Happy New Year
Late I know, but my computer has been switched off since last year (except for a quick catch up of office work and emails one afternoon) and as farm work hasn’t been pressing since Christmas, other than clearing up after the Christmas trees and keeping the pesky pigeons off the oilseed rape crop, we’ve been making merry for the twelve days of Christmas.
So, what’s happening in my kitchen this month?
We’ve eaten turkey, turkey and more turkey, the ham is down to the bone and there’s still some Christmas cake left in the tin. On a more interesting note, in my kitchen there are …
… Christmas presents from home and abroad.
Orange & Rosemary Cantuccini, a mug with a design that echoes the insects on the fruit gin labels, a new tea cosy and tea with wonderful names like Brisbane Blend and Sleep Tight in a box slightly dented by travelling from Australia in a tightly packed suitcase; a wonderful combination of presents from different people to bring a little peace and calm in the post-Christmas mayhem.
… a new Recipe Card box.
I used to keep my recipes on small cards in a tin but then changed and slipped the cards and A4 sheets of recipes into plastic wallets in a ring binder. But it all became a bit of a muddle, the ring binders multiplied and the plastic wallets were looking decidedly unhygienic so I bought myself a big box and transferred everything again. The A4 sheets were chopped up and stuck onto new cards so every recipe has its own space, the small cards will jostle for space amongst the larger ones and recipe cards picked up from supermarkets can now be slotted in easily. Some recipes were thrown out because they never worked properly or I’d never got around to making them. I’d completely forgotten about some of the recipes – special things for birthdays or obscure uses for a glut of fruit – and old favourites had slipped behind other cards.
Some of the old cards were recipes I’d meticulously copied out from my mother’s recipe book when I left home aged nineteen to live in a cold little house by a Norfolk marsh. There are recipes typed out for the children with the first instruction “Wash your hands”, pages torn from magazines and scraps of paper with notes jotted down from blogs (I’m too mean to print off a recipe until I know it works). Some recipes are vague as my grandmother’s favourite instruction was “cook until done” and there are alterations, question marks and alternatives scribbled on a great number. With luck, everything will be easier to find now, so long as I keep it in order.
The garden hasn’t changed much since last month but is just looking a little more tired and as I debated whether to photograph the view, I saw this squirrel sitting on the wall. We have too many squirrels around here pinching the walnuts and strawberries, digging up the lawn or getting into the loft space where they pee and chew with gay abandon.
… a galette des Rois.
For Epiphany. We bought this one yesterday in Paris and carried it home carefully on Eurostar. It was a good way to round off the Christmas celebrations as we each carefully bit into our slice of galette hoping for the fêve (originally a dried bean but now a tiny figurine) and therefore the right to wear the crown and be king or queen for the evening.
What’s happening in your kitchen this month? Why not join in with Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.