The nights are drawing in and your local Country Market bakers are planning to start the great pudding-and-cake- baking season, ready for you to buy for the festivities in December. Our craftsmen and women are busy creating items which will be ‘just the right thing’ for the friends and families of our customers. Do visit us and place your orders for mincemeat, marzipan fruits, Christmas cakes, puddings, preserves, mince pies and other traditional favourites. Spend a few minutes looking at the new range of crafts we have on offer, including festive earrings, cards, plants, tree decorations, wooden items and more.

Well, autumn has finally arrived, and the trees are doing their best to wow and amaze us with their glorious colours. Being a townie and moving to the country has really made me appreciate the natural colours and the seasons. My thoughts are already turning to autumnal dishes to cook, such as Pheasant, Partridge, Game as well as a good old Beef Bourguignon.

Turning my attention to an autumnal cheese board, the list is endless. In autumn, serve Montgomery Cheddar or Isle of Mull, Old

Amsterdam – a premium aged Gouda and strong blues such as Picos Blue from Spain, or Mountain Gorgonzola from Italy.

A strong soft cheese such as Brie de Meaux or a ripe Camembert completes the choice.

As it is autumn, you can choose a lot of flattering accompaniments.

Almonds and walnuts

complement the milky taste of hard-cooked cheeses such as Gouda. Pears work brilliantly with blue cheeses and red British apples - Egremont Russet,

Cox’s Orange Pippin,

Worcester Pearmain to name but a few, with a rich hard cheddar. Figs are beautiful and delicious with cheese.

The photograph shows two varieties of apple jelly with herbs which would be perfect with any meal, including Christmas Dinner!

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Someone mentioned the C-word the other day. Not the illness or the rude word. The festive one. What are we going to be making for Christmas this year and when will we start? Other businesses will have been on the case for at least a year now. If you want to stock the latest toys, you need to get your orders in early. If you want to have the latest gadgets in your shop, well, you should have ordered them back in January. Let’s not talk about fashion where some of the lead times to order product can go back years.

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ISSUE 430 | 18 OCTOBER 2018 | 44

Here’s our golden rule: we don’t do Christmas in The Coffee Kitchen 1st December. Everything in its season and Christmas should start in December, especially for food. We will have a few things out for the Light Switch On – pretzels have always been a firm favourite at this event but that’s it. No mince pies until then, I’m afraid.

Our Stolen has always been popular. Last year’s batch was the best ever and I was really proud of it. We have a robust recipe that will take all manner of alcohol-soaked fruit! It’s a firm favourite with our customers.

What else should we make? That was behind the mention of the festive season. I’m obviously not going to give the game away here. Let’s just say that we have scoured our cook books and the internet to try and find some inspiration. Each country has its own dishes. Each country has its own traditions. We are hoping to take some of these ideas and turn them into something that is both traditional but also new and inspiring. Let’s see how we get on.

Sorry for mentioning Christmas so early. I’ll be quiet now. I’ll have to be. We are going to be very busy getting things done.

Andy and Angela, The Coffee Kitchen

Just a quick shout out to my lovely wife, who won ‘North West Business Woman of the Year – Hospitality’ Enterprise Vision Award at Blackpool Winter Gardens. Very proud of this fabulous achievement!

John Natlacen, Owner

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