When the cupboard is bare
I have been somewhat idle this summer and for various reasons have glossed over the abundance of fruits and vegetables growing in gardens or displayed on stalls.
However, recently I was offered a bag of mixed eaters and cookers apples and I pondered on how best to use them. Whether to make an all apple preserve or whether to include them with other produce in a jar. I opened my cupboard of preserves usually stacked up with different chutneys and pickles, jam.
HORROR LEADING TO PANIC.
The cupboard was bare!
That is idleness for you, I thought.
With that, my bag of apples gave me a very decided kick start into rectifying this inertia.
The obvious first preserve to choose for stocking up again was one of Beryl’s tomato chutneys. I decided on a recipe which I can best describe as …
There are a number of red tomato recipes; some are mixed with other produce – marrow, apple, horseradish.
I chose the third of the five simple red tomato recipes on her list.
Firstly, this was because I had all the ingredients in the kitchen which is always encouraging and especially when in panic mode!
The cooking of the chutney is simple and finished in a jif.
There are no heavy spices or garlic and so it is totally acceptable to recipients if making some jars as gifts.
The sugar content is relatively low – a matter not to be glossed over.
I doubled the recipe in order to help fill my cupboard and to ensure that there would still be a few jars over for gifts. Kilner jars are an easy and inexpensive way of making preserves appear even more special to offer up as presents.
Chutneys are always better for keeping. So leave the jars for a while and certainly for at least a month before eating. Make the chutney now and it will be perfect for use at Christmas and for Seasonal gifts.
450 g (1 lb) red tomatoes
113 g (4oz) onions
113 g (4 oz) apple
113 g (4oz) sultanas
113 g (4oz) sugar
150ml (¼ pint) vinegar
½ teaspoon pickling spice
½ dry mustard
Salt, pepper to taste
Blanch and skin the tomatoes and prepare tomatoes and other vegetables, fruit, chop mince or slice as liked; put in pan with whole spices in muslin bag (*or tea gadget) and simmer gently till vegetables are soft and mixture thickens . Remove spices.
Pot in sterilised jars and cover immediately.
* I used a tea gadget for easy use of the pickling spice. It is a gadget sold for use when infusing loose leaf tea.
Enjoy your chutney
and now an end to this inertia!