After making three batches of red tomato chutney and two of green I have lost my chutney mojo. I hate wasting food but there is a limit to what you can do. If you don't plant all your land is it a waste of production potential? And what about if you don't use all the seeds in a packet? I save them to use the next year but the the success rate plummets so is that wasteful? Then, if you do plant all your land with all your seeds, you end up with far too much produce to eat fresh, you give some away, eat some, feed some to the chooks, preserve some but still there's more waiting. The guilt kicks in- there are people in the world starving and I'm letting tomatoes rot on the vine.... So I force back tiredness and fire up the stove and make another batch of chutney... and another.... but I'm done. I still have three baskets of green tomatoes but I am feeding them to the chooks. That's a waste of potential chutney, yes. But the tomatoes are not wasted as they will feed the chooks who give me manure for next years tomato patch and then the cycle starts again.
But to assuage my guilt I am posting a picture of tomato relish and the recipes in order to inspire someone else to make relish. I feel that if I inspire someone to make relish who wouldn't normally have done so then that goes towards evening out the balance for those un-chutneyed tomatoes I have. And if it just makes you want to eat chutney rather than make it well I know someone with about 30 jars of the stuff, too....
Green tomato pickles I very loosely used this recipe with some changes:
1) I reduced the sugar to 500 grams.
2) I don't know what pickling salt is so I used regular salt
3) I didn't have any of the spices so I used 3 Tb of curry powder instead of all of them.
Ok. I guess I didn't really use that recipe at all when you write it down like that! But I did salt the ingredients separately overnight and use the stated amount of vinegar. Last year I made a relish (thickened with flour) and I prefer this one (thickened by reduction.)
Tomato chutney (from Cookery the Australian Way- my Home Ec textbook. )
1 clove garlic
2 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups sultanas
1/8 tsp cayenne papper (I used ichimi)
1 Tb salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
Method (paraphrased as it's a textbook so it tends to go on a bit...)
1. Peel and cut up tomatoes and onions. (Whoops. Didn't read the peel tomatoes bit so didn't do it. Probably would have been nicer but if you dice them small enough the bits of skin aren't too big as to be a problem and peeling tomatoes is such a hassle anyway...)
2. Crush garlic.
3. Put all ingredients except sugar in a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking until everything is soft and mixture thickens (about 1 1/2 hours.)
4. Add sugar, stir until boiling and cook 30 minutes (stir frequently so it doesn't burn) until mixture doesn't separate.
5. ladle mixture into scalded jars and leave to cool before storing in a cool dry place.
I did all the cooking on top of the woodstove as using the gas for 1 1/2 hours would kind of negate the whole avoiding waste nature of my endeavour. You can make it in the microwave though if you don't have a woodfire. Just use a big bowl and zap, stir, zap, stir for about 10 minutes.
The taste is well worth the effort. Especially the red tomato one. Mmmm, goes with everything... I swear this is not a pyramid scheme but if you make it I'm sure good things will come your way. At the very least compliments on your chutney!