I love to cook from scratch, and in winter often have a big pot of soup or stew cooking. Both my Mum and Nana taught me to cook good food, with English, German and Indian influences. I learnt a lot about being resourceful, using up the leftovers and making the most of cheaper cuts of meat. All basis skills but ones that I have really valued and call on regularly. I still get a great amount of pleasure from cooking a good meal and sharing it, particularly knowing that most of the ingredients were grown close by.
Although I haven't done any preserving this year, I have made my own jams, chutneys and cordials in years gone by which we are still enjoying. I have just finished my last bottle of homemade Gooseberry and Lime cordial, which was a real treat served hot on a cold day. That reminds me, it must be time to pick the Rose-hips as we had a frost this morning. They make a fabulous cordial which is packed with Vitamin C, so great for boosting your immunity in winter.