Thursday, September 07, 2006

chutney experiment

Today was a day best spent outdoors.

After ringing the proverbial schoolbell and setting the daily regimen for my class (of two), I took to the lake in my sweet little boat. Ah, the spoils of being mom! (Not to mention pricipal and superintendant.) The night-herons I have been watching all summer have departed for warmer waters. Their usual roost of dead tree limbs is deserted, reminding me of a hastily vacated apartment with bare lightbulbs dangling from frayed wires. The lake was quiet. No rasp of outboard motors or whine of jet-skis, just the wet plunk of my plastic paddles.

#1 Son and #1 Daughter stacked wood and mowed lawns this late-summer afternoon. I dragged an aluminum ladder over to our "orchard" to pluck pears and apples. Lazy wasps shopped my wares like so many finicky housewives, testing this piece of fruit and that before choosing their produce. Many of the pears were still green, which led me to experiment with this recipe. I made it up as I chopped, and I hope to remember how I did it. All amounts are exceedingly approximate, as I measured nothing!

Pear & Raisin Chutney

2 quarts green pears, cored & chopped
1 cup raisins
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T cinnamon
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cardamom seeds

Simmer all in large heavy saucepan for 1 to 2 hours, until thick. Stir often, making sure the bottom doesn't burn!

That's it. We ate some with our grilled chicken and rice for dinner. The rest I canned in pint jars.
I would recommend it as a condiment for pork, turkey, or lamb. Better yet: alongside sharp cheese and whole wheat crackers.

With doings like this, I suppose Fall is a welcome visitor after all. (sigh)


Blogger eyestotheeast said...

I'm a big fan of your vinegar peppers with crackers and cheese. why spoil a great snack with chutney? (wink) =)

4:37 PM  

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