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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CHRISTMAS GIFTS ~ CHILLI OIL

Good Morning to you,


We are heading towards the end of October and my thoughts are drifting towards Christmas.

Oh dear, do you feel it is too soon to talk about Christmas?

I am sorry if you do, but this is the time, when I usually gather the ingredients to make my Christmas cake and Christmas pudding, but this year, we are going to have a pared down Christmas, as our family are not able to be with us, to celebrate.

Please don't think that I am not excited about Christmas, because I am, I love Christmas, and all it entails.

So instead of thinking about Christmas cake and pudding, I need to start thinking about making home made gifts, so I thought in the coming weeks I would share some of my ideas with you.

I love flavoured oils and the one I am going to make today is,


Chilli Oil.  Making home made gifts is such a pleasure, but it is the time element which is important, as the last thing you want is to run out of time and have just a few weeks to make gifts.  Planning in advance makes life a little simpler..... yes, honestly, you did read correctly, I did say, planning.... as you know, planning is not my strongest point.

First, I go out and about to find some nice bottles for the chilli oil. 


Once I have found
the bottle I like, 
I then choose a tag,
a length of
red ribbon 

and


a gorgeous Christmas bag,
yes 
it has to be gorgeous.

When the bottles have been filled with chilli oil, 
 I then decorate the bottles with ribbon 
and 
a tag.
I also include
 instructions for storing the oil. 

I also add
a
Christmas tree decoration.

I love Christmas tree decorations
and each year I buy a new one for the tree.


If I can find something a little different
so much the better.

Do you like these Christmas tree decorations
which were bought in India?

I think this makes a lovely Christmas present
for a friend.

So now, it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to, takes me back to my youth,


the Beatles White Album.  Now, here's the thing, I could not photograph the front of the album, because of course the album is white with just The BEATLES, highlighted on the album cover, but not enough so that you could see it in the photograph.  So I decided to photograph the list of songs instead.

There are so many Beatles songs to love, but my absolute favourite, is,

 'I Will',
 I love, love, love it. 

Also listen to
 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'
 and
 'Blackbird'

Once you have listened to these songs, I just know you will be listening to your own favourite Beatles songs.

So whilst I am listening to 'Revolution', I will organise my ingredients.

INGREDIENTS 
TO 
MAKE
CHILLI OIL

Olive Oil
(enough to fill your chosen bottles)
pinch of chilli flakes
6 small dried red chillies

HOW 
TO 
MAKE
CHILLI OIL


Decide on the bottle
you wish to use

and


sterilize 
the bottle or bottles.


Place the olive oil
in a pan
and
gently heat to
80C.


Add the 
dried chilli flakes

and


the
dried chillies.

Stir,
then
leave to cool.


Using a funnel,
pour the olive oil
with the chillies
and
chilli flakes
into the bottle.

You might need a spoon to remove the
chilli flakes from the pan.


Pop the lid on
and
store in a dark, cool place
for at least three weeks.
The longer you leave the oil,
the more intense the flavour.

Once a week, give the olive oil
a little shake.

I also make oregano oil
using 
dried oregano.

Also lemon oil
and
rosemary oil.


Just a thought, you need to know that the chilli oil will turn a shade of red, the longer it is left to mature. So please don't think that something dreadful is happening to the chilli oil.

I have added 6 very small, red, dried chillies to my oil, because I know this is the perfect flavour for me, but if you feel this is too many chillies, then reduce the amount to suit your taste.

Do you have friends in mind who, you know, would love to receive a gift of chilli oil..... I know I do.

Now I am not a connoisseur of chillies, in fact, I really know very little about them, but if you are interested in learning more, pop over and visit MJ's Kitchen who knows everything there is to know about chillies.... and you will also find a lovely recipe for Tarragon, Lemon Quick Bread.

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.









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