Dear Santa…

I have been a very naughty food blogger. Very, very naughty. I last posted in October and since then I have been pretty much living off takeaways and oven chips. It’s pretty hard to write posts for a food blog when you spend absolutely no time in the kitchen and have a diet consisting solely of fat laden carbs. The good news is that we are now on first name terms with the local Chinese delivery driver and sometimes get free prawn crackers.

I’ve moved house since my last post too. I lost my gorgeous Smeg fridge (came with the last property and had to stay behind) but am now living in such a lovely home. The kitchen isn’t quite as nice which may explain why I have spent less time in it. Actually, that’s just a feeble excuse for my downright laziness.

See, adulting is hard. I wish I was one of those super women who have all their shit together tied up in a bow. But I’m not. You know the women I’m talking about. They manage to spend a whole working day in a pair of heels when I can barely balance myself in a pair of trainers. Their hair and make up is immaculate whilst my friends use my shiny forehead as a mirror and I consider it fortunate for my colleagues if I’ve had a spray of the old dry shampoo in the morning. Super women finish work then spend an hour in the gym, still with immaculate hair and make up I may add, before going home to their perfect house and knocking up a quick quinoa salad to enjoy with a glass of merlot whilst watching Planet Earth and getting ideas for their weekend dinner party on Pinterest. I finish work, sit in traffic for an hour, get home, put my curry stained pyjamas on, order pizza and try to get through the evening without my cat scratching me. It’s a different world and I don’t know how people can be so held together all the time. This is basically a really long winded explanation of why I haven’t blogged. As Paddy McGuinness might say: no cooky, no bloggy.

However, it is now the 12th of December and that can mean only one thing. CHRISTMAS! I absolutely love everything about Christmas. I love the tree with its twinkling lights, I love the sense of excitement and anticipation everywhere you go and most of all I love the food. All the food. What better time to get out of my kitchen-phobic slump and get cooking up some festive treats. So Santa, can you forgive me for being a terrible food blogger, cut a girl some slack and maybe even deliver a little present or two if I promise to be better?

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Anyone that thinks this is a home made mince pie has just skipped the whole post. It’s from Aldi.

How To Spot A Foodie

Foodies. Those lesser spotted creatures that look like everyone else on the outside, but a closer inspection reveals deep rooted abnormalities turning them into an entirely separate breed of human. They’re not to be feared, but should be approached with caution to avoid long winded conversations about the best kind of salt to use on your Jersey Royals or how to extract the most amount of flavour from a stalk of lemongrass. Normally found in groups, foodies pick their friends wisely and those humans who consider beans on toast to be an acceptable dinner will not fare well when approaching a group of these beings. So how can you avoid stumbling into this trap? Read on to tell just how you can spot a foodie.

