In my kitchen, there are no smells of gingerbread and cinnamon and all things pre-Christmassy. The blogsphere may be entering the festive period with butter biscuits, gingerbread houses, stollen, panettone, julekage and cinnamon scrolls but not in my kitchen. Perhaps next week or the week after that.
In my kitchen …
… there are no festive decorations apart from this cinnamon twig Christmas tree. In my imagination, this will be transformed into a thing of beauty when it’s decorated with bunches of herbs and tiny sparkly decorations. Doubtless, when the fairy descends to cast this magic, she will also pick up the discarded coats and damp gloves that the workers from the Christmas Barn sling over chairs or by the Aga to keep warm and perhaps she could also sweep and wash the floor, empty the bin and do the washing-up. My kitchen is not a pretty sight at the moment.
In my kitchen, there is no stack of new cookbooks. I’ve noticed that many IMK bloggers write about the cookbooks they’ve acquired but I’m getting rid of them. About six months ago I decided that too many of the cookbooks on the shelves were pretty to look at but had few recipes that I actually wanted to cook. Added to that, it seems that the more famous the author, the more likely that their recipes didn’t work for me. There were books that I rarely used and others from which I used only a few recipes. Looking through I also found the same recipe replicated by many authors with just a pinch of this and that changed and even worse, some authors write a recipe for Book 1, then tweak it ever so slightly, thus justifying a new page and glossy photo in Book 2. Enough is enough. I dispatched the books to charity shops, offspring and to use for jelly printing and haven’t missed them since. My favourite cookbooks have remained and I studiously avoid the cookery section of the bookshop (though I still borrow cookbooks from the library) and most of my inspiration now comes from blogs. I trust bloggers more, especially when people like Glenda test, test and test again until they’re happy with the recipe. Anyway, often I just want an idea for what to cook for supper rather than an actual recipe.
In my kitchen …
There is beautiful fenland celery (that tastes way better than the imported pap we usually have) to make a salad with walnuts and crisp English apples, a ham is bubbling away in a saucepan and a batch of shortbread is cooling in the baking tin. Of course there’s bread too. There’s always bread. A batch of sourdough loaves baked in tins for sandwiches and some burnt looking bacon, cheese and spiced crabapple rolls inspired by Jane.
What about you? Do you buy cookery books? Do you follow recipes or just use them as a springboard?
Once again, I’m joining in with Celia’s In My Kitchen series at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial as we tour the world to see what everyone has in their kitchen this month. If you have the time, check out some of the different blogs that are listed on Celia’s page.