Remembering Maggie - Her Life & Her Lesson

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I woke up this morning to the heavy, comforting sound of steady rain. After an unseasonably hot and painfully dry May, we've gotten a lot of rain here lately. The plants and, unfortunately, the ticks seem to love it... California is jealous.

My head is full of conversations and anecdotes from yesterday's beautiful memorial for aunt Maggie at an orchard she loved just a few minutes from her home in Putney, Vermont. Ever the preserver, she spent countless hours there, harvesting plums, blueberries and apples. Even when she was sick and tired quickly, you just could not keep her down for long, she'd get up off the couch and go out to harvest quinces and then turn them into a thick, golden membrillo or defy her doctors' orders and go yank weeds out of the dirt though she did wear her mask sometimes.


We've still got several jars of bright, Maggie-made jams and salsas on our pantry shelves because as her younger sister, Joanne said yesterday, "She never let you leave her house without taking something she'd made." In our case, this was usually raspberry jam, maple syrup, tomato sauce, salsa or some of her amazing maple truck cookies. I like having this way of hanging on to her a little longer and am loathe to use them up. I did the same thing after my dad died almost five years ago and actually still have a few venison steaks from a deer he'd killed wrapped in butcher paper and labeled in black sharpie in his characteristic blocky architect draftsman's handwriting in the chest freezer. Have you done this? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

But back to Maggie. It was quite a gathering - about 400 people from all walks of her life came together to remember her and celebrate her too-short but packed-full-of-living life. The event was held in the huge apple picking barn - a fitting spot since she spent so much time working her butt off to cultivate and harvest the Earth's bounty - one of her favorite activities.

In honor of her lifelong love of pie, people brought scores of 'em and the tables in the back were laden with slices both sweet and savory which people ate throughout the gathering. Big, beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers from local gardens added splashes of color in the dark barn. Pictures of Maggie throughout her life had been blown up and were hung from clotheslines strung at the sides of the little stage that was set up for the speakers and the musicians. There was a slideshow of pictures that I could not really watch because I'm too shy to sob openly in public and I also did not want to freak my kids out.

I kept thinking how great it would be if she was there. Though I do believe that she was there, of course. I'm sure she was hovering over it all, laughing at the stories people shared, giving imperceptible kisses and hugs and pinching people's butts.


My husband and I each missed roughly half of the event because our little guys can't hack sitting still and quiet for very long so we took turns taking them outside to be loud and messy and to go pee repeatedly. When we were all inside, Will laughed loudly every time people laughed at something funny someone shared in an effort to participate, adding a slightly discordant laugh track that I tried and failed not to be embarassed by.

I came away from the parts I did hear with some wonderful stories about this little firecracker of a woman we all loved. She burned so brightly and touched so many lives - the patients she cared for as a nurse practitioner, the artists and craftspeople she worked with, the people she made hundreds of gallons of maple syrup with, the farmers she pitched in to help, the family she loved. She was such a special being.

Despite being funny and wild and energetic and no-nonsense, Maggie struggled mightily throughout her life with the need to please everyone around her - at a great cost to herself. Rather ironically, her last year - the worst year of her life on a physical level and truly hellish by anyone's standards, was the best year of her life because she felt that she was finally being herself and living her own truth for the very first time in her life.

The quote on the back of the program was what Maggie came to call her new motto the last year of her life. I think it's pretty powerful.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman

Here's a little excerpt from the short but wonderful speech my mom-in-law, Liz, Maggie's older sister, gave yesterday and you can read the rest here if you're curious,

"I think Maggie wants all of us to stop trying so hard to be perfect little humans, and instead just to be ALIVE. To relax, and to trust ourselves and to trust LIFE. When I communicate with Maggie, this is what I think she is telling me: don’t contract your energy out of fear of what others want from you. Don’t dim your light; don’t live small. Just BE who you are; tell the truth; and then go out into this beautiful world and love and live with all your heart."

