Well, I’ve only gone and done it! Much to my huge astonishment I found on Monday night that I’d won the Best Food Blogger in the Food Awards 2016. Bowled over is an understatement, I was so convinced I wouldn’t win that it didn’t properly register when Tin and Thyme was announced as the winner.
It will perhaps be with a sense of shock that Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial sees me join her In My Kitchen series for the second month running. Up to now I’ve only managed about one a year. However, today is my birthday and these posts are in themselves a sort of celebration of what is going on in so many kitchens around the world, so it seems fitting that I share this with you.
It’s been way too long since I participated in Celia’s wonderful In My Kitchen series. It’s been going for quite a few years now and is pretty much what it says on the tin, what’s going on in my kitchen this month. Head over to Celia’s blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial and you can see what is happening in kitchens all around the globe.
Chocolate Log Blog has a new home, here at Tin and Thyme. The world of chocolate is a wonderful place, but it now feels time (geddit?) to move on and explore my other food interests. Chocolate will always remain important to me and will feature frequently on this blog. I shall continue to create and develop vegetarian recipes as I always have done, but they won’t all include chocolate. There will be more of an emphasis on the exciting world of Cornish food and the South West in general, although other areas of the country and world will continue to feature. Whilst the focus of Chocolate Log Blog was, of course, chocolate, it has always been a fairly eclectic mix of sweet and savoury, indulgent and healthy, reviews and outings. I’ll still be mining this vein (geddit?) as I tunnel further into the mother lode of food and unearth all sorts of gems – I can’t wait.
It’s been a long time since I participated in Celia’s wonderful In My Kitchen series over at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Since then I’ve had many comings and goings into my kitchen and store cupboards, the majority of course I haven’t documented. Here are a few of my favourite things … which are currently sitting in my kitchen.
A newly purchased block of Willie’s Indonesian Black -180g of solid 100% chocolate. This is a bit of a luxury, but it’s useful and I use it sparingly.
A vase of scented Cornish narcissi, a gift from yesterday’s visitors.
A few quails eggs remaining from this basket, given to me by fellow Cornish food blogger Jane Sarchet over at The Hedge Combers when I visited her earlier this week.
Some jars of blood orange curd I made a few days ago – bloody marvellous, though I say it myself.
An empty bottle of Cornish sparkling perry – drunk yesterday with friends. Or should I say, we drank it yesterday with friends. It was our first bottle of Polgoon Peren, but was so good, I hope it won’t be our last.
A half eaten loaf of a no-knead spelt & rye bread made with my new silicone bread maker.
My favourite Cornish Red side plates sitting in the drying rack, having been used for tea yesterday.
A jar of my mother’s just made Seville orange marmalade.
A Passion 4 Juice – a wipe clean booklet of juice and smoothie recipes that I won from Vanesther’s Family Foodies blogging event over at Bangers & Mash. It arrived in the post a couple of days ago.
Some drinking chocolate from Cornish company Mugz given to me before Christmas, but still awaiting review – oops!
In this very busy month of December, Dom is giving us a break from cooking and has tasked us with revealing the insides of our kitchen cupboards instead. Having seen the well ordered and tidy shelves of so many bloggers through this challenge, I am not at all sure that my cupboards, stuffed to the gunwales of whatever I can fit into them, should be shared. However, in the spirit of Christmas, I am prepared to give you a glimpse.
Perhaps not surprisingly, I have a chocolate shelf. With chocolate being this blog’s raison d’être, it is an ingredient that I just cannot be without. Whilst Green & Blacks, is my go to chocolate for most things, I do have an eclectic mix of different types and brands.
Because I’m a hoarder and also like to be as economical as possible, I tend to buy my staples in bulk and store them in large glass jars – preferably with red lids. In an ideal world, I would have a nice walk in larder and everything would be tidy and easy to access. In actuality, space is an issue and ingredients can be somewhat inaccessible.
In an attempt to get organised one day, I decided I would keep all of my various flours (I have a lot) in a basket. As you can see from the picture, that basket has now become a repository for anything I can’t find a place for somewhere else – oops!
Now who would have thought the perfect chocolate macarons would ever feature on my blog? Not me for sure, Gallic sophistication is hardly my style. I can and have made some very tasty chocolate macaroons, but not something that looks as elegant and polished as these French macarons.
I knew I couldn’t fool you for long. I must have done something right recently as I have just won these chocolate macaron earrings from Jill of Mad About Macarons. From across the Channel, these have travelled all the way from that well known capital of haute cuisine, Paris. They arrived beautifully packaged and were well protected, wrapped in the pretty floral cloth shown above. Made by Patricia Bourdell of the French Bakery, these charming earrings are not only fantastic replicas of chocolate macarons, but are also made with 14 carat gold. The French Bakery specialises in necklaces, earrings, rings and other jewellery inspired by French bakes.
