Just before Christmas when I was tidying the top of my pine dresser I had a bit of an accident and managed to break two Rumptopf containers which I had and which I am bitterly disappointed about. I regularly used them at this time of year as any dried fruit that I have that is getting a little past its best is usually turned into chutney or into mincemeat. Now I do not need them for the chutney but for the mincemeat I do as I use the old fermenting version of making my mincemeat and very juicy and lovely it is too. But it needs to be able to breathe and be stirred at least twice a day. otherwise they an go mouldy which is not what we are after. The Rumptopfs were ideal for this with some cling film over the top to stop any flies or nasties getting in but I also used them in the summer months to make Rumptopf before decanting them into large jars for longer term storage.
Rumptopf is lovely served with vanilla ice cream or just with cream it is very pokey. The juice I tend to run off and bottle it and serve it as a liqueur. I served it quite a few years ago to my mum and dad - they had never had anything like it and despite initial misgivings at the thought of it they ended up really liking it. Lets say that particular Christmas was more than a bit merry. It really worth making things like this for your Christmas Pantry it can be a little pricey unless you source your Rum when it is on offer and stockpile it. But yet again you can make it in individual jars adding the sugar and then the fruit in layers with the spirit and then handing them over as a different kind of present
So over the next few days or so I am going to be sorting out some mincemeat in readiness for next Christmas. I have a recipe that uses apricots and Amaretto But I am going to keep my eyes open as I need to replace the Rumptopf pots as they were ideal. I will post the recipe up for those of you who want to have a go at making your own under separate cover.
There is also a dried apricot and garlic chutney recipe out of the original Delia Christmas book that is very good. Yet again I usually make this around now and it saves wasting dried fruit that still has a lot of potential. Apricots are dear in any event and as I am not an advocate of waste its a good way of using them up and putting something in hand for use during the year and for a few jars for next Christmas. All you will need now is a good storage area (I use under my stairs as it keeps nice and cold).
I also have a couple of wine kits to start off a couple of tins of Elderflower wine and some basic Maison du Orange which is one of the basic wines I make utilising fresh oranges and orange juice. Very good versions of lemon and grapefruit can also be made in this way. For part of the juice for the lemon version I use the PLJ drink as a basis.
I am also after a couple of hop plants that I can train up the fence and then dry for the hops for making my own beer. I shall use a couple of kits beforehand as I seem to have amassed quite a few empty beer bottles over the last year which I intend to recycle for bottling the home brew.
Right catchup later on.