It may seem early but Christmas preparations are well under way at Too busy to make. I have a stall at the Chiddingstone Castle Christmas Fair on Saturday 23 November (10.00am to 4.00pm) so I am making various Christmas foods to sell.
This cranberry and orange compôte is not as sweet as most commercial cranberry sauces – it is made with fresh cranberries, oranges, red wine, port and spices with a small amount of sugar. It is an excellent accompaniment to your Christmas dinner and also goes well with gammon, nut roast and baked Camembert.
If you can’t get to Chiddingstone Castle on Saturday, I will be holding more open house sessions in December – dates will be available very soon.
Please keep reading these posts and if there are any foods you want to buy, get in touch by Facebook, Instagram, phone or email.
Thank you for reading
This week, my son asked if I could send something homemade for him to give as gifts to people he has been working with at a primary school in Benalmadena, near Malaga. Cakes were out of the question but biscuits seemed a possibility.
I made a batch of spiced cranberry and almond biscotti and some oat and cherry cookies and packed them in bags in a padded box and posted them last Saturday morning. They arrived at the school on Wednesday morning, which I thought was quite impressive bearing in mind it was the bank holiday weekend.
So, his Spanish colleagues can try out biscuits baked in England while I hope he will bring home some Spanish delicacies!
I rarely make Millionaires shortbread – mainly because I love it and would find it very difficult to stop myself continually testing it to make sure it was still ok. However, I made some last week as I knew I had people coming around who could help out. It is rather delicious! And if I cut it into small squares, it may not be quite so bad! I remember making this years ago and burning the caramel – maybe that’s another reason why I haven’t made it regularly. I was subconsciously protecting my saucepans.
Anyway, today has been back to baking for The Earl Grey Tearoom, making them a coffee and walnut cake, a cherry Bakewell cake and a lemon drizzle cake as well as some chocolate cupcakes and gluten free scones. And when I have a free hour or two, I need to look through recipes to find some new cakes to try. Now what would the people of Southborough like to try next?
Some cranberry sauces can be rather sweet. I like to make this compôte as it has a spicy tang and is not full of sugar. The cranberries are cooked with orange juice and zest, some red wine, cinnamon and cloves along with a little sugar and then port is stirred through to give it a rich flavour.
It tastes delicious with Christmas dinner as well as gammon and is equally good with cold meats, especially ham, for a Boxing Day spread. After opening, it should be kept in the fridge, but left unopened, it will last several months. The jars may contain whole cloves.
If you would like to order a jar, they cost £3.50 for 190ml.
It is also available in a 3 jar selection pack – try combining it with a spiced redcurrant jelly and an apple and sage jelly to give you accompaniments for various meats for £10.00.
This compote has a rich flavour but is not sweet. It is the perfect match for roast turkey at Christmas and goes equally well with gammon or other cold meats. It is made with fresh cranberries and oranges, spiced with cinnamon and cloves and fortified by the addition of port. It keeps well in the fridge after opening.
These biscotti are flavoured with mixed spices and have dried cranberries and flaked almonds in them. They are delicious dunked in coffee (or tea) or try with Vin Santo for the flavour of Italy.