The second lockdown is coming to an end! This one felt much longer than a month, but I managed to keep myself busy – I crossed off everything off my November list and some more..
Oh did I watch Christmas movies! I saw Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater, Deliver Before Christmas, Christmas in Vienna, On The 12th Date of Christmas and Happiest Season. It was especially fascinating seeing how Hallmark made it work while filming during COVID. Christmas in Vienna made surprisingly good use of the city locations and local food – I can’t wait to go back to Vienna.
I cooked and baked! Including those delicious cinnamon, ginger and cloves filled Dutch kruidnoten I talked about here. I also supplemented my batch of the tomatillo-based Mexican salsa verde, which I could write a whole post on how amazing it is. But my favourite dish this month has to be the Japanese Katsu Curry that went great with the gyozas I made last month (which defrosted perfectly).
I also did an online Tea Tasting with Bird & Blend that was organised by the events team of my office building. Not only did this workshop have my name written all over it, but as it was Bird & Blend, I was very excited for this one. During the tasting we learned to look at things like leaf types, liquor and aroma and I discovered new flavours that I want to get next time I’m in Angel, where they have a shop. If you’re still looking for gifts or stocking fillers for tea lovers I can highly recommend. They have a wide selection of unique tea blends that make great gifts no matter what the season. You can also order a kit that will give you access to an online tasting. My top tea tips are the Gingerbread Chai, Campfires and Vampires and Fireside Snuggles varieties.
I usually save my Cheese fondue for December, but why wait in these unprecedented times? The Cheese Bar does a mouthwatering one that comes with everything you need to make the actual fondue and potatoes and bread to go with it. If you want to add some extra things to your cheese experience, I can suggest steamed Brussels sprouts, meatballs from the Vegetarian Butcher (though I’m sure any would work) and tenderstem broccoli, which all go perfectly.
On my initial to-do list I had folding my Ghibli origami, but instead I ended up doing origami during a workshop with Traverse & Paperboyo for the Korea Tourism Board. I can imagine how hard it is to come up with blogger events for tourism destinations, but they did an amazing job with making it relevant and practical. In addition to the classic crane bird, we also learned how to fold a Christmas tree and a star. I have some Christmas paper leftovers from previous years and am looking forward to transforming them into some festive star ornaments.
The day before lockdown I went out to go sweet chestnut hunting in the woods. Then I got a roasting pan, some wood and roasted a batch every Sunday. There’s just something about starting a fire, roasting and peeling those golden goodies that really warms my heart.
Walks around the block were a bit hit-and-miss this month. The one big park near my house was packed with joggers and cyclists, but thankfully other routes made up for it. The most surreal thing I saw was a fox that was chilling around, not intimidated by people until they came across a dog who was not a fan and they ran off rather quickly!
How have you been handling lockdowns and restrictions where you are?