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Sunday, 18 November 2012

Gathering Christmas momentum

In terms of gifting, this year it actually feels like I am achieving something in the run up to Christmas.
So here's the latest batch of crafted presents.

A very squooshy cashmere cowl in a punchy magenta shade:

Next knitting project soon to be cast on!

Last year I made a huge batch of pear, date and cinnamon chutney which seemed to go down quite well with its recipients. Therefore I decided to this year join forces with C for a jam and chutney making session - double the output, half the work!

After some research, we decided on rhubarb and vanilla jam and also some spicy apple and plum chutney. We weren't actually sure whether we could get hold of any rhubarb around this time of year, but luckily Waitrose obliged and we were soon smothering the pretty pink stalks in plenty of vanilla pods and jam sugar:

Meanwhile, we got busy chopping the apples before letting them slowly go mushy in the company of a large cinnamon stick and the rest of the spices. Mm, the smell!

Then it was time to add the plums:

 And left both concoctions to bubble away and fill the flat with Christmasyness.

Once cooled, I got out my trusty liquid chalk and labelled them all up as well as gave them snazzy hats courtesy of my fabric stash:

Not bad for a day's work eh? And the great thing is that while the chutney needs to mature for about a month, we can tuck into the jam in the meantime. Quality control and all that.

Oh, and one more thing! I've had some blackberry and vanilla rum brewing in my kitchen cupboard for about a month:

It was about time to harvest, so after a quick strain through some muslin it was time for bottling and labelling. Note the bonus boozy blackberries! Note quite sure what to do with those actually. Over some vanilla ice-cream perhaps?

So... still some projects to go before Christmas, but definitely getting there!

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