Monday, 19 October 2009

Jar Labels

When I first began preserving I thought I was being clever by keeping costs extra low and not bothering to label my preserves. However it became a bit of a pain when I'd pay the store cupboard a visit 6 months later to treat our guests to a nice homemade chutney only to realise I didn't know what was what. Those days are long gone and I now label each and every jar; knowing which jars contain which preserves is really handy! Me being myself and insisting on doing a good job of things, I have become bored of using the same old jam jar labels to label everything with. With this in mind, I set out to design a grand range of jar labels - a label for every occasion. One might think this is a little over the top but it really does give your preserves that extra special homemade look and adds a touch of class. The range is constantly growing; whenever I can't quite find the perfect preserve label, or if I receive any suggestions, I'll set to work and design the perfect match for the tasty preserve in question.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Australian wine tasting evening in Newhey

We had an excellent night at the Cedar Tree Australian wine tasting hosted by Winos of Oldham last night. The lineup included some brilliant Australian wines, all from small producers who care about the wine they sell. The food was excellent and at just £20 for 3 courses and 5 glasses of wine it was quite a bargain. The sparkling wine served to kick off the evening was exceptional. This was followed by a glass of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and a jazzed up prawn cocktail with smoked salmon to start. A glass of Rosé filled to the brim with strawberries then paved the way for an exquisitely presented main course of chicken breast with kangaroo chorizo sauce paired with a bold yet fruity Cabernet Merlot. At this point we were already discussing our next trip to the Cedar Tree for a meal and our next trip to Winos to stock up on some good 'ol non-major-brand fine wines! Next came 3 cheeses with grapes, celery and a scrumptious onion chutney. The smoked goats cheese was heavenly and I'm now on a quest to fill all my jam jars with an onion chutney as good as theirs. What better to wash the cheese down than a classic Australian Shiraz - need I say more? Throughout this thoroughly enjoyable night Bob the Aussie wine buff blessed us with his enlightening, though at times biased, Aussie wine knowledge. After drawing to an end we enjoyed a white and dark chocolate cheesecake and some locally produced Terry's chocolate orange ice cream accompanied by liquor spiked hot chocolate and good coffee. Just when such a night couldn't seem to get any better, we finished the night with a glass of good port - mmm!

So, next time you're out to buy some wine, say no to poor value and mass produced supermarket wines and go for a unique bottle of wine from a smaller producer. Oh, and don't forget to stock up on cheese, port and your favourite homemade preserves.