First Frosts = Chili Jam

The first frosts and snows creep into Pig Row. We make plans, we no longer have a 4x4 and that means making sure everyone at the Hopwood Kitchen Garden are aware that we are, (a) expecting snow, (b) we get the real kind of snow that buries cars, houses and whole casts from  The Day After Tomorrow, and; (c) that it is a Wednesday and that means we won't see the world again until the weekend, at the very earliest. We're not kidding when we say we get real snow, we got it the year Little D was born and then for several winters after. Here's a fiercesome one on film. We once lost the whole of January under a snow drift. The weather presenters are adamant, it's going to be at least 15cm of snow on anything over 1330 feet, we're 1330 feet, so that probably means an extra centimetre or two. We go to bed with hot water bottles, at midnight there's no sign. At 4:00am in that middle of the night middle aged pee run to the bathroom there is no snow. Then morning arrives.


There there it is, the perfect Hollywood snow storm, imagine Denis Quaid being all chin chiselled and snow ploughed tough here. He could leap over those compost bags, maybe have a moment of peril in the weeds, find a love interest in the hornbeam hedge. Let's face facts, the weather presenters show as much aptitude for prediction as Septic Peg did for predicting the future, it's all cross eyed nonsense, boil, bubble and buggered up trouble. The worst winter in forty years! Really tabloids? Can you feel it in your water? Did you cast the runes? Go all IChing? Did you channel the ghost of the green man? Oh well, no snow but bitterly cold; too cold for snow as our grandparents would say, who had a greater prediction rate than Michael Fish. So, it's time to process all those chillies we grew. Time for chilli jam, the sweet ticking time bomb lingers on the tongue as the seering heat makes boiling tears steam off your cheeks. It is glorious on cheese, on sausages, cold meats, crackers and brings a big hit to chicken (makes them lay eggs too). You can find our recipe here and add this jam to your Christmas cold cuts, it'll make turkey a brand new taste experience and works oddly with vanilla ice cream.


Oh, and just when you think it's safe to laugh at the weather presenters, this happens...



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