Hello stranger.

I admit it: I have been an absent Annie. I am not going to go on with any woe-is-me, life’s-a-bitch kind of excuses; I am sure none of you have noticed my absence, and my only real excuse is my own laziness. So onwards….

This is going to be a slightly different sort of blog from me: not so much rambling, not so many entire recipes, but more general chatter. For those who hate it: normal service shall resume shortly. For those who enjoy it: I like your open minds.

What I have been fooding lately (doing, foodwise, obvs.):

1) Putting on a ‘Clarty Party’ for my Mum’s birthday

A ‘Clarty Party’ is a traditional birthday party in my family, involving bunting, fairy lights, a big table of food, loads of champagne and drinks, and silly party games (namely ‘Flap the Kipper’, a highly competitive, highly dangerous race to see who can flap a paper ‘Kipper’ the quickest along a set course. Very fun, particularly when mixed with champagne and a mad little pug).

On the menu were cheese straws, egg sandwiches, halloumi skewers, fudge, peanut butter squares etc. etc. Oh, and of course there was a birthday cake. I made my favourite chocolate sponge (a potential future feature on here), and used this BBC GoodFood guide to create an owl. It did look brilliant, I promise, but I didn’t get any photos…

I did get some photos of other things though….

The owl bunting:

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The pug:

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The birthday girl, and my delightfully twee drinks trolley:

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2) Putting gravy on EVERYTHING

I am going to be very controversial now. Be prepared. Here goes: I LOVE winter.

“But why?” I hear you all scream. Well, aside from the return of tights, scarfs, layering and proper shoes, there is the food. Winter food is filling, comforting, and usually drowned in gravy. In short, winter food is my kind of food. And what is more, it is perfectly acceptable to make like a polar bear and get your fat layer on, all in the name of warmth. Right?

The only thing I’m not a fan of is getting soaked on the way home from the supermarket…

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3) Freezing cookies

My new jam is making vast batches of cookie dough, freezing them in little doughy dollops, kidding myself that they will satisfy my mildly-sweet tooth for months, then proceeding to cook a couple from frozen each night. Despite the guilt, this really is a lovely way to have freshly baked cookies whenever emergency (or greed) strikes.

My favourites are these by Nigella. Really good stuff.

4) Eating leftover Hallowe’en treats…

Because if you don’t eat all the treats, you get tricked, right? I’m sure that’s what Hallowe’en is all about. I’m sure.

Anyway, that’s all for now. What have you been up to recently? What are you loving about the new season?

See you all soon; I’m off to knock up a stew.

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