When a new Cuisine arrives in the mail I rip off the plastic cover and do a quick flipping, the serious reading is reserved for a Saturday or Sunday morning in bed with tea. As a child I experienced the same excitement eagerly waiting for my Jackie and Beano to come flying through the letter box on a Saturday morning and plopping on to the cold, hard 70's black and white vinyl flooring. I have some very old dog-eared Cuisine magazines and I still use them, there's a large pile in the kitchen and I have a simple system, at the start of our fall/winter I put all of the spring/summer issues to the top of the pile so I am seasonally in sync, and then come our spring/summer......well you get the picture.
It was all white and blustery outside, but we were all nice and toasty inside, with apples and spices and hot ham and potatoes, and New Zealand Pinot Noir. I made a variation on my favorite - Jansson's Temptation adding apple and celeriac, and I made a spicy applejack sauce to go with the ham. We had gingerbread for dessert with a rhubarb and ginger compote. I am very fond of gingerbread as my mother used to make it, and she would always win first prize at the local village fair. One time we were late for the fair, my mother was driving really fast, she made a screechy turn and the spongy, dark, molasses loaded loaf bounced off the car seat on to the floor, we giggled as we tried to dust off dried leaves and unknown car floor fibers, and we giggled even more when she won first place, again.
My gingerbread recipe has a long list of ingredients, but it's so easy to make and most of the stuff can usually be found lurking in the cupboards. I have been making it for so long now that I don't recall the original source of the recipe, there's definitely some Martha in there, and more than a dolloping of my mother. Gingerbread recipe to appear in next post......it really needs that much room! and this feels like a lengthy post.
We had a rather special dessert wine, the bottle had no label, but our grapes were in there, in 2008 we gave our botrytised grapes to a neighboring vineyard in Martinborough and they made an exceptionally fine wine, and it was wonderful to be able to share it with our friends, who brought a generous helping of stories and good cheer to the brunch table. Happy New Year!