My parents were not religious and I've never felt even the teeny tiniest bit drawn to organized religion of any kind so I don't have much of a framework for answering the big questions in life - things like "What happens when we die?" and "Why are we here?"

I'm still very much in the process of figuring out what I believe and cobbling together some sort of faith. After my dad died unexpectedly about five years ago, I was forced to think about it quite a bit more seriously. Here's the Cliff's notes version of my fledgling spiritual belief system - a work in progress that will undoubtedly shift as a result of future experiences and influences:
  • I think that although our bodies are clearly mortal, our spirits are infinite and that birth and death are merely our spirits passing between planes/realms/worlds/who-knows-exactly-what-they-are.
  • I think we keep being reborn until we've somehow graduated though I have no idea what we graduate to...
  • I think we go around and around with the same cast of characters (some people call this your "soul group") in various configurations - someone might be your mom in one life and your best friend or maybe even your worst enemy in another.
  • I think that we probably have a hand in planning our lifetimes before we are born and that we arrrive with a primary lesson we need to learn as well as a set of roles we need to play / agreements we need to honor with the the people who will play major parts in our lives. 
  • I think we leave (die) once we've completed those agreements and learned (or failed to learn - I'm sure there's plenty of failure) our lesson.
Maybe Maggie was a faster learner than most of us. I'm just glad I knew her. And I miss her.

You might also like:
For more musings, recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Mulberries Are NOT Just For The Birds

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Mulberries are wildly underrated, in my opinion. The trees grow more or less like weeds, the berries are sweet, tasty and loaded with Vitamin C and iron. They're also very easy to pick -- no thorns, no poison ivy and they fall right into your hand -- but I rarely see anyone else eating them. I assume that this is simply because they don't know what they're missing...

Mulberry off our tree by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Mulberries have a mild, sweet flavor and are best eaten raw right off the tree during their short season. But you have to hurry because once the birds, squirrels and chipmunks figure out that they're ripe, it's all over. Some people put a sheet down on the ground (one you do not care about as it is going to get VERY stained) and then shake the tree - the ripe berries will fall right off the branches.

The berries start out a whiteish green then progress from pink to red to black when ripe. There are also white mulberry trees but I've never met one so I can't tell you much about them. The leaves of the red mulberry tree that's native to the north east of the U.S. vary in shape -- some of them look rather like fig leaves and some are more or less just round. They're very pretty, regardless.

Mulberry leaves by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The berries ripen remarkably quickly. For example, you might pick all the ripe ones off a given branch, go inside for a couple of hours and when you come back out again, there'll be a whole new crop of ripe berries on that same branch. Magic!

In addition to eating them right off the tree, we've been freezing a bunch of them for later although our older son has been eating the frozen berries by the handful so I'm not sure how much "later" we'll get.

Frozen mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Just give the mulberries a quick rinse and let them dry, scatter them on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Then scoop them off the tray into a freezer bag and suck the air out with a straw (one of my favorite tricks!)

Frozen mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

You can also make mulberry pie, crisp, ice cream, sorbet, smoothies and more. So get out there and start looking for the tree whose branches are a hotbed of avian activity. The tree could be anywhere from the size of a bush to 20 feet tall or so. If you're not sure, check the ground - if it's covered with dark stains and smushed berries, it's probably a mulberry tree.

For those of you in my neck of the woods - New York's Hudson Valley - there's a great mulberry tree on the dock at the end of the Saugerties Lighthouse trail that hangs down above the picnic tables.

Happy eating!

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Sweet Cherry & Onion Chutney

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sweet Cherry Chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It's not yet cherry season here on the east coast although I think we will actually have a season this year which is a nice change from last year when some freaky frosts ruined the cherry crop. But it must be cherry season on the west coast because I received a rather large box of gorgeous sweet cherries in the mail last week as part of Sweet Preservation's "canbassador" program. They provide the fruit, I eat, preserve and write about it. Seems fair, right?

