Chutney, Buggered MIFI & Entertaining 03.10.2015

The day started sloooooooooooowly because Garrath said those dangerous words,

“Shall we just have one more,” down at the local watering hole last night. I should have been sensible and said “No,” but after a couple of drinks when I start to say “No” it comes out of my mouth as “Why not?” What the hell, it was a great day followed by a very pleasant night.

That out of the way we found that the MIFI isn’t working – AAAAAAAAARGH! We admit it, we are techno junkies, addicts, saddos who can’t live without connectivity. It is seriously traumatic to be without it. We need therapy on occasions like this, but without wifi we couldn’t access an online therapy site.

Thwarted from doing my usual morning activity I needed a demanding distraction so after getting ablutions and hand washed laundry sorted I started on the chutney again. If I were to advise an aspiring jam or chutney maker my advice would be this –

*Buy every bit of preserving kit that Lakeland has in its catalogue. You will need it all.
*Never start on the boiling process without a reserve stirrer near at hand because the second you stop stirring is the second that the preserve will burn and be ruined.
*Never bother with the oven or boiling water methods for sterilising jars. Use the microwave. It will save you acres of time and effort, though you will have to use boiling water for the lids.
*WEAR AN APRON AND A LONG SLEEVED GARMENT. Trust me, I know and I have the burn scars to prove it.
*Buy pretty labels or print pretty, witty ones on your computer.
*Never give away your produce as gifts unless you are prepared to be accosted by people returning clean, empty jars and wearing expectant expressions.
*Always put extra labels on your produce with the exact ingredients. People have allergies and they need to know.

I have an uncanny knack for preparing things without measuring them then finding that they fit the containers I have prepared for them exactly, but this morning I excelled myself. After the chutney’s final boiling and reduction I had precisely the right amount to fill one five litre jar, three litre jars and one half litre jar. When I say precisely I mean exactly that, to the gramme and not a single gramme wasted. Let’s see if I can do the same with the next batch, cherry tomato, Seville orange and chilli methinks. Sounds weird? Well I’m willing to bet it will be deeeeeeeeeee-lish!

This afternoon, after a ‘just feed me’ lunch at the local cheapie. It is on a parade where we can watch the world go by. This along with Partida La Fossa provides me with much verse material, and this is the latest –

Silly hats In Calpe

I wonder what the age is
For wearing silly hats,
I see them all the time here
On preposterous old bats.

Bats of either gender,
And somewhere in between,
All wearing stupid headgear
In beige and pink and green.

Some like jockey’s helmets,
Have enormous peaks
Made of woven straw or plastic
They look like Mallard’s beaks.

Some caps once worn by Donovan
Are sported on the beach,
It seems good taste and discretion
Is way beyond their reach.

White flat caps are favoured
By ageing Belgian men
While Alpine caps on Germans say
Its World War 2 again.

I’ve worked out what the age is
For wearing silly hats,
It happens when you’re old enough
To become retired expats.

Lynne Joyce 03.10.2015

After lunch we had to do the shopping for an evening of entertaining out English and Dutch friends and neighbours. It is the easiest entertaining that we ever do. All we do is provide seating, drinks and nibbles and leave them to it. They obviously enjoy each others’ company immensely but never get together unless we invite them. We simply listen to the lively exchange of fascinating banter, refill glasses and plates and let them get on with it. Easy, peasy and very entertaining. We have given up trying to get a word in edgewise. Why bother? Our egos don’t need it and conversation is not a competition so we just sit back and enjoy.

All in all, a very satisfying day.