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.