It's another very cold, very frosty morning with vivid clear skies and central heating working its usual magic. I do love these bitter, dry, clear mornings but more so from the other side of the glass, that's for sure.
I didn't get nearly as much done as I had expected yesterday but I did make 20 pots of apple and cranberry chutney which will do nicely as pressies once I have made the labels. I find that I have now completely run out of jam jars so I guess it means a trip to the Jam Jar Shop to buy some more pretty quickly, as I will need some for lemon curd which always seems to go down well as a gift.
I also cooked a slow roasted shoulder of pork which turned out beautifully - it was a real fight not to eat quite a lot of it yesterday, but as it's for lunch today, I resisted temptation. I peeled and halved some small onions, topped and tailed some chantenay carrots, made up some stock and used some dry cider, all of which went into the bottom of a roasting dish with some pepper, a bouquet garni and a couple of bay leaves. This was carefully covered and bunged in a slow oven for ages - about seven or eight hours altogether, I think. As it cooled I took off the skin which I will attempt to crackle today in a very hot oven. It it doesn't, it doesn't.
The resulting liquid will be reduced down and thickened, if necessary, to make a gravy and I will make some apple and cranberry sauce to go with it. Some dauphinoise potatoes and some peas will finish it off nicely.
Next time I think I will try to make it a bit more eastern with perhaps a star anise or some five spice.
This morning it is the turn of the shortbread but before I tackle that I have to give the kitchen a good tidy up as it's a right mess at the moment. I've already sorted out a whole pile of plastic takeaway containers, thrown miscellaneous ones away and the remaining ones are going into school for storage. The dishwasher needs emptying, things need putting away and then all it will need is a good wipe over before I mess it up again!!
Better get started then. labels first, then into the kitchen.