Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Le Challenge - Gold

This month I am pushing the boundaries. Not my boundaries but those of Lucy and Nat. LeChallenge for October is "Gold". Now, I love thinking outside the box so to speak. I have had a ball knitting prawns and lettuce leaves and midget gem sweets in Le Challenge, but this time I felt I had to do something practical, ie useful. I asked Lucy, who conferred with Nat, and this month I am having fun in the kitchen.

                                               my little jars of gold with home made gold labels

There is a thread of gold running through all these makes. Some more obvious than others. This could be part of a quiz!.... the apricots are obviously gold (well apricot coloured) and they are steeped in brandy which is liquid gold. The cherries likewise are steeped in liquid gold, sorry brandy.

the apricots and cherries in liquid gold (brandy)

The marmalade is gold coloured, and as Paddington will tell you, very very sticky.


The greengage jam is sort of gold coloured, well greenish gold. In an episode of Blackadder they discovered green in alchemy experiments, green was to be the new gold.

greengage jam

The olive oil with the home grown chillies are gold liquid, but not as nice as the brandy. Don't confuse the too. A funny story here. We were in Granada and were invited in the hotel to have a personal olive oil tasting. The husband struggled with it but I was able to tell the difference between the various olive oils. The guy seemed pretty impressed with my skills and poured me a full glass. Now a thimbleful of olive oil is ok, but a glass is not for the faint hearted. Here I am  drinking merrily away then the husband reminded me of the properties of olive oil and that we were flying home early the next morning. I hardly slept with the stress of fretting about accidents down wind so to speak. (at this stage my daughter will be going, och mum).

can't open the lid to pop in the home grown chillie

As for the raspberry jam, well it uses golden granulated sugar, as did the greengage jam and the marmalade. And the sugar packet tells me that sugar used to be compared to gold.

raspberry jam, does anyone have any lids I can borrow?

And now to the next part of the thread... I made my own labels. I played about with gold glitter, gold glittery paper and a stamp of a hedgehog masquerading as a choirboy. Don't ask. They were all OTT, too flashy, indeed too much Christmas and its only October. In the end I unearthed some mica paints bought years ago and never used. I sprinkled the powder on the card, sprayed with water then dry brushed out. When it dried, I punched out a parcel tag shape and stamped it with some LOVE bunting. Wrote the name of the stuff on the label, and Bob's your Uncle and Fanny's your Aunt. There has been a lot of love going to and fro on instagram this week,  particularly amongst those who participate in Le Challenge, so the love bunting seemed appropriate.

having fun painting paper
making the labels

The plan is to add some homemade Christmas salt a la Nigella, chutney  and a homemade Christmas pudding. I always make homemade Christmas puddings but we eat them all and they rarely get over the doorstep. Occasionally my friend Liz, who blogs here, gets a Christmas pudding, but not always.

I did things slightly differently this year. I have previously used Hennessey brandy but this is a year of austerity, or so David Cameron says. So, I bought Tesco Napoleon brandy and used tinned Tesco apricots instead of fresh. It remains to see if anybody notices. Probably not unless I tell them.

One other home made thing I have that is almost gold is Limoncello, made by our neighbour. Its really nice. I could sneak it in, but you know, your sins will find you out.

Helen x
linking up with LeChallenge


  1. I am impressed with all this evidence of domesticity. You go girl.

  2. I think its great to think outside the box

  3. Creative interpretation is part of the fun. :-)

  4. I love the gold elastic holding on the labels, too. I am a huge fan of olive oil. I am assuming everything on the flight worked out. You are back home and in one piece now, so that's all I really need to know. ;)

  5. Those jars looks so yummy. Well done.

  6. Yup, I think you nailed the gold thing!!! ;)

  7. So brilliant!!! And so much gold! They all look delicious and the labels are beautiful! So much work and a gorgeous entry! Thanks for linking up :)

  8. all look so yummy! I only made apple jam this autumn. Nobody is going outside to pick any elderberries and we don't know where is goo blackberry bushes are around here yet.

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  10. This looks ver gold and yummy too :)

  11. I now keep thinking of 'Gold...GOLD' by Spandau Ballet! You have been a busy bee, all looks wonderful!

  12. Great post, everything looks so beautiful! I had never heard of Greengage Jam and had to look it up. This year I made Nectarine Jam that turned out delicious, no pectin required when using the peels and it makes a lovely color!

  13. Yum! I love greengages, though you don't often come across them now. This all sounds delicious.
    On another note, will be shouting for Ireland today - I reckon you can beat Argentina on current form.

  14. Wow you deserve a gold star for this little lot! I love home made gifts, we've just finished off a lovely jar of plum and port jam!

  15. That looks so attractive. I have seen pictures with all products on this blog, it seemed to me that making a description with an "acquaintance to buyers" article would be interesting for an author. I used custom writing service Writers Per Hour for editing my articles which I used in my blogs.

  16. I love reading your witty posts, Helen! They are indeed gold, (ha) as they make me smile every time, and today's a day I need smiles! I need some of your golden nourishments here too, would you get on that please? Chutney is my favourite, olive oil a close second (but not to DRINK, snort on the down wind advice). Not a fan of marmalade (gasp I know, my mum doesn't know how I can be half English) but I sure am a fan of Paddington and always have been long before it was cool.

  17. Nice post. thanks for the shared it with us. melange yarn


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