in my kitchen – January 2014

It’s been fairly low key in my kitchen just recently. With all our celebrations in other people’s homes over Christmas and the New Year there was no frenzied mass catering with decisions about what to make or who to invite followed by days of eating leftovers, although we have eaten a lot of turkey. Perhaps a nine kilo bird was a little too large for seven of us.

But that’s what the lull between Christmas and Back to Work January is all about. I don’t have to think about what to cook for supper, other than will it be cold turkey again or can I muster enough enthusiasm to make a turkey pie or curry. The pantry and freezer are full after an autumn of preserving and storing, the fridge is stocked with basics and there are still leeks, perpetual spinach and artichokes in the garden. Bill and I are valiantly ploughing through the gin sodden Christmas cake, while the rest of the family count down the days weeks until we’ve finished it and they can open the tin of chocolate biscuits that we were given. In fact, the only cloud on the horizon is that the cellar is flooded after this continual rain, so we have to put on our wellies if we want a bottle of cider.  No shopping, no thinking. Bliss.

bread shots

Not having to think about meals means I can potter around in my kitchen being creative or just sit quietly reading a Christmas present book. Such an afternoon, coupled with a request to take something “nibbly” to a party, resulted in a batch of these Bread Shots, which were inspired by a combination of beautifully tiny sourdough rolls that Jane   @TheShadyBaker posted on Twitter and the large savoury topped rolls in Richard Bertinet’s book Dough.

Using ordinary white bread dough, shaped into 20g balls, I poked a wooden spoon handle into  the top of each roll and filled the hole with chopped olives, pesto or feta cheese. These bread shots are best eaten warm from the oven, though they’re good eaten cold. Being (almost) bite sized, they’re certainly less messy to eat than a vol-au-vent, especially if you’re juggling a drink in one hand and food in the other. Goodness, I can’t remember the last time I ate a vol-au-vent. Are they due a revival?

We had just enough cold turkey left for New Year’s Day sandwiches today, the bones have been used to make stock and that’s it – the end of 2013 Christmas. Looks like it’s back to normal tomorrow.

Have a happy and bounteous New Year. There are so many exciting things happening on the horizon, I can hardly wait to tell you all about them …

Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial hosts In My Kitchen every month for bloggers around the world. You can find a list of everyone taking part and details of how you can join in at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial.

40 thoughts on “in my kitchen – January 2014

  1. Have similarly been enjoying the leftovers – the turkey and gravlax seems to have gone on forever and it’s so nice not having to shop for a little while. Your nibbles look delicious and I seem to have an odd enthusiasm for breadmaking at the beginning of a year, must be an antidote to all that rich food. Happy New Year!

  2. I look forward to hearing about your exciting adventures this year, Anne! For you it’s turkey, for us it’s the leg of glazed ham that’s still in the fridge, which we’re chipping at every day. Yesterday it was added to a tromboncino slice and the day before it was in New Year noodles! 🙂 I love the look of your bread shots, you’ve done a much better job with them than I ever manage – for some reason mine always rise like mad and spurt out their guts. Did you use Bertinet’s yeasted recipe, or did you make a sourdough version?

    Happy New Year to all at Slamseys! xxx

  3. Love the look of your bread shots too. I have successfully frozen bread dough over Christmas, didn’t think it possible, so I now have a good supply.
    A very Happy New Year to you too.

  4. I love your bread shots but, even more, I love the fact that you are enjoying visiting other people and accepting their offerings..

    Been there, done that! And found it difficult at first ~ easier as time goes by 🙂

    BTW vol au vents are NOT due a revival in this house!

  5. Definitely time for a vol-au-vent revival – let’s make 2014 the year they make a come back at parties across the country! Although faced with a choice between vol-au-vents and your bread shots, I think I’d probably go for the bread…

  6. Anne, I saw Jane’s baby rolls and thought ‘what a wonderful idea’ and now I see yours and I am doubly convinced. Bread is so easy to make and everyone loves fresh bread from the oven. I bet yours were a hit.
    Happy New Year to you and your family.

    1. I made the 2014 breadsticks for a new years eve party, though I think people just thought they were odd shaped breadsticks. Looking forward to lots more of your inspirational bread making in 2014 – and cooking time tips via twitter!

  7. Happy New Year! I need to get my a into g and start blogging again and your post has inspired me. I loved reading about your freezer groaning with your summer produce and that you still have edibles in the garden. My 2014 mission is to preserve as much as I can so I too can have a groaningly full freezer and pantry!

      1. I’m really glad you said that…. I cleared my freezer out last week and couldn’t believe what I found! What a waste 😦 I also committed the Cardinal Sin of Not Labelling! ah well, onwards and upwards 🙂

  8. Oh yum, the little bread shots look brilliant! And yes, I think it is time for a vol-au-vent revival. Funny because just yesterday Andy and I were talking about them – we drove past our little old Citroen C3 that we called vol-au-vent because it had a sunroof (its new home is near ours), and Andy mentioned that he could really go a creamy smoked salmon one, and what ever happened to them… I can feel a vol-au-vent dinner party coming on….

  9. Bread shots sounds exactly my sort of nibbly food – I’ll be bookmarking this one for the next time we need to make something for a party or just fancy some bready snacks 🙂

  10. Anne, I liked your description of the lull between Christmas and New Year’s. “No shopping, no thinking.” Ahhh… Thanks for the Bread Bites appetizer idea and also for your IMK musings. Enjoyed them very much!

  11. Nothing like fresh bread out of the oven & those rolls look marvelous. I’m not a turkey fan & we’ll get a ham every now & then throughout the year so for Christmas I like to get a nice prime rib roast. We’re happy & have just enough for 1 meal and the dog is thrilled because she gets the bones.
    What the heck is a vol-au-vent? maybe they need to come back so I can find out because I obviously missed them the first time around.

    1. You’ve never had a vol-au-vent? They’re puff pastry with a hole in that’s filled with something usually in a creamy sauce – I seem to remember mushroom being the favourite, followed by prawn. Very 1980s, when they were the height of sophistication!

  12. Anne, I can just see a chicken and asparagus vol-au-vent revival in the pipeline, perhaps not with original tinned soup though. The dough balls are a great idea!

  13. Happy new year, Anne.
    We were invited out for Christmas dinner- and for Boxing day as well- so I had no leftovers to have to work with- my kitchen has been making nibblies for the grandchildren who stayed for a week after Christmas and it has been nice and naughty with a little bit of healthy inbetween!
    Your bread bites look very delicious- I make bread often and bread bears fairly often- but I think I will make rolls now and breadsticks are also calling out to me! A quick bite and satisfying crunch sounds great!

  14. We had Christmas away also, so there was very little mess or fuss and absolutley no left overs at all. No need for a ‘Turkey Curry Buffet’ ala Bridget Jones’ mum. What a trial it must be for you to pull on the wellies to go into the cellar for cider… I love your posts Anne. You inspired me to try some new ideas (Shrub and Bitters) that I would never had done if I hadn’t read your blog. I look forward to reading throughout 2014.

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