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Bits and bobs: things have all started to become a bit alcoholic this week with the run up to Good Wine fair and the Christmas spirit starting to be imbibed well and truly (or was that just the self medication for this wretched "raceala" that will not let up?) Jaegermeister and Rum hot toddys are definitely my preferred self medication choices although the spicy Mayan hot chocolate, although not alcoholic, is coming in a close third. This week Richard entertained with a brilliant bubbles night, then Rob & Laurent poured us all a few too many glasses and the day after we tried to put on yet more jam labels straight ...ooops!  This weekend I am cooking up some Moroccan Roast Chicken, kind of inspired by dishes I ate in Marrakech to give us some pretend sunshine and the lovely seasonal Italian panforte that I like to spice up a bit - I add a bit of chilli to the orange and almond mix...not a lot but it raises the chocolate notes up a notch. Come in from the cold and enjoy!

Recipe Zone: Roast Chicken with some lemony type stuff going on. Convenience food - no really hear me out it is! ... food for the sick, the time poor and S.A.D. people starved of sunshine aka North Europeans. Switch your oven to 180C . Dont wash your chicken out as you will just spatter your kitchen and work surfaces with a bazillion bacteria - if you are paranoid then pour plain old vinegar ("otet") through it to kill all nasties. Cut a lemon (fresh or preserved)  in four, an onion in half, and stick inside the cavity. Push inside a little fresh rosemary or better thyme...if you do not have fresh herbs sprinkle in dried ones. Put the chicken, breast side down in a roasting tray (any old pyrex dish, baking tray will do...I like mine deep to then make sauce and to cope with the wine I pour on) and pour on leftover wine - quite a lot.  After one hour stick a knife in the ball joint between the main body and the leg and try and wiggle the leg off...if there is blood and the meat is raw (likely) cook for 20-30 minutes more. Turn it breast side up. Now prepare rice/ fresh bread/ mashed potatoes & salad. When all juices run clear its done.  Plonk on the table, roughly quarter it and make sure everybody has some of those heavenly juices. 

Wine Notes & Tastings: Its nice when you drink a wine at just the right time it should be drunk and thats the case with the  Bacanta Merlot 2009 from Crama Girboiu up in Cotesti - perfectly smooth and rounded its our December wine of the month. (Spend more than 300 Ron on dinner and bag one for home).

Match Night #02! Wednesday 10th 7pm  "Wrestle with the Bulgarians" - Mihail & Alex will be here to introduce you  to wines from one of the most successful wineries in Bulgaria: 

EM Melnik IBK 2010
EM Mavrud IBK 2010
EM Bouquet Nouveau   BIO-ORGANIC 2013
EM Mavrud & Rubin BIO-Organic  2010
EM Rubin Elenovo 2009
EM Pinot Noir Reserve 2011

Taste a glass of wine or go the whole hog and enjoy wines matched with dishes from the tasting menu - exactly as you prefer.

Take it home: Any items from the a la carte menu can be ordered "la pachet" when you need to stock the freezer or fancy a TV dinner. We have a range of cakes and jams too that you can buy such as Vegan Ginger Fruit Cake, Italian Chocolate & Nut Cake (GF), Digestive Biscuits and our special multiseed crackers as well as lots of jams and chutneys - all home made to my recipes.

Christmas Food: 
The preparations are well under way but I am a tad behind on the paperwork due to this bug - I do apologise.  Please allow me until Monday and Glad Tidings of Mince Pies, Christmas Puds, Christmas Cakes, Sausages and the like will be winging their way to you. 

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