I haven't done any preserving for 3 days now! I am starting to twitch. I have my excuses. It was my lovely mother-in-laws's birthday on Saturday so we went to Suffolk to take her out for lunch and fix up her birthday presents. Whilst not downsizing in terms of housing she is 'getting rid' - all sorts of things are being found new homes (mostly our garage!) so there is no point taking her 'things'. We gave her clothes for Christmas, so, what to do? Trev wanted to get her a whole load of new bird feeding things, so we did, and put them all up so all that she has to do is enjoy watching the visitors. They didn't take long arriving!
On Sunday we had a road cycle race going on all around us - going right between our house and The Old Smithy in fact! Rob brought the little guys over and we went to the Smithy to get a good vantage point. After cookies and milk all round we eventually saw the front runners (?) come into view. Lots of clapping and cheering from the assembled bunch of spectators, and again when the main block of riders flashed past. A few tail enders and that was it! Ha! It all seems so much more when you see it on the television . . . So we all trooped home and enjoyed a triumphant Toad in the Hole which looked like an exploded cushion. I haven't made one before in my mumble mumble years - in the firm belief that I can't make Yorkshire Pudding. It was a James Martin recipe and he should know.
I thought I would make some Smooth Beetroot Chutney today - I only had Trading Standards coming at 10.30 ish so I would have plenty of time . . . We like Jade, our local officer, from Peterborough Office, and she is extremely helpful. We had a lot to discuss as she is working with us on devising the Quality Assurance Scheme for Artisan Production which will be a low-cost scheme of accreditation allowing us to blow our own trumpets - for once. There is still quite a lot of work to do as yet, but it shouldn't be too much longer.
We also needed to go through the new Distant Selling Regulations that come into force in June which will give those of us who buy on line clearer parameters to protect us and for those of us who sell on -line a lot of the grey areas have been cleaned up and for once we don't come off worse. If you do sell on-line it would be as well to check out the new regulations and make the necessary changes to your T&Cs before the regulations become mandatory in June.
Finally, we needed to check the fine detail with her over labeling - there will be new labeling laws for food taking effect in December this year in UK. Again, best to become familiar with them as they especially effect how we give information on labels in respect of allergens etc. Jade is going to send me a list that I can publish to you to help us all get it right.
Jade made her departure at just after 2.30 p.m.
So, the Smooth Beetroot Chutney will have to wait until tomorrow.