This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
I know Christmas is, sadly, over but it is still winter and we still need comforting books and comfort food. And oh blimey there's so much delicious food mentioned in The Little Christmas Kitchen by Jenny Oliver, but where on earth do I begin?
Shall I list it? Because if I do I can guarantee your tummy will be rumbling by the end of my list. The novel is about two sisters. Ella, who lives in London, and Maddy who lives in Greece with their mum. When Ella discovers some distressing news she wants the comfort of her mother so heads to the airport and takes the first plane to Greece. Maddy, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to try a life in London. She's always been with her mum – is tied to her mum really – but now she wants to make a go of it as a singer in the big city.
In Greece their mum owns a taverna, where she whips up some truly amazing dishes.
Sweet nutty baklava … tabbouleh, dark green with fresh herbs and pomegranate seeds glistening like rubies … couscous laden with Harissa and roasted vegetables … Greek salad, big purple olives torn in half, spaghetti strands of cabbage and great wedges of tomato and cucumber liberally doused in olive oil almost as dark as the olives themselves and razor sharp red wine vinegar … taramasalata, hummus and pita bread along with plump olives, roasted garlic and strips of oily, soft red peppers …
We are treated to the sounds of eggs sizzling and fat red tomatoes spitting and hissing in bubbling olive oil. Not to mention the smell of home baked croissants, thick cut toast and gloopy marmalade alongside strong coffee.
Then, when Maddy appears in London and makes a stroganoff, she bakes croissants with slivers of cranberry and orange zest added to the chocolate along with pancakes with maple syrup and bacon.
It all sounds mouthwateringly amazing.
But it isn't just the food. It is the way the author describes the food. Quite simply it makes you want to hop onto the nearest plane to Greece yourself.
So what have I chosen to make from this moreish novel?
Because, to me, winter just wouldn't be winter without a home-baked sausage roll. Notice I didn't say homemade by the way. Because sausage rolls are so easy to make, what with pre-made and pre-rolled pastry, along with lovely sausage meat available with all the extra spices in, you get all the taste and all of the amazing aroma as it bakes, with none of the hassle. And you can call them homemade when your friends and family ask. They won't need to know it is just an assembling job.
Sharp knife, greased baking tray, pastry brush
1 sheet ready rolled rough puff pastry
1 packet sausage meat
1 egg, beaten
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees fan.
- Dust your work surface with flour then lay out the pastry.
- Cut long ways in half and put one half to the side for the moment.
- Make a sausage shape with some of the sausage meat along one of the pastry strips towards the bottom edge, but leave a gap of about 1cm from the bottom edge and room from the top edge in order for it to flip over the top.
- Take your pastry brush and dab the egg along the 1cm strip of pastry.
- Flip the top of the pastry over and seal with your fingers.
- Repeat with the other half of the pastry.
- You should now have two long sausage rolls.
- Cut the rolls into 2cm sections. Or larger if you prefer.
- Place on the greased baking tray and egg wash the top.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Voila. Sausage rolls.