Posts Tagged ‘snow’

The North Wind Doth Blow

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Crisp

Bright Evening

Nania Lampost 1

Christmas Cookies

Scrabble

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful!

Monday, December 6th, 2010

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Having sat and watched as the north of the country became blanketed in snow I was very pleased when it came my way. And boy, did it come.

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As usual, the transport network ground to a halt and I found myself stranded at London Bridge station for an hour and a half with hundreds of other very cold and very unhappy people trying to get home. As I watched yet another crammed train that I hadn’t been able to get on pull away from the station and the snow continued to fall I started to wonder if I would ever get home that night. Rob wasn’t having much more luck than me; he had managed to get on a train but was now stuck on it outside a station that it couldn’t get into. Things were not looking good.

I eventually managed to get on a train which took me, not to my usual station, but to one not too far away from home, although far enough to make it difficult to get home. I couldn’t get a taxi and so had to walk into a town centre where, at Rob’s suggestion, I managed to get onto a bus and get to his parents house, 3 hours after leaving my office. It felt so good to be welcomed into their warm home with a hot drink, food and lots of love. My journey had taken 3 times as long as usual and it was still snowing heavily outside. Rob’s journey was even worse and he had to walk for miles to get back to his parents. We were all very relieved when he finally made it home, well past 9pm.

Rob’s parents asked us to stay the night and as his mum made up a bed, found us clothes to wear and fussed over us in the lovely way that only mums can, it felt very cosy and, now that we were all safe indoors, really rather exciting. The words I’d written in the ‘Snow Flurries’ chapter of my cookbook came back to me: ‘if I ever were to find myself in the highly unlikely situation of being snowed in here in the south east of London…’.

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That was Tuesday and the snow stayed with us until Saturday. In fact, it’s still on the ground in places, all iced up. It was so lovely being snug inside as it fluttered down. It brought out a Christmassy mood and one of our neighbours invited everyone over for mulled wine and mince pies, which was really wonderful.

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Someone else enjoyed the snow too – very much. Our loveable labrador, Ben, was very happy bounding around the local park, as you can see.

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‘Come on, this is fun!’.

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‘What’s that I can smell? There’s something down there…’

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‘I know it’s here somewhere’.

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‘Nope, can’t find it but look, I’ve found a playmate!’.

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‘But the best playmate is my dad’.

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‘Happy at my master’s side’.

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‘I love snow days!’

I know that many of you still have snow and there’s still time to join in the fun of the Snow Day Bake Off, which has gone down a storm! It’s going to be a great round-up in a week’s time.

Keep safe and warm x

The Snow Day Bake-Off

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

I love snow and I’ve been wistfully following the flurries around the UK on the news, Twitter, blogs and Facebook, wondering if it will head my way. I have a section in my new cookbook listing things to do on snow days and I’m looking forward to doing them when I get my own snow day. Until then, I thought we could have a little food blogging event and you can send me pictures of the snow where you are so I get to see it, along with the lovely bakes you make. What do you think; sound like fun?

To enter, all you have to do is bake something yummy and take a photo of the snow or frost and then blog about it, with a link back to this post. It looks like the winter chill is set to last so let’s set a deadline of 12th December and then I’ll do a round-up of all the snowy photos and bakes. I can’t wait to see them! You can also post on Twitter using the tags #SnowDayBakeOff and #uksnow. Have fun!

A Touch of Spice for a Winter’s Chill

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Hot Water Bottle

Once again a cold snap has descended and I’ve become surgically attached to my hot water bottle of an evening. Anything that offers warmth and cosiness I want to have around me right now: freshly laundered blankets; bowls of hot porridge; thick woollen scarfs. It’s forecast to get even colder with snow on its way so I shall continue to cocoon myself. If you see a big wool-wrapped flump walking down the road towards you with just a little pink nose poking out beneath the folds you will know it’s me.

The winter weather and the nearing of December is putting me in a Christmassy mood and I’m ready to embrace it. I’ll be temporarily finishing work next week and so will have the luxury of having time off to potter and prepare for Christmas. Brace yourselves for lots of festive posts and recipes! This adorable little felt-covered notebook I fell in love and took home will be perfect for jotting down my cooking notes when I’m busy in the kitchen and my nostalgic thoughts when I’m curled up on the sofa; all to be shared with you.

Felt Book

On the Sunday just gone by my need for warmth prompted me to mix ginger with oranges and bury them under a rubble of biscuity crumble. The resulting pudding was a triumph and one that I intend to make several more times before this winter is through. If you’re feeling the cold as I am try it; it will warm your belly and your heart.

Orange and Stem Ginger Crumble

Orange and Stem Ginger Crumble
Serves 4

For the filling
3 large oranges
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 pieces of stem ginger plus 1 tablespoon of the syrup

For the topping
240g plain flour
140g butter
80g caster sugar
2 tsp ground ginger

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C

Peel, deseed and segment the oranges and cut each segment in half. Put the orange pieces into a into a 22cm round or square, 8 cm deep ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the sugar. Finely chop the pieces of stem ginger and add them to the oranges along with the syrup. Using spoons carefully toss the orange pieces with the sugar, ginger and syrup.

Put the flour, butter, sugar and ground ginger into a mixing bowl and rub together between your fingers until the mixture takes on the texture of biscuit or cake crumbs.

Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the fruit, covering it entirely. Don’t press down on the topping; keep it loose.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbling and the top is lightly golden.

Serve with double cream or custard.

Candles in Fireplace