Sunday, 24 October 2010

Apples and Pears, Chutneys and Pickles!!!

I have mostly been making chutney this weekend! A friend took the dog out walking yesterday which gave me all day to get pickling! However, I do believe I wasn't the only one. Mustard seeds were out at every shop I went to!! In the end I had to buy pickling spice.

So I have decided that the plum jam and piccallili I have made for the favours won't be enough for all the people we have coming. One of my friends has five apple trees in their garden so has an amazing amount of apples at the moment - far too many to eat. So the sensible thing - apple chutney! I had 3 huge bags of apples - this picture just shows a few that we've kept for eating.

So far I've made 3 big pans; a tomato and apple chutney that was my late aunt's recipe (picture left) - boy it's good, and two lots of lovely sticky sweet apple chutney that my friends gave me (picture below). I have to admit though, after the first batch of hand chopping, I got the magimix out and blitzed so the second batch may not be quite so chunky!

 So now I have to wait a month or more to let the chutneys mature before I can decide whether they are good enough to use or not. I hope they are, or FH and I will be eating alot of chutney ourselves! Just as well he'll eat anything I give him!

I've also decanted the plum jam into little jars as I am building up the collection of jars now. I should be anyway as I have so many people collecting small jars for me. Thanks to all those who are, keep eating all those jars of food! I think I must have 40 little jars now so 60 to go!

 I have another friend who has just dropped a bag of pears on the doorstep so what to do with those?!? They are a little hard to eat so I think I'll leave a few to ripen, poach some for desserts and I might have a go at a pear and walnut chutney. The recipe has an equal amount of apples to pears so it would do two birds with one stone!

 I think I have become a little chutney obsessed this weekend. I was very disappointed the other week. I entered Sherstons pickle competition - Picklemania (it runs along side the Mangold Hurling) and didn't win a thing! I even got a jar of one of the winning entries, a beetroot and orange relish and it wasn't half as good as my plum jam or my piccalilli!!! Maybe it won on originality! Not that I'm bitter or anything!! It would have been nice to have said that one of the favours was award winning though!

Well, I have some bottling left to do before it all goes cold so.....'til next time!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Time is Flying

My last post was the 30th September! Wow! I'm not very on the ball sometimes am I?!?! Time just seems to disappear!

We've been up to loads of things since I last scrawled - Mangold Hurling, Ploughing Competitions, Picklemania, Supper Club to name but a few. I can't talk about them all right now so I'll just update you on my progress with the Wedding Plans and come back to all the stories as we go!

I have managed to etch a third of the jars I need, not because it's so terribly time consuming (although it is quite time consuming!), but more because it's very tedious and cutting out the stencils makes my hand ache!
I now have all the jars I need for the table centres and I'm up to 30 on the little ones for the favours - 70 to go! I have the dress ordered and the bridesmaids dresses nearly sorted. All the girly bits and pieces and accessories and the like still to think about, but loads of time for that! I am planning to make some apple chutney this weekend as I'm not sure I have enough plum jam for the ladies so that should do then I think. It's quite hard to work out how many different sized jars the big 3l Kilner jars will fill! Hmm... I think I may need lots more than I already have. I also plan to get my cream bunting finally finished this weekend. We haven't anything planned so I should get lots done. Having said that, I said that the weekend before last and got absolutely nothing done as we had Supper Club 2 nights on the trot! We were not very capable of doing anything during the day and then had people coming over the next night!

Perhaps a more sober weekend this weekend and I'll finally get some swimming in! I've been working up in town all this week so up at 5.30am and not getting back 'til 6.30pm does not give you much motivation to go to the pool. FH has been getting up early as well and getting on the rowing machine so I have to keep up the swimming!

Right, I'll sign off now and hopefully this will temporarily stop the nagging that I haven't updated my blog! You know who you are!!!!

Next time, I'll have to tell you about the Mangold Hurling! The best fun to be had all year! Loved it!.
Til next time....