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Sun dried Tomatoes

Tomato Passata sauce, part 1

Tomato Passata sauce, part 2

Brass Monkey’s

Chestnut mousse

Officially winter begins in December .  Not that I have to look at a calendar to realize that . I can pretty much guess by the amount of clothing Nick and I are wearing around the house . Over the last couple of months , the layers we’ve been rapping ourselves in have gradually increased. At this point in time we look like a couple of over sized , giant onions. The type you see at super markets , when an unfortunate employee has been forced to wear a monster vegetable outfit and staggers around  scarring the children.

 We do have two fire places down stairs which help to stop us from freezing to death, but upstairs we have no heating. Ok , that’s not exactly true. We also have the radiator’s, but to be honest with you , the cost of gas, stops us from putting them on. That privilege is reserved for when we have guests. On those days the heating is turned on a couple of hours before they arrive. Then we have the pleasure of climbing out, from beneath  a mounting of clothing and  emerge to greet our guest ,looking almost normal. The house gives off the impression of being from some sort of TV commercial, advertising the joys of a life spent warm and comfortable.

Unfortunately , these moments are short lived , as no sooner have our guests put on their coats to leave , Nick has disappeared to turn the heating off. He likes to tell me about , how growing up in London the winters were long and cold . He and his sisters would huddle around the little gas fire trying to keep warm. Only, to be beaten back by the family cat ,who was not about to give up her prime position without a fight. Actually , he admits that our house is even colder than the one he grew up in. As he likes to say “ bloody Nora , it’s brass monkey’s in here “. I think that roughly translates as “ it’s freezing “.

In fact, it’s not only us in this situation . Just about everybody we know, living in these old country houses has the same experience. Often the conversation will involve , whether or not , you have enough wood to last the winter.

Getting back to December , I just want to point out that the last Supper Club event for 2011 , will be on the 18th. It isn’t booked yet. So please , somebody hurry up and book  . It’s the only way I can get Nick to turn the heating on.

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