The Simple Things December 2020

The Simple Things is a beautiful, useful, quirky and fun magazine about taking time to live well. We cover mindfulness and microadventures, eating and growing, forgotten wisdom, home life and slow moments. It's for people who love their lives but want to take the pressure off and remember what’s really important. We like tea & cake, learning stuff, being outside and the satisfaction of a job well done. Do you?

United Kingdom
Iceberg Press Limited
12 号



To: From: All at The Simple Things We hope you think of this issue as a little gift to yourself. Every year we do our best to give you the ‘ta da’ of Christmas but not so much the ‘to do’. For many of us, this December will have a very different mood, but with it comes an opportunity to reassess and appreciate the bits that really matter to us. Maybe it’s one in which we embrace new traditions and quiet enjoyment, perhaps spending more time at home where the little pleasures of silly games, jigsaws, homemade decorations, drinks and nibbles take centre stage. With less pressure to mark the festivities a certain way, it means more time to celebrate the simple things – and that really is a gift. Wishing you…

it’s crispmas!

Root veg peel crisps with truffle oil Veggie peelings are given a new lease of life, transformed into these crispy, crunchy snacks. Serves 2 2 large sweet potatoes3 large beetroots2 parsnips1 garlic clove, grated30ml truffle oilA few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional) 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan160C/ Gas 4 and line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Use a vegetable peeler to peel thin slivers of the veg and place in a bowl. Add the grated garlic, a few sprigs of rosemary, seasoning and the truffle oil. Mix with your hands and then transfer to the baking sheet, spreading it out as much as possible. 2 Cook for 25 mins, turning the peel over half way through. When the peel is crispy (but not burnt), remove from the oven, allow to cool, then…

december almanac

In your foraging bag... Mistletoe can be foraged for natural decoration this month. The parasitic plant can be found in many places across the UK (though rarely in the north and Scotland). It likes light, so look for it in parks, churchyards and gardens, rather than woods. It particularly loves apple trees. Don’t forget to always ask permission and to leave plenty of berries for the birds. In folklore… Spiders! Ukrainian folklore tells of a poor family who couldn’t afford to decorate their tree. On Christmas morning, they came down to find spiders had spun beautiful webs all over the tree, shimmering silver and gold in the morning light. It’s said that our use of tinsel comes from this tale. In the sky… Big birds. December is an ideal time to see unusual birds –…

christmas spider

What do you mean you’ve never heard of it? (see folklore, right). Here’s a calming project to make one for your tree YOU WILL NEED:* Artist’s wire A selection of tiny translucent beads, some seed (small round ones) and some bugle (longer tube-shaped ones). A couple of bigger beads for the head and body Some eye pins and bead caps Pliers and wire cutters *Everything should be available at 1 Cut four pieces of wire of equal length for eight legs. About 10cm is a good size. 2 Thread a seed bead onto one wire and bend the end up around the bead to make a foot. Thread a mix of seed and bugle beads onto the wire until you almost reach the other end then fold the wire again at the end using a seed bead to…


READ... A children’s Christmas book and take yourself back to magical Christmasses of many moons ago. Some of our favourites to reread at this time of year include: ❍ A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas ❍ The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper ❍ The Box of Delights by John Masefield More things I want to read this month... HEAR... With much live music unable to take place this year, here are a few alternative festive feasts for your ears. ❍ Carol Symphony by Victor Hely Hutchinson. Spooky 1920s Christmassy music that will give you festive shivers. ❍ Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, biting wind, chattering teeth and flurrying snowflakes, all translated into ‘violin’. ❍ Nigel Slater’s The Christmas Chronicles podcast. Journey through December with Nigel musing about frosty hedgerows, proper Christmas puddings and more. Other things I…

cake in the house

CHRISTMAS CHOCOLATE BUNDT CAKE Serves 6-8 3 free range eggs275g dark brown sugarZest of 1 orange150g plain yogurt125g butter2 tbsp honey100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)1 tsp cinnamon1 tsp gingerBig pinch of nutmeg, cloves and salt¼ cup cocoa powder200g self-raising flour150g hazelnut flour1 tsp baking powder½ tsp baking soda FOR THE SUGARED CRANBERRIES: 175g fresh cranberries200g granulated sugar 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/ Gas 4. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest and yogurt and beat again. Melt the butter, honey and chocolate together in a bainmarie and then add to the batter and mix. 2 Add the spices, salt and cocoa and mix well. Finally, add the flours, baking powder and baking soda and gently fold in. 3 Transfer the batter to a greased bundt pan and bake for…