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Goodbye Crimbo limbo

Posted on 31 December, 2015

Today we finally say goodbye to Crimbo Limbo that weird time of the year between the 27th and the 31st of December . When nobody knows quiet what to do with themselves. The leftovers feel never ending and, in the case of this year, we linger from one storm to the next.

Tonight the limbo is over. A new year lies ahead.

So goodbye present opening …

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Goodbye over indulgence (although I can’t promise to stop entirely, there’s a Terry’s chocolate orange and some very fancy biscuits that will need my attention in the New Year) …

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But for now there is less than 4 hours between us and a New Year. Whatever it brings I’m in the mood to welcome it.

So I’m not going to promise anything for next year. No diet, goal lists or stoic resolutions.  All I want for 2016 is to enjoy the nice moments and weather the storms. For you however I wish you the best of everything in 2016 and thank you for reading,x

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The house of vinegar smells!

Posted on 3 December, 2015

IMG_3005Who makes chutney these day?

Surely the world of canning is reserved for wool spinning home schoolers, the frugal and maybe the occasional organic hipster. While that may be true I have added myself to that merry band of canners.

Despite (or maybe because of ) making three different lists I have spent the past two days completing a grand tour of every local supermarket. Lidl and I always been well acquainted but the staff are now becoming suspicious of my frequent visits. When I’m out of one supermarket I’m straight off to Dunnes for the things I couldn’t get in Lidl, then Heatons for the jars I couldn’t get in Dunnes. Last but not least to Aldi for an unexpected cinnamon stick emergency! Turns out Aldi don’t have cinnamon sticks so it was up to  Super Valu to complete the  full supermarket tour!!

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One word of advice would be choose your supply shop wisely, find one giant shop that has everything and save yourself a lot of rainy trips to the supermarket! (Or stick with the 4 ingredient Chilli Jam and make life yummy and simple!)

 

Once I had everything the process itself was very simple. I made three different recipes.

Christmas Ketchup,Christmas Chutney and the aforementioned Chilli Jam.

All from the lovely Nigella. We are definitely on first name terms after this pot bubbling marathon!

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I found the Christmas Ketchup Recipe in the Nigella Christmas book but I couldn’t find it online anywhere. I will admit I wasn’t too disappointed not to share that recipe with you. The end result is good but the recipe needed the most ingredients and required equipment like a mouli and funnel. While I made do with a sterlised tea pot instead of a funnel and a sieve instead of a mouli it caused me much more grief than the other two recipes and so my advise would be stick to either the Christmas chutney or Chilli Jam.

Often things don’t work out for me in the kitchen so I’m relieved to say I can confidently gift all of these I siphoned off a jar of each one for purely scientific reasons and I’m delighted with how the turned out.

The Christmas chutney is Ewan’s favourite. It has significantly  jazzed up his playschool lunches,m they look much less depresing now!

Steve and I have both voted for the chilli jam as our favourite. I will admit that my decision was influenced by the fact that it’s the easiest one to cook, 10 minutes boiling and leave it cool, ta da!

Despite it’s name it’s doesn’t send you gasping for the nearest fire extinguisher, nor would you spread it on your toast. The chillis I picked (the only ones they had in Lidl) were mild so it has welcomed warmth without leaving you short of breath.

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On downside was the house reeked of vinegar for about two days. But after plunging my family into freezing cold temperatures with all the windows open I’m glad to say I think the smell is finally gone and the jars look pretty nifty filled with yumminess even if I do say so myself! I can’t wait to dish these out to friends, family and neighbours!  In case you didn’t get the vibe from the Christmas cards, I’m loving Christmas this year!!

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