A Creative Life

Be Prepared – The ‘Spirit’ of Christmas – Opies

I, personally, love to plan ahead and be prepared. We are now well on our way to the ‘C’ season – Christmas.  One of  my favourite parts of the year and a time for plenty of home made food, with delicious flavours.

Opies have excelled themselves again for 2017 and have produced some new products to add to their extensive range.

Opies is one of the oldest family owned food firms in the UK with a rich heritage and the fifth generation Mr Opie at the helm! It was started by Mr Bennett Opie in 1880 who left Cornwall with five pounds in his pocket and had grown to where it is now in the present day. He started by selling eggs and bacon.  The company developed with family help and received a Royal Warrant for supplying the Royal Household.

During World War 1, eggs were in short supply.  So Opies produced liquid eggs and diversified into putting fruits into jars to preserve them.

New for 2017, Opies have put the ‘Spirit’ of Christmas into a wide selection of fruits.   The new products are Blackberries with Gin and Pears with Port.

Serving Suggestions:

Blackberries with Gin: Christmas cocktails such as Blackberry Bramble or Blackberry Basil Mojito. Serve with a stack of pancakes and fresh cream (or eat them straight from the jar!).

Baby Pears with Port: easy take on classic poached pears. Spend less time in the kitchen and simply open a jar instead – you won’t be disappointed.

I was sent Black Cherries with Kirsch to review.  They look mouthwatering and will be used in my home made gateau that I will make for Christmas.

 

These would make ideal Christmas Gifts and something with a difference.  You can give as a stocking filler, as a gift with an unusual twist for a teacher or as part of a hamper.

Also in the range & widely available: Christmas Fruits with Courvoisier, Stem Ginger with Famous Grouse, Peaches with Courvoisier, Apricots with Grand Marnier, Baby Pears with Amaretto, Black Cherries with Kirsch and Ginger with Teachers Whisky.

The above are available from Waitrose and Ocado  £8.99

 

A product that is making a revival are Pickled Walnuts.  Opies are the only commerical producer of this item in the UK.   For many people, having this delicacy in their cupboard makes their Christmas.   Pickled Walnuts are from Victorian times and a product to have ready for Christmas.    This product, although a nut, has a surprising soft texture.   I have a friend who loves these so that is a gift sorted thanks to Opies.

These are handpicked from various sources and pickled whilst green before a shell has formed.

Available from: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose, Ocado and speciality independent stores 390g from £2.49.

 Something I use regularly in my cooking but more so at Christmas is Ginger.  This is once again causing a stir in the kitchen.

Opies, for Christmas, have created Stem Ginger in Syrup.  Instead of dried ginger in your Christmas Cakemixture  add some stem ginger to add warmth and richness.  Add to shop bought mincemeat and to stuffing mix to give a opulent flavour.     The syrup out of the Stem Ginger can be used as a glaze on your Roast Ham or Roast Pork.  Dont forget the mulled wine, you can also add the syrup to this as well.   So many uses.   I will be using mine to put into Ginger Cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve.  You can also use in your left over Turkey Curry on Boxing Day.

Available from: Tesco 350g RSP £2.50 and Asda 280g RSP £2.28.

Dont forget to be prepared for the Christmas and New Year Cocktails.   You always need a cherry or a slice of lemon to finish off either a Manhattan or a Gin Fizz.   Opies Cocktail Cherries and Lemons Slices are ideal to keep in the cupboard for such an occasion.  They also do a super Pickled Gherkin which can be used in canapes to go with the cocktails.  Be prepared, buy early and avoid a catastrophe.

 

Find the cherries in the preserves or pickle aisles in most major supermarkets, priced from £1.48 for a 225g jar. The Lemon Slices should be there too £1.40 for a 350g jar.

I know its early but be prepared fro Christmas and take the stress out of worrying.  Enjoy and happy shopping.

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