When it came time to decorate my Christmas tree, I discovered I had no desire to haul out the traditional ornaments this year. No taking anything out of a box (except the tabletop tree itself), no unwrapping metal toys or delicate bulbs, no lights even.
I wasn’t being Scrooge, no feelings of humbug here. I just wanted a little change. So, I loaded up the CD player with some holiday albums from Mel Tormé, Barbara Cook and Ella Fitzgerald and put up a cooking tree instead. I had done this in years past, and with the launch of SavorSA, it seemed the perfect year to bring it back. All it takes is a few kitchen gadgets you don’t use too much mixed in with a few items from the bar, the grill and my cookie cutter collection.
Near the top is a cork angel, made from the stopper of a Champagne bottle. Also on the tree are wreaths of a sort, napkin rings made of jingle bells with a bright red ribbon on top. Cocktail skewers for olives or pickled onions as well as full length metal skewers for shish kebabs make for a type of tinsel.
Wine charms are also easy to hang, and I opted for a series with wild animals in honor of my African safari earlier this year.
A few under-used kitchen utensils, including a real nutcracker and a specialized zester that creates thin strips of citrus peel, hang alongside a few kitchen-related ornaments that many of us foodies have accumulated over the years. These include a miniature Kitchen Aid and a small copy of “Joy of Cooking.”
The one traditional piece on the tree is the topper, a miniature Santa hat. I had wanted to crown it with a chef’s toque, but mine was so large that it weighed the tree over. I could have kept it that way. Upside down trees hung from the ceiling were popular a year or two ago. But a felled tree on its side? Now, that would have been something for Scrooge.