Wednesday, 10 November 2010

General Busy-ness, Green Tomato Chutney

We woke to frost this morning and walking the dogs was lovely in the sparkling sunshine, however it is now clouding over and seems to be turning into a dull grey day.
The Farmer & Younger Son have gone off with large tractors & serious logging equipment to process a neighbour's mountain of firewood (http://www.larkhilltipis.co.uk/) & Elder Son has departed on his tractor for a days hedge-trimming on a nearby farm, so I have a day all to myself.
I've already dealt with emails and cottage booking requests, ironed bedlinen & made up  the beds in the holiday cottage for guests arriving on Friday and  I shall make a batch of green tomato chutney (see below) later this morning and then continue with various sewing projects that need to be finished before I get completely fed-up them. What a busy little bee I am!

I was amazed to find some daffodil shoots appearing in the pots in the garden this week. I hope they don't get burned off by some fearsome icy blasts later on. Talking with a friend yesterday we commented on how few sloes there are this year...last year the crop was wonderful & large quantities of sloe gin were made but this year there will none. The holly berries are bright & plentiful; its pity there is no use for them, other than feeding the birds, of course, and there are many rose hips gleaming in the hedges. It has been a good season for fungi, but we are just not knowledgeable enough to harvest them.

Green Tomato Chutney
4lbs green tomatoes
1lb apples
1/2 stoned or stoneless raisins
1lb brown sugar
11/4lb shallots (I've used leeks & onions)
8-10 chillies
1/2oz dried whole ginger
1 pint vinegar

Cut up all the tomatoes, peel & chop the apples & shallots.
Bruise the ginger & chillies & tie in muslin bag.
Place all the ingredients in a preserving pan, bring to the boil and simmer until the chutney has the desired consistency.
Remove the bag of spices and bottle the chutney,
Yield about 71/4lb.

This recipe comes from a marvellous book that is my preserving bible, Home Preservation of Fruit & Vegetables, Bulletin 21 produced by the now defunct Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food. Old copies might be found on Ebay or http://www.abebooks.co.uk/.

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