Hmmm – just got back from my first Cranberry hunt of the year – nada. Not foraging you understand, as they come from Canada mostly, but they should be in the shops soon. I am champing at the bit to make my Cranberry & Orange Relish ready for Christmas sales. Ah well, must be patient, its so quick and easy to make I will soon have some done. I used frozen ones for a photo-shoot recently, and they were fine, so maybe I am being a bit picky. I suppose, when you think about it, the frozen ones will be fresher in some respects.
My lovely recipe – see below – has pears in it as well, which smooths out the acidity of the cranberries a bit, which is good because there are still lots of pears around at a very good price.
Missing The Chix like mad – we had three lovely chickens, one died from a chest infection back in all of the wet weather in the Spring, and the other two immediately stopped laying. A second one became ill about three weeks ago, trips to vet, antibiotics and nursing brought her round to a wobbly recovery. Lola, the third one, stayed beside her all the time fussing about – even picking up the mash I made for them in her beak and feeding it to Sal! So touching to watch. Then disaster struck in the form of a big dog fox who killed Sal in broad daylight leaving us with poor Lola, totally distraught. She retired to their run and sat on a straw bale and just cried all day. this awful clucky wailing. What to do.
We didn’t want to rush out and get more and upset Lola even more, the Winter and dark short days are here, can’t leave her on her own. What to do indeed. Luckily my friend Laura came to the rescue, quite literally and took Lola into her small flock of 8 and she has settled down really well scratting about with her new friends. We will spend the Winter rebuilding a bigger house, some higher fencing and make everything lovely for some new feathered friends in the Spring.
CRANBERRY & ORANGE RELISH
Will make approximately 2 7-8oz jars
1 large orange
2 firm pears, peeled, cored and sliced
200ml/ third of a pint red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
Pare the rind from the orange in long strips, the shred finely across the width
Place in a pan with the cranberries, sugar and pears
Squeeze the juice from the orange into a measuring jug and make up to 300ml or half a pint with the vinegar
Add to the pan with the salt
Heat gently, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer for 10-15 mins until the fruit is just tender
Pour into hot sterilised jars and seal
Keeps for up to six months – makes a great gift!