Sunday, 21 December 2008

Only four more sleeps till Christmas!

And Emma has been in full production mode again, these mince pies are made from homemade mincemeat, and the mincemeat muffins smell remarkable!

We live in an Victorian house that is nearly 130 years old and has a very grand fireplace for such a small terrace house. Unfortunately the hearth has been boarded up for many years and the grate behind it is smashed beyond use, maybe for next Christmas we'll renovate the fireplace and have a roaring log fire to keep us warm and romantised!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Hmmm, chutney, just don't breath it in!

This is a very special time of year, with a gallon of posh 'cyder' vinegar, a kilo each of currants, mixed dried fruit, six kilos of a couple of types of sugar and more cinnamon sticks than I've even seen in one place before Emma sets about making vast amounts of Christmas Chutney for all our friends and family.

It's amazing how well these gifts go down with everyone we know, although there is one caveat to recieving a jar of this special chutney; if you have any left by Easter we get to claim it back as our own personal stash is well and truely gone by then! The cashew nuts and coffee are for my own gorging enjoyment. We buy bulk from organic wholesale folks Suma, each time a new delivery arrives it's like Christmas, if Christmas was a traditional time to try and find somewhere to store a month's supply of bog roll!

Despite the fact Em has been making Christmas chutney for few years now I still manage to forget that if you take a deep breath while it's all in the preserve pan your nose will disolve and your brain will shivel a little like a pickled walnut, wow it's strong stuff! I'll also be smelling of chutney for the next few days, which I think is kinda homely, but all the local dogs may disagree!

Friday, 5 December 2008

I know Christmas is coming because...

Christmas is definitely on it's way, Emma has brought loads of the outside inside and I keep getting yelled at for 'helping'.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Em at Ken

And here's a lovely photo of Em stuffing her cake hole at Ken Muir!

A planting we will go........

With the shortest day of the year (winter solstice) fast approaching, I figured it was time to order some fruit. In October we fully researched this exciting addition to our plot by attending the 'Apple day' event at Ken Muir in Essex.

There was much apple nom which helped us decide on the following - Egremont Russet, Bardsey, Red Devil and Ellisons Orange. I am also considering the creation of a raspberry hedge and have begun by ordering 10 canes of Autumn Bliss. Yum - can hardly wait til they join the strawberries and lonely redcurrant bush!

Thanks to all those who bought me gift vouchers for my birthday - you will be rewarded (hopefully) by our abundant crops and many a jar of chutney to accompany your cheeseboard!

Winter is the perfect time of year for planting trees and as such is celebrated by National tree week (26th Nov - 7th Dec) so take a peek at the Tree councils website for more info -

In other news - over wintering onions and garlic are in the ground. Yippeeee! Just hope they don't rot in all the nasty rain we keep getting!