But I still can't stop humming "Holidays are coming" under my breath as I walk through Truro and last night it all came to ahead and the yuletide excitement came bursting out like a Jack in the Box. To me nowhere (apart from Scilly which always wins "best everything") is as Christmassy as West Cornwall.
Penzance is the sausage in the pigs in blankets of festive places. The multi coloured lights on the promenade blowing in the force 4 gales, the anticipation of driving to Mousehole for the world famous Christmas lights. (If you've never been you should but also stop by at Angarrack near Hayle which is just as good).
I think it's because we always had to stay in Penzance the night before flying home to Scilly for Christmas...stuck in a chilly guest house knowing that just thirty miles away mum was waiting with hot water bottles and mince pies. We would sing "Driving Home for Christmas" on the five hour train journey and it still makes me cry whenever I hear it. Once we were mid verse on a busy train just outside Bristol and a commuter stood up to get off the train, smiled and sang the rest of the chorus at us and it made our Christmas.
So while my mood is as upbeat as a glittery advent calendar I thought I might as well make this. A dish which has no turkey or spices or brandy. But is has deep reds, greens and gold elements tinged with glimmering pink seeds like baubles on a Christmas tree....
Roasted Red Peppers with a Broccoli and Pomegranite Cous Cous Salad....(Serves 2)
For the peppers
2 red peppers
3 tomatoes (I still have some left over from the summer!)
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced like paper
1 very small chilli
For the Salad...
5oz/150g cous cous
1 handful long stemmed broccoli
1 tbsp chopped parsely
Slice the peppers in half length ways and scoop out the seeds. Chop the tomatos into quarters and stuff them inside the peppers with the garlic slices and the finely sliced chilli. Drizzle over some olive oil and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.
For the salad. Put the cous cous in a bowl and pour cold water over it (so it comes about a cm above the cous cous.) Slice the pomegranite in half and tap the seeds out with a wooden spoon. Pop the broccoli into a boiling pan for three minutes. Then drain it and pour cold water over it to refresh it.
Make a dressing out of olive oil and lemon. Fold through the cous cous. Serve with the peppers.