January Food

January is a month when the comfort of warming food is an important part of family life and it is a pleasure to be inside the kitchen looking out (click on the links to see previous posts on these subjects).

Butternut squash became a regular feature in my shopping basket this month.IMG_5940so that I could make tasty, filling soup.

I also bought red cabbage again. It’s perfect with winter meals like casserole and toad in the hole.IMG_6112There have been a lot of one pot meals. This one uses swede (turnip if you are from the North-East), a vegetable that is always cheap and cheerful and surprisingly sweet and fragrant when cooked Moroccan style with cumin, coriander and chick peas.

IMG_6089‘Tis the season for Seville oranges…IMG_1418IMG_1419to become…IMG_6023marmalade. This year with added sparkle.IMG_1500Little onions took a bath in vinegar and spices to become…IMG_6108pickled treats.

The oven was busy with plenty of baking…IMG_5996snowflake biscuits…IMG_6086cream sponge cake with home made jam topping…IMG_6115after school muffins…IMG_6052belated birthday treats for work colleagues (The Husband was responsible for this feast, not me)…IMG_6166more muffins, dairy free this time by substituting soya milk… IMG_6142and finally, four Christmas cakes. I said I was going to be organised, didn’t I?

52 weeks of happy: 3/52

Four things that have made me happy this week are…IMG_60671. Alternative transport on the school run.

The happiest thing about this picture is that I am not the one pulling the sledges.
IMG_60512. Three children playing together happily (sorry this is a terrible photo, I know).

This makes me REALLY happy as it doesn’t happen all that often. This was another no TV night though, which certainly helps. There have been other, snow related moments of play that have made me happy this week but I can feel an extended, snow tribute post coming on so I’ll save those pictures.IMG_60823. My thrifty lemon and elderflower jelly was put to good use in a cream sponge cake.

I was a bit unsure about how well it had set but it is a lovely texture for glazing cakes. Earlier on this week The Husband used it on top of a baked cheesecake. He took it to work to (belatedly) celebrate his birthday. He had more than one marriage proposal on the strength of it, though I’m sure it was his baking not my jelly that was responsible for that.IMG_60944. Well risen Yorkshire puddings made into individual toad in the hole.

I never got Yorkshire puddings right until I found this recipe. I have never had a dud batch since. Seeing them rise almost impossibly high makes me happy every time. Eating them gives a certain amount of pleasure too.