Under the watchful gaze of an anthropomorphic pickle pot.

Posted: December 9, 2012 in The Garage
Tags: , , , ,

I’m hopeless at keeping to this year’s pledge of writing a weekly blog post at the moment – I just seem to be so busy! So here’s a catch-up of what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks…… Just in case people have started to think that I’m resting on my laurels 😉

Mention ‘Yorkshire Pickle’ to anyone I know and their eyes instantly light up; It’s a bit of a tradition in this part of the world to have a stash ready and waiting to accompany the Sunday roast and it goes with just about EVERYTHING. At Bully Bus HQ it’s Mr Other Half’s job to come up with the goods – And he has a special little pickle pot ready at hand to complete the task.

Our little pickle pot - He looks so sad, yet is a constant source of joy ;)

Our little pickle pot – He looks so sad, yet is a constant source of joy 😉

Made just a few hours before the big meal, the pickle consists of sliced up pieces of cucumber and onions in malt vinegar – That’s it!!!!!! Simple to make – But a strange kind of culinary alchemy that leaves you feeling rather pleased with yourself for taking a few moments to actually make it. I don’t know if this traditional treat is something that is original to the county itself or if it’s a nationwide delicacy that people the length and breadth of the country indulge in…. Is it called Shropshire pickle as you travel further south…… Cornish pickle……. or maybe Bedfordshire pickle?  Maybe someone will get in touch some time and let me know?

Anyway, inspired by our love of pickles and preserves and eager to address the November theme of ‘Gifts’, I’ve spent the last few weekends making a stash of edible goodies.

Assorted fruits of the harvest sit all ready to be peeled and chopped, under the watchful gaze of an anthropomorphic pickle pot.

Assorted fruits of the harvest sit all ready to be peeled and chopped, under the watchful gaze of an anthropomorphic pickle pot.

My first task was to make a stash of piccalilli! I use the Hairy Bikers recipe as it’s nice and chunky and absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!

Hairy Biker's Piccalilli - Once you've opened the jar it won't last long!

Hairy Biker’s Piccalilli – Once you’ve opened the jar it won’t last long!

This is the link to the recipe I used:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/tv/hairybikers/bestofbritish/preserving.pdf .

It’s really easy to follow but allow a little time to make it as you have to leave the vegetables soaking in brine for 24 hours before you start the cooking and pickling process………. It’s well worth it though 😉

Besides the piccalilli I also made some Christmas chutney which is currently maturing ready for the forthcoming festivities.

Yum! All the ingredients for my Christmas Chutney looked very festive from the onset.

Yum! All the ingredients for my Christmas Chutney looked very festive from the onset.

Here’s the recipe if you want to have a go at making it too:

450g/ 9 plums stoned

450g/6 pears peeled and cored

225g/2 cooking apples peeled and cored

225g/4 sticks celery

450g onions

450g skinned tomatoes

115g/half cup raisins

15ml/1 tbsp grated root ginger

1 tbsp pickling spice

850ml cider vinegar

450g granulated sugar

Chop the plums, pears, apples, celery, tomatoes and onions into chunky pieces. Place them in a large saucepan along with the raisins and ginger, add half the vinegar and a muslin bag filled with your pickling spice and simmer for 2 hours. When all the ingredients are tender, add the remaining vinegar and sugar and boil until thick.

Remove the pickling spice and seal the chutney in warm, sterilised jars.

Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 3-4 weeks.

Christmas chutney - Make at least 4-6 weeks in advance of the festive season to allow the flavours to develop and mature.

Christmas chutney – Make at least 4-6 weeks in advance of the festive season to allow the flavours to develop and mature.

I’ve reserved a few jars for our own consumption and earmarked the others to be given away as gifts to various friends and family members.

So, as you can see, even though I may have been quiet for the last few weeks I have indeed found plenty of things to make and do!

The clock is ticking and I’ve a list of things yet to be completed – Must dash!!!!!

Happy pickling folks 🙂

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