Thursday, 13 October 2016


Good Morning to you,

As you know, I adore Christmas.

I love the preparation that goes into Christmas. I love Christmas baking, the dressing of the Christmas tree, putting up the Christmas decorations and wrapping the Christmas gifts.... yes even the wrapping of the gifts.

So, as you can see, I really do love Christmas.

..... but what I really don't love, is seeing everything associated with Christmas, in late September/early October.

For instance, a couple of weeks ago, at the end of September, I walked into one large store, only to find, right in front of me, a display of Christmas decorations. I have to tell you, I was really shocked. After all, the children had only returned to school a couple of weeks before. Who on earth was thinking about Christmas.

Then last week, I went into a garden centre. I only popped in to buy some bonsai soil and it was like walking into a Christmas wonderland,  filled with Christmas food, Christmas trees, Christmas decorations and Christmas music playing. As lovely as it was, please not in October.

I then visited a card shop, to buy some birthday cards, and there were row upon row of Christmas cards. I mentioned this to Phyllis and she said "Ooh I had better go and buy my Christmas cards, before they run out" to which I said, "but it's only October, why do you need to buy your cards so early?" Phyllis replied, "Well, everyone buys their cards, as soon as they come into the shops, so I want to be sure I am able to buy the cards I like, rather than what's left. That is why I buy my cards early."

I was so surprised at this answer, because, I know I keep saying it, but it is only 13th October.

Nowadays, we don't seem to be able to draw a breath before another celebration is upon us. No sooner has one celebration ended, then we are thrust forward into another. The pressure on us to buy is immense.

When I lived in Cyprus, October was the month of changing seasons.  We still had warm, sunny days. We were able to pick oranges, lemons and figs from the trees, but there was a distinct change in the air. We waited with anticipation, because we knew the rains would be heading our way. We never thought about Christmas, we were more excited to see the arrival of the rain, than to think about Christmas. To see all the dust washed from the trees and to see Larnaca Salt Lake, gradually fill with water again, was a beautiful sight. We knew, that when the lake was filled, the flamingoes would return to feed again.... and this was a sight to behold. There was no reason to even think about Christmas during October. Nothing could be further from our minds.

So what about you?

Are you someone who buys their gifts early? Or are you someone who loves Christmas, but does not give it a thought until December?

Talking about Christmas, today's recipe, has a Christmas overtone to it.... but I promise you, the association, is only in the colour red.

Today we are making Peppadew peppers filled with goats cheese.  Now don't be deceived, these colourful little peppers are full of flavour. The smooth goats cheese goes really well with the piquancy of the peppers.  If you are having friends around and you just want a few nibbles, to go with a glass of wine, then these are for you. I promise you, when you present these peppers to your friends, the plate will be cleared in no time. So I would advise, make more than you think you need.  I always have some in reserve and nine times out of ten they are needed.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is, 

The first time, I heard this song, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.  I felt every word.... I love, love this song.... James is such a talented man. He won the X Factor in 2012 and from his first audition, you could see this was a very talented young man.  I have to say, he is the only winner whose name I can remember.

As I wipe the tears from my eyes, honestly, this song really moves me, I will organise my ingredients. Luckily for me there is only a couple, otherwise this would take a while.


1 400g jar Peppadew peppers
125g  Abergavenny goats cheese
12 mini vol au vents (optional)

You will need

1 large baking tray
baking parchment


I feel sure you have worked it out,
because it really is as simple as it seems.

Pre-heat the oven 170C/340F

I thought I would show you the jar of peppers,
so you could see what they look like, 
just in case you weren't able
to buy Peppadew.

Drain the liquid from the peppers.
As you can see, Peppadews come with its
very own sieve.

You can see from the size
of this amuse bouche spoon,
the peppers are quite small.

Remove the peppers from the jar and place
on kitchen towel to drain any
excess liquid
if you prefer use a colander.

Remove the goats cheese from the packet
and gently soften.

Now you can do one of two things,
you can place the goats cheese in
a piping bag and pipe the cheese
into the peppers,
you can be like me,
using a small spoon,
spoon the goats cheese
into the peppers.
If you pipe, you will find you need double
the quantity of cheese, because
you will be able to fill the peppers with more cheese.

Place the filled peppers on the baking tray
and don't worry, you will find most don't
stay upright, but that isn't a problem.
Pop them into the pre-heated oven for between 
6-7 minutes.

These little delights
come with a warning.

When you place them on a plate,
be very careful,
because, once tasted,
it is very easy to eat one,
then another
and before you know it,
you will be opening a jar to make some more.


You have no idea how hard it was for me to type Peppadew, I kept typing Pepperdew.  Even when I wrote the title on my photographs, I typed Pepperdew and had to re-do them.  I have read this through, but if the odd Pepperdew turns up, please forgive me.... I did try to remove them all.

As you can see I have included small vol au vents in the list of ingredients, that is because George likes to pop a pepper and then a vol au vent in his mouth.... its his northern roots..... he loves pastry, but I have to say, they do work well together. For me, I love the peppers on their own.  George and I are as different as chalk and cheese, but like the mix of pepper and vol au vent, we do work well together. That is what makes our life so interesting.

Oh, just in case you thought I was being paid to promote Peppadew, I have to tell you I am not.  I only recommend products that I love and use in my kitchen.

So take care and I will see you again next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


As always,

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