As the cold weather creeps in there is nothing better than staying indoors and enjoying good, home-cooked comfort food. However, the moisture, grease/cooking residue and smoke from creating wholesome winter warmers can add a lot of grime to kitchen surfaces. Indeed one area that attracts dirt and grime in the kitchen that is often overlooked is the ceiling.

To remove the film of muck from your kitchen ceiling simply

Mix a small amount of washing-up in a bucket of warm water, add 10 drops of pure lemon oil (essential oil) and gently scrub with a sponge, using only a minimum amount of water (not enough to drip). The same solution can be used on kitchen walls!

This is also a great time to go through food cupboards and reorganise them. As the cold weather sets in we tend to feel the desire to nest and get supplies in, but before stocking up our pantries and store cupboards with ambient delights, it is always good to take stock of what we have in.

Start by going through your herbs and spices and throw away those that are past their best and use up those bits in bottoms of jars that are still good. I label by herb and spice jars with the date I open them and discard them after six months, which is when most dried herbs and spices lose their oomph.

foodPull all the tins and boxes of food out of cupboards and reorganize them it’s amazing how things get shoved to the back over time and you end up with multiples. There are the tins of things that you bought on impulse and just never found a use for and all the bits and pieces you just keep forgetting about…get them out of the cupboard check them over and put them at the front to remind you what you’ve got in. if it’s still good, but you really are never going to eat them consider giving it to a local food bank 

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

Food has always been of great importance to Seren and despite her being renowned for her historical recipe recreations, her culinary skills were not honed, in the kitchens of top restaurants, but in the home kitchen from the age of being able to hold a wooden spoon. When Seren was born her mother was taken ill and so she spent her early years being cared for by her grandmother, Minnie. This was to prove instrumental in the development of Seren’s love of cooking, for her grandmother was an accomplished cook, who’s kitchen was always awash with terrine’s, home-made pastry and traditional puddings. Minnie’s love of good food and her zest for life meant Seren’s childhood was filled with days of hedgerow picking, baking, traditional preserving and cooking recipes from the depths of a family copy of, Mrs. Beeton. She learned from an early age how to make Victorian puddings alongside elaborate noble pies and perhaps this explains her love of pastry making and the reason she won an accolade from The Great British Pie Awards this year. Today Seren has great skill in bringing historical food to life and making it accessible and understandable to the modern cook and diner. Her enthusiasm and love of historical food and British cooking is evident in her presentations and she loves to revive forgotten recipes. She recently took part in ITV1’s Country House Sunday and has given live cookery demonstrations across the country at food festivals, historical houses and castles. Trained as a herbalist and nutritionist, she has a deep understanding of improving health through food. Her interest in historic remedies and herbal folklore eventually extended to researching British food history, and reignited her early passion for cooking. Fifteen years on and Seren has amassed extensive knowledge and is now renowned for her historical food recreations and interpretations. Seren’s interest in food history does not just extend to old recipes and cooking techniques, but to ingredients and manufacturers. From the age of fourteen Seren has collected food and drink packaging from early Victorian to the 1960’s. Her collection is now extensive and provides a wonderful snapshot in time that accompanies her vast knowledge of the development of British food and drink companies throughout history. She also has a huge collection of antique kitchenalia and moulds which she uses to replicate historical recipes and portray past eras. Her training in herbalism and nutrition has not been wasted for despite her merits as a food historian and period cook she also delights in creating British Classic dishes for those with food allergies and intolerances (such as gluten and dairy intolerant). Her botanical knowledge has made her a keen wild food educator and forager that lends unusual as well as historical twists to all her cooking. There are also many points at which food and medicine intertwine throughout history and Seren is able to portray these developments and has also undertaken a lot of research into the British spice trade. To Seren historical food is not a job, but a way of life. Visit Seren's blog: Serenity Kitchen