Sorry I have been absent for a little while due to being busy elsewhere and not at home and also partially because of losing my uncle. We had the funeral service on Thursday which went off reasonably well but was still sad all the same. IT turns out that he suffered from COPD which my grandmother also had and it turns out that four of the lads also have it. The only good thing about a funeral is that you get to spend quality family time with those that you do not see very often. We are fed up with meeting under such circumstances and aim to go out and make some living memories as a family which will be great. my younger cousin Mandy is in charge.
Anyway back to living issues now. My uncle was not one to be maudlin and was one for living his life despite any issues that might well throw up.
I have several things to make today - its going to be a kitchen doing day where I get serious with the preserving - there will be other things going on as well So its going to be an early start as I have a lot to do and as usual very little time to do it. it will start with me sterilising the jars in the dishwasher in bulk so that I am not messing around every so often washing jars.
I have some nice dark wine coloured plums that I got quite cheaply from the market which are destined for plum chutney and also Chinese plum sauce. Both preserves get used a lot in this household and if I can snaffle some more some plum jam and jelly could also be on the cards. If I can manage to source some more then I would quite like to bottle some. They would be ideal for traditional Victorian Sugar plums. The traditional recipe I have calls for the plums to be bottled first in sugar syrup and then they are dried out in the oven and coated with sugar until firm and dry.
I also need to make some spiced pears and some spiced peaches and some more peach jam and peach and chilli chutney. The peaches I got from the market yesterday 4 x 1 pound so I bought 5 pounds worth i.e. 20 peaches. Will probably get some more in the week. I am hoping to get the pears from the veggie shop today. I also need more cooking apples and tomatoes. So I shall see what I can snaffle from the green grocers.
I also have some marmalade to make as we are out and by so doing make some valuable place in the freezer. I have some frozen Sevilles in there from earlier in the year. Where marmalade is concerned I would rather make too much than too little as I cook with it as well. Its ideal for making an orange sauce for duck al'orange or for use in marmalade cake or marmalade muffins or marmalade bread and butter pudding with a dash of Cointreau and either served with custard or cream.
I also have two batches of Christmas fruits steeping in alcohol ready to make my Christmas cake and my brothers. I had wanted to do it last week but could not get myself in gear. I want a minimum of four weeks for the cake to be fed so this is the week they will be cooked.
I have pickled onions and pickled shallots to do as well. I will have to wear bright yellow marigold gloves to prepare them as otherwise my hands will be bright yellow from the onion stain. Not good when you come into contact with the public on a daily basis.
Next week during the evenings I intend to let battle commence. I will be sat on my grandmothers stool the radio on working at stripping the onions ready for brining before pickling. The onions need maturing time as well.
So quite a lot to do in any event.
I also have onion relish red and also my onion marmalade to make as well. They both go well with home made pizza and also with cold meats.
Oh and I have to start making the pork pies for freezing as well.
So there is no peace for the wicked around here there is always something to do and if you stand still long enough you will be put to good use.
Catch you soon.