It’s almost over!

It’s been a wonderful family time again in The Hancox household especially with a new addition to share the celebration with!

H Introducing Ezra Jack

There really haven’t been too many glitches but here is an interesting one with my first ever letter from Father Christmas.

A contemporary Santa
A contemporary Santa

So back to food…

Some food highlights

Both the salt beef and the Gravadlax (see previous posts) worked out brilliantly and kept us snacking and dining until today.

Christmas Day lunch consisted of potted brown shrimps followed by roast pork belly with butternut squash and walnut and apple salsa. This was a recipe from my all time favourite chef Yotam Ottolenghi, in his latest book, Nopi. It was, as you can see, totes unconventional but was cooked with the consensus of all the family.

The most important part was the crackling, which was cooked perfectly. It requires the skin to be patted dry, rubbed with lemon juice, dried out, salted and cooked for an hour on a high heat. You then wipe off the salt and replace it with more and continue cooking.

We finished up with a delicious Tiramisu and a large cheese platter.

Interestingly, one of the highlights was a left over soup:

Brussel sprouts and tops and Stilton Soup
Brussel sprouts and tops and Stilton Soup


  • Approxmately 1 kilo mix of broccoli, sprouts and or sprout tops. I used all sprout tops with the adjoining sprouts
  • Butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 50g basmati rice
  • Large chunk of Stilton, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp Greek yoghurt


  1. Fry the onion in the butter or oil until softened
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes
  3. Add the stock, rice and greens and cook for about 30 minutes
  4. Add most of the Stilton retaining some for garnishing
  5. Stir until the Stilton has melted
  6. Remove from the heat and cool a little before stirring in the yoghurt.
  7. Blend in a processor until fairly smooth
  8. The soup will keep for up to two days in a refrigerator
  9. When ready to serve, reheat and garnish with the remaining Stilton

One family member said this was the best soup he had ever tasted! Nice!

The Hollow Bottom

The Hollow Bottom

As a busy boy cooking, we haven’t eaten out a lot. We did, however, have one lovely lunch at The Hollow Bottom in Guiting Power.

It’s very much a horse racing themed pub. We visited after hearing some good reports and reading a very cryptic review in The Times by Giles Coren.

It’s a cosy place which has been well thought out. They have an interesting and varied menu from classics such as Cotswold cured ham, egg and chips to filled flat breads, pizzas and sharing platters.

Staff are very charming, efficient and attentive and they coped really well with all of our demands and a baby and the food was great and all very reasonably priced.

Telephone: 01451 850392

The Hollow Bottom
Guiting Power
GL54 5UX

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year.




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