This (rainy) afternoon, along with the apple cake, country mouse made plum chutney from the leftover plums. The recipe was from a lovely blog: http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/. The blog did warn that the chutney took 5 hours to cook but country mouse felt equal to that at lunchtime today. By 10.45pm when the chutney was finally bottled she felt rather less relaxed and now never wants to see a plum again.
The ingredients are all wonderful though and the kitchen smelled delicious all day. You de-stone and slice 3lbs of plums (this is no small matter) and put in your biggest pot (I needed the stockpot for this one) along with: 1lb of apples, 1lb of onions, 300g dried apricots chopped into 8s, 200g dried raisins, 1/2lb soft brown sugar, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2tsp cayenne pepper, 2tsp salt, 1tsp allspice powder, 1tsp cinnamon powder,, 1tsp ground ginger, 1 and a half pints of white wine vinegar, 1 hot chilli, 2tbsp balsamic vinegar, 5 juniper berries and 10 black peppercorns. Chop all the choppable things finely and bring slowly to a gentle boil then simmer very gently for at least five hours. Stir when you remember and enjoy feeling a bit like Harry Potter as you do so.
Bubbling merrily (above). Reduced by about half and ready to be bottled (below). Recipients of this chutney will be glad to learn that I first removed the burnt bits from the middle. I had to turn off the gas and put the lid on while I put Little R to bed then simmered it a bit hard on my return to make up for the lost time. This was a mistake and resulted in a darker sticky layer on the bottom of the pan but I think it will still be fine as I tried not to disturb it after that first vigorous stir.
The finished result (below), finally bottled at ten thirty this evening and now being blogged at 10.45pm. How's that for hot off the press. You could almost call it a news FLASH.
Making apple cake and plum chutney on the same day however meant that I was rather countrymoused-out by dinner time and by the time DH arrived home, post Little R's bathtime, Country Mouse was feeling rather frazzled and heard herself squeaking, "DINNER? You want DINNER?" Plum chutney is definitely not conducive to an organised life.