It's that time of year when money worries are rife and panic can set in about how to pay for everything. However, there are loads of thrifty ideas for brilliant Christmas gifts which people will love.
They say the key to a man's heart is through his stomach. Give anyone yummy food and they will think of you fondly forever. My mum usually gets me something food-related. Last year she and my step-dad bought me a food processor. Another year it was a dinner set. The honest truth is if you buy someone a gift they use at mealtimes, you'll never be far from their thoughts.
I love chutney. It goes great with everything - cheese, cold meats and veggie fare. There's never usually a shortage of food over Christmas and New Year, so why not jazz it up with some yummy homemade chutney?
I love onions, but they're far yummier cooked, as far as I'm concerned. Here is a red onion chutney recipe from the BBC Good Food website.
- 8 red onions sliced
- 100g caster sugar
- 100ml red wine vinegar
- 100ml red wine
- dash grenadine syrup
Place the onions and sugar in a saucepan, cover and cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 mins. Pour in the red wine vinegar and red wine, then simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced and the mixture is sticky, about 10 mins more. Add the grenadine syrup and mix well. Leave to cool, then transfer to a sterilised jar and seal.
Time: 45 mins
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 25 mins
How to sterilise jars in the oven:
Just click here for all the details. Make sure you don't add hot food to cold jars, or cold foot to hot jars, or else they could shatter and that could be very dangerous indeed. Hot food needs to go into hot jars.
How to print jar labels:
There are an excellent collection of free jar labels here which are in .pdf format for you to print out. My favourites are under the headings Holiday Hits and Candy Stripes and are a lovely twist on festive labels. Alternatively, you could just get hold of a roll of plain white labels and decorate them yourself with felt tip pens. Remember not to add your labels until after the jars are filled, or you could get chutney on them.
How to get hold of jars cheaply:
Stock up on value brand food in jars from the supermarket, which may cost as little as 20-30p each. You can eat the contents, or be very naughty and throw the contents out.
All you need do once the chutney is poured is cover the lid in some pretty fabric, fasten it with a couple of elastic bands and maybe add a jaunty ribbon. Then store the jars in cool, dark place until needed at Christmas time. Ta-da!
Have you made chutney before?
I haven't yet, but I am definitely going to make this chutney. Yum. The longer it has to mature before Christmas the better it'll taste so I think I'm going to make some this weekend or next.
Thanks for reading!