Saturday, 17 December 2011


So there are better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than getting a filling.

My dentist is in Livingstone and it's a small practise but with excellent dentists. When I say small I mean physically its a small building with thin walls.

Which can't have been nice for those patients waiting to be seen as I squealed my way through the anaesthetic that was injected into my jaw for a filling.

The noise just seems to go straight through me. If I can get a wisdom tooth pulled then I can deal with a filling. Which I did and once again was relieved that Husband was waiting in the car park. . .

Sunday, 11 December 2011

PS Ho Ho Hot!

I made Chilli Jam. I think I might have mentioned this yesterday.

It looks fantastic. We are still to taste it though so fingers crossed it tastes as good as it looks. Oatcakes and cheese. Yummy!

What is worth mentioning for anyone considering making this fabulously looking treat please take the following advise very seriously:

1. Use a processor.
2. If you don't have a food processor then for the love of all things culinary use rubber gloves.

I don't have a food processor.

I didn't use rubber gloves.

Today I exfoliated my hands in salt.
Rinsed them in cold water.
And then spent 40 minutes with my hands in a bowl of milk shouting instructions through to husband in the kitchen on how to deal with the biscotti.

The shortbread is off the list. Christmas Star buscuits, biscotti and the jam. . .

I made the jam last night and 24 hours later I am only just getting over a new kind of burn. Oh and did I mention that i am not allergic to chilli's.

Scarily the advise on line was to use bleach. Neat.

I'll repeat that: neat bleach.

That is not bleach that is pretty cool but straight unadulterated bleach. On your skin. To remove the remnants of chilli.

I finely, very finely chopped 3 bags of red, deseeded chilli's to the tune of 150g. And have spent all of Sunday recovering from it.


Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ho Ho Hot!

Last Christmas I made over 100 cupcakes to give away as presents to friends and family.

This Christmas I am making mini hampers. With Chilli jam, biscotti, spiced biscuits and shortbread. For fans of tea and coffee some treats to go with them. With the exception of the chilli jam of course!

I have never made chilli jam.

I have never made biscotti.

I have never made short bread.

Tonight I made my first ever set of chilli jam. It it hot. It is jarred and cooling and setting just now. For the last 2 hours my fingers have been tingling and swealing. The recipe says to use a food processor for a reason- please for the love of all your digits use a processor.

This is far worse that dicing 12 onions.

Than dicing 1200 onions.

Than dicing 120,000 onions...

My lips have that Angelina Jolie bee-stung look about them. While my fingers have that Ranulph Fiennes pre op look about them (controversial much?). I am prepared to spend the rest of the evening getting freezer burn on them to reduce the swealing and take the burning sensation away. Thankfully I have managed not to rub my eyes. I should add that as far as I am aware the only thing I am allergic to is pollen.

They look amazing all my little ruby coloured jars glinting on the window sill. I am sure it will taste sensational. One of my dear friends will be getting the first sample this week, fingers crossed...

Anyway for the curious, courtesy of Nigella, here is the recipe for Chilli Jam:


  • Gluten Free
  • Nigella Recipe
  • Vegetarian
  • 150g long fresh red chillies, each deseeded and cut into about 4 pieces.
  • 150g red peppers, cored, deseeded and cut into rough chunks
  • 1kg jam sugar
  • 600ml cider vinegar
  • 6 x 250ml sealable jars, with vinegar-proof lid, such as Kilner jar or re-usable pickle jar


Serves: Makes approx. 1.5. Litres
  1. Sterilize your jars and leave to cool.
  2. Put the cut-up chillies into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add the chunks of red pepper and pulse again until you have a vibrantly red-flecked processor bowl.
  3. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a wide, medium-sized pan over a low heat without stirring.
  4. Scrape the chilli-pepper mixture out of the bowl and add to the pan. Bring the pan to the boil, then leave it at a rollicking boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and allow it cool. The liquid will become more syrupy, then from syrup to viscous and from viscous to jelly-like as it cools.
  6. After about 40 minutes, or once the red flecks are more or less evenly dispersed in the jelly (as the liquid firms up, the hints of chilli and pepper start being suspended in it rather than floating on it), ladle into your jars. If you want to stir gently at this stage, it will do no harm. Then seal tightly.