Wednesday, 13 November 2013

If You Can't Take the Heat........

Phew, it was hot in the kitchen this morning, I had some Shepherds Pie base left over so made a couple of Oggies  for Nev. I made a Coffee and Walnut Cake for the freezer and had the Date, Apricot and Orange Chutney on the go as well. Oh I had the ironing board set up to press a stack of fabric scraps ready to cut up into 2 1/2" squares, I have seen a quilt pattern that I like. I will need 714 of these, the pattern calls for 14 fat quarters at £ 2.50 -£3.50 each, that's not going to happen. Doh!

Any way the chutney recipe is:-
500g stoned dates chopped, I snip them up with scissors.
400g ready to eat Apricots, chopped, I get them ready diced from a friend.
2 large onions diced quite fine.
30g root ginger, peeled and grated.
Zest and juice of a large orange, I grate the zest from 2 as we like the extra zing.
500ml cider vinegar, if I can not get it I use white wine vin.
400g soft brown sugar.
1/2tsp Cayenne.
1tsp Coriander.
1 tbs salt.

Put the whole lot in a big pan, bring to the boil slowly, then simmer till thick stirring every now and then.
This makes 4lb or thereabout, I double up the quantities and make use of my maslin pan.
I ran out of dates 2 years ago and made the last batch with a mixture of dates,  figs and cranberries. I was delicious, I now make a batch just the same each year.
This year I have adapted the recipe to match my store cupboard. 
I was 150g short of Apricots so I used 250g apple, as the apple breaks down more I increased the quantity, I only had half the Cider vinegar and no White Wine vinegar so used white distilled to make it up, My root ginger is buried at the bottom of my chest freezer and of course I do not have ground so I used 2 heaped tsp Allspice. Oops nearly forgot, I have a stock of demarara sugar so used half and half with soft brown sugar.
10 jars and a taster, not bad at all. Stand by for  photos.

Here are the raw ingredients, I hope you can see that I did not cut the dates very small, most of them were straight in half. I do cut even the small ones as I do find the odd stone. 3 today.

The sugar has dissolved and you can see that the liquid is nearly to the top.

Nearly ready, I have drawn a channel with the wooden spoon and it has got some free flowing liquid in.

Bingo, the channel now has a little viscous liquid but is almost empty. Time to get the clean jars, lids and funnel out of the oven, they have been at 150 c for 20 minutes.

The reward, this only needs 6 weeks before it is ready to eat, once opened I recommend keeping in the fridge and using within 6 weeks. In this house it is lucky to make 6 hours.

My scrap fabrics are looking good, several new colours and only 6 that I can not use in this project. There are 2 pieces of Batik, if I can bare to use it I will otherwise it will be shredded for stuffing.

I bought this lot from an Ebay seller for £6 including postage, a big bargain. There are 3 fat quarters and 5 WOF strips over 10" long. I am well chuffed.

I will show my baking tomorrow, I need to get the kitchen cleared, while I am in the mood I will give it a good fettling. All that steam shows up a few icky marks here and there. The smell is amazing, a cross between Christmas pudding and Spiced wine.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. A productive morning with no pressure.

2. A big stack of new fabrics to play with.

3. A good long walk with Ben first thing.

4. 2 pet beds finished last night ready to gift.

5. My lovely neighbour Nev brought me some field mushrooms as big as my hands put together.

6.  ( I know an extra today) I have a new follower, Janet.

Welcome aboard Janet, enjoy the ride.

The HR department rang a little while ago, to jog me into feeling guilty, didn't work! Once I told them that the heavy lifting was the cause, new procedures have caused this, she became very solicitous as to my welfare.
I did not share with her the fact that I will probably not be returning, in the fullness of time when it is necessary, and not a moment before, they will know.

             TTFN                                             Pam.


  1. I hope the HR dept don't read your blog, or else my friend, the game's up.

    1. they don't even read their emails on the day they get them and no one at work has any interest in blogging, It is all about tweeting and I am no canary.

  2. I cannot believe that organisations do not read their emails, but I know this to be true (or at least they do not act on them), I had cause to email the agency who I working for and had to telephone them two days later to actually get them to read the email!! If you don't want the batik fabric, maybe one of us could swap??

  3. All those fabrics hanging up look lovely. And the chutney looks good enough to eat. LOL! Sorry you had such a bad night, hope last night was better. My DH had a problem with HR badgering him when he had his breakdown, which only made him more stressed and depressed. Considering they're supposed to be there to support the workers and solve problems etc. the folks who work in those roles often seem to be very insensitive. I suppose they're under pressure from management the same as everyone else. It's great that despite pain and bad nights you manage to fill your days with such lovely things.


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