There are three things I love doing at Christmas. The first and most important part is eating a bucket-load of food. The second has to be the company – and that’s not just human – being surrounded by cats and wildlife fills me with a lot of happiness. Particularly the wildlife, especially when you spend all of your time in a grey city. The final thing that I love doing at Christmas is taking time to relax and write. And this is exactly what I’m doing right now – writing for all of you lovely people.
I’ve grown up around home-baked, home-grown and home-made things. This is where my obsession with being thrifty and making exciting food all comes from. For me, there really is no better gift for someone at Christmas than something with a lot of time and effort poured into it. Of course, the new Xbox would be nice too!
Three things have been made in the busy kitchen this afternoon, in anticipation for the Christmas ahead. The first are these delicious cinnamon star-shaped biscuits, taken from a little Co-Op recipe. The best thing about these little treasures is that they’ve been made with fluffy egg-whites, making them super light and spongey. You can have a go yourself here.
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a whole load of spice. That’s exactly what this ginger cake from Delia Smith is. A rich, dense and totally tasty treat – the whole cake takes no time at all to bake and, whether you’re with family or you’re working throughout the Christmas period, this will put a smile onto your face.
Finally, and the best has been saved until last, our kitchen is now home to a very appetising Christmas cake. Whatever your thoughts on Christmas cake – here, sherry has added a wonderfully fragrant and fruity note to the traditional cake. The shape is fantastic, too. Adding cranberries to the icing also gives this cake a lovely alternative spin.
On the plot
So, some of you reading this will probably have never owned an allotment. There are probably lots of you out there who currently own one, or you’re lucky enough to have your very own garden. The point is, it can be hard to keep these things up when Christmas rules your life.
I haven’t been up to my allotment in a few days. Fortunately, the whole site has shut down mostly for the winter. What is happening is a grand project to really make the place a productive spot.
This year, I’ve had more successes than in the last couple combined. The apples have been really good, pumpkins have supplied me with lots of delicious and thrifty soups. My homegrown garlic has added a fantastic kick to every meal and the handpicked rocket and chard leaves brought fresh, peppery flavours to a lot of summer and autumn food.
Stay tuned for the next little festive message. On New Years Eve, I’ll be detailing more about the big allotment plan for the year ahead, as well as revealing a little bit about blog plans for January.
Have a fun, festive, food-fuelled Christmas everyone. I hope that Father Christmas brings you lots of great goodies!
Oh, one final note, just look at these cats: