|devilled chicken livers|
|my santa's elf hat chilli!|
I was tidying up some plants on a dusty windowsill and found the saddest plant you've ever seen. I say plant; it was actually a few twigs in some dried-up compost. It had been a chilli plant and still clinging to it was this wrinkled chilli, which to my mind looked like the sort of hat you might see on one of Santa's little helpers, if he hadn't bothered to iron it.
Once I had stopped laughing, I decided to photograph the chilli to illustrate December's good food. And it is highly likely that I will later even use it in some paste or other. That's a guarantee really.
|boozy rum babas drenched in l|
emongrass and lime syrup
|deep-fried camembert with spicy plum sauce|
Since gooseberries aren't in season, but plums are, I made a sweet but spicy plum compote (again!) to go with the gooey cheese bites. Any leftover plums are fabulous in a crumble too, so you have two recipes for the price of one.
|spicy mulled wine compote|
At the moment, I seem to be living off plums - I just don't seem to be able to get enough. I have always liked plums, but this autumn I seem to have gone a bit plum crazy!
|grilled honeyed figs and labneh cheese salad|
|crunchy and sticky: toffee apples|
These days, while still a little accident-prone, I decided to make a simple caramel and coated my apples in the vibrant toffee ready for tonight's bonfire party
|borage (or starflower)|
The leaves and floures of Borrage put into wine make men and women glad and merry, driving away all sadnesse, dulnesse, and melancholy, as Dioscorides and Pliny affirme. Syrrup made of the floures of Borrage comforteth the heart, purgeth melancholy, and quieteth the phrenticke or lunaticke person.
The Herball, or General Historie of Plantes (1597)
I might not be a frenetic or lunatic sort of person but I have to confess that 2013 has been a year when I could do with something to comfort my heart and purge melancholy. But enough of my self-pity; at least there is good food and the sky hasn't quite fallen in on my head!
|zesty plum and allspice nut crumble|
But if life can be improved for a few lovelorn, jolly jack tars by day-dreaming of gorgeous girls, I am pretty sure that curvaceous juicy purple plums cooked down with aromatic allspice can do an awful lot for my beating heart too.
There is simply nothing like a plum.
|roasted butternut squash salad|