It’s a very long way to Christmas but sloe gin has to be one of those winter treats to be savoured and sipped out of tiny glasses. It’s great to offer a ‘nip’ to visitors who arrive as the nights draw in. In Tescos it is £15.99 a bottle…………..but you don’t imagine I bought any, did you?
Another yummy sipping drink is raspberry vodka, which is almost as delicious as blackberry vodka and again £15.99 in Tesco and again, I didn’t buy any!
What I did buy was a bottle of Tesco ‘value’ vodka at £7.97 and Tesco value gin at £7.97 and a punnet of raspberries which were reduced to 29p. You take 200g of sugar and 200g of sloes, which you prick to release the flavour, add them to a bottle along with a dash of almond essence and top up with gin, leave until Christmas, sieve and drink in moderation as it will now be a sipping liqueur. You do the same raspberry vodka, to which you add a dash of vanilla extract/essence. They will both be ready by Christmas…..and yes! I have used two old ketchup bottles for the raspberry vodka. In a few months, I’ll show you what they turned in to.
Today, I decided to make red onion marmalade, but I must have sauteed the onions in too much butter because the whole affair turned into nothing more than red onion soup. I had bought the red onions, the malt vinegar and the soft brown sugar, which are all expensive and I was not going to waste them. I quickly washed, quartered and cored the apples I found growing next to the car park of Mole Valley farmers and threw them into the bubbling mixture.
I just kept adding what I had until I had something tasty and edible. As it was so ‘loose’ I decided that it might make a good marinade for chops or chicken pieces so I added a liberal amount of ground ginger, some sweet chilli sauce and then blitzed it with my hand blender to make a ‘sauce’. However the pectin content of the apples has thickened this and the result is a spreadable, spicy chutneyish sauce. I’ve called it a chutney as ‘saucy kind of stuff that you can spread on cheese, chops or put onto any meat’ wouldn’t fit on the label.