In season at this time of the year they've been featuring a lot in my winter cooking. Some of my favourite dishes have been when they were paired with Gruyere cheese as a filling for twice baked jacket potatoes; in a homemade chicken and leek pie; and when they were combined with another seasonal vegetable, celeriac, in Celeriac and Leek soup (recipe from River Cottage) which I served with homemade bread sticks.
A new pie dish
I love blue and white enamel ware and this pie dish is the latest addition to my collection.
A jar of Tiptree Mincemeat
This was a left-over from Christmas. I can't think of mince pies outside of the period between the start of Advent and the end of the New Year holiday so I wanted to use this mincemeat to make something a bit different. So, I made shortbread mincemeat slices.
The shortbread was buttery and crumbly and the mincemeat was full of plump, juicy fruit (I highly recommend Tiptree Mincemeat to anyone who doesn't want to make their own). A slice with a cup of Earl Grey made delicious elevenses.
Liquorice Catherine Wheels
I don't venture into Birmingham city centre very often but when I do I like to pay a visit to Mr Simms Sweetshop and treat myself to some old fashioned sweeties. On my most recent visit I bought liquorice Catherine Wheels, which brought back memories of Christmases when I was a child. My Christmas stocking always contained a selection pack filled with assorted liquorice treats including my special favourites, Catherine Wheels - long, thin strips of soft liquorice wound around a bejewelled aniseed sweet. They are as good as I remember them to be.