Two weekends ago G Man and I went to the BBC Good Food show at the London Olympia. It was a lot smaller than the one at the Birmingham NEC which we had been to twice, but it was still worth a mooch around. I managed to get a bit tipsy tasting alcoholic drinks and ate quite a lot of sweet free samples, turkey baps and hot dogs! That’s what it’s all about. We came back with some gorgeous maple and walnut fudge, a multitude of condiments and a bottle of chocolate fortified red wine (a tipple for Christmas). The best thing I tried while I was there was a ricotta, coffee and honey gelato – the flavour was predominantly coffee, but divine and a gorgeous texture. I think I could eat a whole tub of it. Gary tried some very spicy sauces which I just can’t tolerate. I was trying to find a good cheese but even the vintage matured extra crunchy ones weren’t strong enough. Will I ever find my perfect cheddar?
Since we’re heading towards the Christmas season at a high velocity, I’ve been thinking about what sort of seasonal snacks and drinks I want to purchase in the next few weeks. In America they’re in Thanksgiving mood – I really would like to try a Thanksgiving dinner at least once in my life. I’ve seen mains, sides and deserts I’d never even heard of before that I’d love to sample. But until then I’ll have to stick with the British seasonal equivalents (you can’t even get canned pumpkin here! Gah!)
So I’ve got my spiced chai latte tea on the go. Gets the Autumnal spices in the air. Stews, roasts and baked things are the main meals of choice. Also a nice bit of stodge is comforting, so we’ve reinstated mashed potato, corned beef and salad cream as a staple meal in the week. It’s quick, easy and really good to eat.
My Father in Law (who I’m convinced is trying to get me fat) brought me three boxes of chocolates the other day. One of them is called ‘Christmas Spirits’ and as you have probably guessed is all liquor chocolates. They’re yummy and very festive. I usually buy a bottle of Bailey’s and one of Advocaat (to mix with lemonade and make Snowballs). A jug of snowballs poured into a martini glass usually sets me up for present wrapping!
I’ll also be in search of some Stollen bites – the more marzipan in them the better! It’s strange how tastes change from when you’re a kid. I hated marzipan when I was young, but now I’d gladly eat a whole raw slab of it!
Yes, food is a huge part of my Christmas – mostly because I eat things during that season that just aren’t available throughout the rest of the year. We roast chestnuts and eat Brussels sprouts (sometimes both together!) and I certainly eat more chocolate than I normally would. I also eat a lot more sponge pudding and custard than normal – but I think that’s all down to it being cold outside and wanting to snuggle up and get warm inside!
I should be going to a winter fair in London soon, and I’m looking forward to some mulled wine and spiced gingerbread. Maybe I should start carrying some ant-acids with me…. I’m not usually this greedy… honest.
(P.S. I only have 3 books left of my reading challenge. Yay me!)