Well, I thought I’d start out with a shot of our raised bed SQFT garden. It’s been great this year. We have green ice lettuce, arugula, mesculin, spinach, and chard in the first box, four bell peppers (green, lemon (got one so far and 3 babies are growing), orange and tiny red), broccoli rabe, italian eggplant and a penthouse of nantes carrots in the second, lemon cukes (have two babies), burpless cukes (have 3 teenagers and 2 babies), bush beans, peas, acorn squash and zucchini (has female flowers just now) in the third bed, and the fourth bed is 12″ deep for the tomatoes…we have Brandywine (the Princess), Sweet 100, Green Zebra, Red Pear, Bush Goliath and Oregon Spring that has already produced a tom! I was replanting a Bush Goliath in May….I broke it in half. I stuck BOTH pieces in the bed and BOTH have flowers and seem to be very healthy. I hope the weather gets warm again. I’ve been sleeping under a sheet, blanket, bedspread and quilt the last few nights!
Here we go to the goodies. I made this chutney…just made it up with some help from my new favorite cookbook. I love Irish cooking and got this book on recommendation from another great cook, AND if you can find a 40% off coupon…it is well worth it. The onion jam recipe is a wonder. It reads like a novel, and if I ever get back to Ireland, I WILL go there.
CHERRY ONION SWEET AND SAVORY CHUTNEY
1 1/2 C fresh pitted dark, sweet cherries, quartered
1 1/2 C combination of chopped onion (I used red, white, yellow and walla walla)
2 T ghee
3 spicy garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 – 1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp light brown sugar (you need to judge if you need more or less sugar according to the sweetness of the cherries and the onions)
1/4-1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice seasoning (I make my own)
a good pinch of chili powder
1 – 2 T balsamic vinegar 1/2 dark and 1/2 white (to taste, I used 1 T total)
Makes about 1 1/2 C
Saute onion and garlic in ghee in a heavy skillet for about 15 minutes (you just want them translucent), add cherries and spices and vinegar and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Cover and turn down to low and cook for another 10 minutes. If the chutney is “tight” turn off, if not, let simmer uncovered for another few minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Put mixture hot into 1 C, sterile canning jars and screw the sterile lids on. Let sit until cool and keep in a cool pantry (60 degrees or less). You may want to refrigerate after opening. Especially if you live in a hot climate. Or you can just do a waterbath canning on this and keep it in your pantry. Let this mellow in your pantry for a few weeks. I made this the 5th and it tastes so much better today (the 19th).