Sunday, 28 August 2011

Chilli Crab Apple Jelly..

Today I made Chilli Crab Apple Jelly..
We have a Crab Apple tree in our garden and every year the little red apples sit there on the ground waiting for me to do something with them, and today for the first time I did..

The recipe was quite simple I collected 3 kilos of Crab Apples and washed and de-stemmed them

I cut then in half and put them with 5 large chopped red chillies into my jam pan with just enough water to cover them and boiled for about 30 mins till they were pulpy and well cooked

I then poured the fruit and liquid through a jelly bag, or muslin and let drip until it stopped which took about 2 hours, I then helped it along by squeezing all the thick pectin through the bag with my hands making sure no bits went in

I then measured the juice and for every 500mls added 1lb of sugar to it in the washed jam pan and boiled until sugar was dissolved
I skimmed it and boiled until jam setting point was reached.

I allowed it to settle for about 5 minutes then spooned into sterilized jars, and when the jelly was semi-set I popped some fresh chilli slit lengthways into each jar, which looked great

Then I dipped some waxed discs in brandy and put them on top and sealed with my lid.

The glorious colour of this jelly is vibrant and cheering, it tastes great aswell, and can be added to sandwiches, cold meats or cheese, I was thinking that next time instead of adding chilli I could use fresh mint..  :)

Job Done!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Hip hop all the way down..

On the 4th August there was a fatal shooting of 29 year old Mark Duggan, who although was a drug dealer and hardened gangster known to police, also was, according to his fiancĂ©, a family man who was hoping to turn his life around and move away from the Tottenham area and start afresh, but this wasn’t to be, as the police caught up with him, and he was killed. And this sparked of the worst outbreaks of rioting that we have ever seen in London and other major cities, starting on the 6th August after a march to protest about the police’s heavy handedness, resulting in vandalism, looting many injuries and death of innocent people.

But all through this and indeed before all of this, I have always felt that the music business had a lot to answer for, as a lot of our fashionable rapping and hip hop music and mentors are promoting people to not only carry guns and knives but to be rascist and homophobic, not to mention the disrespect towards women.

It promotes a ‘live dangerously’ lifestyle, which cannot be a healthy thing for young people to be humming to whilst trying to concentrate on building a good foundation to live in a difficult and awkward society where we are all living cheek to jowl, and are constantly made aware of the class divides.

And who are these artists, with their gang related tattoos and trophies of bullet holes and scars, and why do we allow them to advocate such behaviour through something so hypnotising and influential as our music industry?

Our cable and satellite channels are bursting with rap videos of young, primarily black men , who swagger through grimy estates, with fingers that pose as imaginary guns, looking cool, looking confident, acting as if they above the law, and the marketing executives grow richer and richer from the sales of hoodies and trainers, worn and made current for trend, by these figureheads, who I believe are actually letting down the young kids who follow them, because they are telling them that you don’t need an education, or a job, but you do need all the materialistic things, and how you get them is by flaughting the rules and with violence.

There’s rape, there’s gang life, there’s much bling, but where’s the job to pay for it all?
And it seems at the expense of these kids welfare, and life, there are the guys at the top who are making a living out of this, while we the public are trying to keep a grip and encourage our kids to stay safe and get a good education.

These are not good role models, they are getting rich and famous at our children’s expence, and the subliminal messages that have come out of it all, that has slowly tainted our young people. 

Sincere love and sympathy goes to all those who families who's lives were changed by this mindless thuggery.
and let's hope for change ...