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This year, why not warm up your January with colour and spice? Fresh, vibrant recipes from sunny Mexico. Photography by Tony Gavin.
 
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The time before Christmas, for me, really revolves around food. It's my favourite time of year, and I adore all the different treats that we make. I can track the progression towards Christmas by the divine array of aromas that fill our house. There's the sweet and boozy smell of Christmas pudding, as I make sure each family member has a stir and makes a wish. There's the spicy smell of freshly baked stollen, the sweet Christmas bread that is full of fruits and spices - I always make it to my German brother-in-law's recipe.
 
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The fragrance of a fish pie brings me back to my childhood. Here are a few twists on this classic too. 
 
No fish has found itself in a more soothing dish than a warming, steaming fish pie. Fluffy, cheesy mashed spuds give way to moist fish and a rich, creamy sauce. My mum is a great cook and I have such fond memories of the fabulous fish pie she would make for our family. The sweet smell would waft up to my room as it baked, that heady mixture of fish, potatoes and plenty of cream.
 
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Rachel Allen

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It's easy to make your own home-made sausages, without a mincer or a sausage-maker.
 
I am rarely as comforted by food as when I'm eating a plate of juicy sausages, covered in gravy with some creamy spuds. It isn't complicated, nor is it sophisticated, but it always brings me such warmth and pleasure. Any butcher should be able to make a good sausage, but making your own allows you to put just what you'd like in them, and more to the point, it's lots of fun!
 
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