Saturday, 14 September 2013

Just a little way.

Our little village in Spain has a market every Friday. I have never taken my camera because I am always too busy enjoying it.

I never worry that we might not find a parking space. Just think positively and generally happy you will be.

Coffee first. Lovely little rituals. Then walk up to the market. A special person to greet. No common language but some genuine warmth and good feeling. My face lights up when I see a lovely lady who is always there and hers lights up when she sees us. Just the best start to our market wander.

I will take my camera soon, but today we looked,savoured and enjoyed. And an afternoon cooking was a pure pleasure.

Fresh ingredients,plentiful, colourful and tasty.

Olives stuffed with garlic. Olives steeped in paprika. So yummy.Just scooped with a slotted spoon and tumbled in.

Green beans and garlic.

Lots to cook fresh and tasty and some to squirrel away.

I have long believed baking to be an exact science. Cooking to be a creative journey and chutney making to be a delight of the senses.

I think that whatever you choose to put in your chutney is fine. It is the blend of spices which turns it into such a delight.

So I always weigh the proportions of fruit or veg to vinegar and sugar and then set it simmering for a long time.That makes me laugh to myself when I type something like that because actually I do always use the same amount of sugar and vinegar but I shove in as much fruit and veg as I can so that there are more jars to enjoy. As it begins to cook you can see if the amount of liquid will accept another apple or a few more tomatoes. An exact science it is not. Or not my chutneys anyway.

Today I had to call my chutney Market Chutney because the ingredients all came from the market,and into the preserving pan went :

Tomatoes,aubergines,courgette,onions,lots of garlic,nectarines,plums,pears,raisins.

And added to that lovely lot I add fresh ginger,fresh chilli,cumin,mustard seeds,coriander,garam marsala,salt and pepper.and some 4 spice mixture I bought in Morroco a while back. It smelt so good.

All cooked with 1 lb of brown sugar and 1/2 to 3/4 of a pint of vinegar. Here in Spain I use wine vinegar.

Cook until completely pulpy and when you run your spoon across the surface of the chutney the channel created stays fairly clear.

I do sterilise my ars by washing them thoroughly and then putting them in a airly hot oven for ten minutes. Fill whilst the jars are still hot and seal with a silicone circle and tight fitting lid.

I love the bottling and of course all good chutney makers store theirs for a good while so that it can mature. I must be a really bad one then because we tried ours with cheese this evening.

Of course it will improve with keeping but my goodness it tasted good and the bottles looked so pretty.

There is a recipe for one type of chutney on my side bar if you fancy making a few bottles to squirrel away now autumn days are on their way.


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