Finally, we are on the last day of the school term – hurrah! After this afternoon’s Carols in the playground, there will be lovely relaxed mornings without me yelling at the boys to get ready for school over and over….sadly, they will still both be up at 6am, but that can’t be changed.
I’ve been re-reading my Christmas cookery books, looking for ideas. I still really love the ‘new’ Delia Christmas one (I have the first Christmas book she did, as well), partly for the styling as well as the actual recipes, the vintage baubles and white backgrounds are pretty much my own taste and the recipes (including many re-worked from her ‘Winter’ cookbook) are, as always, fabulous. I make her mincemeat every year, and if I do make a cake it’s also from this book.
I also enjoyed re-reading Nigella’s Christmas book. There are some nice canape ideas that I’d forgotten about. This is the book that started the trend on collecting Crown Devon ‘Stockholm’ china, as it’s used in the photos (and, I believe, in the accompanying TV series). More on the later.
New this year and not strictly a Christmas book, is the The Great British Winter Kitchen. I haven’t cooked anything from this yet but I’ve really enjoyed reading it. The recipes look great and contain simple ingredient lists (it reminds me a lot of Jamie Oliver, if I’m honest). My kind of book.
Back to the Crown Devon ‘Stockholm’. So, I remember mentioning some time ago, that I wouldn’t jump on the bandwagon in collecting this, instead I’d stick with the (much cheaper and easier to find) Royal Doulton ‘The Coppice’.
What can I say? I buckled. I am weak. Over the years I have watched this grow ever more expensive and more difficult to find and this year, I just couldn’t resist adding a few bits to my clutter. My lovely SIL bought me a couple of pieces for my 40th, and I especially love the ‘tennis’ plate and cup.
From collecting the Coppice, I know what pieces are the most useful to me, with this in mind I’ve managed to buy some tureens, by far the nicest things, I think, they have such a pretty shape and I like the detail of the little red line painted around the base. I love having tureens for serving vegetables on a special roast lunch (or Christmas dinner!). I’ve also bought some little fruit bowls and a jug (for serving Christmas pudding, naturally). In an ideal word, I’d have a platter for the turkey (but don’t think there is a large one with this collection, only meat plates that are a bit small) and maybe a sandwich set with square platter and plates. Ideally. But this is expensive stuff to collect, so I’m stopping here, for now at least.
In the garden, it’s all just very wet and soggy. We have a lot of fog going on around here, that sits in our little dip all day, only lifting in the afternoon, if we’re lucky. I still have chard, kale, spring onions, horseradish root and some old beetroot. The garlic is in. I’ve missed planting broad beans and sweet peas….oh well. I’m happy to leave the garden now until January, when I’ll start obsessively reading seed catalogues and planning next year.
For those that celebrate it, I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and a Happy New Year!