Northern Mummy

General thoughts and wittering about all sorts of things

Another blogging challenge

on December 22, 2011

Last year, you may remember, I took part in the Jane Austen reading challenge for bloggers.  Although I felt personally successful (reading, what was it? – seven Austen titles and five tributes in seven months?) there never seemed to be any real conclusion to the event, other than that the announced finish date went by, and that was that, which was a bit of a disappointment to me.

Anyway, I’ve discovered another challenge which fits into the realms of my blog, this time in the cooking sphere.  So let the Forever Nigella event begin!

Current Forever Nigella Badge

I’m a little bit nervous about this one as there are Rules, and as someone who just tends to prattle on without knowing what she’s doing a rather inexperienced blogger, I don’t really understand them all.  So I’ll be ticking them off as I go, to make sure I’ve at least attempted to fulfil them.  The first one is to include the Current Forever Nigella badge, so I’ve done that, above.  The other 2 things I need to include are a link to the current host, who is Sarah at Maison Cupcake (so is that it? what I did then? hope so) and a link to the official Forever Nigella page.  So hopefully I’ve done those, not in the prettiest way, perhaps, but the links are there.  Update: apparently I also need a link to this page, which is different from the other Forever Nigella page, before I can enter, and that’s the page you need to visit if you want to have a look at some of the other entries too!

Now, the challenge is to make and blog a Nigella recipe.  So I have chosen her Redder than Red Cranberry Sauce.  The recipe is on her website that I’ve linked to and it’s also in Nigella Christmas.  It might be in other books too but that’s the one I’ve got and the one which is open in my kitchen as I type.  I’m doing it today, as opposed to Christmas Day/Eve, partly to get ahead and partly because following on from the shortbread-making thing the other night, I’ve decided to put in a jar of mincemeat and a jar of cranberry sauce and make the gift into a sort of mini-hamper.  And I’m seeing them today so need to take it.

The one change I’ve made is to substitute port for the cherry brandy – it’s one of Nigella’s suggestions and I haven’t got any cherry brandy so this is my choice of alternative.



So, here is me making the sauce.

Cranberry sauce 1 I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to say about following the method because of the breach of copyright rule (which is why I’ve posted the link to the recipe, not the recipe itself).  But anyway – the ingredients are really simple, just 4 things.   I did remember to wash the cranberries, by the way.









What’s also easy is that everything goes in the pan together, and as it is – there’s no prep beyond the weighing and measuring.  I’ve used other cranberry sauce recipes which require you to blitz up the cranberries in a food processor beforehand, and since I’ve started making this version I can’t understand why, when they break themselves up perfectly well when they get hot.  Even if you’re not usually a minimal washing-up kind of person (as I most definitely am), surely at Christmas everyone can do with all the extra help they can get?









Once you start to heat it the sugar melts quite quickly.  You have to wait till it goes from this Cranberry Sauce 3











Cranberry sauce 4

to this, when the cranberries have popped and it smells amazing!













When you’ve given it a hard stir to squish the cranberries, you get to taste it!  But purely for sweetness-checking purposes, of course.  Cranberry sauce 5 (My husband took this picture.  I tried to crop it as I hate my nose with a passion, especially in profile.  But the more I cut off, the weirder and scarier it looked, so in the end I had to leave it how it was.)










Cranberry sauce 6

Then you have to put it into a bowl to cool.  For me, half went into the bowl (this is one which matches my wedding-present Denby – we always use it for cranberry sauce on Christmas Day) and the other half went into a little jar for my friends.  Usually I’d end up with two of these dishes full so I think giving half away could be the answer in future, unless we’re catering for more than about 6, which is rare.








So that’s the end of the blog for the purposes of the challenge, but I just thought I’d add a final picture of my impromptu mini -hamper.  The only box I could find around was quite a bit too big (little did I know that within minutes of my making this, my husband was going shopping and could have got something more suitable and without a jaggy edge on the back where I cut the lid off, but anyway) so I filled it with some of the contents of our shredder and nestled my gifts on top!  I didn’t have any cellophane, except in bag form, so I used cling film sellotaped around the edge.  Do click on this picture, the tiny format it has to be in here doesn’t do justice to it and you can’t see what everything is.

Christmas hamper

I may not blog again before Christmas (or indeed Easter, the way my blogging tends to go, although I’ll do my best!) so I wish everyone reading this a really happy Christmas and a lovely 2012.


2 responses to “Another blogging challenge

  1. Shu Han says:

    I came over from the blog hop because the colour of those cranberries just caught my eyes straight away! love the idea of booze in the cranberry sauce, whether or not it’s cherry brandy or just port. yum!

    • cookingreadingsinging says:

      Hi there!

      I just wanted to say thanks for your comment on my blog – I am inordinately excited about it as it’s the first time anyone has ever left a comment (apart from stupid spam)! I’ve started blogging 18 months ago but I’ve taken a while to get into my stride so I still feel fairly new at it. I agree about the booze, it gives it an extra edge (although I’ve used orange juice in the past which also works well in a different way) and I also thought it might help it to last a bit longer as I was giving some as a gift.

What do you think? Let me know!

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