Sweet cherries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Naturally, we ate a ton of the cherries -- my little boys looked downright grisly. Thanks to my husband's tireless stem-pulling and pitting efforts and to the wonder that is Excalibur, our valiant food dehydrator (the name never fails to crack me up) we also dried about a quart of cherries and made two trays of delicious cherry fruit leather.

Unrolling the cherry fruit leather by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

But there were still rather a lot of cherries left after all that so I finished off the case with a small batch of this sweet cherry and onion chutney. The jars are clanking away in their boiling water bath as I type this, in fact.

I've loved chutney's unique mix of sweet and spice ever since I first tried Major Grey's mango as a kid. Soooo good with curries, with meat, with yogurt sauce and more. Ever since it dawned on me that you can actually make your own chutney, I've made loquat chutneyapple rhubarb chutney and plum chutney - all of them delicious.

But this was my maiden voyage with sweet cherry chutney and I am indebted to Marisa McLellan's for her excellent sweet cherry chutney recipe at Food In Jars - one of my favorite sources for canning and preserving recipes and tips. If you like to can, check out Marisa's cookbooks - they're perfect little packages of preserving goodness.

Most of the work is in the pitting, of course. Don't even bother if you don't have a cherry pitter, I say. Luckily, they are cheap.

Cherries get to know the new pitter by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

We've got this very straight-forward German one made by Westmark that works quite well but I have had covetous thoughts about this OXO cherry pitter that supposedly limits the splattering... It's only $13 so I may splurge at some point, methinks.

Sweet cherries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I did the pitting outside - so much easier and more pleasant than cleaning the whole kitchen afterwards. The rest was pretty easy - dice the cherries, dice the onion, peel and grate the ginger, zest and juice two lemons, add cider vinegar, brown sugar, dried fruit, red pepper flakes and mustard seed and a bit of salt.

Adding all the ingredients to the pot for the sweet cherry and onion chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Put it all in a pot and cook it down for about an hour. Then can it - don't worry, there are many more details about how to go about that in the recipe below.

Sweet cherry and onion chutney cooking by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Boom! You've got five pints of this pretty, spiced chutney on your shelf for the next time you make curried chickpeas or roast a leg of lamb. It's the perfect foil for something savory and spiced, especially when accompanied by a creamy, cooling cucumber yogurt sauce. If you're new to canning, check out my short tutorial here to get started.

Sweet Cherry Chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

-- print recipe --Sweet Cherry & Onion Chutney
Makes 5 pints or 10 half-pints

Ingredients

* 4 pounds sweet cherries, pitted and diced
* 2 cups minced yellow onion (about 1 large)
* 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 2 cups apple cider vinegar
* 1 cup dried sweet cherries or dried cranberries
* 1 cup golden raisins
* 2 lemons, zested and juiced
* 3 Tbsps minced or grated fresh ginger (peeled, of course)
* 2 Tbsps mustard seed
* 2 tsps red pepper flakes
* 2 tsps sea salt

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat until boiling, then turn the heat way down and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture has reached a thick consistency - about one hour.

2. When the chutney is about 10 minutes away from done, bring a large canning pot of water to a boil and sterilize the 5 pint jars (or 10 half-pint jars or whatever mix of half-pint and full pint jars you want to use to equal 5 pints.)

3. Once the chutney is at the desired consistency, turn the heat off. Drain and remove the sterilized jars from the hot water and set them on a clean dish towel next to the pot of chutney. Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot chutney into the jars, leaving half an inch of head room in the jars. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth then drop the sterilized lids on top, add the bands and tighten only until you feel that the lids are secure.

4. Then use your jar lifter to place the filled jars back in the canning pot and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off after 15 minutes and use your jar lifter to remove the jars to the towel to let them cool in a draft-free spot. As they cool, you should hear that wonderful little popping noise as the lids suck down to create a good, stong seal. Label the jars (trust me, your memory may not be as good as you think it will be...) and store them without the bands in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Remembering Maggie - Her Life & Her Lesson

I woke up this morning to the heavy, comforting sound of steady rain. After an unseasonably hot and painfully dry May, we've gotten a lot of rain here lately. The plants and, unfortunately, the ticks seem to love it... California is jealous.

