Blogs

Write new blog
LizardM

Friends amongst Chutney

by LizardM published on

Preserving has never appealed to me..It's the mention of 'exact measures', 'sterilisation' and 'keeping for at least a month before eating' which doesn't really appeal to my enthusiastic, slightly impatient nature.

So at first, an invite to spend an evening with the girls making chutney didn't really appeal. I said I would join, as they had also, promised, wine and a catch up.

Whilst Lucy and Cat got all prepared, ordering jars, making long trips for exotic spices, I did very little. The offer of some bramley fallers a couple of days later however, got me inspired. I had been narrow in my outlook thinking I don't particularly like jam or traditional chutney so I'm not about to make pots of it. But the thought of having a stack of Spicy Apple Chutney was the spur I needed. The recipe had won our Perfect Preserve Competition and I had just got down to the last of my jar that I had managed to keep.

I joined the girls and they kindly gave me some of their jars. I didn't read the recipe until I started prepping, only to make sure I had the ingredients (fenugreek aside - I reasoned it can't be that important to the flavour and I was bored of trailing around Dorset in pursuit of it).

Glass of wine in hand,  gossip in full flow, Lucy, Cat and I had a fantastic time chopping and nattering. If you know you can be easily convinced to be lazy, then making stuff with friends definitely spurs you on. I had in my minds eye the luminescent colour of Fiona's champion green chutney and the pan of spices frying and bubbling. I focussed on getting the frying spices part of it right, as I know from making curries, that if you don't cook the spices properly, you won't get that authentic taste. I managed to catch Pam on the Preserving hotline before we started and she gave me a few extra tips from her own perfect version of the chutney.

The spices bubbled away nicely, with that wonderful aroma of Indian curries and I really started to get excited. I made Cat promise me she would do me labels, as she is a whizz on those things and she very kindly helped me sterilize the jars. Lucy's husband Steve, a deft Preserver, had an essential Preserving funnel which meant the chutney went in to the jars cleanly and perfectly. Had it been left to me, it would have been dribbling down the side of the jar and be making a real mess. We all agreed the taste was good, the spices were there, it looked good, but I had a last minute panic about the overwhelming taste of the cider vinegar. At 10.30pm at night (we had started at 7) Lucy convinced me it was ready! and dismissed my last minute worries about having jars of astringent chutney, never opened or tasted, gathering dust. It was great to have a friend like her to push me over the final hurdle, the final descent into Preserving loveliness. Apparently you should leave chutney a month before you eat it and the taste of vinegar will fade.

My jars of chutney now take pride of place on my kitchen shelves, my friends and family all wanting a jar. Preserving is an incredibly rewarding thing to do, and the idea that jars of my chutney will be opened at Christmas, giving my friends and family pleasure, is just a lovely feeling.

1 reply
Replied on

Give us a try Liz, sounds yummy!!

