This is the first time I’ve taken part in this linky, but as I found myself sat at the computer on a Sunday morning with a baby fast asleep upstairs I thought I’d finally have a go at joining in. So here’s my 5 things that make Christmas Christmas.
- Putting the tree up, a real tree of course and it has to be taller than me so that when you cut the netting off it fills half the room. I do the lumberjack duties getting it to fit in the stand and the lady of the manor is in charge of design.
- A Christmas day run; come rain, shine, snow or hail I go for a run on Christmas day. Normally mid morning after presents have been opened. The perfect way to work up an appetite for the feast to come and also probably the quietest time of the year to be out running. Now of course the hound comes to.
- Christmas wine delivery from Majestic Wine; this is my job in the Christmas planning, love deciding what to match with each meal, picking out new wines and drooling over the descriptions of the taste.
- Watching The Polar Express; is there a better movie for getting you in the Christmas mood? Has to be watched snuggled on the sofa under a blanket with hot chocolate. If we had a log fire that would be burning also.
- Going to a Christmas market; Frome is the new discovery and current favourite. Love finding new local producers of fabulous food. Cheese, chutney, bread, chocolate the list goes on. Must have some music or singing in the background and a hot drink to walk around with.
I’ve taken a break from this series for a couple of months due to our big adventure in New Zealand but it’s back this month with another trio of drool worthy food companies. If you have any suggestions for companies to include here I’d love to hear them.
For a nation that seems to live on tea we don’t half serve up some crap sometimes; weak, anaemic looking tea that appears to have had all the flavour removed. One option to avoid this is to use tea leaves but let’s be honest it is a bit of a faff which you don’t want to have to do every time you fancy a brew. Tea Pigs make tea bags, but not your bog standard Tetley tea ones, oh no they’re packed full of flavour and made from a much softer nicer material than normal (that’s the technical description in case you wondered). But I don’t really care about how they are made, it’s the flavour that matters and these deliver. I love the Earl Grey in particular, a deep aromatic flavour without being bitter or too strong as can be the case. So if you’re a tea drinker and want to try something different check these out, available mail order and in delis etc nationwide.
Wye valley growers
This is a new company to me and one I read about only this week and have yet to try, but I wanted to share nonetheless. I LOVE asparagus, I love that it’s such a seasonal thing here, I love that the British stuff tastes better than anything imported, I love that it makes your wee smell funny (if you’re one of the 50% of the population it does of course) and most of all I love eating it. But the season inevitably passes oh so quickly and then it’s another year before it’s available again. However I read in the Guardian newspaper that these guys have developed a variety that produces the goods right now, a second wind for the asparagus season.
The proof is in the tasting of course, but if it’s good then how amazing will it be to eat Asparagus with a roast chicken or hearty stew now that autumn is coming and the nights are drawing in? I shall valiantly lead the way and taste some on your behalf dear reader to save you the effort, a public service if you will. (P.S. I’ve since discovered that Marks and Spencer is the best place to source this late seasons asparagus)
White Row farm shop
My latest farm shop discovery in the area and definitely my favourite, amazing veg as you would expect, an impressive and well stocked butchery, bread from Hobb’s House bakery and the icing on the cake a cafe that makes an awesome bacon sandwich. What more could you ask for? Unlike many farm shops they make the vast majority of the cakes, pies etc on site rather than the mass produced made to look like homemade stuff you often find. Situated in Beckington just outside Frome in Somerset I thoroughly recommend a visit if you are in the area.