How we all doing? Hope you've had a lovely month. I've spent the majority of it reading all about your wonderful Winter Traditions, so it's no wonder I've accepted the changing of the seasons with open arms. Everything I've cooked for the past month has featured some combination of squash, kale and cheese and I am not mad about it (even though my body might be). Bring on soup season baby!
The month for me has also featured a ridiculous glut of plums; again, not really something to complain about until you're faced with the dilemma of what to cook with 4 carrier bags full of the things. It's become a yearly tradition to go around to my boyfriend's parents garden as often as we can whilst the fruit is ripe to help with the picking. This involves a bit of shouting and swearing, a lot of laughs and the annual retelling of the story of when his mum fell off the ladder picking them in a comedy/slapstick fashion. Usually we just take what we can reach, but this year (for better or worse) 9ft ladders have been involved and the harvest has been monumental.
With the exception of his gran, I'm the only one who really cooks in the family and so it's become my duty to not waste the little purple and green beauties. Last year, they were turned into a cardamom spiced jam -which my boyfriends dad still brings up as a raving success- but this year I've done a spiced Indian inspired pickle, multiple upside down cakes, and a highly photogenic frangipane and plum tart (pictured above). When, after all that I opened the fridge to find I still had 3 bags left, I decided the jam would have to make a comeback after all. As the Scottish lockdown restrictions tighten up again and make this kind of ritual impossible, I'm so grateful for the last couple of months of half-normality, the plums and his family. I plan to savour every bit of the jam I have left whilst we wait out the winter.
What we've loved this month:
1. Lil's Parlour's Christmas Baking Recipe Book
I'm part of the Indie Roller Community (best decision I ever made) and another member of that is Lucy, who runs the super fun Lil's Parlour bakery in Birmingham. She launched a Kickstarter for her Nostalgic Christmas Recipe Book where all the recipes are inspired by the things she grew up eating in the 80's and 90's. It looks like it's going to be a Christmas JOY (think full on fun, sprinkles, glitter, lamé everything) and she's so close to hitting her target, so go have a look here!
2. Lecker Podcast and Zine
I was put on to this by someone who submitted work to our most recent call for submissions and I'm so happy I now know about it, it's what I've been listening to when sorting through submissions. Lucy Dearlove hosts conversations on all kinds of foodie topics and advocates for the life-changing power of a good meal. Perfect listening for when you're making dinner or pottering around in the kitchen, find the podcast here and the zine here.
3. This Mexican/Indian Fusion Recipe from The Punjaxican
Just look at how GOOD this looks. @thepunjaxican is one of my favourite newly-discovered food Instagrams, she does brilliant step by step recipes and fun content but her recipe for vegetarian Calabacitas (as far as I can tell a kind of spiced vegetable stew with corn and courgettes) with paneer skewers really stole my heart. The recipe is in her description and the ingredients are on my shopping list.
4. Personalised Recipe Books from Carriegraphy
Another Indie Roller member Carrie is creating the most adorable personalised recipe books going. Perfect for little ones, pop it on your Christmas list and you'll be supporting a small business! Get them here.
5.Women in the Kitchen by Anne Willan
Speaking of Christmas, I came across this book this month that'll be definitely asking for. Anne is the founder of the highly regarded La Varenne cooking school in Burgundy, a powerhouse of a French Classical Cooking. In this book, she looks at 12 of the most influential women cooks and chefs and tells their stories, including Marcella Hazan, Julia Child and Alice Waters. Get it here.
6. SZ Magazin Autumn Photoshoot
Not feeling autumnal enough yet? This shoot for SW Magazin, styled by Rotting Dean Bazaar is the only thing I've got left to convince you. Is that a man dressed up as an ear of corn you ask? Yes, why yes it is. See the rest of the shoot here.
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