In My Kitchen, December 2013


No doubt you’re familiar with the ol’ saying: “If I were a mouse in the corner…” Well that’s what it’s like every month when Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts In My Kitchen. Cooks from around the world allow you to peek into their kitchens, pantries, and lives. Plus, it’s just plain fun!

The little guy pictured above is a cheese grater I discovered at the bottom of an auction box labeled “miscellaneous.” Truthfully, I don’t mind having a mouse In My Kitchen because he’s very adept at grating hard cheeses.


Also in the box were a dozen tablespoons. I really didn’t need more, but they’ve proved quite handy as tasting spoons. If you’re like me, you can never have too many of those.

Tasting Spoons

In My Kitchen, I rely on the “basics” day after day — the good ol’ standbys whose service is more than utilitarian and a tad less colorful than my previous IMK posts.

Below are the salt and pepper shakers I found at a thrift shop. (Where else?) Their retro-restaurant style appealed to me, plus I needed replacements for the ones I accidentally dropped. (!) Behind them is the pepper grinder that graces every meal. Are you a freshly ground pepper lover, too?

S & P

These non-scratch utensils reside on the counter next to the stove, but I moved them front and center for their photographic debut. They deserved to be spotlighted after such long-standing service — they’re nigh on 15 years old!


Simmering is my lifestyle. I love smelling the aromas emanating from a kettle for hours on end and I put my stockpot to use frequently.

Soup Kettle

Another fixture In My Kitchen is this appetizer tray… simple, beautiful, basic.

Appetizer Tray

With Christmas coming up in less than a month, it’s time to pull out the fancy serving platters. While this one doesn’t fall into the “basic” category, it’ll do an adequate job of serving cheeses, antipasto, etc. without clamoring for attention.


More than likely, though, it’ll hold a batch of Christmas cookies. Forgive me for resorting to last year’s photo, but I’m not in cookie baking mode just yet! These are wonderful, basic rolled cookies that I make every December (this batch was for a guest post for a sweet friend in Australia) and you can find the recipe here.


By the way… chocolate is always a “basic” In My Kitchen. :)

What’s in your kitchen this month? Do tell!

To view more IMK posts and the basics for participation, please say hi to Celia!

Enjoying a subdued start to the holidays,

~ Kimby

45 thoughts on “In My Kitchen, December 2013

  1. Hello Kim! I love In My Kitchen! Although I am a bit lazy to participate (I know this is fun!), I enjoy looking at everyone’s kitchen – it’s rare moment when we can get to see behind the scene. :) I LOVE and adore your mouse cheese grater! Love those unique design stuff but I have to say my kitchen is more generic stuff and quite boring. xD Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Nami, I didn’t set out to have unique things… more like “happened upon them,” which is fun, too! The majority of my stuff is just plain ol’ plain old — I’m running out of things to post (lol) — next month I’ll have to feature ingredients, unless I run across another unexpected treasure. :)

  2. I certainly do love that mouse! Tasting spoons are a must too, mine are personalized with ‘Bite Me’ engraved on them to stop the boys at work stealing them- chefs steal any utensil not nailed down. All my knives are engraved too :)

    • Rebecca, I love your personalized tasting spoons! I also had no idea that theft was rampant in professional kitchens (!) — no wonder you engrave your knives… they’re a big investment. For me, the worst (inadvertent) sticky fingers at this point is somebody walking off with my pen. ;)

    • Maureen, I think I’ve read about nearly every kind of envy except “mouse grater.” LOL, love it!! You’d have fun scouring the thrift shops and auctions here… holler next time you’re close to Oklahoma. (Or… I’ll be out on the East Coast next fall or sometime thereabouts.) xo

  3. I love that little mouse grater – how sweet :) And my stock pot is one of my favourite things in my kitchen too. It has seen a lot of soups over the years! Mostly though, I love the photo in your header. It reminds of a beautiful few days spent at a friend’s home near Port Alberni, British Colombia – they have the same view. I must visit them again

    • Mel, that’s so cool! I’ve been close (almost, not quite) to B.C… amazing scenery in that area! Incredibly, Oklahoma’s geology reminds me of a lot of places I’ve lived and/or visited — I feel very blessed to see that scene out my windows daily — thanks for noticing! Hope you get back to visit your friends soon. Please feel free stop by on your way through… my stock pot will likely be simmerin’! ;)

    • Thank you, Giulia! With all of the red and green frosted, multi-color sprinkled cookies this time of year, it’s nice to have a lil’ chocolate, too — any day, actually. ;)

  4. Grand photos! Love what’s in your kitchen. I’d love to have that fancy serving platter in my kitchen. I especially like white serving pieces: they go with everything and showcase food beautifully. Your star cookie is gorgeous!

