January Blues and Green Shoots

I do not love winter. While other people are out making snow angels (or failing that,  fallen leaf angels, the hussies) I am sitting indoors doing my Victor Meldrew impression. I don’t like the long, dark nights and miserable weather and I can’t bear all the pious lectures we’re subjected to after the Christmas jollities. Continue reading

Goat’s Cheese, Cranberry and Orange Salad

In January it is traditional to beat yourself up over all the carbs and chocolates you’ve consumed over Christmas and vow to go on a diet. I am not advocating this. Instead, I’m offering you a bright, refreshing salad  – don’t panic, it has warm things in it – which should give even the most jaded taste buds a kick up the whatsit. Continue reading

Chicken and Chestnut Pithivier

This recipe is a Christmas cracker. If you are cooking for smaller numbers and don’t want the full-on turkey extravaganza, it’s a very attractive centrepiece to the festive meal. If, on the other hand, you have ordered a colossal bird for the big day and are expecting leftovers, it’s a great way to use some up. Continue reading

Christmas Spiced Biscotti

These biscuits make a great edible gift and they’re lovely dipped into a glass of vin santo or another sweet dessert wine. Dunk them into tea or coffee if you like. An Italian chef I met in Tuscany would give you a sharp rap on the knuckles for that but it’s your house, your rules. Continue reading

Enjoying Christmas

I was going to call this Surviving Christmas but that felt too miserable and Scrooge-like. I’ve just read Jay Rayner’s account in Observer Food Monthly of his family Christmases, past and present (the story of his mother un-stuffing the turkey is priceless). He says people expect something magnificent of him, being a food writer, but in fact he has simplified the festive meal. My family goes one further. Continue reading