Happy New Year!

Just a bit late, but hope you had a lovely time.  We had a very relaxing (as much as it can be with hyper sweet fed young children) time.  I just couldn’t do the planned pared down lunch in the end and opted for the full hog, I just didn’t feel very Christmassy on the day, almost a bit lost but as soon as I decided to cook the full lunch and put the radio on to find Carols at Kings in session everything clicked into place.  Was I genetically born to be chained to the kitchen sink?  I prefer to think I am just happier multi tasking and busy, ideally with glass of wine in hand…when appropriate, obviously.

So, with the freezer bread sauce and stuffing, and some parsnips from the garden (despite snow still on the ground I managed to prize up a few) and with all the rest of the lunch ingredients that had remained on my Ocado delivery we had a full all singing all dancing Christmas meal.  It was yummy and oddly didn’t take up that much time, must have been the canape making that made me so busy the weekend before.

I did extremely well on the foodie present front.  My brother gets a HUGE round of applause for delivering mushroom plugs (I will beg a few hardwood logs from our neighbour to plug them into – more about that later), River Cottage ‘Every Day‘ and…drum roll please…Yorkshire Wine. I kid you not, really there are Vineyards in Yorkshire, more than one I believe.  We got a bottle of Seyval from Leventhorpe Vineyard in Leeds, I have no idea how it tastes, I’ll report back when we open it.    There is also a bottle of fruit wine, Gooseberry, from Yorkshire Country Wine based at Glasshouses, Harrogate.  From this link you can see the other English suppliers including our local Meopham Valley Vineyard, who sell on-line.  I really recommend their sparkling wines, last year I ordered a case to give away as Christmas presents having already bought it a number of times from the local Farmer’s Market and 2 hours later a nice bloke knocked on my door with the delivery (we are kind of local), how about that for service?

My sister also turned up trumps with a copy of Michael Roux Jr’s ‘A Life in the Kitchen‘, signed not once, but twice the second being ‘To Beth, Big Kiss, Michel Roux’, oh yes Big Kiss.  My sis ate in his restaurant and took the already signed book along and asked him to sign for me after telling him how much I like to cook.  How nice is that.

I also had many other lovely presents, but back to the point of this blog, the garden.  It’s survived being covered in snow for a week, the longest I have known since we moved here to Kent and although a bit squashed most things look OK.  The tops of the parsnips have dissolved into a slimy mess but they need eating now and can stay in the ground until needed.  I bravely put the broad beans outside after the snow as they were getting a bit ‘green’ on the soil surface due to the humidity inside the greenhouse and they also look to be surviving.  I was surprised to note that the Chard is still there after being coated in snow, last year the first prolonged frost killed them but they are hanging on this time as are the Kale, covered still in giant cloches and still not really a usable size, I think it will be spring before we can eat them.

We are due another cold spell with a bit of snow over the next week so we’ll see how they all do, hopefully on their own as I am planning to stay cosy indoors and read all my new books!

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