Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2nd Of December Drunken Cranberry Sauce!

So if like me you can't live with out condiments at every meal here is your turkey/chicken/cheese perfect add on!

Drunken Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries (as many as you like) 
Sugar  (enough to cover cranberries more can be added later)
Generous Gulg of Port (more can be added when tasting)

All ingredients into a pan and simmer down until all cranberries pop and sugar dissolves and port thickens ... 
put a dollop on a plate to taste and add more port/sugar to taste...
put into sterilised jars...

Monday, 1 December 2014

Day 1 of Advent Makes, Beetroot & Red Onion Chutney

Every year i make a different Chutney but the basics are the same... veg/fruit, vinegar & sugar...
This is this years recipe, which is my favourite by far.

Beetroot & Red Onion Chutney

5 Beetroots.
7 Red Onions.
300g Balsamic Vinegar.
100g Red Wine Vineger.
100g Apple Cider Vinegar.
Teaspoon of Mixed Spice.
Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds.
Mixture of Dark Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar until mixture tastes neither sweet or vinegary.

Cook, Peel and Grate Beetroot.
Peel, Cut in Half and Slice Onions.
Put All Ingredients into a Pan and Simmer.
It will all melt down into the most amazing Colour and Thicken this is when you know it is done.
Put into Sterilized Jars and it should keep a few months.
Enjoy with Cheese and Meats.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

So every last Friday in November our family Tradition is to get a take away and pig out, whilst watching Polar express.
This year we had a bit more fun by making some train tickets, Golden stay up late tickets, for the boys to have a later night and to have a family night.
This all leads up to the excitement of our elf arriving leaving us tickets for the North pole express.
So Saturday morning we got up early and went up to the Tanfield Railway, which is the world's oldest railway.
We arrived early, the first ones there, and were shown into a wooden waiting area where there was a small number of stalls selling christmas craft goods, and a refreshments stall, with tables and chairs with colouring materials for the kids. Soon the place filled with many families with excited children, many in dressing gowns as if awoken by a train late on Christmas eve.  After a short while people started to move outside, we joined and were met by a steam training waiting just beyond the end of the platform.  As the platform filled the train slowly pulled into the station and the many helpers at the railway opened the doors on the coaches.


We were lucky enough to get a private compartment to ourselves.  We were then taken on a journey of about 15 minutes through the County Durham woods to another station where we left the train.  half of the passengers were led away one way, while we went the other and into the old stone station waiting room to be given tea and coffee, mince pies and a cheeky thimble of sherry, the kids had juice and crisps.  Soon the other  group started to arrive and we went to the other end of the platform where Santa grotto awaited.  The children met Santa and were given some good gifts.  After everyone had seen Santa, we were taken back on the steam train to the starting point with some chocolates to help the journey fly.
All in all it was a brilliant way to start the weekend and start advent.  The excitement of Christmas really has begun and the kids loved every minute (although B did want the train to go through a tunnel, and low top tunnel is not on the Tanfield railway).