C is for …

August 4, 2011 at 3:48 pm 16 comments

… chutney addict.
November 1998.  Nic’s new boyfriend is making her a sandwich.
Cheese and chutney ok?’  he asks.
‘I don’t know, can I try it first?’ she replies accepting the tiniest sample on a spoon.
Moments later G hands Nic her sandwich and Nic sheepishly hands back the several-spoons-lighter chutney jar.  And so the love affair began.
G will later joke that it was Nic’s love of his Mum’s green tomato chutney and his willingness to let her have the rest of the jar that sealed the deal on their relationship.

I’ve not been able to eat any chutney or pickle of late but I love the process of making preserves and won’t be able to resist making more when the damsons are ready to pick.  At least the longer you leave chutney the better it tastes and having a sore tum has helped me to focus on which chutneys I really love to eat and give away.  I’ve experimented with many recipes over the years and the conclusion I’ve come to is that a vegetable I love to eat does not always transform into a chutney I’ll love. Beetroot is one such example: a soft sweet and sour chutney is quite a shock to my taste buds when I love it so much as a simply steamed or pickled root vegetable.  It’s a bit like eating chilled soup or savoury pancakes – taste bud central says ‘No’!

This year I’ll be limiting my chutney making to my 3 or 4 favourites:  spiced damson chutneycurried apple and carrot, spicy tomato and apple chutney if I get plenty of ripe tomatoes and green tomato chutney if I don’t.

ps.  some of the other bloggers taking part in the alphabet challenge have been prolific in their choice of daily words.  One story a day is enough for me but I thought I’d add a little ps. for the C’s that got away …

cat mum, cheery, content, crikey, curious, creative, considerate, conscientious, chick flicks (G’s suggestion said with a wry smile!)

Entry filed under: A-Z challenge, home life.

B is for … D is for …

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chiot's Run  |  August 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I too LOVE LOVE LOVE chutney. My favorite so far has been roasted pear chutney. These all sounds GREAT – must bookmark this page for recipes.

  • 2. Julie  |  August 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    How timely – I’m reading this post as my green tomato chutney bubbles away on the hob!

  • 3. greg becker  |  August 4, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    My C is ‘Chicken Feed’ compared to this, especially damson chutney – lovely!

  • 4. Joanna  |  August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    I love your chutney posts and this is a great story and I am now going to have a look for your damson chutney recipe. Just one word you reckon? OK one word it is tomorrow. x Joanna

    • 5. Nip it in the bud  |  August 4, 2011 at 7:45 pm

      Joanna – damson chutney is really fab as a simple supper with crusty bread and cheese.
      Just one word is only my take on the challenge. I like that you’re taking a different approach each time and that’s what makes reading peoples different interpretations such fun. I think I’m rule breaking anyway as Susy is posting photos with her alphabet letter in quirky places whereas my pics relate to my chosen word as I don’t have any alphabet letters to play with.

  • 6. Janet/Plantaliscious  |  August 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    That is a great “how we got serious” story. I love eating chutney but have only made one so far. Its fine, but not as good as the ones I buy, so I am bookmarking your recipes to try out later in the year… Oh, and please write the “crikey” version of the C post too?!

  • 7. FEARNMal  |  August 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm


    And I was sure it was going to be courgettes, considering they are going nuts just now – make a good chutney too, an acceptable alternative to mango… Onwards (alphabetically)!

  • 8. Nip it in the bud  |  August 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Susy – roasted pear, now that sounds nice. I’ll be over to yours for a bookmark too …

    Julie – oh lovely, just the thought is making my mouth water.

    Greg – that’s a hell of a chicken! The damson chutney is a firm favourite with everyone. I love that the fruit is foraged.

    Janet – and what was the one chutney you made? I love pottering in the kitchen making preserves on rainy days and as summer moves on theirs no shortage of ingredients from the allotment.
    (crikey is my most commonly used exclaimation and I was reminded of it this morning when a friend wrote ‘blimey’ on my B post).

    Mal – we’ve lost count of how many courgettes we’ve had already this year. I tried preserving them in oil last year but they fermented. Marrow Cream (renamed Lemon Surprise here to make it sound more appetising) is my favourite way of using up courgettes – a lovely sweet spread with the texture of apple sauce and the taste of lemon curd.

  • 9. trevorhunt  |  August 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Good to see you writing again. Good luck with the daily challenge. Love the pics of the chutney. I love making preserves and keep promising myself the River Cottage Handbook on Preserves. Just got the bread one and its brilliant! Look forward to see the rest of the alphabet.

  • 10. fiona mayhem  |  August 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Although a chutney addict too (and you will not be surprised from my B that one of my (and my Big Guy’s) absolute favourite is green bean chutney), I have to go for compost.

    I am a composting addict. In fact, I think I came to gardening because I needed something to do with all the compost I was making. I spend very happy hours rootling about in my wormery to make sure the moisture is right, or recycling the worms, or chopping up compost for their tiny little mouths. Also layering the garden waste to get the right mix of green and browns. Or setting up composting schemes at work, so I can take home the contents and add it to various bins.

    Oh dear, seeing that written down makes me realise I am totally compost crazy.

  • 11. Nip it in the bud  |  August 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

    Trevor – thanks for that, nice to be missed. I have several books on chutney making but if I could only keep one it would be the River Cottage one. Mine has scribbles and all sorts in and it’s such a lovely size. Go on, treat yourself :o)

    Fiona – runner bean chutney is fab, I get through jars of it in the summer as a base for a salad dressing.
    Composting is a very good C and I’d say you have the makings of your first post right there. Go on, several people have read your comment now so there’s no need to be shy!

  • 12. Alison  |  August 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Damson chutney recipe will be printed pronto and hopefully tested. We have inherited a damson tree in our new garden, having said that, there isn’t a lot of action on it at the moment, hopefully we’ll get enough. Tomato chutney as well I think, depending how our inherited tomato plants do!


    Perhaps chutney is ever so slightly better than ‘chick flicks’

  • 13. Everlovin' Dad  |  August 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

    November 1998 ????
    2 months after your wedding???
    to George????
    What happened there then daughter dear???
    (I must speak to George)

  • 14. Nip it in the bud  |  August 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Alison – have fun with the chutney making. We’ve found the harder we prune our damson tree the better it fruits

    Dad – oh my goodness I must have caught G’s dur brain from the ‘B is for’ post. It should say 1994!

  • 15. Nic's Husband  |  August 7, 2011 at 7:19 pm


  • 16. anenthusiast  |  August 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Chutney! Ooh yeah… sounds good. I love a good sour pickle, me. I remember the first time I had a pickled walnut. It was a heavenly concoction of my mother in law’s- beef and pickled walnut stew. Ever since that fateful holiday 6 years ago or so I’ve made sure I put out all the condiments at the family gatherings at Christmas and Easter to ensure the pickled walnuts are there! Great li’l series by the way!


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Welcome to my once-about-gardening-and-cooking blog that is now mostly about our life in Gloucester with a boy, a baby and 3 cats.

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