Counting Down to Christmas

Christmas is fast approaching and every family has its own traditions in preparation . In the Green household we have our own food milestones pointing the way. Starting in late summer picking and drying plums, which are then incorporated into a traditional Plum Pudding, its only after we made this for a few years did I discover that when the recipe referred to plums it actually meant dried fruit, but by then we had perfected the pudding and couldn’t do without it.

We then move on as the months go by to Sloe Gin, proper Mincemeat, and at the end of November Piccalilli, sometimes known as Mustard pickle. An absolute must with cold turkey sandwiches. As always home made is best.

The recipe is simple. Start with 1kg of chopped vegetables, the traditional mix is chopped cauliflower, onions, carrots, and cucumber,  but you can add what works for you, peppers, chilli, green beans, take your pick. Put the veg in a plastic bowl and salt with 200 gram of sea salt, cover and leave overnight. Then drain and rinse with cold water three times.

In a saucepan combine 500ml of white wine vinegar with 85grms of sugar, 1.5 teaspoons of turmeric, 2 teaspoons of mustard powder, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. reserve a little vinegar and mix it with 15 grams of corn flour which you then add to the pan. When its all mixed together add the vegetables, bring to the boil, and simmer for 12-15 mins. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the veg into hot jam jars and top up with the mustard sauce to cover the veg. Then place in a dark place and leave for a month to mature. Just perfect for Christmas.

Be warned boiling vinegar isn’t everyone’s favourite aroma, but its worth the pain, crunchy veg in a sauce that’s packed with flavour. I cant wait

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