“In My Kitchen” December 2019

Happy Holidays, all!

I hope that all of you stateside friends had a wonderful Thanksgiving!   I cannot believe December is here.  I’m not ready!  Every year I try to do some sort of December-themed posts.   I had high hopes and great ambitions for this year.  I even had a pre-planned IMK post to announce the theme—a retro and vintage look at Christmases past.

Alas, it’s not going to happen this year.  (I have changed my published date to 2020 for these.)

Oh, I do have an idea in mind for a few linked together holiday posts for 2019.  Stay tuned.

Until then, this is what’s new in my kitchen (or rather what’s new on my foodie reads shelf).

Fermented Vegetables:  Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes by Christopher Shockey 

Mom sent me this book for my birthday last month.  She is a fermentation guru and has taught a few classes at her local library and at some other venues around her town.  She highly recommends this book. I personally have not had the best of luck fermenting but this book has such good recipes and directions, I am going to give it a new go this summer.  (Plus, I have mom for a resources, too!)

SEAsoned:  A Chef’s Journey with Her Captain  by Victoria Allman

After my November IMK post and my unveiling of the boat kitchen, Tina (Squirrel Head Manor and Novel Meals) suggested SEAsoned to me.   I devoured it.  Tina mentioned that they had found their go-to lamb kabob recipe in this book.   Although there are some very tasty sounding recipes,  I was drawn to it for the yachting stories.

Don’t let the cover fool you. (If you’re like me, it looks like a self-published book.) Allman’s voice is funny and self-deprecating but her knowledge of food and her ability to deliver on last minute guest requests is miraculous.  There are great tales of catering to the rich and famous in exotic locales. I would recommend this book to anyone fascinated by yachts or who just likes good recipes. (Each chapter ends with at least one of Allman’s recipes.)

I loved the book so much, I ordered her earlier book, Sea Fare.

This book predates SEAsoned.  I am about half way through it and although I am enjoying it, the recipes tend to be more exotic.  I enjoyed SEAsoned more.

The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King

You might recall that Cook the Books Club members read King’s previous work, Feast of Sorrow: A Novel of Ancient Rome last year.    I loved that book.  So far, I am definitely enjoying her new novel set during the Renaissance in Rome.  (Get the ebook for only $2.99 at Amazon for a limited time.)


To round out what is turning into a book review post, let me end with some bookish spices.  Judy at Book Club Cookbook was kind enough to send a pre-holiday gift to me.   For an honest review of the product, she was offering up a choice of two Bookish Spices.  I requested  Joy Luck Rub (a salt free Mediterranean dry rub) and Of Spice and Men (Indonesian Korintje Cinnamon).

The Mediterranean Dry Rub is amazing.  (Read my review post here.)  I hope to do another post soon to highlight the cinnamon.

Check out all the Bookish Spices at Book Club Cookbook.  Any one of them would make a great holiday gift!  Please check them out:

Where the Crawdads Zing
Gulf Coast Bay Seasoning

Tarragon with the Wind
French Tarragon

The Joy Luck Rub
Mediterranean Dry Rub (salt free)

A Tale of Two Chiles
Cayenne Chile Powder (mild)

A Wrinkle in Thyme
Mediterranean Thyme

Of Cumin Bondage
Ground Cumin

Poppy Longstocking
Dutch Poppy Seed

Are you There God? It’s Me, Marjoram.
Organic Chicken Rub

Dried and Prejudice
Seasoned Salt

Of Spice and Men
Indonesian Korintje Cinnamon

Girl with a Pearl Onion
California Onion Powder
The Sage of Innocence
Rubbed Sage

The Salt in our Stars
Coarse Sea Salt
Shallot’s Web
Air Dried Shallots

Clever, right?


IMK is hosted by Sherry’s Pickings.  I look forward to it each month so I can peek into kitchens around the world.   It’s so interesting to see what people covet and collect as well as vicariously experiencing the other seasons on this globe of ours.

Hopefully, my holiday posts will start showing up shortly!

Because of the bookish nature of this post, I am linking up Foodies Read for December.

18 comments to “In My Kitchen” December 2019

  • You should take a picture of book shelf! I bet it must be jam packed! LOL You too have a wonderful holiday season, Deb.

  • I’m with Angie – I’d love to see a picture of your book self or book shelves. Great ideas for gifts. Thanks!

    • Thanks, M.J. I really enjoy making jellies and jams. In fact, I really thought (before this odyssey) that jelly making was harder than jams. Nope!

  • Mae

    That’s a great set of punning names for spices! I have a relative who has a musical New Year’s Eve party with puns for every dish. I’ll have to send her a link to your post! Have a great December — too bad you are holding your publication of vintage decorations until next year.

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • i love those names for the bookish spices. so clever. thanks for joining in this month. who can believe it is december already? we are sweltering here at the moment. so dry so hot so little rain. climate change is doing us in. let’s do a rain dance! why am i babbling on? dunno. anyway have a great december. cheers sherry

  • Some great stuff in your kitchen, but those spices — with their names! — are the best. 🙂

  • I didn’t know about SeaFare! Glad you liked the book and I am looking forward to seeing your boating posts. Captain Debra 🙂

    Fermented looks like a good book too. Must see if the library has it.

  • Liz

    Your new cookbooks sound very interesting. My husband and I lived on a boat for the first few years of our marriage…until baby time (toddlers and boats don’t mix well). But I am very intrigued.

    • We will see about living on it. We have spent a few nights on it thus far (and have been pretty much roughing it) but during this time of year here, the marina is deserted. So quiet and peaceful!

  • I think SEAsoned might be a fun CTB selection.

    • I am keeping it on my list. It’s much better than Sea Fare even though I am enjoying it. The recipes a much better and doable in SEAsoned. Thanks, Wendy.

  • Debra, what a well-read and well-“SEAsoned” life you’re living! Thanks for sharing all of the above IMK; truly a pleasure reading your post. I set aside a few 2019 writing ambitions, too, in favor of starting out the New Year and new decade (!!!) slightly more creatively than my previous musings. (We can hope.) The 20’s?! Makes me want to don a flapper dress instead of the traditional holiday attire. 🙂 Good reading and good eating to you and your loved ones. Merry Christmas! xo