In the last few months me and an old school friend (Stacey) have picked up from where we last finished, I've know her since i was 10, we were always seated next to each other, lived within a 2min walk when i first moved to the island, and even though i wasn't the most polite person when i first met her, our friendship grew pretty quickly, weekends were spent out on our bikes cycling to little spots on the island,shopping, trips to the cinema and walking up to Mc Donald's for a cheeky happy meal. Unfortunately for us when it came to high school we were parted, we believe our middle school played a hand in that, we were two peas in a pod and we'd stand up for each other if a teacher got to heavily spoken with us, i blame it on the hormones and feel for those teachers who were only trying there best. When we found out we wouldn't be in any of the same classes let alone being in the same band (there was 4 middle schools that all joined the high school, so the school split all the schools so you would met new people and learn to mingle and learn new social skills) we were devastated, shocked, and so upset. how could they do this to us!!!, I was lucky that in my band and tutor class i had my cousin and 4 other girls that i hung out with/went to school with before. Stacey on the other hand had people she knew but none of those she hung out with. Our friendship slided abit and from being girls who did everything together,we turned into people passing each other with a simple hello, we were always polite and would stop and natter if we bumped into each other at lunch or town. And of course there comes the time when you leave school and you really do leave old friendships behind, you go out on your own, i went to college as did she but we had different days, she had a different group of friends as did i and life just takes you on your little way.
But that changed last year when a school friend passed away, Stacey didn't have my number or the Internet at the time but i got a message from her mum asking if i could give her a call, so i did and it was easy, like i only saw her yesterday, needless to say we chatted and made plans for the coming week. after that we went back to our lives, but started chatting more, but still not as involved as we used to be, Then i got a message from her with an idea to do something, we met up had a few glasses of wine, and well lets just say its like those 8yrs being parted never happened!
So as often as we can we meet up, we cook dinner and bake something for afters, and last night was no different apart from we made some jam for Yule pressies - still not sure who's getting them yet but it was fun and they look fab!!
First on the menu was a recipe from the "Hairy Bikers - how to love food and lose weight" this book is amazing! its full of hearty meals but all low cal so you don't have to worry about your waistline, the meals I've cooked up so far are so full of flavor you wouldn't even tell that it was good for you.
|Click for Hairy Bikers Cassoulet recipe|
Pudding was rice pudding with a plum compote, again from the "Hairy Bikers- how lose weight and love food" We added abit of cinnamon to the plums as its a spice we both like, and i worked so well.
|Click here for Hairy Bikers - Rice Pudding and Plum Compote|
While the pudding was doing its thing we got on with the chilli jam, We did the jam thats in Nigella's Christmas.
Recipe For Chilli Jam
Serves: Makes approx. 1.5 litres
- 150 gram(s) long red chilli pepper (deseeded and cut into 4 pieces)
- 150 gram(s) Red peppers (cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks)
- 1 kilogram(s) Jam sugar
- 600 ml cider vinegar
- Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
- Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
- Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
- Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
- Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
- After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.
so glad i went for gold capped jars with the red they look very festive!! I know i'm keeping one for myself, and will get some good cheeses and make my own cheese board, next on the list is a christmas chutney and red onion chutney!
I buy from www.waresofknutsford.co.uk their collection of preserving items is pretty big, and i'm sure you'll find the style you're after and the prices are very good.