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Yesterday’s prize-winning potatoes became yesterday’s dinner.  First we popped the first prize-winning, homegrown potatoes onto skewers, rubbed them in olive oil and salt and then baked them until they were beautiful and fluffy inside.

We slathered them with a mixture of cream cheese and spring onions (with a touch of sour cream to loosen it up), and piled sliced salami and grated Parmesan on top.  It was all we had left in the fridge but tasted pretty good.

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Last weekend we celebrated the fine weather with our first barbeque of the season (hopefully not the last!).  We had tiny buffalo koftas from Laverstoke Park Farm, asparagus, new potatoes baked in the embers, and homemade flatbreads.

This was a new adventure for us – attempting to make our own flatbreads – and I was desperately worried they would go all crispy, and not soft and doughy like I was hoping.  If there was anyone I was going to put my trust in, it was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

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Spaghetti bolognese and variations of it are one of Mr Rigg’s favourite meals.  I’m not so keen on spaghetti bolognese as we know it in this country, made with minced beef – I would rather make a sauce of slow cooked meat.

So whilst trying to be a good girlfriend, last night I used some leftover minced pork to make tiny meatballs to sit on a bowl of pasta and served with lashings of homemade tomato sauce.

I say they were ‘made up’ meatballs, because I just added bits and pieces as I saw fit.  The ‘bits and pieces’ included breadcrumbs, fresh sage, grated Parmesan, an egg and seasoning of salt and pepper.  I mixed this all together and started to make my meatballs.

I made them quite tiny – like a large marble size – and popped them on a tray and into the fridge to firm up for a bit.

Next I fried them in a little oil to brown them – and set off the smoke alarm…which is a regular occurence in our house – our neighbours must think we are terrible cooks!

Then the final stage of cooking them was to pop them into the oven covered with foil whilst the pasta cooked. 

I popped the cooked meatballs on top of the pile of steaming pasta and then ladled over some of my homemade tomato sauce.  Topped with a little grated Parmesan and plenty of black pepper for me, they were scrumy.

For Christmas Eve dinner we like to eat a baked Camembert and nothing else.  It is pure indulgence and feels very wicked, but it is a tradition of our own making and it feels like something special.

We bake the Camembert in its box – just take the lid off and pull open the paper.  This time I scored the cheese with a cross, added a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a garlic clove, sliced in half and wedged into the cut cheese. 

After about 15-20 minutes it comes out as gooey liquid cheese encased in its rind – which is my favourite part of it.  It goes a bit crispy but chewy at the same time.

Usually we just have a bowl of rustic bread, roughly cut into hunks to dip into the cheese.  This year we also opened a jar of Real Ale chutney to go with it. 

Although I can be a purist when it comes to dishes like this, refusing to dilute the taste of hot runny cheese and bread, I must admit a dab of chutney with it was delicious.

We ate it in front of a cosy log fire…

Does anyone else have Christmas traditions they’ve created for themselves?

Mr Rigg is home from work, we’ve got the Christmas carol’s on, the Camembert is out of the fridge ready for tonight’s baked Camembert cheese fondue, and I am feeling tremendously Christmassy.

Our night before Christmas involves eating a lot of gooey cheese with chunks of sourdough bread and going to midnight mass at our favourite little village church in Dunham Massey.  And we have snow.

Wishing everyone a very happy night before Christmas!

Image: Pretty Little Green Things

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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