Friday, 30 November 2012

Pineapple Chutney ready for Christmas

What a whopper, and in perfect condition.  I bought this a week previously and have been keeping a keen eye out waiting for the perfect moment of ripeness, when the sugars will have reached perfection and the smell is sweet and warm, and before any blemishes start to appear. 

Then out with the knives and sharpeners, et voila, nearly as good as the street hawkers in Mauritius with the machetes.  I would have loved to have stood up on a stand at the NEC on Wednesday and demonstrated this great technique.

Chop, chop, weigh, and measure, and into the pan, all the ingredients are ready for the slow simmer.

I say all the ingredients, well I only added the chili at the end, after I had potted up two jars for Janice who asked for no chillies.  I added two blue elastic bands round her jars, I can hear you say, can't you see the lovely red chillies in the jar, and I say that sometimes I put the jars away in the cupboard unlabelled, and there it is easy to pull the right jars quickly from the dark recesses if there is a band round them.

I had to pull out all the jars this Thursday and was still labelling them up when Janice arrived.  She caught me in the act, and commented on my labels printed on paper, being cut up with scissors and stuck on with glue...she thought  I used self adhesive labels.  I found them a fiddle to align them for printing, and I am able to print out different size labels, depending on the jars I have filled.  This time I made a special label called Janice's Pineapple Chutney just for her jar!  The chutney is nicely matured ready for this Christmas, and goes especially well with cold ham, pork pies, and cold chicken and turkey. 

Recipe available on request.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Grapefruit and Lemon Marmalade

With three big beauties on the kitchen counter, and organic lemons, I revisited my first attempt written up in my journal....but I had not written the technique.  I remember something about using a processor, but the recipe in the book said cut up the peel finely before the first cooking stage.  Compromise:  cut up the peel, and process the insides, minus the pips of course.

Mostly I cut up the peel after it has been cooked either on the whole fruit, or quartered, which is much easier.  This grapefruit was cut up raw, into very fine pieces.  By the time I had finished I had a little pain in the elbow, not tennis elbow, but Preserving Elbow...the lemon went into the processor!

I set the completed marmalade to cool overnight, but first caught the warm colour in the low sunshine, just the colour of all the leaves on the front garden ready to be swept up.

A couple of days later, I designed and printed off the labels, I have my little pot of diluted glue in a pretty very mini jam jar with spotty top, brought from the Summer Food Show by Penny....

now I have Seville, Apricot and Orange, Lime, and Grapefruit and Lemon Marmalade to choose from to go on my breakfast toast.  Actually I only allow myself to have two open jars at any one time.