Chilly (chilli) weather

What do you do when life hands you two freezers’ breaking down in the space of a week?

We’ve had just such a circumstance and oh dear, what a conundrum.

Thankfully with the cold weather, the contents of the freezers remained solid frozen for more than 48 hours until we bought another freezer, albeit smaller and only one though.

Naturally enough, there was plenty that didn’t fit, and so nothing for it but to roll the sleeves up and get to work filling the jam pans

There’s a quadruple batch of sweet chilli sauce on the go – this never goes astray on the pantry shelves.

I am so thankful that we preserved dozens of bottles of tomatoes over summer, as these formed the basis for a double batch of tomato kasoundi (tomato chilli oil pickle) that utilised the last of the frozen red chillies.

Redcurrant jelly is also in the making (here shown being strained off in a colander, stage 1 only). The jelly should be a good colour as the currants themselves are now considerably faded.

While I am on the go, I might as well make a batch or two of raspberry jam from some of those delicious Westerway Raspberry Farm berries I bought a couple of weeks ago. That will free up some space in the new freezer at least.

However, now I fear there might be a new dilemma – enough bottles to fill with all these preserves. I am hopeful I have plenty at hand that just need sterilising.

After that, another challenge – find shelf space for them in the pantry!

Certainly I also plan to put some out on the stall at our gate by Saturday morning.

Nothing like a splash of chilli sauce or chilli pickle to add welcoming warmth to a dish on a cold winter’s day.

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