Relish the Chutney

Today was a day of self-indulgence. I only did things I love doing, and it was a great day. The morning started off with me making the Apple Pear Chutney I've been talking about. It turned out so nice. The recipe came from Marisa McClellan's book, Food in Jars, which is my current favorite book for small-batch canning.

She has the best recipes for pickles, chutneys, salsas, and sauces. Whenever I get a mind to try something new, I always check her book first. She also has a second book called Preserving by the Pint, although I haven't delved into that one as much yet. Part of the reason I love canning is that it puts me in synchrony with the seasons. The same can be said for cooking, in general. Nevertheless, nothing puts me in such close touch with a season's harvest in the way that canning does.

The recipe promised me a 4-pint yield. I like to use half pint jars for chutneys, and so I gave myself a little extra and sterilized 10 half-pint jars. Even at that, I ended up with a higher yield of 6 pints. I filled and processed the 10 half-pint jars I had prepared, and then filled another pint jar and yet another partial pint that went straight into the refrigerator. I can't just cook something up without also eating some of it, now can I?

So, all of that to say that the recipe makes a lot. My Dutch oven was overflowing when I started out. The recipe was silent on whether to chop and peel the apples and pears, but I figured they have to at least be cored, right? And I feel fairly certain that peeling and chopping was also the right thing to do. I cut mine the same way I cut them for apple pie. These are Jonagold apples and d'Anjou pears.

And you know I'm not a fan of rabbit oofies in my food, but I did use the 3 cups of brown raisins in this recipe. I'm not sorry. They do look a little like rabbit oofies, but I'm not letting that get in the way of spooning it into my mouth with great gusto. 

After it had cooked for about an hour and 15 minutes, there were still large chunks of apple in the mix, although the liquid had cooked down quite a bit. I decided to mash it up some with a potato masher, and that did the trick.

When I decided it had cooked down enough to be processed, it looked like this. Those of you with sharp eyes might see the cinnamon sticks floating in the mix. Those were fished out and discarded.

And when it was processed, it looked like this. I have lots for gifting, which is always kind of fun, especially around the holidays.

I'm thinking this will be delicious spread on a crusty bread with a sprinkle of Gorgonzola or blue cheese. I didn't happen to have any this afternoon, and so I grated some cheddar over. It was delicious.

Mike had to go into town this afternoon, and so he picked up some Gorgonzola. We'll have this with our dinner of split pea soup this evening. Sounds good on a damp autumn day, doesn't it?

And when that was all finished, I headed straight into the sewing room to finish quilting my "Leaves" table runner.

I had a moment of angst thinking I'd been too loose with my meander...maybe it needed more of a pattern. Then Mike came in and admired it without being asked. He scored some points for sure. I'm happy with how it turned out.

And now the binding is sewn on and it's ready for slow-stitching. 

Just as I typed those words, the crock pot beeped, telling me it's time to pull the meat off the ham bone for the split pea soup. So I guess that's next on the list.

It's been a very relaxing and gratifying day here at the Three Cats Ranch. I hope you had a lovely Saturday too.


Lee said...

The chutney looks yummy! Funny you should post about these books designed for pint-size cooking, I was daydreaming just a few days ago that should I ever get to canning that I'd prefer pints and smaller - I'll have to check out these books!

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

The chutney looks delectable; it is loads of fun to read how you enjoy what you do. I love the table runner too; great job.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I have made pear chutney and apple chutney, but oh that looks good and on crusty bread (love bread) now I'm hungry.

crazy quilter said...

I so love to read about your canning. Not sure I am a fan of Gorgonzola but this chutney looks delish! I admire your free motion quilting so wonderful! Glad you had a great day! I like those myself.

quiltzyx said...

Looks like you got some fun/yummy stuff done today! I know I like Gorgonzola crackers, but I'm not sure if I've had the actual cheese. But I do like a schmear of jam on a grilled cheese when I'm feelin' fancy, so I'm sure 'most any cheese would taste good with your latest chutney.
Almost done with your leaves & the runner looks fabulous!
I spent most of the day at my guild's first boutique & tea. We've had a tea luncheon at our last 2 quilt shows, but this was our first boutique. We were busy most of the day & looks like we did well. I sold a cat tile that I did a while back, a couple scarves & some Happy Bowls. All those were donated to the guild. But I also sold a quilt top of mine that was being used as a table cloth! Woohooo!

Dana Gaffney said...

Sounds like a perfect day :)

CathieJ said...

Thanks for the book and blog recommendations. I have to try them. Your table runner is absolutely gorgeous.

gpc said...

It sounds like a perfect day I love cooking and making yummies on those rare days that there is someone to share with, especially this time of year. Your runner is beautiful, prettier every time you show it.

Kate said...

The Chutney sounds yummy. Your Leaves table runner looks great. You should take a picture of it on your table.

Cath said...

The chutney looks really good. I do wish I was on your gifting list!

Snoodles said...

Yummy! I bet the whole house smelled divine when that was cooking! :) It does sound like you had a lovely day!