My head is full of conversations and anecdotes from yesterday's beautiful memorial for aunt Maggie at an orchard she loved just a few minutes from her home in Putney, Vermont. Ever the preserver, she spent countless hours there, harvesting plums, blueberries and apples. Even when she was sick and tired quickly, you just could not keep her down for long, she'd get up off the couch and go out to harvest quinces and then turn them into a thick, golden membrillo or defy her doctors' orders and go yank weeds out of the dirt though she did wear her mask sometimes.


We've still got several jars of bright, Maggie-made jams and salsas on our pantry shelves because as her younger sister, Joanne said yesterday, "She never let you leave her house without taking something she'd made." In our case, this was usually raspberry jam, maple syrup, tomato sauce, salsa or some of her amazing maple truck cookies. I like having this way of hanging on to her a little longer and am loathe to use them up. I did the same thing after my dad died almost five years ago and actually still have a few venison steaks from a deer he'd killed wrapped in butcher paper and labeled in black sharpie in his characteristic blocky architect draftsman's handwriting in the chest freezer. Have you done this? Please tell me I'm not the only one.

But back to Maggie. It was quite a gathering - about 400 people from all walks of her life came together to remember her and celebrate her too-short but packed-full-of-living life. The event was held in the huge apple picking barn - a fitting spot since she spent so much time working her butt off to cultivate and harvest the Earth's bounty - one of her favorite activities.

In honor of her lifelong love of pie, people brought scores of 'em and the tables in the back were laden with slices both sweet and savory which people ate throughout the gathering. Big, beautiful bouquets of fresh flowers from local gardens added splashes of color in the dark barn. Pictures of Maggie throughout her life had been blown up and were hung from clotheslines strung at the sides of the little stage that was set up for the speakers and the musicians. There was a slideshow of pictures that I could not really watch because I'm too shy to sob openly in public and I also did not want to freak my kids out.

I kept thinking how great it would be if she was there. Though I do believe that she was there, of course. I'm sure she was hovering over it all, laughing at the stories people shared, giving imperceptible kisses and hugs and pinching people's butts.


My husband and I each missed roughly half of the event because our little guys can't hack sitting still and quiet for very long so we took turns taking them outside to be loud and messy and to go pee repeatedly. When we were all inside, Will laughed loudly every time people laughed at something funny someone shared in an effort to participate, adding a slightly discordant laugh track that I tried and failed not to be embarassed by.

I came away from the parts I did hear with some wonderful stories about this little firecracker of a woman we all loved. She burned so brightly and touched so many lives - the patients she cared for as a nurse practitioner, the artists and craftspeople she worked with, the people she made hundreds of gallons of maple syrup with, the farmers she pitched in to help, the family she loved. She was such a special being.

Despite being funny and wild and energetic and no-nonsense, Maggie struggled mightily throughout her life with the need to please everyone around her - at a great cost to herself. Rather ironically, her last year - the worst year of her life on a physical level and truly hellish by anyone's standards, was the best year of her life because she felt that she was finally being herself and living her own truth for the very first time in her life.

The quote on the back of the program was what Maggie came to call her new motto the last year of her life. I think it's pretty powerful.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman

Here's a little excerpt from the short but wonderful speech my mom-in-law, Liz, Maggie's older sister, gave yesterday and you can read the rest here if you're curious,

"I think Maggie wants all of us to stop trying so hard to be perfect little humans, and instead just to be ALIVE. To relax, and to trust ourselves and to trust LIFE. When I communicate with Maggie, this is what I think she is telling me: don’t contract your energy out of fear of what others want from you. Don’t dim your light; don’t live small. Just BE who you are; tell the truth; and then go out into this beautiful world and love and live with all your heart."

My parents were not religious and I've never felt even the teeny tiniest bit drawn to organized religion of any kind so I don't have much of a framework for answering the big questions in life - things like "What happens when we die?" and "Why are we here?"

