The only thing to do with proper cooking that I can think of to write about this week has migrated over to my other blog, Elsewoman. There you'll find a post on Central Otago and wild thyme.
Some other nice little discoveries these holidays:
Elderflower cordial - made with soda, it takes me straight back to a Salisbury pub beside a millpond. And it's wonderful splashed onto summer fruits before you cook them.
A dash of pomegranate syrup with the vinaigrette - they do this at the Marche Francais, it's delicious.
Heated up slices of leftover Christmas pudding with Puhoi butterscotch custard.
Slicing tender little leeks, cooking them in the microwave with a bit of lemon juice, piling them onto thin Vogel toast, and topping them with scrambled eggs made with some scraps of smoked salmon.
Ruth Pretty's fudge - I found the recipe in the DomPost but it's online here. I'm not posting it in full because I don't think I got it quite right. I did obey her and followed the instructions exactly, except that I didn't coat it with more chocolate - I thought that was gilding the lily.
But mine looked darker, and it didn't really set very firmly, though I could cut it into squares. However, it was beautifully rich and unctuous. When I gave a test piece to my chocoholic American visitor, she immediately told me it was horrible and she didn't think I should give it to anyone else for a present, as I'd planned, we should just keep it and eat it all up ourselves, so as not to waste it. Of course I ignored her and did give some away, with instructions to keep it in the fridge, and was rewarded later by being told it was the best fudge ever. Meanwhile I'd put the last dozen pieces (it makes a lot) into the freezer, wrapped in foil. This week I discovered I could take it out, leave it briefly to dechill, and eat it straight away, because it didn't actually freeze at all - it just got firmer. So that was another very satisfactory discovery.