in my kitchen – January

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 …

tea and cantuccini

… 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.

recipe cards

… 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 view from the kitchen window.

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.

Gallete des Rois

… 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.

22 thoughts on “in my kitchen – January

  1. Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial says:

    Anne, sounds like you’ve been having a peaceful time! Happy New Year!
    Love that we both have T2 in our houses, and your new mug is great – was it a promotional item you made for your drinks company? The recipe box is a great idea – hope it works well for you. And re the squirrel – do you eat them? I remember Hugh on River Cottage going on about eating grey squirrels..


  2. Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    Happy New Year Anne! Glad you’ve been making merry for the Twelve Days – so nice to enjoy them all, if possible. Love your recipe box – reminds me that I must sort out the dismayingly high pile of motley bits of paper with recipes on them in my own kitchen! E x


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      I have no doubt that by the end of January I’ll have rammed lots of recipes into the wrong section and won’t be able to find them. There’s also a great temptation to tear out far too many recipes from magazines as it’ll be so easy to shove them in the back of the box “for later on”.


  3. heidiannie says:

    Sorry- this ended up on the wrong blog!
    I’m tired and not paying attention to where I’m going- Love the mug- and the bread. Did you get to wear the crown?


  4. bizzylizzycooks says:

    Love visiting your place, it’s always got so many goodies. That squirrel is gorgeous! Happy new year Anne.


  5. Pat Machin says:

    Fancy joining in with a ‘game’ hosted by a blog in Australia and finding that one of the bloggers lives near where I was brought up in England. In fact, over 40 years ago I walked along your bridle-path long before the new village was built.

    It is consoling to hear that someone else has had difficulties in finding a good filing system for recipes! I thought it was just me.

    I’ve just spent an hour browsing through you blog – fascinating. Thank you for the good read.


    • Anne @GtSlamseysFarm says:

      Welcome back to Braintree! even if it’s only in the blogosphere. I suspect the fields south of the bridlepath look exactly as you remember them but very different to the north where the main road cuts through with houses built the other side.
      The problem with my recipe system now is remembering to put the cards back in the box in the proper place.


      • Pat Machin says:

        Thanks for the welcome back. We saw a TV series when Great Notley was being built and did detour to see it when it was half built.

        I know what you mean about remembering to keep up with the filing. I never seem to catch up.


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