We have made it to the end of 2020. And what a year it has been! We've found ourselves feeling a wide spectrum of emotions, taking us to places we never thought we would be. In the meantime, we've spent much of the year at home, going nowhere. What a contradiction!
I realise I have been very lucky this year. I am still in work, and I have been able to adapt to a new way of working, by teaching on line and students attending classes remotely. Of course, it isn't the same, trying to form a bond with students via a webcam and PC, but I can see how hard my students have been working, and how they have tried, against the odds, to engage with the course and connect with me. They have shown such resilience, fortitude and maturity, I am so impressed and inspired by them.
Many people have lost their jobs or been put on lengthy furloughs this year, challenges I can hardly imagine. Many have lost loved ones, or been unwell themselves. This pandemic has turned lives upside down. If this is what has happened to you, I would like to extend you a virtual hug.
We had our first true ray of hope this month, with the roll out of the vaccine. I was very cheered to see today a photo my friend sent me. His mum had her vaccine yesterday, and the doctors gave her a jaunty little pin badge which says "I've had my Covid vaccine". Looking forward to the day we can all wear ours with pride.
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May 2021 be a year of hope and happiness for you all.
This month's favourites list has photos of some of my recent home cooking creations. I hope you like them.
Soup recipes by Stosie Madi: a lemony lentil and chard soup from the Levant, a lazy bowl of ham hock and squash, a game bird and barley broth, and a fish soup: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/nov/07/winter-soup-recipes-stosie-madi-gurnard-beef-shin-macaroni-pheasant-barley-broth-ham-hock-roast-quash-lentil-chard
Angela Hartnett's simple Chorizo, kale and lentil salad: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/recipes/0/chorizo-lentil-salad-recipe/
This garlic chilli prawn recipe from Pinch of Nom is full of flavour, yet surprisingly low in calories. Diet food with flavour is making cutting down a little bit easier: https://pinchofnom.com/recipes/garlic-chilli-prawns/
How to make your own Za'atar for Middle Eastern cookery. https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/quick-and-easy/zaatar-spice-blend/
Seven Indian fish dishes to make at home; curries, fried, marinaded, from all over the subcontinent. https://www.desiblitz.com/content/7-indian-fish-dishes-to-make-at-home
Nik Sharma shares two recipes, for red lentil dal with carrots, pumpkin and fried ginger, and sweet-and-sour pork tempered with ginger and curry leaves: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/oct/31/nik-sharma-recipes-for-autumn-comfort-dishes-lentil-dal-braised-pork
No cook tamarind chutney for bhajis, pakoras and fritters from Maunika Gouwardhan: https://www.olivemagazine.com/recipes/vegan/tamarind-chutney/
Nut roast is often a great vegetarian main course for Christmas. Here is the Vegetarian Society's trouble shooting tips and a recipe: https://vegsoc.org/cookery-school/blog/nut-roast-trouble-shooting-tips-recipe/
What to do with leftover cooked Turkey? How about a Turkey and glass noodle salad. (I would use Mung bean noodles for this one, personally.) https://www.nigella.com/recipes/turkey-and-glass-noodle-salad
Vegan Cobb salad - a recipe from The Cheesecake Factory: https://www.thecheesecakefactory.com/about-us/our-recipes/vegan-cobb-salad/
What is in season in December? http://www.eattheseasons.co.uk/december.php
A food and drink directory to help prepare for Christmas: https://www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk/christmas-food-and-drink-directory/
Every home baker will be wanting a leopard print shower cap for Christmas, thanks to Nigella Lawson: https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/nigella-lawson-wows-fans-genius-23210971
A beautiful trip down memory lane as Kavey reminisces about her experiences of a British Asian Christmas. Just lovely. https://www.kaveyeats.com/thoughts-on-christmas-the-trussell-trust
Food TV to watch while you're stuck indoors: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/apr/18/the-10-best-food-tv-shows-to-watch-on-lockdown
Which storecupboard ingredients are best to buy in for Winter cooking? https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/oct/20/what-store-cupboard-basics-should-i-stock-up-on-for-winter-kitchen-aide
Looking for cookbook inspiration? Here is Kavey's collection of best cookbooks from 2020: https://www.kaveyeats.com/kavey-eats-guide-to-fantastic-food-books-2020
How to use a humble silicon ice cube tray and your freezer to create "flavour bombs". These can be herb pastes, curry pastes, caramelised onions or something else. Use your imagination! https://www.foodandwine.com/cooking-techniques/freezer-condiments
Romesh Ranganathan's confessions of a take away addict: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/nov/27/ive-become-a-serial-takeaway-eater-no-shame-no-guilt-just-eat-on-repeat
My other writing
How to answer civil litigation exam questions on the Bar Course: http://snigsclassroom.blogspot.com/2020/12/how-to-answer-civil-litigation-exam.html
My updated post on what to do over the Christmas break for Bar Course students. http://snigsclassroom.blogspot.com/2015/12/what-to-do-over-christmas.html
The Big Sick
It's A Wonderful Life
The Valhalla Murders
Bruce Springsteen - A Letter To You
A Winged Victory For The Sullen – ATOMOS
Daughter – If You Leave
Pet Shop Boys - Actually
Please note: as with every monthly Favourites List, all of these items have been selected by me simply because I love them. I do not receive any money, benefits in kind or other incentive for posting these links or recommendations.