Apart from my brief introduction at The Make Lounge, I have never actually made chutney. I never before saw the point of putting stuff on cheese, which in my opinion was already rather tasty. In recent years though, probably due to my more regular visits to various London wine and cheese establishments, I have warmed to the idea.
After one such visit the other evening, I decided it was time to have a go myself (and perhaps some home made chutney could make good Christmas presents too?).
Ok, the first thing about chutney is that it seems to involve a lot of chopping. This lovely recipe for pear, date and cinnamon chutney really put me through my paces. Chopping up 450g of shallots resulted in a little breathing difficulty, although the veggies themselves were very pretty (perhaps I was a little high on onion fumes by then):
Bubbling away on the stove, the chutney smelled a lot like Christmas shot through with vinegary tones. It struck me that I wouldn't really know if the chutney was a 'success' or not straight away as I'm told that the jars need to 'mature' for a month or two before being eaten. Oh the stress of potentially giving away something rank for Christmas! I guess it's a possibility I'll have to live with..
After sterilising the jars in the oven, it was simply a matter of ladling away until all the little containers were full up. Nine jars in all - not bad for an evening's work.
Now all I need is one of those fancy chalk pens from Ryman's and a little fabric for prettifying. Oh and a month of 'maturation' time..