When I posted my holiday riddle for you all, my Dad (thanks, Dad!) commented that he thought I’d gone into hibernation. If there’s such a thing as a blog hibernation, then it’s probably true. The seasons seem to have slipped from Autumn …
… into Winter …
… whilst I’ve been warming myself in the kitchen, squirreling away my hoard of baking photos among files on my computer and never quite managing to post anything about all of this on my blog. Somehow, I’ve failed to tell you about the chocolate brownies, tomato corn pies, quiches, sandwich loaves, crispy pizzas, citrus biscuits, holiday garlands and tangy lemon cakes that I’ve been making. I’ve prepared carrot cakes for ballet examiners, coffee and walnut cakes for friendly neighbours and chocolate chip cookies for my children’s friends, feeding my growing collection of food images without bringing any of this fare here to the table for you to share.
I wanted to show you our chestnut roaster long ago (congrats to Bungalow Barbara for being the first to guess the correct answer to my riddle!). My father-in-law discovered it in a charity shop and brought it to us as the perfect solution for roasting the chestnuts we had already started gathering from our very top-secret locations nearby …
… (if I told you where they are, the chestnuts would all be gone before we could get there next year, now wouldn’t they? ;-) ).
Here’s the roaster. It’s cast-iron and was made by Cousances.
And here it is in action, just to prove it works (and that we’ve used it!).
Chestnuts, sweet chestnuts. I remember cupping my chilled hands around paper packets brimming with hot, freshly-roasted chestnuts in the streets of Paris one winter. I was a teenager and these were the first sweet chestnuts that I can remember tasting. They later became a characteristic feature of the infamous Whickham bellringing outings I went on with my sister in the 1990s, when we would return to our youth hostel in the evening to roast chestnuts around an open fire, drink much beer and sing merrily until the early hours. Does anyone remember the story of the conkers in Joe 90s’ guitar …?
So, what does all of this have to do with Sugar High Friday?
Well, as the weather turned colder and I struggled to escape from an increasing lethargy towards writing, I turned to one of my favourite food blogging events to provide a motivation for me to emerge from my unintended hibernation. And I discovered that my favourite food blogging event was without a host for January.
If I was looking for a stimulus, then I certainly found it. Not only am I now participating in this month’s Sugar High Friday, I am also hosting it.
Ta Daaa! – let me present Sugar High Friday #61: Sweet Comforts.
Sugar High Friday (SHF) was created by Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess and is a monthly desserts extravaganza. The host (i.e. me) picks a sugary theme and the participants (i.e. you) make an exemplary dessert based on the host’s choice of topic for that month. On the ‘Sugar High Friday’ at the end of the month, the host presents a round-up of all the entries for you to feast on.
Keeping in mind my current need for warmth and inspiration, the theme that I’ve chosen for January 2010 is:
Sweet Comforts: Desserts you Turn to for Comfort.
Here is your opportunity to forget the calories and health-warnings and to prepare that one sweet treat that comforts you when you’re feeling blue.
Perhaps it’s a nostalgic pudding from your childhood, a sticky slice of gooey chocolate cake or a deep bowl of luxurious ice-cream. Go on – show us how you tickle your neuro-receptors when you’re looking for a little bit of comforting indulgence!
Participation is open to everyone, with or without a blog. Here are the details:
- Make your sweet comfort food between now and Monday 25th January 2010. Take a photo and post about your recipe on your blog (or in an email to me if you haven’t got a blog).
- Include a link to this blog announcement.
- Email me your name, blog URL, the name of your dessert and a link to your post by Monday 25th January.
Please email all of your entries to amerrierworld [at] googlemail [dot] com, with SHF Sweet Comforts in the subject line. If you’re happy for me to grab a photo directly from your post for my round-up then you don’t need to send in an image with your entry. Otherwise, please include the image that you’d like me to use in your email (jpeg format).
I’ll post a round-up of all entries on Friday 29th January, so be sure to check back then.
Have fun – I look forward to hearing from you :-) .