Tag Archives: Christmas

Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I love, love, LOVE this shop. I found it when I was looking for an actual pineapple ice bucket, but there are so many amazing things in this shop apart from bar-ware. There’s kitchen equipment, furniture, fabric, clothes (for men and women), greetings cards, Christmas decorations and loads more. Most items have free UK delivery and really reasonable price tags.

I want to show you practically everything, but let’s start with the unused 1970s greetings cards. This mermaid card is so gorgeously retro and just £3.

1970s Greetings Cards - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I used to have a small suitcase like this in cream that belonged to my grandmother. Perfect for storing things in at home if you don’t want the baggage handlers to bash it about. Did I mention it has pink lining? It’s only £25.

Navy Case - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

I want this plastic 1960s mirror for our bedroom, it will match perfectly when we finally get around to redecorating. But that’s a while away and I’m sure one of you will snap it up before then.

Red Mirror - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

 Always a fan of animals stampeding, the running horses on this dish grabbed my eye immediately. Look at their beautiful tapered legs.

Beswick Black Horse Dish - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro have loads of lampshades that would match their beautiful 1960s turned wood lamp base.

Cream Turned Lampbase - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

Finally, this blue 1970s Herbert Terry anglepoise desk lamp is refurbished with a blue fabric flex, the most expensive of the things I have shown you at £110, but possibly the most hankered after?

Blue Anglepoise Lamp - Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro

If you want to have a rummage through their stock, Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro have a shop in Brockenhurst in Hampshire. Or look out for details on their blog of the vintage and retro flea market they will be doing one Saturday in Lymington.

Seriously, go and look at the site. When you’ve had a look, come back and tell me what your favourite item is – I’d love to know!

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My Family Salmon Hankering

When my Grandpa was alive he took great pride each Christmas in sourcing a nice smoked Scottish salmon and each year would tell us, in some depth, why this was not the same thing as a Scottish smoked salmon. It’s been fifteen years since his last smoked salmon monologue and I hope he would be pleased that we’ve kept his traditional salmon starter each Christmas.

Instead of smoked salmon though I cure a salmon. It’s cheaper than buying smoked and is ideal at Christmas as it takes ten minutes to prepare and then you can just forget about it in the fridge until you serve it.

I originally got this recipe from a Donna Hay Christmas magazine that came free with Living Etc. five or six years ago and due to my family’s hankering have made it each year since. Five of the twelve family members joining us for Christmas dinner on Sunday have made a point of double checking with me in advance that it will be served again this year.

  • 1kg side of salmon, pin boned (or ask the fishmonger to do that bit)
  • Bunch of dill
  • 500g rock salt
  • 1 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp water

Cover a dish or tray with enough clingfilm to wrap the salmon in, I recommend using one with sides as it can get quite juicy. Lay the salmon in the centre and rub the chopped dill into the flesh.

Rub dill into salmon

In a food processor (or large pestle and mortar if you’re in need of some stress relief) combine the rest of the ingredients and then pack the mixture around the salmon, making sure all the flesh is covered.

 Pack the salty mixture around the salmon

Wrap the salmon as tightly as you can in the clingfilm, using another layer for security.

 Wrap the salmon in clingfilm

Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours with a tray on top and something heavy on top of that to compress it (the turkey is good or wine bottles).

Put in the fridge for 24 hours

When you’re ready to serve remove the salt and finely slice the salmon. I normally have this with rye bread, horseradish mayonnaise and the obligatory lemon quarters.

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In Search of Christmas Spirit

I am hankering after some Christmas spirit. Last year I had it in abundance, this year it’s yet to appear…So I did what Nigella might do and made the most Christmassy thing I could think of. It worked! Well, I’m at least 50% more Christmassy than I was before I made these mini Christmas puddings, aka Nigella Lawson’s Christmas Puddini Bonbons from her ‘Nigella Christmas’ book.

Christmas Puddini Bonbons


  • 125g melted dark chocolate
  • 350g cooked and cooled Christmas pudding
  • 60ml sherry (Nigella recommends Pedro Ximenez but I couldn’t fit it so used Waitrose Rich Cream sherry instead)
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g melted white chocolate
  • red glace cherries cut into small pieces
  • green glace cherries or angelica cut into short lengths

They are so easy to make, just mix all the ingredients together (adding the melted chocolate last) then roll lumps of the mixture between your palms to form small balls and pop in the fridge to firm up.

When they’re less gooey decorate with melted white chocolate and the red and green glace cherries. I couldn’t find green glace cherries or angelica so I bought some of those red gummy strawberry penny sweets and used the green for the holly leaves and the red for the berries.

Maybe I should have this Nigella sampler on my kitchen wall for inspiration?

What food gets you in the Christmas spirit?

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