  • Foodies can be found in many places that normal people are in. They, like everyone else, will visit the supermarket. You can usually find them browsing the speciality ingredient aisle, checking the cocoa percentage of a premium chocolate bar or making sure their eggs are not just free range but from local hens who are given daily massages. You will not see them adding budget brand tinned tomatoes into their trolley or buying sliced white bread. It’s best to avoid foodies in a supermarket altogether. They’re in familiar territory and will absolutely judge you on the contents of your basket.
  • You may work with a foodie and not even know it. Sure, you might go into work with a cheese sandwich and a packet of crisps, as will a foodie. Your sandwich will be two slices of Kingsmill with a lump of Cathedral City stuck between them, and a packet of Monster Munch if you’re feeling a bit special. A foodie will have local artisan sourdough filled with cave aged cheddar, rocket and a homemade beetroot relish (that sounds nice actually doesn’t it?) and a few vegetable crisps that have been made at home with a mandolin. Don’t be afraid to talk to a foodie at work, just be prepared for them to question you about your own lunch choice, as well as what you had for breakfast that day and dinner the night before.
  • If you visit a foodie’s house you will likely be greeted with something exciting to eat. This is a good thing, embrace it, but be sure to lavish the foodie with compliments about the food even if you’ve had better at your local greasy spoon. Foodies are sensitive creatures and don’t react well to criticism. During your visit you will probably be subjected to a tour of the kitchen and shown the lovely bottle of extra virgin olive oil that was recently acquired on a trip to France. Plus, they will definitely have a salt pig. It’s foodie law.
  • Foodies love to go out for dinner and you may well find them visiting the same places as you do. If you observe really carefully you will be able to pick them out. They tend to spend a while browsing the menu and will have a plethora of questions for the waiter. They will want to know where the beef in the stroganoff is sourced from, what kind of wine is used in the risotto and if the cheesecake is baked or fridge set. These are important questions for a foodie and they will not be happy if Sam the waiter can’t deliver some decent answers. If the foodie is out dining in a group of other similarly designed beings, you will hear them discuss the merits of each other’s food choices for the entire evening. A rookie foodie may even be found taking a sneaky picture of their dinner. You are welcome to snigger at this act and encourage others to do so, just make sure the foodies don’t spot you or you will be mentioned as the ‘table of loud mouths’ on their TripAdvisor review.
  • It’s a well known fact that all foodies spend their spare time reading cookbooks and food magazines, checking in with likeminded people on social media and watching what people eat in a day on YouTube. These are known as social activities for foodies and they may well reject your invitation to go to the pub in favour of broadening their knowledge. Probably for the best as they would only chew your ear off about how the peanuts in The King’s Head just aren’t the same as the rosemary and brown sugar ones they made at home last weekend.

Foodies are amongst us. Fact. Don’t let their bragging and gloating bother you, they usually only do it to make themselves feel better about their own shortcomings.

P.S. Do you like my handmade one of a kind salt pig filled with Maldon sea salt, artistically photographed with a really expensive extra virgin olive oil and a completely pointless but lovely wine cooler?

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100 Things About Me!

I’ve recently reached a bit of a milestone on my blog. Set off the party poppers, light the fireworks and do a little jig, for I am celebrating. It may be nothing to some, but earlier this month I welcomed my 5000th viewer. Woo-hoo. I know, I know, some blogs get that amount of views in a day, but I never anticipated that even one person would read my random ramblings. Thanks to all of you that have stopped by, unless all those views were from my mum. In which case, erm..thanks mum, love you.

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I thought I’d celebrate with a slightly different kind of post and fill you all in on a few facts about me. It’s Friday night, pour yourself a large one and settle down for a long read. Or make like the youngsters, get your glad rags on and get yourself out for the night. No, don’t really, stay. Please.

 

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Deep breath….

