With the first market of the season coming up I wanted to make some pretty jars of tasty things to adorn my nearly-naked stall. Simon suggested 30 loaves of bread, half the usual monster-batch, so things were going to look a little bare…
Beetroot and Orange relish! What else?
I peeled and grated the beetroot, pared and chopped the 10 oranges (ten!), peeled and diced the many onions, ground the fresh spices by hands and the pan looked like a vegetarian massacre…
I gently simmered it and it began to give off a ripe and heady scent, earthily sweet with a citrus and vinegar tang. In short, it was all going splendidly. I went off to my meeting, came home and went to bed….
As I drifted off to sleep I suddenly worried that I had left the cooker on so I jumped out of bed and snuck nakedly across the kitchen to check. It seemed all was well, here the switch to off, there the magic cooker light was not on so I took my return snuck back to bed.
In the morning we woke to a barbecue smell. No, Neil wasn’t joking, I had left the cooker on all through the night. Oh my too hasty eyes! I cried for my brown and limpid relish, crouched in the pan like a malicious and rancid pat, no more the tender velvet colour, the pucker sweet taste.
The only thing to show for all my hard work?
However, I did make a pretty mess in the kitchen and managed two jars of picked beetroot so all was not lost.