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With lemon pickle and fruit and herb stuffing


With a few days to Christmas, chefs are adding  their final tips for seasonal cooking.

Nigella – and thank goodness she is back, well she is on my television at least, with all the finger licking – has given us all turkey in brine.  I must think about that next year.

Jamie Oliver has come up with his last minute Christmas plan which unfortunately starts at 7.20am.

Thankfully, I have the Mincemeat,  Cranberry and orange relish and brandy butter sorted and a few preserves and herb vinegars for Christmas gifts.  Decorations and cake done.

Now to join in, I shall add two special Christmas thoughts that are good now and also throughout the year.

They are Beryl’s Lemon Pickle and my own Fruit and Herb stuffing.

Lemon Pickle is a fabulous start to dressing the turkey or any bird. Rub a few segments all over the skin before adding seasoning and bacon and throw some more in the cavity. Delicious.



450g (1 lb ) lemons, 3 tbs salt, 1tsp turmeric, 1 ½ tsp chili powder, 2 tsp all-spice, (or if liked hot, 1tsp all-spice, 1tsp curry powder); 150-285ml ( ¼ – ½ pint ) white vinegar.

Cut fruit in chunks, remove pips; do this on a plate to catch as much fruit as possible; put into a bowl; put into a bowl with all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly; transfer to screw top jar and keep in sun or warm place  shaking every day for a week ; when skins are tender, the pickle is tender.

Lemon pickle can also be used

with fish – rub it all over trout, salmon and serve alongside white fish.

with pasta – add it into the cooked pasta with a green or vegetable sauce

with greek or tomato salads

or purée and serve over pasta or grilled chicken



1 large onion chopped, 50g better, 100g cranberries (fresh or dried), 50g raisins. 150g fresh white or brown bread cut into small cubes, 2 large chopped apples, salt and pepper, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 1 tablespoon of rosemary, 3 tablespoons of parsley, 200 ml of turkey or vegetable stock.

if dried fruit used soak in hot water for 15 minutes, dried herbs can be substituted

Saute onions in butter until tender. Add chopped apples and herbs and seasoning and continue for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and mix in cranberries and raisins and bread cubes.  Pour the stock over the mix and pack into an oven dish. 

I shall be making the  stuffing a day ahead and  at this point I shall store it in the fridge. 

When ready to serve , cook in oven at reg 6 for 40 minutes.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive meal .

Then to the final Downton and I am sure Mrs Patmore will have done her best.

Merry Christmas and have a great new year and 2016.


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