Monday, 12 August 2013

Its never too early so it would seem to put stuff up

When shopping I always look at date labels as the longer something stores the better and you have more chance of using things up.  At my local Coop they have this last week had an offer on McVities dairy chocolate and plain biscuits at £1.65 a packet.  As well as packs of digestive biscuits.  I was not going to buy any but then I clocked the date March 2014.  So it would appear that it never is too early for that C Word  or for putting stuff up or in my case into the Put Down.  

It may be worth keeping you eyes open to see if anything else is on  offer that has a long sell by date on that can be put up in readiness  The same applies on looking for bargains on dried fruit now to stock pile for making the Christmas cake(s) come the end of September.  It is worth looking out for own brand fruit and also offers on flour and other baking consumables; not only for the C Season but also for baking generally.

Thats at the shop supermarket or wherever you frequent.

However I have been lucky enough to source some shallots from a home grower so far I have 20lb to prepare (I will have a pickling session soon as Christmas isn't Christmas without home made pickled onions or pickled shallots).  I give quite a few jars away but I do not just pickle shallots or onions I keep some in a net under the stairs of each and then I use them for roasting or popping into stews and I also freeze some yet again for popping into stews or roasting to accompany a meat dish when I am in a hurry, but it is always useful to have the choice..

I have the remains of a net of white onions and red onions and they are starting to sprout so in the spirit of waste not want not I think I might turn the remnants into onion marmalade for serving with cheese and pate  or for stirring through that stew or popping into home made sausage rolls or serving as a side with a traditional British fry adding to gravies, starting off an onion gravy. There is no need to waste anything just make sure that you time the turning of the remnants into marmalade when you have a new net to open.  I try to make the best use of what I have to hand.

In the next few weeks I will also start to dry some of the thyme,bay leaves, Rosemary, Oregano and Parsley for my winter larder as well as make mint jelly and long keeping mint sauce for the larder shelf.  OH will have mint sauce or jelly with anything so I tend to put both up.  When I want minted peas in the winter months I add a teaspoon of mint jelly to frozen peas and it peps the peas up in the winter months.  I also intend to dry some of the mint I have this year as I think it will be ideal for making my own mint tea.

After the cats broke my Mason and Cash large pestle and mortar (I was none too impressed) I have managed to replace it with a stone one to make some spice blends and also different pestos for freezing and use during the winter months as well as different flavoured oils.  There is always so much to do at this time of year and if you get stuff done quickly it gives you time to get on and do other bits and bobs.

Thyme is of the essence when preserving.

Catch you soon.




  1. How organized you are with your plans for Christmas. At present, I have put aside a few presents for the girls when I have come across the "ideal thing" but foodwise I have done nothing yet.

    How are the kittens? Will you be keeping them? You just wait until they get mobile ! : )

  2. Hi BB

    Am trying to do what I can when I can although I haven't done as much as I would have liked. I have this large red crate which is kept under the stairs and is primarily used for Christmas goodies or if I am prepping for a celebration of sorts and being under the stairs means that it will be used for its intended function and (someone will not go helping himself) so there is a method in my madness. I primarily start putting a few things up each week from the beginning of September to help ease the strain on old purse strings. Every little helps.

    I would love to keep all the kittens they are so adorable but I do not think OH would wear it. He kind of threw a major wobbly when he realised she was in kit and it took him a whole weekend to calm down. I possibly have homes for two of them so if I can I would like to keep one will just have to see how things go. (If I had my way I would keep them all). I think I am going to need eyes in the back of my head what with a Jack Russell and two other cats to contend with.

    Hope you are keeping well

    Take care

    Love and light




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Meet the Moggies

  • Merlin (approx 18 months)
  • Squeak (approx 2 years)
  • Poppy (approx 16 years)
  • Tyson (approx 17 years)
  • Tinky (official name Clover approx 18 years)