Christmas Bounty

Actually, I need to start with some more Birthday bounty as my parents couldn’t post the 7 litre pressure cooker they bought me as it was too big and heavy! I’ve not played around with it yet but I have plenty of pulses to give it a go with. I went for the huge one rather than a smaller easier to store one as I tend to cook about 10 cups of chickpeas at a time and freeze them so I needed a pot big enough. It will also be handy to have a huge saucepan around the place! I’m sure I’ll post more about the pressure cooker as I use it.

My Grandmother sent me money for Christmas so I headed off to a local kitchen department and got a few bits and pieces. I bought a stainless steel expanding steamer, a salad spinner and a clear glass bottle with pouring spout for oil. I’m sure I got something else but I can’t remember now! At the same time I got my Christmas presents from DH which were a pastry brush, citrus reamer, pink pepper grinder and a pink stove top espresso maker which I’ve not had the nerve to use yet!

I went to John Lewis after Christmas to look at their sale and picked up a nice tin for coffee (Nigella Lawson, half price!), some tongs and a jelly mould as Little One is a big fan of jelly at the moment and making them from packets is cheaper than buying ready made ones. I still have a little cash left and from watching too many cooking shows over the holidays I have a list of other items I’d like to get so I will go to the local shop again soon and see if I can pick them up.

For Christmas my parents gave me an 11 inch cast iron frying pan. I already have a 6 inch and 9 inch that they had given me previously but asked for a bigger one. Apparently I started a trend and my parents gave away another 2 of these pans before I got mine as everyone thought it would be a useful size! I use my cast iron pans all the time, I wish I had somewhere to hang them up but in my small kitchen they are just shoved to one side and the Le Crueset I got as a wedding present lives on top of the cooker. They also bought me two nice cake tins, a large and a small one, as I don’t have anything airtight to put cookies/biscuits, cakes or muffins in and things go off really fast in this house for some reason. The small tin kept muffins fresh for several days which was great.

My aunt and uncle gave me an electric hand mixer for Christmas with some dough hooks. I am not actually sure why I wanted this but I’m certain it will come back to me and I will find a use for it soon! There must have been some reason I thought I wanted it in my kitchen when I put it on my list.

Books I received included Vegan Deli by Joanne Stepaniak. This looks like a really great book for summer, I will no doubt use it to make up a few salads and keep them in the refrigerator for lunches and dinner side dishes. There are also a few nice looking soups in there as well I’d like to try.

Speaking of Joanne Stepaniak I have to say that I got Being Vegan as a gift last year for my Birthday and tried to struggle through it but really didn’t get along with it at all. I like her recipes and cookbooks but I just can’t stand the way she writes about being a vegan. I *am* vegan and I found her ‘holier than thou’ about things and some of her ideas have a big ‘huh???’ factor even for the hippy in me. In the end I found the book so frustrating that I gave up on it. I’m happy to swap it for a vegan cookbook or general vegan book that I don’t have if anyone wants a copy that’s in very good condition!

The major cookbook I got for Christmas was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson. This book has a staggering 400 recipes in it and took me almost a week to read through! There is a lot of other information in there as well but rather than sticking it all in a boring 40 page introduction she puts in amongst the recipes in small chunks which are easier to read. There are a lot of things in this book I can see myself making and I’m glad that I got it.

The last book relating to food that I got was No More Bull by Howard F Lyman. I really enjoyed Mad Cowboy so I’m hoping that this one will be a good read as well. The book has 100 recipes in it so it will probably live in the kitchen when I’m done reading it.

Overall I think I had a great food related haul for Christmas and I’m looking forward to a year of good cooking, happy cooking to you all!

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