What would you rather receive this Christmas as a gift? A tired old Terrys Chocolate orange or a homemade Hazelnut and coffee macaroon? I know what I would prefer!
This year treat your family and friends to some gifts made from sugar and butter and fruit and love. It is difficult to buy gifts year after year for the same set of people. How many sports biographies does your father actually want to receive at Christmas? Does your Mum really want that shawl or will it end up piled in the wardrobe with the decade long supply of hats and scarves she has amassed in unwanted Christmas gifts?
Homemade edible gifts are different. They take time and effort and love. They can be presented beautifully and will be very gratefully received as an alternative to the mass produced items that over the years have become staples in all our Christmas shopping lists.
We will publish a recipe a week for the next few weeks to help you stagger your Christmas cooking.
The first recipe is:
Beetroot and Orange Chutney
A very special chutney, delicious with different meats and good with cheese too. It is a really lovely Christmas gift for someone who enjoys savoury things.
2lbs (1kg) cooked beetroot
1lb (500g) cooking apples, peeled and chopped small
3 small onions, peeled and chopped small
1pt (20fl.ozs) malt vinegar, white
8ozs (225g) demerara sugar
½ tsp ground ginger
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
Peel and cube the beetroot
Simmer apples and onions with the ginger and sugar for twenty minutes.
Next add the ginger, orange juice and zest, followed by the beetroot and simmer for a further 25 minutes.
Bottle and seal: bottle and seal when hot as it makes for a better seal.
A delicious and easily made chutney – perfect for a Christmas gift!