Monday, 31 December 2007


Tonight is New Years Eve - or Hogmanay. While I like a party, a few years ago we stayed in on our own for Hogmanay and had a really good time cooking dinner for ourselves and relaxing, eating the food we like and watching the bell's come in. And so that is what we have done since. Sometimes, like tonight, my sister and my best friend will come round before the bell's - and I make my best friend first foot me just after midnight.

For dinner, my husband is cooking this time around and he is making his famous mushroom risotto. It has a mix of mushrooms, a load of parmesan, and I love the smell and sound of the Vermouth as it goes into the pan. He serves it with a good crusty bread and a salad of green leaves and cherry tomatoes. The toms are a good companion to the creaminess of the risotto. He got the recipe from a Jamie Oliver recipe book and it has become a firm favourite. The basic risotto recipe can be adapted to whatever takes your fancy.

For the bell's, I don't really make much myself but we have some items that are traditional to have. Some are traditional all over Scotland, and some are traditional to my family:

Shortie (shortbread. Sometimes I make my own but I have gone with Dean's all butter shortbread this year)
Cherry cake (because my Gran always served this)
Ginger cake (my own favourite - with real butter)
Cheese balls (must be from M&S!)
Madeira cake
Christmas cake
Hot Bites - sausage rolls, and the party food you get from the freezer section - usually some asian inspired snacks appear!

It sounds like a lot but you pick at it through the evening and over New Year's Day.

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