LATE SUMMER TOMATO CHUTNEY

This recipe for late summer tomato chutney comes from my Great-Great-Grandmother and it's the closest thing my family has to ancient history. Its smell and taste are hard-wired into the parts of my brain that comfort and sooth - for me, it's the platonic ideal against which all other chutneys are judged. It is incredible with eggs, amazing on all kinds of burgers (veggie burgers included!), and super yummy with roast chicken. Now y'all know I'm usually about quick and easy recipes here on The Spring, so I want to say up front that this isn't one of them. Although it takes a lot of time, this recipe is close to my heart so I hope you'll clip it, save it, and someday be inspired to make it for your loved ones. And if you do, you might as well get an extra big pot and do up a double up the batch - it'll be well, well worth it!

Late Summer Tomato Chutney Recipe

15 red ripe tomatoes 3 onions 3 peaches 3 pears 2 cups vinegar 2 tbsp salt 2 cups brown sugar 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp dry mustard 1/2 tsp cloves 1/2 tsp cayenne 1/2 tsp allspice 1/2 cup pickling spice tied in a bag

1. Scald, skin, and chop tomatoes into a very large pot 2. Add peeled and chopped fruit and onions 3. Add other ingredients and let stand for 1 hour 4. Cook slowly till thick (about 2-3 hours) 5. Seal in sterilized jars  - I wrote a post on this you can check out here

yield: about 4 pints

Chutney Making Tips:

1. Pickling spice is sold in the spice section of the grocery store. If you can't find it there, try a health food shop. 2. Make the spice bag using cheese cloth or donate a nylon sock to the cause. 3. Bring to simmer slowly - it's easy to burn the bottom of the pot if you're in a hurry. 4. Stirring hurries it along. 5. Skim the froth that comes to the top. 6. If you double the recipe it takes more like 4-5 hours to thicken.

To Give:

People love to received home-made gifts, right? And it doesn't take much to pretty up a jar of jam or chutney. Here's how I like to pretty up mine before sending them off to a good home:

1. Cut out a square a cotton fabric with pinking shears. 2. Secure fabric over top of each lid with an elastic band. 3. Cover the band with a few wraps of jute twine. 4. Add a tag to let your recipient know (i) what's in the jar (ii) where to store it (iii) how long it will keep, and (iv) that it was made for them with love!