I love to cook. My ample figure is testimony to that!
I love everything about cooking. From reading recipe books and food magazines, to the sourcing and buying of ingredients, to the preparing, chopping, stirring, mixing, cooking and finally eating of the fruits of my labours.
I love to cook for people. Nothing, to me, shows more you care about someone than to take the time and trouble to cook them a meal. Or a cake. Or a batch of biscuits. Or scones.So it won't surprise you to learn that in previous years I have made edible gifts for Christmas.
Tomorrow is the first official day of Autumn and with it's "mists and mellow fruitfulness" (that's your actual poetry you know - I believe it's Keats) comes the glut of tomatoes, apples, plums and squashes that cry out for chutney and pickle making. September usually heralds the start of my Christmas present surge culminating in a mad rush of shortbread, biscotti and savoury nibbles a few days before Christmas Eve. Tuck in there somewhere a bottle or two of home made limoncello liqueur (shaken, not stirred, every time you walk past) and you pretty much have my Christmas all wrapped up (pun intended).
Only this year I have the boy!
And by the boy, this time, I mean hubby!
I have been told in no uncertain terms that while the lad is little I will be too tired and too stressed to start feeding the five thousand and to make the festive season as simple as possible. That means no home made gifts!
So strongly does he feel about this, my normally mild mannered husband has threatened divorce if I so much as pick up my preserving pan!
So the jars are gathering dust on top of my kitchen cupboards, the cellophane gift bags have been put away and the labels and twine stay in the drawer. No apricot and cranberry chutney on Boxing day, no rum truffles after Christmas lunch, no home made mincemeat for my mince pies (without the candid peel - it's evil stuff) and no tin of rustic (and by rustic I mean misshapen) cinnamon and ginger biscuits for guests!
So it's going to be a Boots 3 for 2 Christmas in this household. Speed, convenience and value for money!
Only that's not the spirit of Christmas. the spirit of Christmas is my limoncello!
Im having withdrawal symptoms already!