa cookies are in the jar.
I did not use the gingerbread houses in jars this year. Instead I found a sparkly red Santa and two reindeer ornaments at Target to stand in the sugar snow.
Let me turn on the light so you can see them better.
(Santa came holding a white tree, but I changed it out for one of the green ones I had.)
And now for another childhood memory.
A few weeks ago I shared with you that I grew up in a home that sat in a pecan orchard, and each fall we would pick up the nuts that fell from those trees. After selling bags and bags full of them, my father would always save out some that he would crack for our family, and then my mother would use some of those nuts at Christmas. The one food I clearly remember my mother making at Christmas was divinity. I do not remember her making it at any other time of the year – it was a Christmas-only treat. But even though she made it every year, I never learned how to prepare it. (Yes, I know…shameful.) But the other day, she graciously came over to teach me how to make it. (Thanks Mom!) Here is her recipe with a few tweaks. We increased the eggs to 3, the vanilla to 1 teaspoon, and doubled the pecans to 1 full cup.
I wanted to show you photographs of all the steps involved in making it, but this post is already toooooo long.
So here is a photo of the finished candy…
and next week I will do the post on how to prepare it.
And that wraps up my Christmas in the Kitchen. If you have come from one of the other blogs participating today, welcome to our home! I am so happy you are here! And if you are one of the regular readers here, I thank you for your frequent visits. I know you will find some delightful things at the other blogs on our tour today. So hop over to them and enjoy!
Click on the banners below for a link to their Christmas kitchens.
We hope our Christmas kitchens have given you a little holiday cheer, some decorating ideas, and perhaps a new recipe to try out this weekend.
One final thing before I go…don’t forget the giveaway going on here for 2 wonderful cookbooks and a $25 gift card for you to spend at Williams Sonoma. (More ways to enjoy Christmas in your kitchen!) You can find out all the details here. Just leave a comment to be entered, and remember the entry period closes at midnight Eastern time, Saturday December 13, 2014.
Thank you so much for visiting today.
***giveaway has closed***