  1. My name is Tania Gammon, hence the name ‘The Gammon Kitchen’.
  2. I live in Rochester, Kent, UK.
  3. I have 3 sisters and 2 brothers.
  4. I also have 6 nieces, 5 nephews, 2 great nieces and one great nephew. So yeah, huge family.
  5. I’m a customer service manager for a female fashion company and I love my job.
  6. I live with my fiancé, Tyler, and my cat, Lulu.
  7. It’s no secret that I love Lulu more than Tyler.
  8. I love all cats.
  9. And dogs.
  10. I had a doberman when I was younger called Bracken and she was the best dog ever, I miss her.
  11. I also had a husky called Ice. She was very naughty and I do not miss her so much.
  12. I try to encourage the other neighbourhood cats into my house for cuddles. A neighbour caught me once so I had to stop.
  13. I like all animals really.
  14. I hate mice and rats though.
  15. I would love to swim with wild dolphins and see whales in their own habitat. They’re on my bucket list.
  16. I’m fascinated by sea creatures and watched Blue Planet on repeat when it was first released.
  17. My favourite colour is grey.
  18. I also like duck egg blue.
  19. I only recently discovered that duck’s eggs are actually blue, which I guess is where the name comes from. Duh.
  20. I’m hit and miss with eggs. Sometimes I’m like ‘hey egg get in my face’, other times I can’t look at an egg without heaving.
  21. I have a very vivid memory of a family holiday to Portugal when I was a child. I don’t remember playing in the sea or anything fun like that, I just remember having an omelette and crunching on egg shell. Gross.
  22. I love holidays but hate travelling.
  23. I’m very very scared of flying. I have flown pretty much every year since I was 2 years old but my fear has got worse with age and my last flight back from Turkey last year was the worst ever. I had a panic attack and demanded for the flight attendant to land the plane. I don’t know if I can fly again.
  24. One of my favourite holidays was to Crete. We stayed in a very luxurious hotel and it was glorious.
  25. Another of my favourite trips was to the Lake District last year. I climbed a mountain!
  26. Tyler surprised me with a trip to Paris for my birthday in 2013.
  27. He proposed on the second day there. altogether now…AWWWWWW!
  28. The elastic on my knickers broke when I was walking round Paris on one of the days so it wasn’t the most comfortable of outings.
  29. I also didn’t take a coat. In January. Needless to say, I was cold.
  30. I actually spent a lot of my time in Paris moaning.
  31. I get accused of moaning quite a lot, but I’m a happy moaner, if that makes sense. I think it does.
  32. My favourite thing to do is nap.
  33. I collect cookbooks and am constantly adding to my collection. I have officially run out of space on my bookshelves but I am not deterred.
  34. Nigella Lawson is my favourite person ever ever ever.
  35. Nigella and I share a birthday, 6th January if you’re interested.
  36. We also share a nickname. My parents used to call me Frank Spencer because I was so clumsy and alas that is what Nigella also goes by for the very same reason.
  37. I’m not as clumsy now I have my own home because I know if I break something I have to pay for it and if I spill something I have to clean it up.
  38. I am really house proud but also hate cleaning so I generally just don’t let anyone in.
  39. I like cleaning the toilet though as I find it satisfying.
  40. The worst job is cleaning out Lulu’s litter tray. Blurgh.
  41. I love cushions.
  42. I also love buying stuff for the kitchen. Getting a new bowl for me is like a normal 20-something getting a new pair of shoes.
  43. I’m the same with stationery, I love it.
  44. I recently referred to the feeling you get when you buy new stationery as a stationerygasm.
  45. I thought I was cool at school and told all my friends that an ‘organism’ was a feeling you get when you have sex. I had misheard something somewhere of course.
  46. I love writing and hate maths.
  47. I have this weird OCD tendency with words and I count the amount of letters in certain words. I then only like words that have 3, 5, 8, 10 or 13 letters in and my favourite kinds of words are when you have two 5 letter words and they join together to make a 10 letter word. That folks, is a wordgasm.
  48. I also have to do things in order. If I have a to-do list I have to work through from beginning to end, I can’t simply tick something in the middle.
  49. To do lists are amazing though aren’t they.
  50. I buy a lot of notebooks. Then each notebook must have a specific purpose and I can’t deviate from the notebook’s intended use.
  51. This is why I never finish a notebook.
  52. I’m noise-phobic and prefer to spend my time in silence. Constant noise like drilling or humming annoy me, as does unnecessarily loud TV.
