NOT strictly on my plate, but seeing as I happen to live with some of the recipients of these homemade Christmas gifts, by default the fruits of my labour still managed to sneak onto it...
The salted oat crackers were brilliantly easy to make, and satisfyingly delicious considering the amount (or lack of) work that went into their creation. Tip: where the recipe calls for rolling out the dough very very thinly then really do; it makes for a better cracker.
And it was lucky that I ended up making a mountain of them, as it was a true test of willpower resisting the urge to greedily pop every other one of these salty crunchy morsels into my mouth as I lay them out to cool.
The chilli jam was another story. If you do not have a food processor do not, I repeat: DO NOT, attempt to make this product a) when you are short on time, or b) when you have a hangover. I had the time, but I also had the hangover. And it took a lot of perseverance to get through the chopping stage (an hour at least); followed by the lengthy cooking time.
I have never made a jam before, perhaps this just how it is done. But it definitely tested my patience.
On the bright side, the result was a real success. A rich, sticky jam, the sweetness counterbalanced by warmth coming through from the ginger and heat releasing gradually from the chilli. I personally would have liked it spicier (I used three instead of the recommended nine chillies) but I had to remember that I was producing gifts, and therefore not everyone shares the same love of fiery spice.
All in all it was a success. The copious amounts produced of each item meant that it was more than worth the effort when it came to sharing them out amongst friends and family. And - as long as I can psyche myself up for the chopping stage of the jam - I will definitely be making them again.