I started preparing for Christmas early the year my eldest was born. We knew there was going to be complications and as her due date was the 18th December I realised as early as September that I needed to get myself organised, especially when told that from November onwards I could be admitted into hospital. In those days there was no online shopping, so that tells you how long ago it was. Preparing early was a revelation in the amount of money I saved. So between now and Christmas I will be sharing with you some lessons I have learnt over the years.
For the last few weeks I have been saving glass jars for homemade Jams and Relishes. These are a great Christmas gift for friends and family as well teachers and neighbours. If these are the perfect gift for the Duchess of Cambridge to give to the Queen, I don’t see how anyone can complain.
Homemade relish: Relishes are simple too! There are some fantastic recipes on the internet but the main ingredients are onions, sultanas, apples, vinegar and brown sugar. Today I made some with some blueberries which needed using up and the other ingredients mentioned.
Tip: If the relish isn’t sweet enough add some more sugar, if it becomes too dry add some more vinegar, if it is too runny add some more mixed spice. Relish is all about personal taste so don’t be afraid to experiment.
Mulled wine sachets: I quite often put together hampers for Christmas, within which I include homemade mulled wine sachets. I use netting bought from haberdashery shops such as Dunhelms, using remnants they sell off at a reduced prices. Cut it into squares, add some crushed cinnamon sticks, crushed nutmeg and some dried cloves.
Tied with some pretty ribbon they are easy to make and so much cheaper than anything you can buy but taste as good if not better!!!