On the forth Day of Christmas, I made Christmas Chutney

Hello Dear Reader,

I have always been a sucker for chutney and relishes, my darling mum made the most wonderful Mango Chutney and we always had it with ham at Christmas time. She would also serve it with corned silverside or pickled pork, during our long hot summers for dinner, with her homemade coleslaw and mashed potato. Sadly, I don't have mums Chutney recipe, although I am sure if I looked, I could find one that is close to hers. From what I can remember, it had ginger, onion, apple, some spices and green mango in it. She would make a great big pot of it, seal it into glass jars and it would keep us going all summer long.

I was looking through one of my treasured recipe books the other day and I found this recipe. The recipe book is "Nigella Christmas" (yes, there is definitely a theme going on here) and I just loved the look of this red tinted chutney. It is quite tart, as you would expect it to be, with Cranberries being the main ingredient, but I think it will soften a little with time.

I didn't use the cooking apples called for in the recipe, rebel that I am, I picked up 1 kg of small apples that had been marked down to 87 cents, compared to $5.00 a KG for Granny Smith apples, you can guess which ones came home with me.

Firstly, sterilise your jars by washing them well in soapy water, then rinse them and let them dry in a cool (140ºC/gas mark 1/275ºC) oven. If you’re putting warm chutney into them, all jars must be warm. Or use dishwasher-clean jars fresh from the machine.

Ingredients for Christmas Chutney, clockwise from top right-
250 grams soft pitted dates, chopped, 750 grams apples, peeled, cored and chopped
small 2 mandarins or clementines, zested and juiced, 1 large onion, roughly chopped 
1/2 teaspoon ground clove, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
(I am always forgetting to put the jar of Cinnamon in the photo) 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried chilli 400 grams white sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 500 ml white wine vinegar and 500 grams frozen cranberries, thawed

To a large heavy based saucepan, add all ingredients and give it a really good mix

Put the saucepan on medium low heat and let blip away, uncovered for about 1 to 2 hours until it looks and feels jam-y. If you are unsure it is ready, put a small amount in a bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes or so, it should be "spoonable" if that make sense. Spoon into your warm sterilised jars, pop lids on tightly and turn upside down. When they are cool, turn them right side up and store in a dark cool place until needed. Refrigerate once opened.

So, tell me, what are some of your favourite Summer time dinners, from when you were growing up? 

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