A photo a day: August 18th

Ah the overpowering scent of vinegar wafting through my house!

It’s everywhere: in my hair, my clothes, the freshly-washed laundry waiting to be folded… But it’s when you step into the kitchen that it really burns your eyes, bringing tears streaming down your cheeks.

Yes indeed, it’s my first pickling day of the year.

pumpkin chutney
Lovely vinegary, sugary pumpkins…

For some reason, I’d completely failed to eat two Abel & Cole pumpkins for so long that they were really past their best. So there was only one thing for it: pumpkin chutney.

I followed a recipe I found at the British Larder that adds some apples (for which I picked a few windfalls from our garden), raisins, plum tomatoes (I had none, so used a tin) and various delicious spices.

I’m a massive chutney lover and this looks like a good one. I’ll let you know how it tastes, when we crack open the first jar at the start of Winter…

Blackberry and apple jam
This is the jam down the barrel of the jar, so to speak…

Yesterday saw more preserving as well, with the blackberries we’d picked in the cemetery. I made up a batch of blackberry and apple jam, following a recipe from the Cottage Smallholder. I guess it’s somewhere between a jam and jelly, since it is sieved, like a jelly, to remove all the blackberry seeds, but, like jam, will be used on toast, not cold meats. The smell of this stuff was absolutely incredible, and I couldn’t resist opening a jar straight away, so I can report that it is really, really, really tasty.

blackberry and apple jam
Yeah, I like to keep my jams and chutneys out in the garden. Don’t you?

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the fate of the rest of the blackberries. Advance notice. It involves lots of booze…

Joining in with the August Break.

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9 thoughts on “A photo a day: August 18th

  1. Can’t say that I am a chutney lover. I love the name but never tasted it. Not a biggie here in Ohio, USA. However, we do love Smucker’s jams and jellies. There ads say ” with a name like Smucker’s it has to be good”! The company has been in nearby Orrville Ohio since 1897. They use a red gingham jar lid just like on your jar. I was going to include a pic but can’t see how to add it to a comment.

    1. Oooh, chutney is a great, great thing! I’d post you some, except for the fact I’m sure that breaks all customs rules.

      I’ve come across Smuckers, actually — when I was spending six months in the Philippines it was the main jam I found in the shops out there. I remember it being pretty tasty… Actually, now I think about it, I’m pretty sure I ate it when I was living in Hong Kong too. That stuff definitely travels! (Not to the UK though, here we’re all obsessed with Bonne Maman.)

  2. You must be a couple of weeks ahead of us, down there. I’m sure I’m annoying most of the travelling public around here with my slow driving down country lanes scanning the blackberry hedges.
    I will be sure to try out that jam though. I usually only freeze my blackberries for our favourite apple and blackberry crumble throughout the winter.

    1. Oh yes, do try the jam, it is really, really excellent. The apples I used were still under-ripe and very tart, which I think has given it a particularly good flavour, against the sweetness of the blackberries and all the massive quantities of sugar that jam always sucks up…

  3. There’s a reason the cherry vodka tastes like cherries, cynaide. Please check the Missouri Poison Center website, “Cyanogenic glycosides are naturally occurring chemicals found in many fruit pits or seeds that can release small amounts of cyanide as the body metabolizes (or processes) them.”

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