But finally I’m back! Happy new year!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. We had a hectic fortnight of entertaining, making the most of actually having a dining room in which to feed guests! I spent much of the holiday in the kitchen, racking up a total including: 1 leg of lamb roasted with garlic and rosemary and served with homemade mint jelly, 1 ham hock roasted in chilli jam and honey, 2 stifados with 24 dumplings, 3 banana breads (Sophie Dahl’s recipe proving the favourite), 4 pints of cream of chicken soup made with leftovers, 6 pints of ham hock broth, also made with leftovers, 6.5 jars of beetroot relish (because there’s always half a jar leftover…), 8 litres of sloe gin and 78 mince pies (Dapper is a mince pie snaffler!)!
- A Cook’s Year in a Welsh Farmhouse by Elisabeth Luard
- The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree
- The National Trust Farmhouse Cookbook by Laura Mason
- And Jams and Preserves – from which the beetroot relish recipe was taken!
On top of these I acquired another beautiful House of Olivier petticoat, this time in red, some beautiful new shoes, a luxurious purple velvet and floral silk scarf to match my coat, a monogrammed handkerchief, and a pile of books tall enough to keep me going all year – which, considering I measure the success of a Christmas by the volume of books, is a very good sign!
But I know what you’ve all really missed is the outfit shots. So I’m sure you’ll all be very pleased to hear that I have quite a collection to share with you… beginning with the curtain-skirt costume I made for the Macmillan masked ball.
The top is actually a Dorothy Perkins dress. The skirt is an old curtain, and the belt, a sash from a Coast dress I mostly wear for weddings. Don’t ask me what possessed me to pair turquoise-green and blue with lilac, but it worked – as did the red clutch bag I wore with it! Some things are just beyond explanation!
I failed to get any proper pictures of my christmas day outfit as I was frankly too busy cooking, but Dapper’s Mum snapped one of me in the kitchen which, while hideously unflattering, does at least offer a glimpse of what I was wearing…
Under the dress is my beautiful new House of Olivier petticoat, so I felt as if my Mum was in the kitchen with me in spirit, if not in person! (Cooking Christmas dinner with my Mum is something I miss enormously on Christmases away from home.)
I’ve actually a good few outfit shots to share with you, but have decided to dole them out one at a time over the coming days. Now that I don’t have to dress for work most days, I find it difficult to pull together sufficient post fodder to blog regularly – I don’t want to waste everything I’ve got in one go, do I!?!