The knife wielding WideEyedSpouse and I picked, washed, chopped pounds of green tomatoes to make six pints of chutney, six pints of green tomato gold. Five are left. Yesterday, on hearing that I had chutney stored in the basement, WidedEyedFriend W made unsubtle overtures toward getting some of it. I pretended not to understand. There are only five pints left to last an entire year. I am already planning a 2014 green tomato garden.
- 12 cups seeded, cored, and diced green tomatoes, 5-7 pounds
- 1 cup raisins (paid no attention to light, dark, whatever)
- 1 cup Craisins
- 2 cups mixed chopped onions, shallots, 2 garlic cloves (in exponentially decreasing volume order)
- 3 cups brown sugar (paid no attention to light, dark, used whatever dregs I had around)
- 2 teaspoons salt (fine-ground French sea salt, Penzeys Spices)
- 2 ½ cups cider vinegar (cheap, store brand that I keep in gallons for cleaning)
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice (grocery store bought)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder (Penzey Spices)
- 2 generous tablespoons of old, crusty dried, sugared ginger lurking in the back of the cupboard
We started with big, green, healthy but unripe tomatoes.
The WideEyedSpouse cored and seeded the tomatoes because of the sheer volume of seeds and interior bits that would have possibly impacted the texture and taste.
All of the ingredients went into the non-reactive Le Creuset oval dutch oven. Once they boiled, I set them to simmer for an hour and a half while I heated the waterbath and sterilized the pint jars in the boiling water. The lids boiled in a smaller sauce pan for 15 minutes (or so, I sort of forgot about them for a while).
The chutney was dark and thicker but still liquidy when we spooned it into the jars. The stuff is napalm so if you do this, be careful. I wore a nice new pair of thick kitchen scrubbing gloves so I could handle the hot stuff. We left about ¼ inch of headroom, wiped the extra yuck off and hand tightened the lids down with the bands. The chutney jars boiled away for 15 minutes or so with an inch or more above their lids in our giant scary pot of boiling water.
Now, except for the one I couldn’t resist opening and eating in the space of a week (squandered!), they are resting quietly on a dark shelf in a cool root cellar part of my basement. I look at them most days. I imagine the chutney on pork chops, on egg and cheese sandwiches, on cream cheese toast…if I ration it, if I guard it from friends, there will be one pint every two months. I need more green tomatoes.