Sunday, 6 December 2015

Tea for One, Gingerbread and Flower Sprouts

The Christmas tree is up with its eclectic ornaments, handmade and gifted, but I am not here to talk about them dangling off the branches, but what is in my kitchen.  
I have some jars of Welsh Lady jars of Roasted Chestnut Chutney and Mincemeat with Brandy and Sherry.  I actually got them last year, but had forgot about them, I am definitely going to use them this year.


Something else that got lost in the back of one of the cupboards was this bottle of Pain d'Epices translated as Spice Bread aka Gingerbread Syrup.  I have it out and in full sight for making home-made flavoured coffees and some vegan Gingerbread cakes, to dribble over ice-cream, but if anyone has any other ideas they would be most welcome too.  Oh and I also found a bottle of Cranberry Syrup too (not featured).  Next to the bottle you will note a handmade gingerbread house.  I picked it up from a charity shop, because I loves it, but I am not sure what it is.  I had thought it was for a teapot, but there are no gaps in the sides; and I don't think its for the bathroom either.  So any suggestions would be most welcome.  The only hole is in the top - the chimney. 
It was my Birthday last month and my work colleagues collectively contributed to the Birthday fund which benefits everyone who contributes.  This was set up to avoid those times when your running around frantically at last minute trying to collect contributions towards a colleagues Birthday pressie and not everyone is there.  Or worse, to avoid those awkward moments when people only give loose change (or nothing at all) because they are not keen on that person (not that that happens where I work), anyway it is to avoid that kind of nonsense.  It seems fairer and every one has a choice to contribute a couple of quid; or opt out if they wish not to be part of that system.  I don't like celebrating my own Birthday and had considered opting out, but its not about celebrating your own birthday, but the Birthday of others and if it means keeping workplace harmony, sometimes its best to join in. So they got me a platter: a cheeseboard, a dipping bowls, nibble plate.  I have already used it this weekend.
A friend got me a 'Tea for One' Teapot and Saucer.  We don't go out together much for lunches or evening, but a little while back we had gone out for a cuppa at an Independent cafeteria.  When the tea arrived and I asked the young girl 'where is my cup?'. She smiled 'Beneath the teapot'.   I was amazed - Teapot and cup in one - Awesome.  
My friend saw the amazed delight on my face and this is what I found when I unwrapped the package on my birthday.  Ta'dah!  I love it.   My nephew had given me some fancy bars of Chocolate and Chocolate Tea (sorry not featured), can you guess why?! Yeph, I've eaten them, well D ate most them, but I don't mind sharing with him.  
I've got a new toy on my kitchen counter-top, a Optimuum ThermoCook.  I am still playing with it and trying to familiarise myself with it, so I will write more - but it boils, chops, blends, heats, purees, liquidises, mashes, purees and steams
I do love chestnuts this time of year, who doesn't?!  So I picked up some Merchant Gourmet Whole Chestnuts and the Chestnut Puree was already in my kitchen cupboard, ready for soup. 
A new shops called Tiger has opened up in the town where I work, I picked up a few bits from there, such as this place mat and for weekend nibbles Tortillla chips and some Hot Tomato Salsa.
I am not a huge fan of Brussels sprouts.  I will eat them with a snugged nose, but I do not like them. In fact I actually have some growing in the garden, but the purples ones shown here were not described as Brussels Sprouts, they were in fact described as Flower Sprouts. Yes, I think I was tempted by the name, but also the purple colouring.  They are a hybrid between kale and Brussels Sprouts. 
And finally something fresh - sweet clementines.  I am linking this post with  Celia from Fig and Lime Cordial  who hosts In My Kitchen, but as from January 2016 she is passing the reigns over to Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef.  Celia has shown genuine warmth and generosity over the years in hosting IMK, I truly thank her for this and welcome Maureen.

10 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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    1. You are really kind Teresa. Thank you - its seems such a long time ago now.

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  2. Love your tree! And all the things in your kitchen at the moment, I went into a 'tiger' shop for the first time a couple of weeks ago, luckily it's in Birmingham so a bit of a train ride away, otherwise I'd be in there all the time! I have that same multicoloured placemat, I think I'm going to put plants on mine!

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    1. Thank you Susie. We love it too, not keen on the white lights though, need to replace them with the colourful ones for next year.

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  3. It all looks wonderful. The teapot/saucer combo is fantastic. I used to have a few but seem to have gotten rid of them over the years. Your gifts from work also look quite nice, something I'm sure you could use often. I am loving the purple Brussels sprouts. Our whole family loves Brussels sprouts and it's always fun to have a purple veggie!

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    1. Thanks Gretchen. The teapot and saucer combo is back in fashion I guess, hence their popularity once again. Yes, I am looking forward to cooking more with the purple sprouts, will share recipes soon - packet nearly finished.

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  4. Ugh... life's too short for Brussels Sprouts. I can't stand them! I bet it's a challenge for you at Christmas because I know they are a 'must have'. Chestnut Chutney - very innovative. I would never even think of such a thing. All the best over Christmas - enjoy all of that Gingerbread syrup!

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    1. Yes, they are a bit, but purple ones I can stomach - they don't smell or taste as strong. I am looking forward to trying the Chestnut Chutney, yeah very different. Yes, must make the most of the ginger syrup.

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  5. Just noticed your IMK post - it is that sort of month - love all your syrups (drizzle over christmas pudding as well as custard???) and your teapot and cup set. Belated happy birthday. the birthday fund sounds great and I love the platter and dipping bowls they got you. And love the tree

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  6. Ah thats okay Johanna. I think mos tpeopel are distracted with the festivities. I do have some Christmas pudding left over from last year, which I hope to tuck into this year - so I may just drizzle some syrup over:) Thanks for the Belated Birthday wishes, it was a quiet one. I do LOVE the teapot and cup set. The birthday fund - I have to tell you something that happened...quite ridiculous really.

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