  53. One of my favourite films is Dumb and Dumber. I like it a lot.
  54. Dumb and Dumber 2 was absolute rubbish though.
  55. I can recite almost the whole script from Titanic, I watched it so much during my teenage years.
  56. I watch videos of people picking spots on YouTube. I quite often find myself over on the dark side.
  57. Likewise, I’m a bit addicted to watching make-up tutorials.
  58. I have a very large lipstick collection, about 75 in total but I only wear a few.
  59. Sport absolutely winds me up, I hate every single kind of sport.
  60. I don’t like being naked. Like at all. As soon as I am out of the shower I put clothes on.
  61. I spend more time in pyjamas than I do in actual clothes.
  62. When I do wear proper clothes, I like nice loose fitting shirts with leggings or jeggings.
  63. I’m terrible at walking in heels. Like dreadfully bad.
  64. I’m not a big drinker but when I drink I like to get drunk. I love a nice cocktail or a glass of white zinfandel.
  65. Pizza is my absolute favourite food, especially when it’s from Dominos. I don’t like Pizza Hut or Papa Johns.
  66. Chocolate is my second favourite food, any type but I’m not keen on white chocolate, far too sickly.
  67. Steak is up there too, preferably fillet steak cooked medium-rare.
  68. Salt and Vinegar are the best flavour crisps.
  69. I used to make cupcakes to order and catered for a few parties and what-not, but stopped making them when I stopped liking them. I didn’t enjoy making them once I didn’t enjoy eating them.
  70. At one point I had a little jewellery business but got bored of that pretty quickly.
  71. I love singing but have not been blessed with any vocal talent.
  72. I wasn’t allowed to sing in my school nativity and had a speaking part instead. Cruel really. But I am that bad.
  73. On a hen do in Brighton last year I performed Whitney Houston’s ‘I Have Nothing’ to a group of hotel guests wearing Mickey Mouse pyjamas and using a water bottle as a makeshift microphone.
  74. I love depressing love songs. Celine, Whitney…all the classics.
  75. Ed Sheeran is the love of my life and seeing him at Wembley last year will always be one of my fondest memories.
  76. I also have a bit of a weakness for hip-hop and RnB.
  77. When I was younger I developed a bit of an obsession for Kanye West and my friends nicknamed me Tanye South Eastern. It was completely stupid but I sometimes still get referred to as Tanye.
  78. I don’t have many friends but can rely on the few that I do have and I much prefer it that way.
  79. I studied Fashion Promotion at university and left with a 2:1 honours degree.
  80. As a teenager, I ran a karaoke and DJ business with my parents.
  81. My signature karaoke song was Eminem’s ‘Cleaning out my Closet’. I did the rap and my mum would sing the chorus. Cringe.
  82. As much as I hate getting up in the mornings, I’m a morning person once I’m up and about. My energy levels slump in the afternoon and I get grumpy in the evenings.
  83. I used to stay up really late but I can’t nowadays and have to get 8 hours of sleep.
  84. I get teased for being a bad driver. I did once drive round a one-way system the wrong way. Twice, actually. But other than that and a few other minor discrepancies, I’m really not that bad and have (somehow) never had an accident.
  85. We’ve recently bought a brand new Suzuki Vitara and its lovely.
  86. I can’t ride a bike.
  87. I would like to be able to ride a bike as I love the idea of nice bike rides through the countryside. I just don’t like being off the ground.
  88. I’m definitely more of a country girl than a city girl.
  89. I really hate London. It scares me.
  90. I would love to live by the sea.
  91. I’m completely addicted to Vaseline on my lips. I can’t go anywhere without it and on the odd occasion that I forget to take it somewhere I have to go and buy some more or I get panicky.
  92. I like to drink through straws.
  93. I have to wear glasses for reading and driving so splashed out £300 on a pair of Prada ones but avoid wearing them as they are too heavy for my face.
  94. Likewise, I spent a fair amount of some designer sunnies last year to find that they make me feel like I have a blocked nose. Not what you want on holiday.
  95. I have a foot phobia. I can’t stand people’s feet.
  96. I don’t like having my hair done so only go to the hairdressers once a year.
  97. I recently went on my first spa day and loved it but stuck to a facial as I’m really ticklish and couldn’t risk a massage. Maybe one day.
  98. I’m really bad at doing my washing and will sometimes leave it weeks, only forced to do it when I finally run out of clean underwear.
  99. If I could afford it I would pay someone to do all my cleaning, washing etc. And I would have no shame in doing so.
  100. I love lists.