RIGHT!!! Where were we before we were so delightfully disrupted by Annes marvellous news? Ah Yes …. turning another monster courgette into some gently spiced chutney for Boxing Day.
Its always nice to have something a bit tangy to whip out on boxing day to jazz up your leftover turkey and ham – last year I made a chilli chutney, but this year I wanted something softer, something more evocative of the flavours of Christmas … all the warming spices of cinnamon and clove and ginger with none of the chilli heat
Could I find a suitable recipe – NOPE!!! So I made up my own and so at the same time decided to experiment with cooking the chutney in my slow cooker.
My slow cooker is one of those that has a HIGH, MEDIUM, LOW and WARM setting. The HIGH setting is high enough to keep the pot at a blipping simmer which is just perfect for the long slow cooking of chutney – and I popped mine on after breakfast one day and jarred up the chutney that evening – so about 8 – 10 hours of long slow cooking to reach the perfect consistency. BOXING DAY CHUTNEY
- 1.5 kg courgettes
- 8 apples chopped
- 4 onions chopped
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 6 cloves
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 500 g sugar
- 500 ml vinegar
So in my big slow cooker I layered up the chopped onion.Before chopping up some random windfall apples – some cookers but mostly eating apples that peeled, cored and I cut the bruised bits out of.
In they go …………………. Lots of chopping of the courgette – made easier by using my Chinese cleaver to make nice neat dice. I mean lots and lots of chopping – it filled my slowcooker almost to the brim. Then sprinkle over the sugar and the spices ………………….. Then the bottle of vinegar …………. and a decent stir …………………….. ……………before popping on the lid and leaving it to do its thing. The courgettes let out a lot of water …. but slowly they all cook down into a soft fragrant mass. The natural sugars caramelise and the spices make you feel like you are wandering through a Christmas market.
I will be honest and say its also pretty whiffy on the old vinegar front for quite a while – I suggest popping your chutney on during a fine day when you can prop the door open and let it waft about the neighbourhood.
Eventually you are left with about a third of a cooker of chutney – you know its thick enough when you can draw a wooden spoon through the mix and you can see the bottom of the pot for a few seconds before it all slumps back again. So scoop into some cleaned and warmed jars and screw the lids on tight. Now – although this tastes darn yummy as is .. it will really improve after a few months tucked away somewhere cool and dark.
So when the jars are cool, label them and tuck them away to produce nearer Christmas for a brilliant sandwich or the ultimate festive ploughmans lunch.
My little project this week to preserve all my extra produce is beginning to produce dividends – Mead, Plum Jam, Nectarine Jam, Cuurgette relish and Boxing Day Chutney …………. all with some sugar and some cheapy vinegar.
Feeling utterly house-wifey and tied to my own apron strings ….. but in reality I need to get organised to head off to Aberdeen for Wednesday where I will be on Sky Telly as their “local guru” on all things personal “financey” ahead of the vote. Micro economics rather than macro.
I tried to wiggle out of it by stating that we are all connected now (by internet and stuff) that we are much more savvy shoppers these days. We can compare prices quickly at home and decide to shop where we get the best deals.
A customer based business that upped its prices in Scotland might find its market share reduced as we moved elsewhere and voted with our feet.
My conclusion – prices are likely to increase over the next two years (cos of this thing called inflation not this thing called devolution) but that consumer businesses stay where they make money … so why would they go after all the huffing and puffing and posturing is done?
Job done I thought – cos they will be after the Chicken Liken “The sky is going to fall” scenario …. turns out that what they want is “common sense and lots of it”. Well its not sexy – but that is me So off to Aberdeen I go!! Long way for a few minutes interview but hey-ho!
So must get get all my jars packed away and the kitchen cleaned down ready to leave the house and the kids and the lodgers in the capable hands of my Mum for the day.
Its never boring here is it??