    • Marianne, right now that platter is holding the first Christmas cards that arrived in the mail (until I bake cookies again.) I agree with you — white serving pieces are very versatile! :)

    • Tandy, I’ve had a lifelong habit of taking a bite out of the first cookie (not likely to change anytime soon, ha!) — gotta make sure they taste good, right? You’re more than welcome to share a bite!

  5. So many wonderful things in your kitchen. I really wish we had better thrift stores here. Your little mouse is adorable and an added bonus that it works so well. Your platters are gorgeous. Think I should invest in a couple more.
    Have a super day.
    :-) Mandy

    • Mandy, the area we live in is rife with thrift shops, consignment stores, and even impromptu roadside set ups. You’d love it! Ordinarily, I’m not a “shopper” (I avoid malls), but the spontaneity of poking around in a pile of “junk” makes those found treasures that much sweeter… and they’re within my budget, hoohah! Hope you run across some platters soon. Thanks for stopping by the lake!

    • Jason, thanks so much for coming by! Thanks, too, for picking up on my “theme.” I look forward to seeing everyone else’s IMK posts (themed or not) as much as I love putting together a slate of goodies in mine. Advance warning: they will not always be so coordinated, lol!

  6. Compartmentalised serving dishes make me happy. There’s something about all that order when you’re serving usually disordered food (like chips and nuts and things) that makes me happy – must be my logically wired brain. Your grater mouse is gorgeous too!

    • Jas, I hadn’t thought about the logical aspect of corralling disordered food. You’re right — there’s something satisfying about compartmentalized serving dishes! There’s an artistic component, too (alternating contrasting colors, textures, etc.) — heaven forbid that we should place dill pickles side by side with green olives. :) Happy serving!

  7. How come you don’t melt your non-stick utensils – or is that just me? I always leave mine in the pan and then the flame gets to them….I’m with Lisa – those cookies look great x

    • Lisa, there’s a few nicks and dents on the utensils, but so far so good. Glad you enjoyed the cookies… your suggestion to sit down with cookies & a cuppa is making me consider accelerating my baking schedule. :)

  8. I’m sure your salt and pepper shakers came from my parents’ house! Back when they passed on, they looked so old fashioned that no one wanted them. Now, I’d love to have them!

    They say what goes round comes round and I guess that’s true.

    It’s great to see the basics sitting front and centre! Thank you.

    • Pat, I was so touched by your memories that I immediately shared them with my hubby. We both understand the sentimental value of “familiar family items” — lil’ things like that become part of your history, too, even when they’re no longer around. Thank you so much for sharing that! I’ll keep my eyes open for a second set…

  9. It’s the basics that are truly the stars of our kitchen! The items we use day after day, like your lovely S&P shakers and cooking utensils. We’re still using the same set of bone china that we bought in 1992 – they’ve been in use every day since. They’ve lasted remarkably well! I love your little mouse grater, and love even more that you found him in an auction box marked “miscellaneous”. See, that’s the sort of thing I’d come home with, and Pete would roll his eyes, but I can never pass up a “lucky dip”… :)

    • Celia, sounds like you acquired an enduring set of china! I’m sure it’s moved from “basics” to “favorites” after twenty some years! Auctions are a lot of fun, especially when you have to take “the whole box” and you find more stuff you didn’t know you “needed” after you get home. ;)

    • Joanne, I name various things, too, and I’m thinking that lil’ mouse might just have to be named Mickey. :) Loved your Thermalina!!! The serving platter was a steal — fifty cents at our church store — truly a blessing.

  10. Hi Kim, You have some lovely things there. That mouse is very cute and I love those salt and pepper shakers – they are very stylish as is your appetiser tray. Your utensils are in excellent conditions for 15 years use.

    • Glenda, the utensils show very little wear and tear for all the cooking they’ve done, but I try to take good care of them. Hopefully that regimen will have the same effect on me. ;) Thanks for coming by!

  11. Kimmmeee! I love the salt/pepper shakers…they’re gorgeous!! And, one of a kind to boot. That weetle mouse can hang in my kitchen anytime, too! Now, here’s the weird thing about when I clicked ‘like’…my pix, which usually shows up, didn’t come up…arrrghhhh…could it be that feisty weetle mouse???? xoxoxo

    • Miss Ally, methinks that mischievous mouse is messin’ with your mind! ;) (Your pic is there now.) Could be that you clicked on the button the same time as someone else and WP couldn’t keep up w/ya, lol. I appreciate your lightning fast reply! You are soooo encouraging… xo.

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