Lady luck has been on my side in the past few months as evinced by the following wins:
|Gorgeous Puddings by Annie Bell from Food Magazine|
|Hamper Tower packed with preserves from Homemade by Fleur|
|Russell Hobs food processor and blender from Fabulicious Food|
Having commented on what a fun post Sheelagh of An Irish Village Pantry had done on receiving the Awesome Blog Content Award, she kindly passed it on to me! Now I have to think of 26 words that are meaningful to me – whatever am I going to put for X?
A – Arabic, the language of my father.
B – Bodmin Moor, where I grew up.
C – now I have a bit of a quandary here, is it Cornwall or Cake or Chocolate or CT?
D – Dartington – I was fortunate enough to attend school here for a few years and they were some of the best years of my life. It is still one of my favourite places and I visit as often as I can.
E – Egypt, the land of my father.
F – Friends in far flung places (ie out of Cornwall) who I miss and rarely get to see.
G – Gardens and Gardening and Growing our own food.
H – Hedges, just love love love Cornish hedges. So pretty, so much diversity and forever changing.
I – iPhone. From no mobile phone to a most amazing one. How did I get by without it?
J – July, the month I was born in.
K – Klout – give me more, especially for Chocolate & Cornwall please 🙂
L – Librarian – that is my day job!
M – Moors – much as I love the sea, I love the moors more. Whenever I’ve lived away from them, I started to pine.
N – Names, secret and otherwise.
O – Online, this is where I seem to spend much of my life these days and it’s all down to this blog.
P – Primroses, my favourite flower ever.
Q – Quilt – I have a beautiful quilt made by my quilting aunt which I treasure greatly.
R – Reading, although I find precious little time for reading print these days.
S – Spring, my favourite season.
T – Trains, I catch them most days to and from work. The journey is beautiful and quite breathtaking in some places especially when the tides and weather are right.
U – Ukulele, I do sometimes wish CT would stop playing it!
V – Vegetarian, is what I am.
W – Walking, the best form of transport ever.
X – Xinmei, a blogger whose name immediately sprang to mind for her amazing bento boxes which sometimes feature on her blog Pudding Pie Lane.
Y – Yellow, one of my favourite colours and so reminiscent of spring and sunshine & hope.
Z – Zebra, not so much the zebra itself, but as a representation of our fascinating and diverse wildlife which we ought to do a much better job of preserving for future generations.
The idea is to nominate as many bloggers as I wish, but being a bit of a maverick, I’m going to let you choose. If you think you’d like to have a go at doing a post like this, let me know and I’ll add your blog and link onto the bottom of this post.
Hooray for the following:
In My Kitchen – some cook’s chocolate, an early Christmas present from Green & Black’s. Some already used in my glitzy mendiants but most waiting patiently for their moment of glory.
In My Kitchen – a red Emile Henry clafoutis dish given to me by my mother for Christmas – as yet unused but hopefully soon to be filled with sumptuous clafoutis.
In My Kitchen – a Japanese ginger / wasabi grater which doubles as a fish sculpture, it’s even got scales – a Christmas gift from a friend.
In My Kitchen – four redoubtable rocoto chillies, the fifth recently incorporated into my chocolate ice cream. Harvested long after the main crop (used for our chilli sauce), these are still ripening in a cold greenhouse – in January? Yes, January.
In My Kitchen – Tea with Bea, a thank you gift for baking cakes at a Winter Solstice party. As it happens, I didn’t actually bake for it as the party was cancelled due to the excessive rain and mud we experienced just before Christmas.
In My Kitchen – chia seeds, a present from CT. It’s a Mexican superfood, although most of it is grown in Australia.
In My Kitchen – maca, another gift from CT. Sometimes known as Puruvian gingseng, this also packs a powerful punch. How I’m going to use it, I have no idea.
In My Kitchen – two pots of gold glitter, a kind gift from Susan from A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate.
In My Kitchen – a win from Angela of This Is Life – Ten Byron Bay Cookies, the ones I like!
In My Kitchen – a weighty tome – Pierre Herme’s chocolate book, a Christmas gift from CT
Well, as some of my regular readers will know, I feel a bit ambivalent about this tagging lark. Sometimes I’ve participated and sometimes I’ve given a heartfelt “thank you” and left it at that. However, Susan of the wonderful A Little Bit of Heaven On A Plate (and if you haven’t yet visited her blog, you’ll know why this name is so apt when you see her header) has just started Food Bloggers Unplugged – #foodbloggersunplugged – with the aim of getting to know a bit more about fellow food bloggers. She has tagged me as one of the very first five to be chosen – how could I resist that? In fact I’m really touched.