For a couple of years now we've chosen to avoid a bit of the commercial christmas gifting nonsense by making our gifts for extended family and friends. I'm pretty sure none of them read this, so I think it's safe to
show off share how we're doing so far...
- Fig chutney * six jars
- Roasted pepper pickle * four jars
- Roasted plum chutney * five jars
- Pear cider chutney * three jars
- Mincemeat * six big jars!
- Sweet chili jam * three big jars - doubles as sweet chilli dip for Chinese snacks or even sauce to use in a stirfry, and tips on dealing with chillies over here
- Apple sauce * three jars
- Blackberry jam * thirteen jars - a very good year for blackberry picking!
- Blueberry apple jam * two jars
- Thin cut marmalade * two little jars
- Thick cut marmalade * two little jars
- Mango strawberry jam * four jars - very yummy and very very easy recipe that I keep meaning to blog (sorry!)
- Tropical fruit jam * three big jars
- Blackberry apple jam * two jars
We make the mincemeat each January, and the chutneys/pickles are done by the end of August, so they can mature - jams get done as and when I have the time and the energy and the fruit. I took cuttings of the succulents back in the summer, which was amazingly cost effective too - I've now got fourteen baby plants, and the parent succulent is still going strong. All the jars you can see in the picture above are reused - much better for my bank balance than buying jars (bloody expensive!), and more environmentally aware.
Still to do :
Make last batch of jam (or jam-ish anyway...) Lemon Ginger Preserve
Prepare jars - soak off all remaining labels, cover with brown paper, string, and cut out/hole punched labels written by Noah and Petal, decorated by Smiler
Decant sloe gin, cover/label as above (Mr Manley is in charge of the gin)
Repot succulents into clean/not cracked pots
Smiler, Noah and Petal to make Extra Special Rocky Road Bars (will be blogged!)
Finally, I'll use my faithful easy peasy biscuits recipe to make christmas star christmas trees for class parties
* * * * *
It goes completely against my nature to be so organised, but the last few years Smiler had not been 100% approaching the end of that school term, so I try to get things sorted so a few nights in a+e or a few nights on the neuro ward for me will not throw everything into complete chaos!
How are your Christmas preparations going? Are you an organiser or a fly by the seat of your pants type? Do you like the way you do it, or do you look longingly at those in the other camp and wish you were more like them?