I'm still very much in the process of figuring out what I believe and cobbling together some sort of faith. After my dad died unexpectedly about five years ago, I was forced to think about it quite a bit more seriously. Here's the Cliff's notes version of my fledgling spiritual belief system - a work in progress that will undoubtedly shift as a result of future experiences and influences:
  • I think that although our bodies are clearly mortal, our spirits are infinite and that birth and death are merely our spirits passing between planes/realms/worlds/who-knows-exactly-what-they-are.
  • I think we keep being reborn until we've somehow graduated though I have no idea what we graduate to...
  • I think we go around and around with the same cast of characters (some people call this your "soul group") in various configurations - someone might be your mom in one life and your best friend or maybe even your worst enemy in another.
  • I think that we probably have a hand in planning our lifetimes before we are born and that we arrrive with a primary lesson we need to learn as well as a set of roles we need to play / agreements we need to honor with the the people who will play major parts in our lives. 
  • I think we leave (die) once we've completed those agreements and learned (or failed to learn - I'm sure there's plenty of failure) our lesson.
Maybe Maggie was a faster learner than most of us. I'm just glad I knew her. And I miss her.

You might also like:
For more musings, recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mulberries Are NOT Just For The Birds

Mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Mulberries are wildly underrated, in my opinion. The trees grow more or less like weeds, the berries are sweet, tasty and loaded with Vitamin C and iron. They're also very easy to pick -- no thorns, no poison ivy and they fall right into your hand -- but I rarely see anyone else eating them. I assume that this is simply because they don't know what they're missing...

Mulberry off our tree by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Mulberries have a mild, sweet flavor and are best eaten raw right off the tree during their short season. But you have to hurry because once the birds, squirrels and chipmunks figure out that they're ripe, it's all over. Some people put a sheet down on the ground (one you do not care about as it is going to get VERY stained) and then shake the tree - the ripe berries will fall right off the branches.

The berries start out a whiteish green then progress from pink to red to black when ripe. There are also white mulberry trees but I've never met one so I can't tell you much about them. The leaves of the red mulberry tree that's native to the north east of the U.S. vary in shape -- some of them look rather like fig leaves and some are more or less just round. They're very pretty, regardless.

Mulberry leaves by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

The berries ripen remarkably quickly. For example, you might pick all the ripe ones off a given branch, go inside for a couple of hours and when you come back out again, there'll be a whole new crop of ripe berries on that same branch. Magic!

In addition to eating them right off the tree, we've been freezing a bunch of them for later although our older son has been eating the frozen berries by the handful so I'm not sure how much "later" we'll get.

Frozen mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Just give the mulberries a quick rinse and let them dry, scatter them on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Then scoop them off the tray into a freezer bag and suck the air out with a straw (one of my favorite tricks!)

Frozen mulberries by Eve Fox, The Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

You can also make mulberry pie, crisp, ice cream, sorbet, smoothies and more. So get out there and start looking for the tree whose branches are a hotbed of avian activity. The tree could be anywhere from the size of a bush to 20 feet tall or so. If you're not sure, check the ground - if it's covered with dark stains and smushed berries, it's probably a mulberry tree.

For those of you in my neck of the woods - New York's Hudson Valley - there's a great mulberry tree on the dock at the end of the Saugerties Lighthouse trail that hangs down above the picnic tables.

Happy eating!

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Sweet Cherry & Onion Chutney

Sweet Cherry Chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

It's not yet cherry season here on the east coast although I think we will actually have a season this year which is a nice change from last year when some freaky frosts ruined the cherry crop. But it must be cherry season on the west coast because I received a rather large box of gorgeous sweet cherries in the mail last week as part of Sweet Preservation's "canbassador" program. They provide the fruit, I eat, preserve and write about it. Seems fair, right?

Sweet cherries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Naturally, we ate a ton of the cherries -- my little boys looked downright grisly. Thanks to my husband's tireless stem-pulling and pitting efforts and to the wonder that is Excalibur, our valiant food dehydrator (the name never fails to crack me up) we also dried about a quart of cherries and made two trays of delicious cherry fruit leather.

