Crikey, it’s Jan 9th and I haven’t already bombarded you with fuzzy photos of my Christmas dinner or bound myself to a list of over-ambitious goals for the New Year. While I overindulged and argued and sat and laughed and admired the wreckage of our garden wall that came down with a tree in a storm, I also failed to get down my list of favourite posts from last year. So, in this post I will attempt to correct the balance and start 2014 with last year’s detritus finally cleared. What follows is my personal take on the obligatory social media ‘list of lists’…
List 1: What I Ate
One thing that has been bugging me over the last month or two is my decision to quit updating the blog with my rambling Food Diary posts. To prove that this sabbatical from sharing obsessive detail about my diet does not mean I did any less cooking, here is a list of highlights from the festive season, complete with links where appropriate.
1. Vegetables. Before Christmas I signed up for a veg box again, this time with Ashurst Organics, a farm just a few miles away from where I live in East Sussex. I couldn’t have been happier with my veg. More on this later.
2. Christmas Dinner. I’m boring myself already so I won’t go into detail here but I can now confirm that I am not a fan of roasting spuds in beef dripping and that my Grandma’s pudding was absolutely delicious. As an aside, we ate boiled bacon and cabbage on Christmas Eve, Keane says I don’t do the cabbage properly so he cooked it, from my recipe. Weirdo.
3. Boxing Day pie. I made an adaptation of this one by Paul Hollywood using leftover chicken from Christmas and gammon from Christmas Eve. I used a combination of plain flour and strong wholemeal for the hot water crust which tasted great but I could have done with packing the filling more tightly and adding some jelly. For a rush job though, it went down a treat.
4. On New Year’s Day we had venison and cranberry casserole. This Leith’s recipe produced great results.
5. Baking. Over the holiday I nailed Michel Roux’s profiteroles recipe. I made mini ones filled with creme pat and slathered in chocolate sauce for New Year’s Day and more a few days later, this time with chantilly cream. Macarons, on the other hand, I need a bit more help with… My over-sweet, sticky and uneven shaped macarons made me feel as though I may have got a little ahead of myself on the skills front, so I made a batch of Rachel Allen’s oat and vanilla shortbread cookies which are straightforward to make and come out really nicely.
List 2: What I Wrote
My most viewed posts of 2013 were:
1. My recipe for beef in beer
2. My part in the successful internet campaign to save the Runaway Cafe at Lewes Station
3. My piece on Mandy Shaw’s excellent Cheesemaking Workshop
4. Breaking into food writing, my summary of the Toast Festival talk on Women in Food: Media
5. My write up of the debut Lewes street food market StrEAT
I think my favourite posts were (in no particular order):
1. Interview with Mark Tranter of Burning Sky Beer
2. Photos of Dwyle Flunking at the Lewes Arms
3. My grandma’s Christmas pudding recipe
4. My first supper club and my recipe for the rabbit and Copperwheat pie that I served
5. A piece about mothers and bread
List 3: What I Will Do?
In spite of the fact I have been blogging for over a year, I still feel uncomfortable sharing on here my dreams for 2014. Everything seems like a given: to better my skills, to read more, to have more fun. I can say I want to continue blogging and to improve this site, perhaps you can help me with that?
What would you would like to read more of on Gannet & Parrot? To hell, what should I do this year? And if you have one, tell me, what are you hoping to do with your blog? All comments appreciated, and to all my readers, thank you for staying with me this far. Happy New Year!
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