Posts tagged December
A Seasonal Year

Back at the start of December, I started a new hashtag on Instagram - #aseasonaldecember. It started with a longing to curate a set of images that embodied the natural changes in the month, images that celebrated seasonal outings and inspired others to live more wholeheartedly; it worked perfected. If you haven't seen the hashtag, there are some wonderful images to explore, and I've featured some of my favourites above.

To continue into the new year, I've decided to use a new hashtag with similar grounding - #aseasonalyear. Think documenting changes in the seasons in a very personal way, by telling stories through images and words that inspire and cheer others as we wander through the next twelve months.

I'd love for you to join in, if you like? In the mean time, wishing you a wonderful start to 2017.

Eat Seasonably in December

December is the month of indulgence. It's the only time of year we can eat three desserts, wash them down with a glass of some fizz and not feel guilty the next day. It's the month of Christmas, my birthday and New Year's Eve, not to mention all those festive get-togethers where mince pies are consumed within seconds, leaving only a flurry of icing sugar behind. Whether you devour duck, goose or turkey for your main meal of the year, it's all about the roast; even vegetarians stick to this with their nut roasts and pies.

Over the Christmas week, leftovers are king. We relish the opportunity for  bubble and squeak with lashings of ketchup and cold meats. Gone are the squashes and marrows of autumn, and in their place appears a whole host of brassicas, their leaves slightly unfurled, hinting at their dense flavours beneath. Boiling or steaming works well, but for something different add cabbages to a curry, and don't forget red cabbage with your dinner on the 25th.

Decadent desserts are the order of the day, with trifles and tortes taking centre stage, using frozen summer raspberries to add a zing of bright flavour to the darkest of months. Drinks are festive too, with cocktails, eggnog and hot chocolates to warm our frozen fingers after a blustery walk in the snow.

But if all this extravagance leaves you craving something a little more healthy, try some cranberries in this wild rice dish - perfect served as a side if you're hosting family or friends, or as a main meal on those quieter evenings between Christmas and New Year.


December is all about… carolling by candlelight, spending time with loved ones, the evocative smell of a Norway spruce, turkey and roast potato sandwiches and a long Boxing Day walk.

Something to eat: Other than the quintessential Christmas dinner, December is the month to try out a clementine cake or add cranberries to mincemeat. If you're looking for different ways to serve sprouts, try them wok-fried with ginger, in a soup with chestnuts and chorizo, or creamed with bacon. Delicious.

Something to visit: Visiting a National Trust property is magical whatever time of year you go, but Christmas seems to hold something special. Head over here to find out what's going on in your area - you can even visit Father Christmas at some properties!

Something to make: Christmas cards. I've tried linocut snowflakes and black and white photos, but this year I'll be trying out something a bit different; I'll be using words to inspire my homemade Christmas cards.

Something to celebrate: Christmas! Time to laugh, smile and be thankful for the year gone by and those you love.

Something to take part in: Welcome back light into the world and celebrate the winter solstice on December 21st. The focus remains firmly focused on Christmas at this time of year, but noting and reflecting on the shortest day is also an opportunity to feast and revel in this turning point of the seasons, and the triumph of light over darkness once more.

Something a bit different: We've all heard of (and have probably sampled) something mulled at this time of the year, but have you ever tried wassail? Traditionally, the act of wassailing is to sing carols with neighbours and loved ones while sharing a drink, and there are many variants of the latter. My favourite is the spiced cider (recipe here), which wassailers would have prepared, then soaked pieces of bread or toast with it to bury by the roots of trees to assure a good harvest the following year.