Tuesday, 26 February 2008


Tonight I cooked a Sausage Plait and, by special request (from Christopher), broke my usual "no-potatoes-with-pastry" dictum to provide a bowl of Herby Wedges alongside. As Karl worked an early shift today I had plenty of time to potter in the kitchen, making pastry and the like, without having to constantly trot back and forth to check on the children and referee a variety of disagreements.

Just as we were sitting down to eat, it occurred to me to try some of my Onion Marmalade with the plait. It thought the sweet onions might be tasty with the sausage filling. I was not wrong; I anticipate that a whole new world of uses are opening up for this little relish. I make it often, mainly to eat as an accompaniment to cheeses or in assembling Goat's Cheese Toasts for salads and snacks. It can cost a fortune to buy this sort of relish in the shops, bearing in mind how cheap most of the ingredients are, so it's very worthwhile spending a couple of hours - and you only have to do about 5 minutes' work, plus occasional pan-checking.

Onion Marmalade

You can, if you like, attempt to fish out the cloves from the finished chutney along with the cinnamon stick. I can't be bothered with that sort of faffing about, so I just try to alert people to their presence. I know cloves are said to be good for toothache, but they're hellish annoying if one gets wedged in your molars!

6 onions, quartered and sliced
75ml cider vinegar
75ml balsamic vinegar
600g soft brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick

few whole cloves

Put everything into a big pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for about two hours until the relish is thick and syrupy. Remove the cinnamon stick (and see above), then transfer to hot, sterilised jars and seal.

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