Saturday, 21 January 2012

Chilli Jam

I'm obviously starting to lose my marbles.  Quite clearly a full time job, motherhood, helping my husband run his business, being owned by two dogs, training for a half marathon and trying a new recipe every day - and blogging about it - is clearly taking its toll.  Or maybe this is just the start of the slow slide into senility.  After all, according to Ian Beale, you stop being young at 35.  Someone shoot me now! 

Last night I was mildly mortified to find out that someone had been eagle-eyed enough to spot a typo on my blog post.  The lovely Sadia aka @bakingelements (find her blog here) tweeted me for my poor spelling of 'juice'.  I leapt to my defence, wittering on that I was obviously influenced by the lovely Miss A's constant demands for 'owinge jice pwease Mama'.  In fact, it was just sloppy, slovenly spelling.  Something I abhor.

Don't get me started on txt spk.  It drives me potty.  I'd rather send three text messages than skip characters.  I love Twitter, but honestly, the amount of time I waste agonising over which words and bits of punctuation to remove to hit the 140 character limit.  I've even embarrassed my mother in a posh restaurant by getting a red felt tip out of my handbag (this was back when I was training to be an English teacher - I'm now an analyst, a very telling profession) and circling all the typos on the menu then writing something along the lines of 'B minus - could do better' before replacing it in the stack of menus that had been put on our table.

Spices going into the muslin
And to top yesterday off, hoping for a decent night's sleep and a lie in (if you can call staying in bed till 7am a lie in!), I woke in a panic at 11.45pm, thoroughly convinced it was Sunday night and I'd not left Miss A's clothes and other paraphernalia out for nursery.  I then spent twenty minutes rushing round the house on tiptoe finding clothes, locating shoes, packing her lunchbox and trying not to yelp when I stood on random pieces of post-Christmas plastic detritus that got missed in the bedtime clearing up session.  Returning to bed, I snuggled down, only to jolt awake twenty minutes later with the realisation that it was in fact still only Saturday morning.

Which brings me neatly on (okay it's a tenuous link!) to today's recipe.  I'm made Thomasina Miers' Chilli Jam from Mexican Cooking Made Easy.  The full recipe sees it served with lamb chops, but it sounded so amazing that I decided to make it to go with the Tiger Bread I'm going to make tomorrow.  Cold cuts, cheese, chilli jam and fresh bread.  Perfect after the seven mile run I have planned for the morning.

And here comes the tenuous link.  I had to retake the picture of the ingredients seven times as I kept forgetting things on the recipe list.  And it's not even that good a picture after all the reattempts.  The photo-pro I live with would be horrified.  If only he'd get me a kitchen built next to his studio, I'd have gorgeous pictures :o).  And still I missed putting the sugar into the frame!  Hey-ho.

Tomato innards *shudder*
I've mentioned before that I don't actually like tomatoes.  There's just something fundamentally wrong in my eyes with the slimy bit in the middle, but I'm gradually learning to love them in other ways besides in a pasta sauce or courtesy of Heinz.  I had an amazing semi-dried tomato and green bean salad at work the other day.  Something I'd love to try to replicate one day.  They even give me the creeps when the slimy stuff comes out when I have the misfortune to cut them up.  And despite the copious amounts of tomatoes that went into this, the end result is well worth having to chop up pounds of the things.  

This jam, like all of the recipes I've tried from this book, is amazing.  I have a bit of a girl crush on Thomasina.  Or at least her food.  I'd love to live in her house and eat amazing food like this day after day.    I tasted a bit on a cracker with a sliver of cheese and I was in absolute heaven.  When I decanted it into the jar, I had to fend off Miss A who mistook it for real jam and actually ate something with vegetables in it.  She didn't even mind the spicy kick.  Much.  I could've licked the pan clean - but restrained myself.

Finished Jam
Really, you do have to try this.  It is just so darned tasty.  That said, I only had 900g of tomato thanks to Ocado but halved all the other ingredients, so I have a feeling the taste is a little more intense than it would've been had I been bothered to correctly scale it down.  Maths is not my strong point.

I was intending to stop by Allington Farm Shop and buy some lamb cutlets to complete the recipe, but I'm not sure the jam will last that long once I get at the bread and cheese tomorrow.  I got about 400g from my 900g of tomatoes.  Initially I wasn't too bothered as I didn't want to be left with gallons of the stuff if I didn't like it.  I'm now regretting this faux pas and considering growing my own tomatoes this summer just so I can make enough to bathe in.  I like it that much.  And on that subject, I really must create a page for things I'd make again.  This is one of them - and surprisingly, number one so far!

You can find the recipe online here, but I do urge you to buy the book.  It's RRP is £20 but it's on Amazon for £12.40 at the time of writing.

And do check back tomorrow when I will hopefully have a better picture of the finished jam accompanying some lovely Tiger Bread.  Growl!


  1. Mmmm I'm STARVING! I bet this is lovely on the tiger bread with some sharp cheese. xxx

  2. It was. And I am thinking it would also work well with the tiger bread and a huge pile of crispy-edged smoked bacon. Bang goes the diet :)xx


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