That was a bit of a blogging break then.  As you can imagine, the garden has slowed right down, there is need of a big tidy up which I started this week and the greenhouse needs a good clean but I have been busy over at The Linen Cat, blogging and trying to get Christmas products on-line.

We have also just spent half term in Yorkshire, staying in my sisters newly re-furbished cottage and visiting family.  There has been some walking




some watching the salmon try to jump upstream



and rather a bit too much eating.  I have a bad habit of eating my way through memories, if that makes sense, especially as we have the boys with us and I kept buying them the sweets of my youth to try.  They loved these lollies which we always ate as children, shown here with Yorkshire Mixture boiled sweets.


They have become rather partial to Whitaker’s (of Skipton) mint wafers.


And no trip to Yorkshire would be complete without a trip to Bettys for some Fat Rascals


which are a sort of mix of scone and rock cake (they freeze really well BTW).  If you have ever been to the Dales you may have heard of Bettys, it’s a famous small chain (Harrogate, Ilkley, Northallerton and York) of cafes that serve a mix of traditional English (with a Continental influence, especially in the chocolates) food in a Victorian style.  They are big on cakes and afternoon tea, the prize being the Fat Rascal as above.  They sell on-line at Bettys by Post, if I could recommend one thing to order online it would be their Italian Ricciarelli Biscuit Tray which aren’t cheap but are oh so amazing.  Oh, should mention, there is nearly always a wait for a table at busy times so come early or take out.

I have also been making a head start on Christmas food after treating myself to Delia’s new book.


I will admit to abandoning D’s last TV series, it annoyed me but she does do great traditional food and I like this side of her cooking.  On first glance there are a lot of re-worked recipes but I am OK with that as there are also a number of new ones and the book is beautifully presented.

I have made mincemeat, last year I made ‘Pear and Ginger suet free mincemeat’ from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook (No 2) which was great but I was inspired by my new book to go back to Delia this year.


I have also returned to her classic Christmas Cake recipe.  Last year I tried Christmas Plum Cake from the Duchy Originals Cookbook, with a nut glaze topping (from D’s old Christmas book).  It was nice, but I fancied a more traditional cake this year.


It is getting it’s weekly brandy feed at the moment and I intend to go for a marzipan and icing finish.  On the right of this shot you can just see the last of the early Christmas food in the form of Spiced Pickled Prunes in Armagnac (also Delia) and still waiting to be transfered my Sloe Gin from this earlier post.


Whilst we all about food, my final photo is from a 1974 Women’s Weekly magazine that I brought back from Yorkshire (as part of my Gran’s knitting pattern collection).  I couldn’t help but notice this page of recipes, the middle one being curried Eggs and Pineapple! What were they thinking?

OK, I am hoping the mass of photos might get me off the hook for such a slow post rate recently, I guess in the rather quiet gardening time the blog will be more about cooking, but as I wrote at the beginning, I love the memories and traditions of food and especially at this time of year so I have plenty to share.  There is still a good deal of work to do in the garden so there will be gardening posts and I need to take the time to update all the links on the RHS.

Enough, time for wine and X-Factor, on which note WHO KEEPS VOTING JEDWARD IN!!!


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