Magical moment in the garden

Magical moment in the garden

Look at these little beauties – after 3 year’s this has been the best Almond harvest yet!

 

Harvest is not only a time to celebrate our hard work by eating what we’ve grown, but it’s also a special time that brings people together. After harvesting all our stone fruit I invited my friend and her mother to come and help me make some spicy fruit chutney. Women sitting around a table preparing food is nothing new, but what I discovered today changed my understanding of just how powerful it can be.

My friend’s mother has Alzheimer’s and was diagnosed less than 12 months ago. This cruel disease is slowly taking her away from her family but today, as she used her hands peeling apples and removing the hulls off the almonds, she was able to share stories of when she preserved fruits with her friends and what that meant for her then, and more importantly now, as she remembered.  Thank you for the lovely memory and helping prepare this year’s apple, zucchini, nectarine and peach spicy chutney. Recipe below.

chutneypot1

 

Apple, Zucchini, Nectarine and Peach Spicy Chutney (I double the quantity to make about a dozen jars, but not the sugar. Peaches give the chutney enough sweetness for me.)

4 Apples

5 Ripe Nectarines or Peaches (I use both)

2-3 Zucchini’s (if you have over grown zucchini’s, they are great for this recipe)

3 Onions

5 Garlic Cloves

0.5 Litres of Water

0.5 Litres of Red Wine Vinegar (can use White Wine Vinegar)

2 tbsp. Curry Powder (Add more to make it spicier)

130 g Sugar (I don’t double the sugar for fear of being too sweet and the fruit is so sweet too!)

1 tbsp. Salt

1 tbsp. Mustard Seeds

2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (or Chilli Powder)

1 tsp. Ground Ginger

Disinfected jars.

Method

Clean and chop ends off zucchini and cut into squares. Peel and core the apples and cut into the same sized squares as the zucchini’s. (If you like your chutney not so chunky cut them smaller).  Put the apples, zucchini’s and 0.5 Litres of water into a large pot.  Cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 or 10 minutes or so until the apple is softening up.

Peel and chop the onions. Cut the Nectarines or Peaches in half, and then in half again, discarding the stone.  Gently peel off the skin and because I like my chutney chunky, I usually make my nectarines or peaches about twice the size of the apples, zucchini cubes.

Throw all the ingredients into the pot with the apples and zucchini’s and bring to the boil. Once boiled simmer for at least an hour. I tend to experiment here depending on its consistency.  Taste it to see if its spicy enough, if not add more Cayenne/Chilli Powder.  You don’t want it to be too runny.  Once it cools jar it up!  Note – make sure your take the labels off the jars, it looks better and it makes it easier to label.  Great for gifts, cold meats and salad, or my favourite with an Indian curry!