Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!!

5

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!!

This angel is here just to wish you all a fabulous Christmas season – thank you all for your kind comments over the last 8 months and all your support. I feel honoured and blessed to have such wonderful followers – I have come across so many inspirational blogs and bloggers who have made my life and my cooking richer. If I follow you it is because you make me feel good and inspired and if you follow me it makes every key I type worth while. You are a fabulous community and I thank goodness that someone somewhere has brought us all together!

Keep doing what you are all doing!

God bless you all and a HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

May 2014 be a good one for you, especially in culinary matters!

Keith x

Lime and coriander prawns….sex on a plate….

6

Lime and coriander prawns....sex on a plate....

Hello! Where have you all been? I know, I know….only joking…tis me…I have been ignoring my duties here in my real life as a blogger whilst trying to earn a decent penny pretending to be grown up, struggling towards the end of the December work schedule that has, frankly, left me plum knackered. Still, I have dusted myself down, had a monumental sleep, ventured out into the real world, breathed it all in and here I am before you, ready to bare my cooking soul. Now, you will all be thinking….’he’s been at the wine again’…..which is true…but I feel liberated, shackles are off and I am rolling into Christmas Drive, foot off the break and in top gear.

So, what have I been eating – nothing exciting sadly – until a day or two ago – and I had these prawns served as a canapé.
So, I rushed home and replicated them. And it didn’t hurt!

A slither of patience is required…but all worth it. Simply add 200 gm of the best tail-on-king prawns you can afford – this for maybe 2 or 3 of you as a nibble cum starter – you could even pop a spoonful into half an avocado if you felt so inclined – then squeeze over the juice from 3 limes. Chop a deseeded red chilli finely and add this, plus a hearty bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped and a smidgen of rock salt and black pepper. Mix well and cover with cling film – pop into your fridge for at least 12 hours – 24 would make them sublime – then simply feast on them with a decadent glass or two of sauvignon blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand.

This is so zingy and sexy and fizzingly tasty that you will have to make it again a day or two later and find friends to invite round to indulge.

Do this as soon as possible – before Christmas – it is GOOD!

Seasonal shopping …the hard bit’s stopping!

3

Been a ridiculously busy fortnight at work and I feel as if i have been in someone else’s skin for most of the time…not really being me, if you know what I mean. Playing the role I have to play – I guess we all do. Anyway, the holidays are not far away and this weekend I am resigned to doing nothing, well. almost nothing. We are off to a friends for supper at 7.30pm and tomorrow I may amble over to Salisbury’s Christmas market. I love this time of the year…there’s lots of crass commercialism but there’s enough good out there to make me feel good deep down. And of course, this morning we went shopping and I love, absolutely love, food shopping…and this time of year it is almost double the fun. Part of the challenge is to not come back with too many things you never intended going out for but at this time of the year I tend to crumble now and then. I always say I am not going to buy nuts but i gave in…again…they always look so inviting…glossy hazelnuts, rugged brazils, gnarled walnuts, precocious pecans, adamantine almonds…and I know I will never crack them all..though earlier as i sat in front of my wood burner musing about life and lunch, I began the crack fest…so to speak! I think I need to update my nutcracker. And I also slipped a box of Algerian dates into my basket. It just had to be done. They will wink at me each night until I delve into their sweet moistness…I can only hold out so long to certain charms!

I have also started the stocking up of cheeses for the season including a rather tasty looking blue camembert which I have not come across before. I love nutty emmental, serious and old curmudgeonly stilton, breezy Wensleydale, as well as a straightforward honest and loyal cheddar at this time of the year. There will aways have to be cheese in for a spontaneous evening raclette too. I also fell for a block of italian date and walnut slice – perfect slow burning companion to a slice of cheese and a purring port. I tend to often buy stuff in case folk just pop in as well, the nice nibbly bits –  prawn platters, smoked salmon, smoked trout, toothsome sausage rolls for when I have not had time to make my own, smoked cocktail sausages, slices of bresaola, whole salamis…oh and I could not resist the half piece of prosciutto on offer – stunning just stunning. Every slice will transport me to Rome!

I did look and consider other items but thought I have to spread the pleasure out over a few forays over the coming week or two. The slices of game pie, pickles, chutneys, panettone, the port, single malts dressed as santa, the crackers will all have to bide their time – fear not, I will be back.

(I did though buckle at the half price champagne – who wouldn’t. It’s a given.) I need to go in search for this year’s turkey in the coming week too…see what the local butchers and farms have to offer…and tomorrow my daughter and I are going to give our decs a serious audit.

Oh and I did buy food for the week too!

Right – time for another log on the fire…time to thumb through a few recipe books and start dreaming of dishes to rustle up before I get ready to go out. Enjoy your weekend and the coming festive weeks!

Nativity scene and altar, Salisbury Cathedral

Nativity scene and altar, Salisbury Cathedral (Photo credit: Philocrites)