What’s in the box 15/16 December

by Amanda McInerney on 16/12/2010

Only nine sleeps to go, folks – and this weeks link is here!

For those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is really looming now and it’s time to get into top gear and start finalising the eating arrangements.  We always tend to have a cold buffet meal – but often with  hot, kettle-bbq’ed pork or turkey – just because it is so much easier to get all the food on the table if we don’t have to actually make room for people as well!  I have a couple of salad recipes that I like to make on the big day and I’ll share those with you next week.  One of them involves spinach or silverbeet, so don’t worry about the continued appearance of spinach in the boxes  - we can deal with it!

Now that it looks like the cherries have escaped the worst of the weather I wanted to share a recipe for a cherry preserve that you can knock together fairly quickly and one that means you can make the whole cherry experience last past their very brief season.  It is possible to buy a similar product as this in gourmet shops, but it is very pricey.  This is not difficult and, I think, is nicer than the bought one.  I have really only got very rough estimates of measurements and times for this, but you should get the general idea.  I think it might be nice with caramelised onions with it or a clove or two instead of the star anise. It goes brilliantly with most meats, but especially poultry and pork or ham and would make a nice homemade gift.

Balsamic Cherries

1 kg pitted cherries
1-2 heaped tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup of GOOD balsamic vinegar (more or less)
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Bring all ingredients to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until reduced and thickened.
Remove star anise and cinnamon stick, cool and store in sterilised, sealed jars.
Store it in the fridge where it should keep for some weeks.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa December 17, 2010 at 9:29 am

Dear Amanda
I don’t want to sound negative or critical about your lovely site, but I find I’m not very tempted to open messages from you that just say “what’s in the box’. I’d much rather know what the subject or recipe is about. If this one had said Balsamic cherries, I would have been drooling in haste to open it!
Many thanks and have a great holiday.

Amanda December 17, 2010 at 9:42 am

Thanks for this, Melissa.
The “What’s in the Box” section began as a post for subscribers to the Food Connect boxes here in Adelaide as a bit of inspiration for using seasonal, and therefore sometimes repetitive, produce.
I always post the link on Lamb’s Ears Facebook page with a bit more info about what it contains – have you “Liked” that yet?
I might have to try and rethink this whole section in the new year as it has taken on a bit of a life of it’s own!

Kate December 17, 2010 at 12:35 pm

I like to open ‘What’s in the Box’ as it’s like a surprise package for me ! I also like, love in fact, the sound of the Balsamic Cherries.

Mandy - The Complete Cook Book December 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Loving the sounds of these cherries and looking forward to the salad recipes next week.
:-) Mandy

Anna Johnston December 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm

I’d love the Balsamic Cherries…, what a taste journey of flavours that’d be… & I love the ‘Whats In The Box’…., its always nice to be reminded of some different ways to use up seasonal stuff. Big fan of seasonal foods.

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