Tuesday 20 December 2011


Last year I made three jars of mincemeat, I chopped apples and stirred them together with dried fruit, candied peel, chopped almonds, suet, citrus zest, juice and a slug of calvados. I love these quiet processes at Christmas, the smells that permeate the flat, turning the jars, waiting. But every year, there is still mincemeat to use and this year, conscious of the two jars sitting at the back of the cupboard, two jars that have been merrily sitting in their calvados coating for over a year now, I spotted a recipe for cookies. Cookies that would use up a large jar of mincemeat in one go, cookies that taste slightly boozy, like mince pies without the heft. I rolled the dough into a log and popped it in the freezer, there were cookies at the weekend, cookies to take to work, I think I'll bake the last of the cookies today.

Now I just have to use up those eleven bananas currently taking a lengthy residence in the freezer...

Thursday 8 December 2011


November was a whirlwind. We went to work, came home, checked orders and emails, addressed envelopes (not to self: buy printer), wrote customs forms, filled out postage certificates, went to sleep, woke up, carried parcels to the post office, went to work, came home, checked orders... and, somehow, just over four weeks after launching the book it sold out. I can't really process it; how many times we went to the post office, the idea that it is now sitting in homes all around the world, that we did it.

In those four weeks we ate too many meals on the sofa but in the few days after the last parcel was sent we sat at the table again. And, when Sunday came, I pulled out a new book, went to the bowl that has been filled with clementines for a few weeks now, we both eat two, sometimes three, every day at this time of year, turned the oven on and baked. We had scrambled eggs for lunch, clementine and oat muffins in the afternoon and roast chicken for dinner.