Mistletoe and Wine…No sugar quick-pickled Onions, ham with crackling and a Kamikaze Cocktail…

I would just like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas from sunny Thailand. (although there is a definite chill in the air this morning…Thank you for all your comments and support for my blog…It really is much appreciated…From me to you…x

A very apt Christmas message ….xxx

Your ham is all ready to cook…How to cook it my way…

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Ham with scored skin studded with cloves.

Ham- cloves- home cooked

Ham with scored skin studded with cloves

Once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

My third way of making ham which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg. I started it the day after Boxing day and it was lovely for New Year…

It is also much quicker to brine than a whole leg and only takes between 4-6 days depending on the size of your meat and how salty you like your ham.

I used 2 kilos of Pork Loin.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 2 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 2 1/2  litres water
  • 450 gm salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter.

Mix the ingredients for the rub together and rub over the pork loin. Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge. Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two: Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered. Store the ham cold. Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves. Let the ham brine for 4-6 days.

Tip: The first time I used loin I left it for 4 days the second time I left it for 5 days which suited our taste… It is always wise to do a test run I think as personal tastes vary.

Ham- crackling-home cooked-sliced-platter

Home-cooked ham and crackling

If I am making crackling ham I buy pork with the skin on and score the fat….when I get to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked I covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat put it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…Awesome!

As promised  Pickles with no sugar…

You’ll only need six ingredients (plus water) to make these tasty and healthy pickles.

red onion-899102_640

  • Red onion:
  • White vinegar:
  • Kosher salt: If you use fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use.
  • Seasonings: Dried bay leaves and whole peppercorns, mustard seeds.

Let’s Pickle!

Peel the onion and slice it into thin, 1/8-inch slices. Separate the slices and place them in a jar
large enough for all of them (a 1-quart jar should work).
In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water and salt. Add the bay leaves and the
peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt dissolves.
Turn the heat off. Pour the liquid over the onions. With a wooden spoon, press down on the
onions to make sure they are well-covered. Close the lid and allow to sit at room temperature 3
hours before serving.
Refrigerate any leftovers which will be good for up to a week.
Lastly, I can’t go without leaving a cocktail…Cheers xxx
It was a choice between a sedate pina colada which I do have a penchant for when sitting at a
beach bar or this …..I am after all slightly crazy at times…
The Kamikaze…
The Kamikaze Cocktail is a historic drink, a distillate of elegance and sumptuous scents. It belongs to the great family of the sour cocktails, namely a spirit (in this case vodka) + triple sec + lemon/lime juice. 3 parts of each for a triune cocktail, packed with a compact and precise elegance.
One could say that the Kamikaze cocktail is a Margarita made with vodka instead of tequila.
But it would be a shame to reduce it to a simple variation since it’s not only one of the most famous cocktail, but also on of the finest and most drinkable, especially as an aperitif.


The history and cocktails always have a history…  the cocktail Kamikaze is dark and it is assumed that, as was the Japanese Slipper cocktail, it was born after World War II, in Tokyo, in a bar of an American military base, during the occupation of Japan.

Others think that it came out in the 70s and consider it a classic disco cocktail….Cheers xxx

That’s all for now ..Merry Christmas xxx

Lastly, remember not everyone is fortunate and some people dread this time of year be aware and if you can add a little cheer please share your joy but also remember the other 364 days of the year pass your smile around and be kind… 

In many countries there are also new guidelines because of a mutated strain of Covid which spreads much faster please, please stay safe don’t play dare with other people’s life we all want to see and celebrate next Christmas and if it means we don’t celebrate this in the manner we always do I’ll opt for seeing in next Christmas…

Thank you for dropping in today, I hope you have enjoyed reading this post, as always I look forward to your comments… you know I love to chat!

Thanx Carol xx



38 thoughts on “Mistletoe and Wine…No sugar quick-pickled Onions, ham with crackling and a Kamikaze Cocktail…

  1. Pingback: CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…20th December-26th December…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Christmas… | Retired? No one told me!

  2. Pingback: Christmas, Downunder style | Meeka's Mind

  3. acflory

    Carol, you’re a genius! I just watched the Kiwi Christmas carol video and it’s perfect for us Aussies too! If you don’t mind, I’m going to include it in my Christmas post as well.

    It’s been a crappy year, but it’s almost over, and we have hope for the New Year. Sometimes that’s the best Christmas present of all. Stay well and be happy. 🙂 -hugs-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Of course! recognition at last…haha…Thanx Meeks….Yes it has been a crappy year and lets hope 2021 will be better…Merry, Merry Christmas dear Meeks…stay safe and well Hugs x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. koolkosherkitchen

    We used to pickle onions exactly the same way in Russia and always had a jar ready, sitting in the fridge. They are great on top of French fries – did you know that?
    My best wishes to you and your for a joyous, healthy, and safe holiday season, dear Carol!
    Cheers! 🍸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Um..no I didn’t ..I don’t eat French fries but will recommend it to hubbie who has pickled onions with anything it is something I pickle the most for him…I like them but not quite as much as he does…Thank you for the best wishes, dear Dolly I hope you and yours have a joyous festive season and stay safe and well Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim Borden

    loved the Air New Zealand video. must be different celebrating Christmas where it is so warm.

    and I used to love kamikazes when I was in college; it’s probably been 40 yers since I’ve had one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Time to refresh your memory and have another one,Jim? I loved the New Zealand video and yes it is different Christmas in the sun…it just doesn’t have the same atmosphere maybe if I had grown up in the sun it would but I remember cold, snowy or frosty Christmases and that has stayed with me…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jim Borden

        Perhaps when the pubs open again… 🙂
        And you’re right, I guess you get used to whatever your grew up with as Christmas. But it does seem that most holiday songs I know feature snow and cold weather. I wonder if it is the same in Australia…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Clive

    When I saw your title I feared the worst, but I needn’t have worried! Thank you for sharing some lovely food, and not THAT song 😉


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      My pleasure, Robbie it tried and tested but I’m sure your mum has her own one…I always cook a ham we love our Christmas ham…Merry Christmas , Robbie 🙂 x


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Norah I have made it for so long now that I have perfected the taste for us and it always tastes better the day after it has been cooked…Merry Christmas 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

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