I hope your holiday season was filled with much joy, laughter, and quality time spent with friends and family. Team Smoke & Salt took the chance to get out of London to let our hair down and cook with those we love (rather than just each other)!
I think I may have put on a few stone since my last blog post (insert Oxford dictionaries word of the year here!); R claims he has put on 8 kilos, but knowing him, he probably means muscle gained at the gym. For me, It has been so nice to travel out of London as it gives your mind time out from the hustle and bustle of the city (also makes you more sluggish). It seems a strange thing to say, but the pace of life outside London is as frustratingly slow as it is joyously relaxing.
There are two cooks in our household when I go back home, myself and my sister's boyfriend (O.). I was fortunate enough this Christmas to enjoy a nice bit of beef I picked up from our good friends Walter Rose & Sons based in Devizes, Wiltshire; and it is usually O.'s job to grab a beautiful Turkey crown, this year from Owton's family butchers based in Southampton. The highlight of Christmas dinner for me this year, however, was O.'s five-fat stuffing, it was - to put it bluntly - immense. Pork mince and fat, rendered beef fat from the joint, duck fat, goose fat and butter, amongst other aromats, all found their way into the glorious, baked, meatloaf-sized, stuffing slab. Leftover sandwiches for the following few days were nothing short of amazing.
What followed Christmas was a whirlwind of booze, cheese, board games, fish and chips and sweets to see in the New Year. I spent mine partaking in the well-known Swanage celebrations in Dorset, where the locals all dress up (see our awesome costumes above!) and take to the streets. Drinking the infamous 'Special Keg' 7% cider was definitely regrettable the next morning! Luckily I could stay in bed all day as we had a lovely little suite in The Castleton Hotel in Swanage, which I'd highly recommend for seeing the Dorset coast (and for having an amazing locally-sourced, hangover-busting full-English brekkie!) .
I hope you all made it to the midnight countdown in style, I know I did! Bring on 2016, may it treat us all kindly. A.