Unrolling the cherry fruit leather by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

But there were still rather a lot of cherries left after all that so I finished off the case with a small batch of this sweet cherry and onion chutney. The jars are clanking away in their boiling water bath as I type this, in fact.

I've loved chutney's unique mix of sweet and spice ever since I first tried Major Grey's mango as a kid. Soooo good with curries, with meat, with yogurt sauce and more. Ever since it dawned on me that you can actually make your own chutney, I've made loquat chutneyapple rhubarb chutney and plum chutney - all of them delicious.

But this was my maiden voyage with sweet cherry chutney and I am indebted to Marisa McLellan's for her excellent sweet cherry chutney recipe at Food In Jars - one of my favorite sources for canning and preserving recipes and tips. If you like to can, check out Marisa's cookbooks - they're perfect little packages of preserving goodness.

Most of the work is in the pitting, of course. Don't even bother if you don't have a cherry pitter, I say. Luckily, they are cheap.

Cherries get to know the new pitter by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

We've got this very straight-forward German one made by Westmark that works quite well but I have had covetous thoughts about this OXO cherry pitter that supposedly limits the splattering... It's only $13 so I may splurge at some point, methinks.

Sweet cherries by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

I did the pitting outside - so much easier and more pleasant than cleaning the whole kitchen afterwards. The rest was pretty easy - dice the cherries, dice the onion, peel and grate the ginger, zest and juice two lemons, add cider vinegar, brown sugar, dried fruit, red pepper flakes and mustard seed and a bit of salt.

Adding all the ingredients to the pot for the sweet cherry and onion chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Put it all in a pot and cook it down for about an hour. Then can it - don't worry, there are many more details about how to go about that in the recipe below.

Sweet cherry and onion chutney cooking by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

Boom! You've got five pints of this pretty, spiced chutney on your shelf for the next time you make curried chickpeas or roast a leg of lamb. It's the perfect foil for something savory and spiced, especially when accompanied by a creamy, cooling cucumber yogurt sauce. If you're new to canning, check out my short tutorial here to get started.

Sweet Cherry Chutney by Eve Fox, the Garden of Eating, copyright 2015

-- print recipe --Sweet Cherry & Onion Chutney
Makes 5 pints or 10 half-pints

Ingredients

* 4 pounds sweet cherries, pitted and diced
* 2 cups minced yellow onion (about 1 large)
* 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
* 2 cups apple cider vinegar
* 1 cup dried sweet cherries or dried cranberries
* 1 cup golden raisins
* 2 lemons, zested and juiced
* 3 Tbsps minced or grated fresh ginger (peeled, of course)
* 2 Tbsps mustard seed
* 2 tsps red pepper flakes
* 2 tsps sea salt

Directions

1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and cook over medium heat until boiling, then turn the heat way down and simmer, stirring often, until the mixture has reached a thick consistency - about one hour.

2. When the chutney is about 10 minutes away from done, bring a large canning pot of water to a boil and sterilize the 5 pint jars (or 10 half-pint jars or whatever mix of half-pint and full pint jars you want to use to equal 5 pints.)

3. Once the chutney is at the desired consistency, turn the heat off. Drain and remove the sterilized jars from the hot water and set them on a clean dish towel next to the pot of chutney. Using a canning funnel, ladle the hot chutney into the jars, leaving half an inch of head room in the jars. Wipe the jar rims with a clean, damp cloth then drop the sterilized lids on top, add the bands and tighten only until you feel that the lids are secure.

4. Then use your jar lifter to place the filled jars back in the canning pot and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off after 15 minutes and use your jar lifter to remove the jars to the towel to let them cool in a draft-free spot. As they cool, you should hear that wonderful little popping noise as the lids suck down to create a good, stong seal. Label the jars (trust me, your memory may not be as good as you think it will be...) and store them without the bands in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

You might also like:
For more delicious recipes, gardening ideas, foraging tips, and food-related inspiration "like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter and Pinterest.