Tomato-Apple Chutney

In which I make confessions about preserving.

I struggle with preserving.  I am a process person and need to be completely organized when I begin.  This was a struggle.  I often psych myself out of beginning because the workflow seems intimidating.  Canning is really not that hard.  It helps to have everything in place and set up before you begin, but the process is not overly complicated.  This is a place, however, where my training in project management and creating work flows helps.  I am able to visualize everything that needs to happen including timelines so that I don’t get in over my head.DSCN2741However, problems come in when in the middle of chopping everything, I realized I only had half the amount of celery that I needed.  And then comes the struggle.  I want to be true to the recipes, but there have to be some cases where substitutions are allowed.  I split the difference on this one. I went to the store and got the celery, but I did not go to Penzey’s to get cayenne pepper and used Berbere seasoning instead.  Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend, the main ingredient of which is cayenne pepper.  When I consulted mom, she reassured me that great-grandma probably left it out all together.  Whatever.  We are talking about 1/4 tsp in a vat of tomatoes, apples, celery, and onions.

And since we are doing true confessions here, I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned.  I put a garden where the dog kennel used to be.  I grew a lot of weeds where I didn’t put down landscaping fabric, but I also managed to get some usable veggies out the situation including tomatoes.DSCN2747This recipe seems exotic for 1950’s Iowa, but I can see where it would be a good use for those vegetables that are still hanging on when the apples are starting to ripen.  Chutney, though, is one of those things that I sometimes have a hard time using up.  It’s a relish and goes with roasted meats.  It can be mixed into mayo and put on sandwiches.  Mix some into some veggies to make them more exciting.  I have no better ideas to use it and jars of it to use.  Please help.  dscn2751.jpgThis is a good basic chutney.  Not something you’d find in an Indian restaurant.  It might have a little too much celery for my taste, but it’s good.  It’s that nice mix of sweet and tart and spicy that chutney should be.

Tomato Apple Chutney