Monday, 7 November 2016

Le weekend (or is it La weekend)

Le or La ? I failed French O level way back in 1971 and have since forgotten most of what I did learn.

On Friday we popped over to see our perfect granddaughter - 3 and a half weeks old now. She's always perfect when we see her but daughter A says she's being a right pain at night!
We went via the house that sells apples, we've been detouring that way because they've got bags of Cox's for 50p and they are just delicious, got a bag for A too. Did a small shop at Co-op in Leiston while we were there as I had a £2 off £10 voucher. Our local Co-op near Aldi has been turned into a McColls convenience store and a Subway and they have sent Co-op members in the area 2 x £2 off £10 vouchers to make up for the inconvenience. There are 3 other Co-ops on the edges of this estate so I'm not surprised that the one in competition with Aldi has been forced to close.
Friday afternoon was wet and nasty so I sorted out another box of books for Ziffit. Whoop whoop now raised just over £100 and cleared about 50 books!

Saturday morning by request of Col we went to the Needham Market carboot  (though I didn't take any persuading!) It was blinkin' freezing then it started to drizzle so we weren't there long. Me being on Low spend November I just bought some pears for £1 and this new bag, £1, plus a half started tapestry kit, 50p, for making a glasses case. I love rescuing half done craft kits and will finish this for a Christmas present. The bag will also be a present for a friend as they have a Sherlock Holmes game which they often play at Christmas. I'll put her other present inside it.
I was able to resist all books as I didn't see a single one I wanted! And Col just bought some washers.

Next job was Cranberry Chutney for the hampers............... should be simple but after searching  Morrisons and Aldi  for frozen cranberries with no luck I looked on My Supermarket and found Asda didn't have them either. Only Tesco, so called at Tesco in Saxmundham on the way to daughters but no, none there  which only left going to the big Tesco on the edge of Ipswich where you have to walk half a mile to find what you want and at last found them.
So, how to mix and match two recipes from different books.

On the left is a recipe from The Good Housekeeping Book of Preserves, on the right it's the WI book I used the other day. I had 400g of cranberries and decided the GH book didn't have a big enough proportion of  vinegar or sugar to fruit (and I didn't want to use sultanas or raisins) but I didn't like the idea of cooking the onions and apples in butter or using brown sugar as per the WI recipe.
So my recipe was (and apologies for mixing metric and imperial but that's how my mind works!)
 400g cranberries
Approx 12 oz prepared cooking apples ( peeled,cored,chopped)
Approx 10oz red onions peeled and chopped ( red was what I had but ordinary would do)
¾ lb white sugar
15fl oz distilled white vinegar
2 tsp mixed spice.

I put the apples and onions in the preserving pan covered with a bare minimum of water and cooked them for about 10 minutes until they were starting to soften. Then strained and put  them back in the pan.
Then I added the vinegar and sugar on a gentle heat stirring until the sugar had dissolved, added the frozen cranberries and left on gentle heat until they defrosted (Should have defrosted first I guess). Then I mashed up the cranberries, brought the pan to the boil stirring then reduced heat to a simmer for about half an hour stirring frequently. After that time the mix had thickened up nicely and was looking good. I gave it another 10 minutes just to be sure all excess liquid had been boiled away and then the wooden spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan allowed me to see the bottom for a second  and I potted up into hot sterilised jars and screwed up tight.
 This made 4 and a bit medium jars, I've taken the photo with one lid off so you can see the consistency. It tasted like a fruity sweet and sour mix of jam and chutney. Should be good with turkey or chicken.

Our son came over Saturday afternoon so his Dad could give him a hand with a car repair. Nice to see  Col back in overalls again. He just has to be very careful not to cut himself because the low platelets would mean blood might not clot.

Product Details

I'd temporarily run out of library books so read this from my shelves. I'd previously read a book by her called "And then there were nuns; adventures in a cloistered life". Both were good.

Saturday evening, our first ever November 5th on a housing estate. Blimey it was like living in a war zone! (but without the fear). How many pounds worth of fireworks went up in smoke I wonder? I love fireworks, would happily stand and watch all of them anywhere but wouldn't dream of buying any! I noticed the £49.99 one from Aldi lasted  all of 115 seconds.........

We walked to the library again and they had 4 British library Crime Classics in for me. I'd suggested them on the website and they bought them all. LOVE Suffolk Libraries. Also the new Ann Cleeves - "Cold Earth".
I've started the rescue of the tapestry glasses case. It's half cross stitch but someone had done bits one way and other bits the other diagonal.Then they had done some cross stitch which was all lumpy! I took out the cross stitch bit but there was too much to undo all the wrong tent stitch so I carried on the best I could. It looks OK as long as you don't look too closely. Not sure if it will be good enough to make a Christmas present.

Apples, milk, veg, eggs, frozen cranberries, Dreamies for the cat and a couple of other bits £11.63p.
Car boot sale pears £1 and Xmas gift bits £1.50

Total in the Low/No Spend November challenge £299ish

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