Clementine & Cranberry Marmalade

It’s that time of year again. Like pumpkins for autumn, it’s cranberries for Christmas. It’s a relatively new berry for me, an introduction to a new ingredient via marriage. I have come to love it’s acidic tang and love the way it enhances any meat it’s paired up with. And let’s be honest, turkey needs all the help it can get! I think my favourite turkey based christmas time meal is the obligatory boxing day sandwich – a pile of thin slices of turkey, with fatter slices of stuffing, topped with a generous dollop of cranberry sauce, all squashed between two thick, fluffy slices of white bread.

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Strawberry & Rhubarb Jam

My first summer in Aberdeen was much like a first love. I experienced what a strawberry really, really tasted like, simply couldn’t get enough and wanted it with me all the time. Three punnets were on the go at a shot, freshly plucked from a local farm and sold in the farm shop along a winding country road. The kind where daffodils lined the edges and seem to nod daftly at everything that passed them.

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Lemongrass, Lime Leaf and Ginger Cordial

Deep in a Keralan city, perched atop a hill, sat the Catholic, Nun-run, girls-only college. Winding hairpin bends and rutty roads led good girls to thick, high, iron gates, promptly closed as soon as the first bell rang. No soul could leave without several papers granting permission and the facts better be straight and narrow if lads were to have a hope of entering, especially if of a college age themselves. Besides, a bloke would have to have a strong back walking through the campus, a hundred pair of kajal-lined eyes stare at his every step. There were no set of female students better protected.

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Spice Cookies

It’s always a pleasure to discover a new favourite. I have a repertoire of bakes I make every year around this time – Sticky Gingerbread, Gingerbread Biscuits, Gingerbread Men, Date & Ginger Cake, Christmas Cake and Peanut Butter Cups. This year I wanted a Middle Eastern vibe though, a new introduction into the old set and oh lordy, have I found it.

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Spain, Valencia Market, Final Part

In this post, the last of the Spanish saga; I feel I’ve saved the best for last. The food market of Valencia, Mercado Central is, without question spectacular, housed in an impressive, almost church-design like building with iron, glass and ceramic components and boasts the largest indoor market of it’s kind in Europe. As The Scotsman and I walked towards this grand building, I remember thinking we’d got the wrong place. Valencians, it seems, take food seriously!

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Sugar & Spice and Everything Nice!

Dutch Truffles 05 We are fortunate to live in an age where sugar has become such a commonplace household ingredient. For something so sweet and pleasure giving, its history is wrapped up in every human facet of ingenuity, entrepreneurship and oppression. It has shaped political landscapes and divided the masses. The expense of sugar in former times dictated the occasions at which sweet treats would make an appearance and such consideration still holds today. Once the reserve of only the wealthy, we now add it to the trolley without a second thought; if only to sweeten our tea. Read More