Sunday, 10 July 2011

Redcurrant harvest. Redcurrant and strawberry chutney. Summer puddings.

After a long pause and the drought back in Spring - AND the very testing conditions for gardeners - I'm back writing this blog. Today's haul from the allotment includes large quantities of redcurrants together with smaller quantities of blackcurrants - with which I'm hoping the make summer puddings, chutney and redcurrant couli/jam to eat with meat dishes or fried camembert -. Sadly there were fewer blackcurrants this year (I went overboard on the pruning) so I've had to buy in some strawberries. Three punnets at a cost of £5.00. I bought the Kilner jars from a local charity shop - before you buy make sure they are not chipped or damaged and wash them well. I use a dishwasher to clean them.

For the chutney I don't tend to measure things out but just cook by eye and taste - I've used redcurrants and strawberries with sugar and a vanilla pod - with a basis of malt vinegar, sugar, thinned out apples (which I don't bother peeling as they are organic - these thicken up the chutney -  and home-grown garlic. This is going to be a very special chutney for Christmas or New Year or for gifts - and here's a picture of what I ended up with. The summer puddings will go in the freezer tomorrow. Chutney takes quite a while to make but you can always have the pan on while you are doing something else. This one is a beautiful red colour and chutney like this makes an amazing difference to the simplest meal - so I feel the time investment is worth it.

Cost-wise - I harvested probably £40 worth of organic redcurrants and blackcurrants from one bush - er..I mean two bushes of course. Apples came for free - sugar cost - £1.50 (I used only one of the three packets) - white bread - hardly anything - and malt vinegar £1.00. Job Done.