199 days ago
I wrote before Christmas of the joy when a cheddar cheese arrived from the wife and son of my late Uncle Chris Booker. Something that has happened for all my life continues. In return, I sent a Yarg as I always do. That Cheddar was about eight inches high and, as you can see below, is now almost all gone. About a week ago, four things I know Chris despised, combined to make me think of him and that Christmas present.
222 days ago
This will be our second Christmas without my Godfather and Uncle, Christopher Booker. Every other Christmas in my life, Chris sent first my parents, then my father, then my father and myself a cheese from Cheddar: a real organic product from the county in which he lived and loved, Somerset. Last year, much to my surprise, a cheese arrived as normal. Knowing that he was dying he had, two years ago, placed orders for both 2018 and 2019. But this year I was rather resigned to that tradition ending. This morning a large box arrived at the Welsh Hovel.
959 days ago
Yesterday was the day the cheeses arrived all over the country as part of family traditions. First up was a Cheddar, from Cheddar itself supplied by Uncle Chris Booker. This has been part of my life for all of my fifty years.
1684 days ago
I am not sure when I discovered this particular gift but it is now a tradition at Christmas that I give to all my closest family (2 sisters, 3 steps, my father, one uncle, one Aunt and one cousin of my mother) that which I give to myself. My father gets a couple of other bottles as a bonus but for everyone else it is this one gift. Outside that circle I am afraid I tend to ignore a wider family.. Is that a sin? I do rather worry about that.
2455 days ago
The leaves are now turning yellow on the fig tree that dominates our garden in Bristol. We have a fig tree in Greece too at the Greek Hovel and it was yielding fruit in the summer that was ripe and wonderful. The UK offering has been a little bit less ripe but I was determined not to get it go to waste and so as a family treat we harvested some of the figs and …hey presto we have a perfect fig chutney.
Three smaller pots have already been handed out as presents and the Mrs and I are working our way through a large pot at home. I reckon it might just last until Christmas.
My only regret is that I did not start this earlier and make more chutney on an industrial scale. The figs start dropping in early September and a good number now lie squashed on the paving. As the leaves fall from the tree I can see another batch of fruit that was hitherto hidden and looks pretty perfect for use.
As ever I shall resolve to be more organised next year and make twice as much. Sadly, with such small volumes produced this year, this product is not available at Real Man Pizza Company although it would be fantastic with our Yarg led cheese board. Maybe in 2015.
When I was kid, autumn was a time for boiling and preserving on an industrial scale. The aspiration of my parents – mainly my mother