"The Queen
of Condiments"
Kirstie Allsopp
"The finest jams, chutneys and pickles I have ever eaten"
Clarissa Dickson Wright
"It's just me and a slotted spoon love"
Victoria Cranfield

Happy Christmas!

As I write the snow lies thick outside the kitchen so beautiful and yet treacherous.  The small birds cluster around the feeders topped with sunflower seeds whilst the blackbirds filter the last of the apple shreds in the orchard. It is so cold, or at least has been, with minus 16 on the solar panel the other night, that you can only marvel at their survival and keep topping the food. Two snipe flew from the pond as I took the dogs through the field, the first I have seen here.

Time spent sweeping snow before it is walked on is well worth while.....learnt the hard way last winter with many a slip and painful fall.  Good exercise too as we are in a valley and all paths go up hill ........to the wood store which is depleting rapidly.

Last summer we had a skip of waste wood from the local yard destined for landfill, full of charred, nail ridden wood, brilliant for a wood burner, the resultant ash riddled through a blue plastic mushroom box to remove nails before dumping on the compost even some of the nails are reusable..........I may be getting a little too evangelical, but free (discounting chopping etc) heat.

I would like to thank all of you who have taken the trouble to comment on your successes with the boxing day chutney, my loyal customers who buy from me regularly and those who buy occasionally and hope you have a very happy and successful Christmas and New Year.

For those that tell me off/encourage me to get on with it I WILL get on with the book in the New Year.

December 19, 2010 by Victoria Cranfield

Wedding Favours

Last year I was approached independently by 3 brides wanting wedding favours for their guests. We managed to produce colour co-ordinated jars which complemented both evening and breakfast feasts.

It lead me to consider offering this as a service which I am due to launch at the Exeter Festival of Food and Drink.  I can provide a selection of small jars of preserves, chutneys and jellies as wedding favours with:

.     Personalised labels

.     Award winning seasonal flavours

.    A wide palette of natural colours

.    Local sourcing

An opportunity to provide a memorable, tasteful and inexpensive keepsake for your guests, perfect for:

Wedding breakfasts……..damson, raspberry or loganberry, apricot, greengage, marmalade

Lunch or Dinner…….chilli jam, spiced apple chutney or a cool lime pickle

For any time…..flower jellies, spice or herb jellies

.     Minimum order 30

.     Priced between £2.50 and £3.00 each .

     Contribution to delivery £10

If anyone is interested please contact me with your telephone number so I can ring you to discuss what you might want!

Kirsties Boxing Day Chutney Recipe

Boxing Day Chutney as seen on Kirsties Homemade Christmas

2lb/900g onions sliced

2lb cooking apples chopped

1 pkt/340g cranberries

2pints cider vinegar

2oz/50g fresh root ginger(before pealing) finely diced

1tbsp coarse sea salt

tsp mixed spice

zest of 2 oranges

**************

2lb naturally dried apricots chopped

1 pkt dates (175g/60z)pitted and chopped

1lb raisins

Juice of 8 oranges/1 pint orange juice

*****************

2lb white sugar.

************

Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan gently bring to the boil.

The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down.  You don't want to lose all texture so a 5min simmer once at boiling point should do.  Remember to stir.

In a seperate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approx 20mins

The dried fruit can be done before the ingredients for cooking to save time.

Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan with the  sugar.

Stir well and bring back to  boiling point, stirring all the time.  Don't leave the saucepan at this time or the contents will catch and taint the chutney.  The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and the chutney can then be bottled.  Lid immediately.

For the sizes of fruit/technique see Kirsties video .

Please add comments it you need further info and I will post with the response.

Cranfields' on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas!

Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas will be on Channel 4 from 8th-10th December at 8pm

Cranfields' Foods will feature on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas during episodes 2 & 3 airing on the 9th & 10th December 2009

Crafty Kirstie Allsopp is back for a spectacular 3-part special that will see her create the perfect homemade Christmas.

Earlier this year, Kirstie turned her dilapidated Devon cottage from a shell to a chic vision of country living.

Now, with the festive season just round the corner, Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas will see her use Meadowgate as a base to take viewers on a yuletide journey of decorating, wonderful gifts and perfect entertaining.

Kirstie will be embracing crafts from around the country and her own love of doing up and making do to create the perfect Homemade Christmas.  

Among the craftspeople taking part in this festival of craft is Victoria Cranfield of Cranfields Foods in North Devon who shows Kirstie how to make Cranfields’s Boxing Day Chutney and Cranberry and Mulled Wine Relish for Kirsties hamper and the Christmas table.

Victoria said: ‘It was fascinating to meet Kirstie and be involved in the filming both at Meadowgate and at home, the enthusiasm and warmth shown by her in previous series is genuine, which made the whole experience very enjoyable. Luckily Kirstie had bought some of my preserves at a Charity craft fair and enjoyed them, you never know where sales can lead!’

Packed with brilliant tips and information, the series will be a goldmine of great and creative ideas that the viewers can replicate at home.

Each day, Kirstie will take on a theme and offer viewers the perfect guide to transforming any home into a Christmas spectacle – from Christmas decorations and hand- and homemade presents, to perfect Christmas entertaining with plenty of food, drink and general merriment.

If you would like to buy either of the preserves featured they are available through our website or for a full list of stockists visit www.cranfieldsfoods.com or telephone Victoria on 01271 850842

Merry Christmas!