As has happened over the last few years, we've been getting a whole lot of vegetables from David's parents allotment- genuinely we get boat loads of courgettes, broad beans, cabbages, and blackberry's that need to be eaten, frozen or preserved.
I've been lucky over the last couple of weeks and had a lot of time on my hands, so I have been making lots, and lots, and lots of chutneys and preserves.
It's so fun, I love making things in general, and producing beautiful jars of colourful yummyness is totally up my street!
I've made Spiced Courgette Chutney, Sweet Tomato Chutney, Nectarine and Vanilla Preserve, and Bottled raspberry's and blackberry's.
You can find the recipe for the Spiced Courgette Chutney on the BBC Goodfood website- HERE
You can find the recipe for the Nectarine Vanilla Preserve on THIS website
Both the Sweet Tomato Chutney and the Bottled Fruit are from my 'Woman's Own Cookbook' by Alex Barker from 1981 that I was given when the Food Technology dept. at work were having a clear out last term- I love old cook books, they really are fonts of knowledge that is often missing in today's cookbook world. Anyhoo, they are such good recipe's I just have to share.
Sweet Tomato Chutney
1.5kg Ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
1 tbsp salt
275g soft brown sugar
900ml malt vinegar
1 knob of fresh root ginger, bruised
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
Pop the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, the onion, salt, sugar and vinegar in a large pan.
Tie the herbs and spiced in a small muslin bag, and add it to the pan. Let the whole thing marinate for around 24 hours.
The next day, stir the mix and bring to a simmer and leave it bubbling away for an hour and a quarter, regularly giving it a good stir so it doesn't burn on the bottom. Then boil until thick, you can tell when it's ready when you run a spoon through the mixture a small amount of liquid fills the trail.
Remove the muslin bag and bottle.
I didn't want to go over how to bottle chutney because I was sure that there would be a simple and consise explanations already out there on the web, but I have to tell you that in a quick search, I couldn't find one. So, this is what I do based on the instructions in the book and advice from other recipes. I'm in NO WAY an expert, so please find other resources too.
Wash your jars and lids carefully in very hot water, then dry in a oven at 100 degrees for at least 30 min.
Put the food in the jars while both are still hot.
Fill to the top of the jars and top with a wax disc.
Recycling jars with pop up lids is possible, as the mixture cools, the lids button should stay down, if it doesn't the seal is not made and you should try to reseal or eat asap.
But if you haven't got those lids use cellophane jam pot covers.
Store in a cool, dark place, date and label all jars and rotate the store.