Okay, so the more-blogging-thing isn't quite working, but I am trying. I'm not just lying on the sofa all day reading China Miéville (well, maybe a little bit). Time has mostly been spent redecorating living room & bathroom (what kind of idiot puts wallpaper in a bathroom anyway?), digging, planting & repotting, and battling the encroaching hoards of weeds, cats that insist on sleeping in the radishes & desperately trying to keep the Peas That Won't Stop Growing under some control (alas, there have been some tragedies. A patch of Eliza's* took umbrage to the Orca beans & lynched them. It was like that episode of Macguyver where the ants take over a plantation. Strong words and whacking with sticks got things under control, but I'm pretty sure that when the End of Days are upon us, it won't be Zombies that destroy us all, but legumes.)
Oh, and I've also been making chutney. Yay!
The Pineapple Chutney is inspired by a recipe in Monesha Bharadwaj's India's Vegetarian Cookery (one of my favourite cookery books, and one of the few I actually read the recipes in, rather than just look at the pictures & improvise) for fresh Pineapple chutney.
1 Pineapple, peeled & chopped into 1cm-ish dice
400ml white wine vinegar
225g demerera sugar
225g dates, chopped
2" piece of ginger, grated (don't worry about peeling it)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried flaked chillies
1 tsp panch phoron**
1 lemon (juice & zest)
Tip everything into a large pan & bring slowly to the boil, stirring regularly. It will take around an hour to an hour & a half to thicken up. Pour into sterilised jars & store somewhere cool & dark, and don't think about opening it for at least a month.
A hot, sweet chutney that goes well with cheese, curries and, when no one's looking, straight out of the jar with a spoon.
Right. Off to plant out some more pumpkins, and watch the fledgling barn swallows flitting about.
*Actually the Ezethas Krombeck Blau, but my shonky brain can't hold that many letters, so they're just 'The Eliza's' now
**A Bengali spice blend of equal parts cumin seed, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, black mustard seed & Nigella seed