Every Thursday night since Halloween I've been heading along to an evening class run by the local community education centre. It's held in the Home Economics department of a local secondary where the facilities and equipment are somewhat retro. It reminds me very much of my own Food & Nutrition classroom at school. Our tutor is the lovely Julie Lawrence who runs Julie's Coffee Shop. It's the second of her courses that I've attended the first being Feast of Fish. I'm not very good at sticking to recipes so over the weeks I've used those provided as a starter point and added my own twist. I suspect Julie has me down as the class trouble maker as I'm always turning up with extra ingredients. Here's a taste of what we've made so far. I'll be twiddling my thumbs come December at this rate.
100g Mixed Peel
150g Dried Cranberries
250g Dark Brown Sugar
50g Whole Almonds, sliced into slivers
Half a Freshly Grated Nutmeg
2 Tsp Mixed Spice
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
Grated Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon and 1 Orange
450g Apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
4 Tbsp Brandy
Mix together all the ingredients, except the brandy in a large ovenproof bowl.
Cover with foil and bake in a low oven, 110c for 2 hours 30 minutes
Stir well, mix through the Brandy and leave to cool slightly.
Fill sterilised jars, cover with a waxed disk and seal.
1kg pork sausagemeat
4 heaped Tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 Large onion finely chopped
Small bunch of fresh Sage or 2 Tsp dried
1 beaten egg
Salt & Pepper
Finely chopped dried Prunes & Apricots
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Use your hands to form into balls. Open freeze on a tray then store in the freezer in a plastic bag/box. Defrost before baking alongside your Christmas Dinner.
350g Fresh Cranberries
200g Caster Sugar
Zest & Juice of 2 Oranges
Put all the ingredients into a pan and let them simmer until the berries begin to pop. This should only take 10 minutes. Leave to cool and store in the freezer until Christmas