Hello all, apologies for those waiting on tenterhooks for some hot December content but I was pretty much ill for the entirety of the month, starting from my birthday on the 2nd to around about the 23rd. It has been miserable, it has been frustrating and most of all I had to miss out on pretty much everything I wanted to do including eating my way around Bristols Christmas burgers. Not cool.
Anyway, I am “fighting fit” again, by which I mean my back hurts, I still cough at night and I never feel well rested but I think that is due to my living an unhealthy lifestyle and being in my 30s. I shall, however, soldier on and do the customary round-up of 2017.
Firstly landing my dream job at Wriggle has got to be the top of the list. Writing for fun, then writing for Wriggle for money then being asked to cover sick leave for three months to be offered a full time, perm role has been a rollercoaster. Some of my nearest and dearest thought I was mad to give up a job that was stable and not that poorly paid for something that might not leave me with much after 12 weeks. However, I was 30, I was miserable and the worst that could happen is I would go back to temp work. Thankfully it worked out, I have a great team, a supportive boss and a wonderful job that has been incredibly challenging but in the best way. I hope to just get better and better at it in 2018.
Next would be my Pop-up, the Bristol Pudding Society. What started as a moan on Twitter that resulted in being asked “well why don’t you do it then?” led me to run my first ever monthly Pop-up. Once a month I have been generously hosted by Bristol Spirit and I have served 576 puddings since May. I have been lucky enough to have been featured in Bristol 24/7’s best events of 2017 which is not too shabby for a homecook! Look out for more events next year.
Some of my favourite openings include Bristol Spirit, Bomboloni, Asado, Burger Theory in their new restaurant and Wiper and Trues tap room. Obviously, burgers and beers are holding steady in my heart but a new love for Italian food has edged its way in. For some reason I always considered it to be a cuisine I couldn’t be bothered with because “I can do it at home”. Oh arrogance, you have denied me such feasting! There are few more Italians I definitely need to try in Bristol along with trying the new ravioli bar Ripiena, coming soon from the Pasta Loco boys. Luckily I even got a pasta maker Kitchen Aid attachment so I can gorge myself to my heart’s content.
I’ve also had the opportunity to try some great food, with highlights coming from The Urban Standard and their Midweek Mac nights (Honestly couldn’t breathe after gorging myself on all that cheese), The Bank Tavern and their “Fowl Dining” experience (with wine flight of course!) and finally getting my arse to Bethas for a lovely lunchtime pizza with a chilli and honey dip (more on those dips later!). I have genuinely gone from someone that doesn’t give a shit about pizza, to having strong opinions on pizza. What a bore. Christmas Eve saw a delicious brunch at another favourite, Cauldron who cook everything with fire. The fizz was great, the breakfast was better and I can’t wait to head back soon for more. I definitely can’t forget getting to go to Thoughtful Bread and regaining my confidence with baking and sourdough. After my disaster before, it was great to have an expert like Duncan showing me the right way to do things!
I had a few bees in my bonnet this year too. One being the lack of pizza dips on offer, thank goodness then that my favourite pizza places (Flour and Ash, Bertha’s and Pizzarova) are now offering them. With those gorgeous charred crusts, we need something good to dip them in. Also, the kiev burger, which still hasn’t come to fruition. I won’t touch on this one too much after some unpleasantness from a twitter user but I am hoping 2018 might bring this one home. Lastly the pink burger. After getting some flack online and in a previous post about Asado, a lot of people seemed to misunderstand why pink burgers weren’t always a safe option. I spoke to a friend who used to be a food hygiene inspector and got the science behind it.
Last but not least I tried stepping up my recipe writing, my brisket chilli has been popular for a long time so I updated it. The experimental cider apple crumble was a hit also, nothing says it’s cold like pudding with booze in it. Fried eggs were never again covered in uncooked white with my tip for “froaching” them. Egg snot is not acceptable.
So there you have it, a quick(!) look through my 2017, hopefully, 2018 will continue to go well and for blog updates to be at least be semi-regular, sadly with writing for work all day, I struggle to write at night but I am going to try and schedule my time properly (go go bullet journalling!).
Happy New Year!