Christmas Wish List (Emma Bridgewater for our new house) – Well, I know we won’t be in it until January, but there’s no use in making a Christmas Wish List for this present one, and I just feel I have to make an imaginary list, so here goes.
I’m leaving a really wonderful kitchen with an amazing 4 oven AGA. A kitchen and AGA that has coped with 2 wedding receptions, Gourmet New Year’s Eve dinners with friends, numerous birthday parties for us and for our friends, introduced our 5 grandchildren to AGA cooked sausage butties, buns and all manner of goodies beloved by them (must mention ‘Granny makes the best gravy ever’ compliment paid to me by Jacob, now 13) – my proudest moment!
I will be planning and designing a kitchen from scratch again. To some this may be a boring chore, but to me it’s a heaven-sent gift. Being a builder’s daughter (one of 3 girls), I grew up with my Dad clearing the table after tea and spreading his latest plans over the tablecloth and explaining the whys and wherefores of the new house plans. So I think planning is in my blood. Especially for kitchens.
This picture is the sort of kitchen I am aiming for – a mixture of Traditional and Modern, with lots of storage, display cupboards and room for my cookbook library. But as for another AGA, I don’t think we can really afford one now, sadly.
Back to the Christmas Wish List. After emptying our cupboards, we are getting rid of all the cracked and crazed plates, bowls and odd mugs we’ve accumulated over the years from Sainsburys or similar and sorting out my mountain of White Ivy French porcelaine tableware (can’t throw that away or give it away just yet). And I’m planning (Erik doesn’t know this yet) to build a small but interesting collection of Emma Bridgewater’s mix and match tableware.
As it nearly Christmas, I thought I would have a look at Emma Bridgewater’s pattern ‘Joy’, with it’s rich Christmas colours. It would be an absolute pleasure to prepare, steam and serve our aromatic Christmas Pudding from the joyful bowl. Imagine the flames fluttering above the rich pudding, and the warm, faint whiff of the brandy as you walk into the dining room and present this tasty treat to all your family and friends. This bowl would not just be relegated to Christmas in my house. It would delight us year round, with it’s multi-use. Just love it. Along with the small Gravy Jug, which was on last year’s Christmas List, and on this year’s as well.
I think this Gravy Jug and Stand is haunting me, in a nice way. I think it is so Christmassy, but also so tactile – I just want to stroke it. Again, it wouldn’t be used just for Christmas. Let’s face it, ‘Joy’ is needed all year round. There are a lot of new products in ‘Joy’ this year – a Biscuit Barrell, Tea Caddy and quite a few different sizes of plates and bowls. All in all, a superb pattern in rich colours, just perfect for Christmas.
This is a big, strong colourful set of cake tins, perfect for storing all your Christmas pies and goodies in. They would make a wonderful present for keen cooks. Filled up with Spicy Mince Pies, Christmas Cake, Christmas Cup Cakes, Herby Sausage Rolls and all manner of Christmas delights.
Must tell you all about one of Emma’s new patterns – ‘Lustre’. A shimmery deep pink of a colour which would sit brilliantly as a stand alone piece, or mixed with any of a number of Emma’s other patterns, particularly the popular Polka Dot, Polka Hearts and Sampler. Apart from filling it with thick cream to pour over my luscious dessert, I would also fill this dainty jug with feathery white daisies as a table centrepiece.
Years ago, in 1986, I was preparing to open my cookshop, Kitchen Emporium, in Beverley, East Yorkshire. In my Country Living magazine, I read about a young lady called Emma Bridgewater, starting off with her spongeware tableware in a small way. I loved the designs and wrote to Emma asking if we could stock some of her products in our shop. Happily for me, she said yes, and that was the start of my love affair with her wonderful designs. One of her first designs was ‘Olives’, and I still love it. But I digress – back to my Christmas Wish List.
The Teapot above is such a classic shape and pattern. I also love the ‘Olive’ plates, the 6 1/2 inch, the 8 1/2″ and the 10 1/2″plates. The design of the Olives, in the rich blue and strong and soft green, is painted around the rim of the plate, leaving the creamy middle perfect to show food off to perfection.
And could you resist this little ‘Olive’ jug? I can’t. I think I must have a thing about small jugs – I have a collection of about 25. Stoneware, porcelaine, salt-glazed – all shapes and colours, but I just love them in a small size.
‘Olive’ is one of Emma Bridgewater’s Classic patterns, but I would mix it with both the stronger blue of ‘Great Britain’ with its stylised map shape of our island and the fun ‘Walk in the Park’ design.
And the great shape of the ‘Great Britain’ French Bowl would be ideal for my home-made Granola Imagine a mound of crunchy oats mixed with all manner of nuts and seeds, caramelised by the addition of runny honey and baked in the oven whilst still hot finished off with dried cranberries and blueberries. Click here for my recipe that gives me loads of energy in the morning.
To be perfectly honest, I would love anything from Emma Bridgewater for Christmas, or for a Birthday. Her range of products is simply amazing, and growing larger every year. The ability to mix and match her designs means that there is always a style to suit the occasion, whether formal, informal or just a fun occasion. Emma does deliver her products almost all over the world. To have a good look at her colourful website, please click here.