To leave a response to the post you will need to be a registered user. Sign-up here or Login here
@rivercottage
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: @rivercottage Incredibly proud to have you as part of the family! x
  • Loved every minute x MT @JamiesFoodTube: @rivercottage Thank you for making #FoodTube what it is! x link
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: 1 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS!!!! :D Thank you to each & every one of you! x Big BIG #LOVE! link Please RT ht…
  • One million subscribers to @JamiesFoodTube and counting. We’re very proud to be a part of that!
  • Congratulations to our five #RisingStar finalists: Lily, Chloe, Cameron, Jamie and Sophie. See you at the final! link
  • FOODTUBE: time for a retro Hugh clip now, as he as he battles it out for an elusive gold @TheMelplashShow link
  • Want to take Hugh out of his comfort zone?! Book him to do anything you want here link for @StarService #StandUpToCancer
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Learn how to use some lesser-used meat cuts on our Nose-to-tail course, where nothing is wasted! link #ze…
  • @adamtyrer Whoops, sorry!
  • RT @jamieoliver: Lovely people, we're nearly at 1 million subs on @jamiesfoodtube! Let's cross the line with this tweet! SUBSCRIBE http://t…
  • RT @SoilAssociation: It's #OrganicSeptember! We're encouraging people to make #smallchanges and support #organic - stay tuned for blogs, ev…
  • You don’t need qualifications to become one of our #apprentices. Last places remaining link @RCChefsSchool
  • “I didn’t think anyone would employ me, and now I’m being offered two jobs” #apprenticeships link @RCChefsSchool
  • Our young chef hopefuls have been interviewed and we now have our five lucky finalists for #RisingStar 2014! WATCH: link
  • RT @BloomsburyCooks: You'll be able to take a 1st look at recipes from @rivercottage #LightandEasy in tomorrow's @thetimes - GET. EXCITED. …
  • RT @CornwallCollege: Looking forward to seeing entries for #EdenRisingStar chef competition! @edenproject @rivercottage Entry details here …
  • RT @edenproject: Interested in a chef apprenticeship with us? Watch this video: link #EdenRisingStar @rivercottage @Cornw
  • Did you know you can get paid to train at our @RCChefsSchool? Last places remaining: link link
  • RT @johnmushroom: @thepamthejam @rivercottage Quite right. When I rule the world, hedgerow-cutting dates will be taken under my personal co…
  • @thepamthejam @johnmushroom King John, gosh - now there's a thought!
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Beautiful day for a #wedding, congratulations Vicky & Paul! link
  • Join us next week for the highly anticipated launch of Hugh's book, River Cottage #lightandeasy. Last tickets left! link
  • RT @GSeabright: Enter #EdenRisingStar competition for chef apprenticeships with @edenproject @rivercottage @CornwallCollege https://t.co/e1…
  • @chellemars Yes our @GelfAlderson made it! The recipe isn't online but you can learn to make it on our course! :o) link
  • . @BBCRadio2 @achrisevans absolutely, we are ready! #TFIPieDay link
  • @RachaelWedd Enjoy! We can't take all the credit though, our @johnmushroom is the brains behind that one :o) @BloomsburyCooks
  • Time for another classic #Hugh recipe - cooled lettuce and radish soup: link @JamiesFoodTube link
  • RT @edenproject: Aged 16-24 and interested in a chef apprenticeship at Eden? Enter our #EdenRisingStar competition! Find out how http://t.c…
  • RT @RCChefsSchool: **TONIGHT** #Apprenticeship open evening here at @rivercottage HQ. 6.30pm - 8.30pm. Please share! link
  • RT @crowdfunderuk: Great catch up with @LeedsBreadCoop 1 year since their #crowdfunder campaign - did you pledge? link ht…
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Just announced, @FBPocketOrch will be joining us for Hugh's Late Summer Party! Grab one of the last tickets now: http://t.c…
  • RT @JamiesFoodTube: Start your morning right, with some classic @rivercottage. link
  • RT @crowdfunderuk: Guest blog: It’s been an exciting year for @SuttonFarm since their #crowdfunder campaign! link http://…
  • Our Hugh's a master in the kitchen, but he's #AtYourService for #StandUpToCancer. Book him to do anything you want! link
  • RT @RCHQEvents: Last places left for our One Day Cookery Course this Fri + Sun, call the team now for a late deal: 01297 630314: http://t.c…
  • @lucysiegle Absolutely, just follow us back and we'll send you a DM. Enjoy the pizza!
  • @lucysiegle Oh no! So sorry to hear that. Can you DM us more details so we can address the problem?
  • @BloomsburyCooks @PaulHollywood looks absolutely delicious!
  • VOTE: Support your favourite #RisingStar budding chef with just one click: link link
  • RT @starservice: A rustic @rivercottage meal from Hugh would be divine. But wouldn't it be SO much better if he read your nan a book? http:…
  • Get your hands on a signed copy of Hugh's new book and meet the man himself at our Late Summer Party. Book here: link
  • Chicken with lentils, rosemary + carrot cornbread. Sound good? It's on the menu at Hugh's book launch. Book now: link
  • St Clements polenta cake with blueberries. Salivating? Come and try it at Hugh's book launch on 4 Sept. Book here: link
  • RT @debsthelawyer: Fab day this week at @rivercottage HQ making bread and building a clay oven! link
  • Come along to Hugh's Late Summer Party on 4 Sept - meet Hugh & get his new book signed: link
  • Tweet your support for your favourite Rising Star hopeful and we’ll RT the lot! Get voting, folks! link
  • RT @GiulsMat: Vote for my friend CHLOE RIDE in the #RisingStar2014 competition for #RiverCottage. Here is her video - MAD SKILLS https://t.…
  • @lamornadavies You should be able to translate the website... it's in Danish :o)
  • Danish friends! Fancy a Booze masterclass with @johnmushroom? You are in luck! Don't miss @FoodFestivalDK https://t.co/eUucCIqDA1
  • Voting has just opened for this year’s Rising Star competition. See all the entrants here and pick your best! link
Login or Sign-up

Login & Sign-up

Forgotten your password? Retrieve it here
Or connect via Facebook
Connect with Facebook
Join River Cottage
Close
Shopping basket: 0 items £0.00