this was my first foray into canning. and while i was standing over the large pot of onions and tomatoes and vinegar, i felt connected to the women (because honestly, it's mainly women who will stand over a hot stove, in the dog days of summer, preserving food for the future...) who have kept this tradition alive. a quick search of how to preserve food, turns up dozens of resources, but most are homemade websites, blogs and noticeboards. a little bit of science mixed in with a lot of what the sociological crowd would call 'indigenous knowledge' - those things we know because someone took the time to teach us how to do them, and i'm not talking about spelling...things such as gardening, and making a roast dinner, and cleaning a house, and painting, and writing thank you notes. and we return to our sources of indigenous knowledge to clarify and discuss - i should probably call grandma and have her clarify things, grandma put away half the summer every year, and pulled it back out in february. canned peaches and applesauce. heaven in a bowl. a small promise that the deep canadian winter would end eventually.
here's the recipe for the chutney.
and here are my basic instructions:
- sterilise jars (i used old spaghetti and mustard jars which seem to have mixed reviews for 'safety', but my lids have sealed and are concave, so i'm praying it's worked!) by putting them through the dishwasher cycle on the hottest setting, removing from the dishwasher while still extremely hot - wear gloves!
- make chutney per recipe
- ladle chutney into jars, wipe rims and twist on lids
- watch for lids to 'suck' in - the popping sound the lid of an open jar makes should not be present
- admire your handiwork.
- take pictures. this deserves to be recorded for posterity!
- eat. with cheese. on fresh bread.
- congratulate yourself on your truly incredible accomplishment and consider the next task ahead - consuming this vast amount of preserved garden goodness.