December is always a busy time in the kitchen, there's a lot of cooking and baking going on, and don't forget the eating! I'm trying to think what to cook on actual Christmas, but also cooking loads of seasonal food just because it's nice to eat in this season. I have collected some of my recent purchases here, some of which can also be good Christmas present options. There is quite a strong hedgehog theme going on in this post as well. I'm very excited to see what's going on in your kitchens as well.
Of course we had to have Advent Calendars to have this lovely ritual of opening a door every day. I got a nice animal picture one and also a Mikkeller beer advent calendar for my partner.
I recently spotted these wonderful hedgehog tea towels, candles and tray, which I bought for myself for the kitchen. I have the feeling that they will be seen a lot on the blog, one of the tea towels was already in yesterday's post.
Books are always brilliant Christmas presents, I think, so I've collected here some of my current favourites. I absolutely love Matt Sewell's artwork and his new book A Charm of Goldfinches & Other Collective Nouns. Just look at those beautiful hedgehog depictations!
I'm also a fan of Erin Gleeson. Her cookbooks have simple, but good looking and tasty recipes and her illustrations are a joy to look at. Her new book The Forest Feast Gatherings concentrates on dinner parties for every season with very useful hints and tips.
James Morton's Brew book could be a good present idea for aspiring brewers and beer friends.
On the food side there's also a lot happening. I ordered a proud box full of Hodmedod's beans, peas and quinoa. These products are really excellent and I can't wait to cook more with them. This also reminds me of My Legume Love Affair, a vegan and vegetarian legume-themed cooking challenge that I'm hosting this month. Have a look here and take part with your recipe!
Now 'tis the season for eating loads of nuts, and indeed I have spotted some lovely Christmas nuts in the shops, some of which will be presents and others will be eaten straight away.
This Brittany butter with sea salt crystals has been my favourite cooking butter for a while now, and I think that it's very suitable to use in some Christmas creations.
Christmas is always a good time to donate to charities. Sometimes even by drinking beer you can contribute to a good cause. I bought this tasty Warbler beer supporting Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust.
Vecon concentrated vegetable stock has very quickly become one of my cooking favourites. It makes a tasty vegetable stock and adds good savouriness to many dishes. I think that it will be extra handy for some vegetarian Christmas cooking.