2 tsp ground mixed spice
125g caster sugar
2 limes (juice and zest)
a lemon (juice only)
4 tbsp honey
500ml white wine
2 tbsp cornstarch mixed with a little water
Mix everything except the cornstarch in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the cornstarch and water mixture.
Reduce the liquid until it's a bit thinner than a jam, but you basically just want to eat it immediately.
Mash a little and leave it to cool as long as you dare.
Easily made by blokes.
Tastes of Christmas.
Keeps in the fridge for days and only gets better.
Original recipe by Paul Rankin
I'm sitting waiting for my KimChi when she comes in.
- Look at this, she says.
I know I've said before that I won't go to my local chinese takeaway since they ripped out the soul, changed the menu, and put up a barrier so you can't see the chefs smoking and making the special sauce. They do Chinese, Korean, Thai and Malay food, and the Korean stuff is actually pretty good. So fried KimChi it is. But I digress.
- They're old, and they're overcooked, she goes on, ripping open the bag and dumping it unceremoniously on the counter. The cheery Korean chap looks at them. I can't work out his expression. She is looking around, possibly looking for an ally. I hunch over and make myself look small.
- Chips are cheap. You don't serve bad chips. And I went all the way home and had to come all the way back.
They take away the chips, and she sits down to wait.
- Check your food, she says.
I consider this. There's something very odd about buying chips from a Korean takeaway, particularly as they're slightly more expensive than the chips from the chip shop next door. Also, this place is famous for cocking up Chinese food, so their understanding of chips is likely to be even more random. I decide that my food will probably be fine.
And anyway, the last thing I want to do is take any advice from someone wearing pyjamas, slippers, and a cheap fake-fur coat.
What is afoot?
At the moment, not an awful lot is afoot, if you must know. I have remembered - from ten years ago when I decided to leave Scotland - that deciding to emigrate a month before Christmas is never a sensible idea.
Work is pretty mad. After all, it's the run up to the end of the year, there's a push to get sales in, and the joy of early afternoon murk means that nobody actually wants to be helpful as they're all far too busy, and in many cases slightly narky.
The Christmas party season is upon us - a time when we go out and watch some of our married colleagues making inappropriate moves on some of our other married colleagues. A time when we laugh and cringe and take photos on our telephones and it just makes the atmosphere in the office a little more tetchy.
Free time is devoted to Christmas - making sure that the right presents are in the right places to be opened by the right fingers on Christmas morning, before they are abandoned as the next best new toy comes along. The city is a cacophony of multilingual shrieks as rumours go round the crowds that someone on the other side of the river has seen a Wii. The curse of crowds in the western world - take me back to Japan.
And work is more stressful than ever. If I hadn't already resigned, I would be thinking about it.
So how are my plans for relocation going? They're not. But they have to kick off soon. Oh yes, soon something will be afoot.