Kat Riach is passionate about cooking, seasonality and local produce.
There is a pleasing pause between the excitement of Halloween and Bonfire Night and the start of the Christmas rush: a time to take stock and plan for the deluge of activity to come.
I use this time to prepare Christmas gifts from the kitchen that should be made in advance. This year I am making chutneys, mincemeat and gingerbread biscuits which will all benefit from a little time to mature. Watch this space…
Keeping it simple
On the farm, our new flock of blackface sheep have been turned out to the grass for the winter and this year’s calves are weaned from their mothers, who are now expecting new calves, to be born in the spring. To keep the animals warm and healthy over the winter we are bolstering their usual feed with bucketfuls of barley, and sticky molasses licks that provide them with extra vitamins and minerals. And there is similar food produced in the kitchen – things to provide a warmth and extra vitamins to keep winter bugs at bay. I keep meals simple and filling, and love a dish that provides leftovers for the freezer, perfect for one of those busy evenings that I know we have ahead of us between now and the end of December.
Music to cook to
I am a massive fan of Del Amitri, and never get bored of their album Hatful of Rain. I like nearly every song on the album, so it’s a great one to have on in the background.