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Friday, December 12, 2008

Apples, bathrooms, tinsel n' cider

Christmas coming, things to find, MOT on the van looming, carting stuff for the Nervous Bob till it runs out... rush. Rush, Rush. Again.

But, wahay!
Amidst all this I have somehow created a bathroom that I'm getting real pleased about! A bath that I actually fit in, a toilet that flushes, and a mirror in front of a stable sink that I can see to shave in. When I get a moment... With; count 'em - TWO taps!

Just the tiling, ceiling. lights to go. And a few more floor tiles. And some more stuff that I can't remember without some kind of list.

House been cleaned and decorated too despite the mess, all thanks to the lovely Lynda. An angel sent from heaven I'm told. How christmassy. Busy weekend ahead of parties and gigs, so tonight's the time to deal with the heaving quantities of apples that have languished for the past week or two whilst I played plumber. First up I guess is another batch of chutney before racking off the cider. It's all getting very exciting!

So - for those that don't receive a jar, here's my own personal recipe for the eradication of the excess of eating apples this year has brought. I have also used other recipes for all the cooking apples that didn't become pies and cider....

Spicy Apple Chutney


2.5kg cored and peeled eating apples, chopped (type unknown, largish, red n' yellowish but most importantly flavoursome n' free...)
1 large onion
500g white sugar
125g crystalized ginger, chopped
0.5 litres of white vinegar
8-10 little dried chillies, chopped (bought on special at Julian Graves on a whim - they go a looonnggg way!)
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon paprika


Chop up the apples, ginger, and onion and place in a pan, add the sugar and chillies, pour over most of the vinegar and begin warming. Meanwhile combine the other ingredients with a pestle and mortar and dry roast them in a small frying pan for a minute or so before adding to the apples. Bring to the boil, and then turn down to simmer for about one hour. I like to stop cooking it whilst there's still some lumps left. Eating apples soften quickly and produce a fair amount of liquid - add more vinegar if required.

Clean some jars and warm them in the oven, bottle the chutney. Resist eating it for maybe a month... Try to make enough to last a year.

I've made a few batches of this so far - adapted from a mango chutney recipe. It's warm, lovely, and yellow.
Tried juniper berries in one batch. That worked but make sure they're crushed. More chillies in the last batch. That worked too!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Lives Lived.

For some alone's the only way that they desire to be.
To never feel the waking warmth of someone's company.
Why bother listening if there's nothing heard to share?
Why keep on looking if you stand alone and stare?
Wasted life is drumming to the beat of just one heart,
Love more complete together, than we ever were apart.

I ain't never not wanted to share my life with you.
Take everything and more, for there's more enough for two.
I ain't never not wanted to spend your life with me.
From the moment we first met, until ashes on the sea.

(Still haven't found that Blue Peter badge. And I didn't get it for poetry...)