Sunday, 9 January 2011
Nine days into the new year and its all very purposeful so far. All food cupboards and fridge cleared of anything past its sell by date or thats lost its pizazz, (13 jars of half eaten condiments from the fridge alone..defeat admitted with a sticky jar of pomegranate molasses, extraordinarily, some lemonade from 2009) then onto my make up box and not inconsiderable ramshackle heaving wicker basket of assorted half used body creams and showergels ( practically all of them food/drink related - green tea/ orange/ basil & bergamot/ honey & almond...just an extension of the kitchen cupboard really. I'm that predictable..) and I'm feeling very New Broomish and self satisfied. Add to that an alcohol free last 7 days, fruit, veg and at least 2 lentil based meals and I'm well into Smug Territory. Its almost as if late Decembers staple diet of pork pie, cheese & wasabi peas never happened...There is real danger of The Steamer being cracked out next week and I'm not going to lie...I'm really looking forward to a white china cup of hot water and steeped fresh mint leaves a little later on. The shift into clean livin' is entirely predictable in January of course, buts its no less postive-vy-fying for that. Even the sun peeped out today, and just before midday, I could hear, from my kitchen the sound of church bells riotously ringing. I'm not sure if it was a particular ceremony, or if the bell ringers ( what are they called again...campanologists ? Or is that studying bells ? Maybe its the same thing.) were having a spirited practice, but it was lovely to stop still for a moment and listen. Its refreshing to have the musty Eeyore dust blown away by Pollyanna-ish sunshine ! New Year enthusiasm ! You gotta love it ! I make a small ceremony every year of sitting down to write all my notable dates / birthdays/, high days and holidays in my new diary and that helps lift the spirits. 3 weddings upcoming this year, 2 holidays already planned and a new member of the family due in June..there is much to look forward too. I am even enthused by the prospect of ham salad for tea (fancy schmancy salad - asparagus, soft boiled egg, rocket & red piquillo pepper). Speaking of ham, I made my ham hock terrine over Christmas ( for the starter for Christmas day) and very pleased with it I was too - particularly as it set in its natural jelly, giving the dish a satisfying sense of completeness ( even though my niece and nephew wouldn't be drawn in - Fair Enough. At 11 I'm not sure I would have been enthused over a brick of terrine either, clear, perfectly set jelly or not...) I had my quintessential Christmas moment whilst buying the hocks for the terrine. They were ordered especially from the Butcher , Mettricks in Glossop, where ordering is pretty much essential to avoid disappointment. The queues outside Mettricks over Christmas are quite the local feature, and are easily 70 people deep, patiently queueing at any one time. They even have to run a separate express queue for their pork pies (truly deep and crisp and even. I bought 2. Oink) I waited my turn ( 45 minutes!, even with an order !...This is sheer proof of the quality and popularity of the place) and whilst I was queuing, snow fell, people thronged past with gifts and good humour, and a small group of students were playing Christmas carols, just outside, on the pavement to entertain the queue. By the time it got to 'In the Bleak Midwinter', the queue hushed and snow flakes ever so gently falling, well, I may, just may, have had something in my eye that needed dislodging... Oh...and Christmas day - mum had made her trifle. I was first to dig in. Of course. Happy New Year !