Better Than Washing Your Mouth Out With Soap
So, what happens when someone dumps ten pounds of plums on your doorstep? You say, “Oh, chutney! What the heck am I going to do with these?”
That basket full of pears is starting to turn brown. “Oh, chutney! All these pears going brown so fast?”
The same could be said of any sudden, unexpected and superfluous arrival of unwelcome fruits which guilt compels you not to throw away. “Chutney!”
Chutney is a profanity, and a solution. You can’t go wrong with a 1:1 ratio of fruit to sugar. Throw in a few spices to clove things up. Get random and chuck in a few raisins and maybe some mustard seed. Vinegar does everything: window cleaner, weed killer, so why not pour in a couple of cups along with a dash or three of salt. And, of course, you can give it some jump with a dusting of cayenne pepper. Boil it up, seal it in jars, and give it away for Christmas presents.
In the aftermath of your initial angst of dealing with volumes of unwanted produce, you’re left with the fire cracker of condiments. It makes everything taste better– even those shoe-leather tough pork chops or those bargain sausages bulked up with sawdust.
Marilyn’s Pear Chutney
(Who is Marilyn? Oh, chutney! I’m not positive, but I have a pretty good idea.)
3 pounds of fresh pears (about 7 cups unpeeled and chopped)
1 pound of brown sugar. (Okay, so I exaggerated. It’s only 3:1)
2 cups cider vinegar (and, no, there is no scientific proof that this stuff helps you lose weight.)
1 medium onion, chopped.
1 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup diced preserved ginger
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
2 teaspoons mustard seed
Combine the brown sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the pears and everything else (omitting the kitchen sink). Cook slowly, stirring from time to time, until the mixture is thick. How thick? Imagine it pooling on a pork chop. It’ll take about an hour to thicken. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal. It makes about 5 half pint jars. The chutney may also be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks.