All I Want for Christmas….
Well, indisputably any Christmas wish list I write will centre’s around the kitchen or be in some way will be food related. That however is not to be confused with all things domestic – should I find an iron or a new Dyson in my stocking, husband beware of flying objects.
Cheap and Cheerful Christmas Gifts
Joseph may not have the leading role in the Christmas story but he does in my kitchen; I am talking about the kitchen gadget manufacturer. Take a look at the stylish and funky kitchen equipment on the jospehjospeh.com website (as well as in many leading department stores).
One of my favourites on the site - and a useful bit of kit in the kitchen - is the £3 magnetic measuring spoon - never let it be said I am high maintenance. The spoon clamps onto the fridge door – so no more rooting around the cutlery drawer -and gives you a precise teaspoon or tablespoon measure. Perfect stocking filler.
Please Can I Have One in My Stocking?
My wise man can forget the frankincense and myrrh (I’ll still accept the gold), the perfume that makes me swoon is the heady aroma of a Perigordine black truffle. I lived in the Perigord region of France for years and was spoiled every Christmas as the black diamonds were to be had from our neighbours (we had truffles on our property but every year someone got there before us) or could picked up in the local markets. Truffles in the region are not quite as cheap as chips but nothing close to the prices charged elsewhere which is currently around £1500 a kilo this year. A respectable nugget enough for the paté, omelette, and to stuff under the turkey breast will set you back about £100. Beware cheap imitations coming in from China, only ever buy from a respectable supplier.
If We Win the Lottery...
If I should hit the jackpot this year then my stocking is going to be rather bulky stuffed with the must-have gadget for chefs and the home cook, alike - a Thermomix. Thermomix looks like a kitchen blender but there the resemblance ends. This is the work horse of gadgets as it is not only a food-processor, but one that also, weighs, cooks, chops, crushes, emulsifies, whips, mixes, steams, blends, kneads, grinds simmers, grates and mills. Phew. It replaces virtually every other gadget in the kitchen I’ve said so much about it since I first ever set my eyes on one my husband is in no doubt that I love it but at £900 I have had a hard time justifying buying one but you never know, Santa may just give in this year, fingers crossed.
Does the World Need Another Cook Book?
Never mind does the world need another cookbook, I always have to ask - does this house need one?
It certainly does when it comes as beautifully wrapped in a brocade cover spilling out such breathtaking photography, recipes and tales as Christine Manfield’s Tasting India does. £40 may seem a bit steep but this seminal book on Indian food and culture is truly inspirational. If you want a peek at it in your local book shop then you may be out of luck as most of the copies I have seen are swathed in clingfilm but am sure if you ask nicely they’ll show you, otherwise trust me on this one, it is a stunner.
Other books I love in 2013 are:
Family Secrets - Prett Tejura
Time to Rest After Christmas
After all the Christmas shopping, cooking, eating and drinking, serious recovery time is called for. For me this could come in the shape of a night or two away in the Yorkshire Dales. I need magnificent scenery, snuggly surroundings, food and drink where I don’t have to wash up. Yorebridge House Hotel in the north Dales fits the bill perfectly. It is family run which, despite being unashamedly luxurious manages to retain a delightful home from home feel. There are only 11 rooms all individually designed and each can be viewed on line so you know what to expect. My choice in case the husband is reading this is the Kariega, room with its own private riverside garden, gorgeous views over the Dales and an outdoor hot tub by the river… hint, hint. B & B from £200 per night.