With the Christmas decorations packed away your home can start to look a little dreary so spruce it up with some good old fashioned cleaning techniques.

Wooden surfaces

To give wooden surfaces back their lustre mix one part lemon juice with two parts olive oil and apply to your wood, allow to soak in for 30 minutes before buffing to perfection with a clean (lint free) cloth.

bubblinb2Clean those Pots and Pans

After all that festive cooking you may find you have stubborn stains on pans and cutlery that won’t come off however much you douse them with washing up liquid or run them through the dishwasher. In the event of ground in grime I refer to the advice of Mrs Beeton, who recommends a solution of warm water and baking soda, scrubbed in hard using a crust of bread.

When dealing with vintage cutlery that has crossed the line from ‘a bit stained’ to ‘actively rusty’, plunge the knife blades or forks into a large onion a few times. This is incredibly effective and you can vent frustrations at the same time.

So get your rubber gloves at the ready for some good clean fun and may you enjoy a Happy New Year and a splendidly sparkling home in 2017.

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