Monday, 15 December 2014

Christmas at Ruby Violet | Celia's Saucer

 I've  never ever been a fan of traditional Christmas puds and I've always wondered why on earth everything has to be so fruity and cumbersome. Really though, why? Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, stollen, mince pies... it goes on and has taunted me always.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Scones for Celia Gray | Celia's Saucer

Celia Gray, my grandmother, passed away in November 12-years ago.

We loved to cook together, she in her apron and I in mine. With long afternoons ahead of us, we would thumb through her cook book, filled with stray recipes and notes, with scribble inside the cover. 

She would lay the rings that are now mine on the windowsill, we would wash our hands, and we would begin.

Often these days, I like to take small collections of the things I have of her and sit with them awhile, just remembering her handwriting or scent, which is laced inside old boxes and tins if I only open them from time to time.
Ephemera and Hot Chocolate
More often than not, we would choose to make scones which are so simple and yet such a big treat when piled high with vanilla clotted cream and cherry jam. We would invariably take ours just with butter or plain - her baking still spoke of the Second World War - carefully rationed.

I remember she would hover over me as I cut-mixed the dough with a blunt metal knife, and she would say knowingly "Never with a spoon." as it bound together with the cold milk.
Scones and Jam
 Close-up picture of scones and jam 
We'd peer through the oven door as the little rounds, brushed with egg, would turn golden at first and then begin to rise into clouds.

She was one to wait for things to cool thoroughly but just sometimes, she'd break one in her hands, smear it with a little butter and we'd share it, ours palms cupped to capture the crumbs.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Cranberry and Port Sauce | Celia's Saucer

Christmas will be held at my house this year. Might I have let myself in for trouble? Probably. Might there be A LOT of cooking to do? Definitely.

I've spent the last few days wondering how I can prepare ahead for the hoard and, taking first steps first, set to researching an easy cranberry sauce recipe, which is possibly along one of the most important things on the menu, alongside devils on horseback and beetroot chutney for cold Boxing Day sausages and cheese.

I was surprised at how very easy it was and even made the decision to added finely grated orange zest and to infuse it with a cinnamon stick and star anise.

The results were a sauce-to-suck-your-cheeks-in-at and a warming glow that finished with a clean swipe across the palate. 
Christmas Cranberry Sauce Recipes
What will you be making ahead of the festive season? And above all, what advice can you give a first time Christmas host? I have a feeling I'll be needing all the help I can get.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Peanut Butter Cookies | Celia's Saucer

Cookies with Milk and Peanuts
 These beauties are just perfect to suit a late afternoon. Coarse and cakey, salty-sweet and with a gentle crust, they pair well with a tall, cold glass of milk, the sofa and a good book.

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