Thursday, March 25, 2010


eat them, they are healthy for you. Especially for women.
How many times have I heard my father state this to me.  Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining.
I have just never been a huge fan of cranberry juice.  This due to the fact that most brands contain a whole lot of sugar and in my mind that kind of defeats the purpose, especially when you are a woman.
But this time I am attempting something different.
I am in the process of cleaning out my freezer by using up all of the various food items tucked away, hidden from view.  Which makes it sound like I have a huge freezer but it is only the top of my fridge and things still get lost.  Out of sight, out of mind. Somewhere amid my containers of frozen broth are two, 12-oz. packages of cranberries.
I remember when I bought them,  being lured into picking up the package after seeing the sale sign and mesmerized by their intense color.  Sold!  And I purchased not one but two paks which found their home in my freezer tucked away until today. Today being the day I would try my hand at something different, something creative.
So into the  pot they went, both packages along with some other great, "healthy" ingredients.
See dad, I was listening to you.
I am not a huge fan of the bought "tinned" variety of  jelly or whole berry condiment, you know  the kind you find in your supermarket, on the very top shelf and  pitched by way of grocery flyer come that time of the year.
Again, enticed to purchase the item only this time because of sentiment, I will buy a single tin (for my husband) who can eat only so much of the stuff thus leaving me with at least 2/3 of leftovers to contend with.
I can get really creative when I want to but that's a whole other recipe.
This time I am making a chutney.
This is something I think I will enjoy with a variety of meats or cheese depending on the occasion and I think a jar of this vivacious, beautiful ruby red fruit mingled with aromatic spices will look fantastic sitting on my open shelf  in their clear containers.  And who knows, someone might receive one jar as a hostess gift, which is typically something I do as my friends well know.
When I got the idea to make a chutney, I began to research  recipes settling on one and adding my own ingredient, creating yet another style of chutney.
As I stir the fruit cocktail the scent of spices waft up to my nose and fill the kitchen, well the entire apartment for that matter with warm, comforting smells.  Along with it I hear the occasional pop as the small red berries warm up and burst in their tiny shells.  The recipe says that I must cook for at least 20 minutes but since I doubled the recipe I think that  this will require a few more minutes.  After which I will ladle the thickened jammie mixture  into various jars and process.
I like to preserve in small batches and over time my shelves will be brimming with the color of summer.
In anticipation of Spring and Farmers Markets starting up once again, I will begin searching for new & different recipes to try out.
This year I want to try pickling okra.  Now that is new and different for sure.
As a child I recall peering into my Grannies canning cupboard amazed at all her hard work sitting on her shelves in all their splendor.  I admit that it gives me a sense of pride.
Right now the smell drifting throughout the house is reason enough to strike out, trying something new and as the memories come flooding back to me I still hear that voice in the background.
"Cranberries are good for you"
Yes dad, yes they are.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I know what you mean about making your own jams and pickles. I am trying, succeeded with olives but the turnips not as well... too much salt, too little vinegar. What a beautiful present to give- scarlet cranberries