The domestic goddess

Oh God. Here it comes. My ovaries're palpitating, mine X chromosomes doth caper, and I've started wearing outfits reminiscent of Betty Draper.

For eleven months of the year I consider myself something of a domestically emancipated culinary Odysseus, devouring and discarding Marks ready meals like a roving lotharia of microwave linguini, shaking pierced films and cardboard sleeves from my lolloping legs as I impatiently embark on urban adventures untethered by apron strings. Come December, I suffer an inexplicable urge to transform myself into an Ithacan exemplar of hospitable toil, as the yuletide siren that is Nigella seduces me and my goddman ve-jay-jay to an annual drowning by vanilla essence and Kirsch-coddled Gruyère fondue.

Yep, I've had my seasonal attack of the females, and I'm determined to spend the coming month loving my nearest and dearest through the medium of soy and star anize infused maple jus. I'm pretty down with baking, which is generally forgiving of inexactitude and inattention, respecting my need to spread my attention between blanched almonds and the audiobook of Thomas Harris's Pompeii. But things take a whole new dangerous turn when we're talking microbe-crawling fresh flesh, oil-spitting pans, slippery knobbly vegetables, and big blunt knives.

Last week it all kicked off in particularly perilous style.  Having got all inspired by Todd Oppenheimer's New Yorker article on master bladesmiths, I then got myself sent to the BBC Good Food Show for work, where the very generous and very slimy James Martin decided to gift me a shockingly expensive Kin blade.

So, the Blonde may well be seeing in the New Year Dubai-style, with one less lily white hand, but a whole lot of marinated red cabbage with cinammon and pears. If I can just slice myself one hunk of honey glazed Jon Hamm, it'll be worth it.