Baking day and free trees!

So today turned into a bit of a baking day. I have been at work all weekend, my husband has been in charge and all of them managed to make a good job at causing chaos. They don’t mean it and he takes wonderful care of the children, I cannot fault him at all. However when it comes to tidying up they aren’t the greatest:

So I looked at the house this morning and thought where will I start. Well you have to start somewhere so decided the living room was the best place. My husband has been making shelves and he’s a messy worker. The living room was far from child friendly and a friend was coming round so thought I had better make an effort! Looks beautiful now. Well until about half an hours time when my husband gets his tools out again. However the junk has been removed so that makes a massive difference.

After all that tidying I was on a roll and decided I wanted to get more of the list done! So I baked the mini Xmas cakes in glass ramekins, they are now cooling, will be fed over the following weeks and then decorated ready for Christmas presents. However with all this making I need to work out a diplomatic way of asking people for the jars and ramekins back to be reused, any suggestions?

Following a gift of a tub of green tomatoes I made up a chutney which is jarred and cooling, funny sitting in the living room hearing the crackle of the open fire and the occasional pop of a jar lid sealing!

Tomorrow is pickled onion day! Makes me think very much of my eldest daughter. When she was born my husband said her head looked like a pickled onion and the nickname stuck for many years. I remember a time my mother was babysitting and I texted her to ask if pickled onion was ok. She rang me very confused asking me why I was asking her about crisp flavours. It’s now only used to annoy her, a term of endearment I suppose although she gets quite embarrassed by it but she will always be known as pickled onion.

I digress, again. Tomorrow is pickled onion day, I have a sack of shallots and a 5 litre tub of spiced vinegar along with a load of jars all set for the morning. Have to leave them 24 hours in salted water first, drain and jar. Might put a bay leaf in a couple and some dried chillies in another to make a few different combinations, more presents made.

I’ve not really decided who is having what yet but I’m planning on getting all my gifts on the table and hopefully it will all come together.

This evening I’m quite achy, I’m hoping I’m not coming down with anything as I am really quite busy at the moment and haven’t got time for bugs.

Oh a quickie if you are based in Gloucester, the city council are giving away 5 free trees to residents, look up http://www.gloucester.gov.uk and search free trees. You can email or telephone your order and pick up first weekend of December. I’ve ordered a crab apple, a wild pear, a cherry, a hawthorn and a blackthorn.

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