In My December Kitchen

Winter has (unofficially) arrived in Boston with its muted palette of browns and grays but I maintain bright colors in my kitchen, even though my basil plant did not survive its trip from the garden to the windowsill. For a look inside other kitchens around the world, check out Celia’s monthly feature at fig jam and lime cordial. Here’s what I’m doing this month:

IMK Dec pudding

This batch of pumpkin-almond milk pudding gave me a new use for extra canned pumpkin that I purchased for Thanksgiving pies.



Meanwhile, chestnuts and stuffed squash rounded out weeknight meals.

IMK Dec chestnuts

IMK Dec - squash





IMK Dec hazelnut oil

We bought hazelnut oil as an ingredient in my husband’s home-brewed holiday beer. The beer isn’t ready yet, but I have already sprinkled the leftover oil on baked butternut squash and in salad dressings.

IMK Dec cookbook


I still haven’t figured out what holiday recipes to make this year, but my daughter gave me an early and much-appreciated vintage cookbook. Blender banana bread batter? Maybe not. Soup? Sure!


About heritagerecipebox

I am named after my great-grandmother, who only prepared two dishes, according to anyone who remembers. Somehow I ended up with a cooking gene that I brought with me from Richmond, Virginia to my current home in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked as a journalist and published three cookbooks plus a memoir and a novel. This blog gives me a chance to share family recipes and other American recipes with a past.
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16 Responses to In My December Kitchen

  1. lizzygoodthings says:

    Hi Clara and greetings from Downunder… there are lots of goodies in your kitchen… love the sound of that hazelnut oil. Yum! Wishing you the compliments of the season, happy cooking.


  2. Like you, I am still considering what to cook this festive season – there are so many recipes to choose from! I am quite fascinated with your canned pumpkin – we don’t get it here, and I always think of pumpkin as a savoury dish rather than a dessert! Pumpkin Pie is on my ‘Must TryOne Day’ list


    • Thanks for stopping by. Canned pumpkin is hugely popular here because Americans love pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I’m looking through lots of cookbooks this weekend to get holiday recipe ideas. Some are daunting – they would take all day. Happy holidays!


  3. hi clara
    i love the hazelnut oil. so nice in salad dressings etc. we used to be able to buy cans of pumpkin puree in australia but i think not any more. i used to put it in vegetarian lasagne as it saved me the step of chopping and cooking it up for one of the layers. merry xmas!


  4. Hi Clara – Boston native, now based in Canberra, Australia, stopping by to see what December looks like in my hometown’s kitchens. Love the look of that vintage blender cookbook!


  5. G’day Clara and thank you for this month’s kitchen view too!
    I was intrigued with the hazelnut oil and LOVE chestnuts!
    Cheers! Joanne


  6. Stuffed squash and chestnuts sounds delicious. I have never used hazel nut oil before. Thanks for sharing. Emma.


  7. MamaD1xx4xy says:

    The hazelnut oil is intriguing, especially in the beer! Happy Holidays!


  8. Elizabeth says:

    Yum I love Chestnuts and they are not easy to source here in Queensland on the Gold Coast! Thanks for sharing! Liz x


  9. Isn’t it fabulous that we’re on opposite sides of the world, but we both have the same hazelnut oil in our kitchens? 🙂 And oh how I wish we could have easy access to chestnuts – I love them so much! Hope you’re having a fabulous festive season! x


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