Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Wow! That came round quickly, didn’t it? It seems like it was the beginning of spring only a few weeks ago, and suddenly, without any memo, any nod or a wink, or even a mild warning, like a smack in the face, here it is: winter! If you haven’t already, you can now safely put your factor 50, shorts and sunglasses back in the cupboard. Ah, but I can’t do that yet, as I have sneakily booked a cheeky week in the Canary Islands, to get a bit of last-minute sun on my bones, before I face winter head on. Returning from the Canaries is not going to be fun! I can just imagine me stepping off the plane, all freckles, sandy pants, and a throbbing credit card, and having to negotiate changing into my roll neck and fur-lined muff before even starting the car.

Winter is always a bit of a shock to the system, isn’t it? However, I do love having to wear a jumper, and I have an embarrassing number of scarves to choose from too, though I only ever wear 3 of the 57 that are neatly stacked. It’s the same with boots, I have enough to keep an octopus happy mind, so I don’t care! Now then, let’s talk slow cooker! How long have you got? My two favourite words! I could spend all day long talking about my very handy crock pot. It amazes me that you can throw in the cheapest cut of meat, with a few root vegetables, a little stock, herbs and spices and voila! You have the tastiest, most succulent meat that totally upstages any expensive cut. To be totally honest, by February I will be 85% brisket and 15% red wine. Or should that be the other way round? DON’T answer that! It’s the way forward, if you are on a tight budget. Eat like a king, cook like a queen!

Another two favourite words of mine are log and burner, especially when they are together. I have taken enough of your time than was needed in the past, waxing lyrically about mine, but I feel I must give it a little salute. It’s the gift that keeps giving, and giving and giving. If I ruled the world, everyone should be given a log burner is the new going out. While we’re on the subject of me ruling the world, if I did, I would also honour whoever invented celery salt for their services to my taste buds, and I would execute whoever created those stupid miniature ketchup and mustard sachets and those mean mini–UHT milks. What is their point, really?

Anyway, that’s enough of my bitter and twistedness. Let us all now embrace the winter with gratitude. Keep warm, keep smiling, and keep a chocolate orange in the cupboard in case you receive an unexpected gift and need to reciprocate. Dust your baubles, wipe your wellies, pickle your pickles and get your sprouts on immediately. The BIG day is coming! So, get ready for a rather plump stranger to come down
your chimney. Ho ho ho!