This month's Simpler Living looks at making things simple with a gas fire, preparing for festivities with an easy Christmas pudding recipe, and ways to spend November days.
This month has seen sparklers, fireworks and bonfires. For some – even flaming barrels of tar! But now that these have come and gone, it’s time to get festive and start to make our preparations for Christmas.
With heat at the touch of a button, it’s easy to see why a gas fire or stove is so attractive – coming home on a chilly November day and being able to switch on your fire for instant fireside ambience. Gazco’s gas fires and stoves come in many different sizes, heat outputs, and designs meaning there is something to suit all tastes and almost any home.
A high efficiency gas fire suitable for homes both with and without a chimney, the Reflex 75T offers a generous heat output of up to 8.5kW and is available to be selected with one of many frames, mantels and linings, offering a huge variety to suit any décor. Featuring non-reflective glass, the expansive view of highly-realistic flames is also completely uninterrupted.
Reflex 75T fires are also fully compatible with both a Programmable Remote Control and an innovative app, allowing you to programme the fire to come on at certain times and temperatures, all from your mobile device – it really is that simple!
The Anglo-Saxons called November Wind monath because of the windy weather, and it’s is the perfect time of year for getting your boots on, taking long walks wrapped up in your scarf and jumper.
Finish a long hike in your favourite pub with good food and a refreshing drink, or back at home with a hot cocoa, curled up in a cosy chair beside your stove.
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup finely grated butter (about 115g/4oz)
1 cup fresh brown breadcrumbs (from around 4 thick slices of bread)
1 cup light muscovado sugar
1 cup mixed nuts, chopped plus extra to decorate
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 cup milk
1 large egg
Butter, for greasing
For the butterscotch sauce
100g light muscovado sugar
200ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. For the pudding, empty the first six cups and the nuts, if using, into a mixing bowl with the spices, then stir in the milk and egg. Once well combined, tip into a buttered 1.5 litre pudding bowl.
2. Cover with a double layer of buttered foil, making a pleat in the centre to allow the pudding to rise. Tie the foil securely with string, then place in a steamer or large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam, covered with a lid, for 2 ½ hours. Check the water level during cooking, topping up if necessary. If you are preparing this pudding ahead, remove the foil, let it cool slightly, then wrap in cling film and then fresh foil. If you are serving it immediately, unwrap and invert onto a deep plate.
3. For the sauce, put everything in a pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring. Allow to bubble away for 2-3 minutes, still stirring, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is pale caramel in colour and slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Pour the sauce over the pudding and decorate with the whole mixed nuts.
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