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Home-made Christmas Gifts #4

Sunday, 6 December 2009  |  Admin

I know that I said that this year I was focusing on mostly bathing related pressies, but I couldn't help myself...I couldn't let a year go by without making some chutneys. This year however, I made just one batch of chutney on my own (the spiced orange and apricot).
On Monday I got together with a couple of Mum friends of mine who were interested in sharing the workload and the washing up!. We brought our littl'est kids, all 4 of them and met after the school run. Fortified by a loaf of banana bread from my freezer (see previous post) and a cup of coffee each, we got to work on making christmas chutney.
After that, we moved on to the most painful part of the day - harissa paste. My friends had both had better luck than me in growing chillies, to the point of having a glut to use up. However we only had 250 ml jars which we all agreed were much to big to hold this pungent paste. I was dispatched to the local supermarket to buy some tiny jam pots - we decanted the jam into one of our bigger jars and hey presto, problem solved. The pain involved was through the heat of the tiny birds eye chillies - everything we touched stung like mad for about an hour afterwards!
Lastly, we finished off with some Green Tomato chutney. Again this was using up a glut of green tomatoes so it was rewarding to see them turned into something useful and tasty.
Between times we had a rustic lunch. Seeded bread and a couple of big whacks of cheese served with a dollop of the christmas chutney - delicious! It was a lovely morning, well spent and it definitely reminded me of days of old (did anyone else watch 'little house on the prairie'?) when women got together to 'put up' the seasons harvest, preserving and pr eparing for the winter ahead. Although we have no need to do so nowadays, it's a great excuse to have a bit of a get together with the girls. And do your eco bit for christmas too.

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