20
Oct

Apple Rhubarb Chutney

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by Amber on October 20, 2010

Holy Apple Rhubarb Chutney, Batman!

Last weekend, some of our dearest friends came over to help us christen our new hot tub. We had a fabulous dinner, followed by pink champagne that had been hanging out in our fridge for a celebratory occasion for over two years. It’s not that we hadn’t wanted to drink that champagne – we just knew we wanted a monumental occasion to enjoy it.

Finally having our dream kitchen finished, and having enough left over in the budget to purchase the hot tub were definitely monumental. Not to mention a testament to my hella good planning and budgeting!

James and I fully recognize how lucky we are, in this economy, to be in the position to have done both of these things this year. And that, in itself, was another reason to celebrate.

One thing that I’m committed to, for us, is to eat the best quality food wherever possible. With only two of us, it’s not always easy to make the most of the food we buy. Cooking for two is really difficult sometimes! But using the most of the more expensive food we buy is one way that we’re able to save money in the long run.

I hate to waste food. And I hate even more to waste money. Money that can go towards things like hot tubs, and visiting Disney World for the 918349340th time. That’s why, a few years ago, I became much better at food preservation. Both through freezing and through canning.

The day after our hot tub christening, the boys headed off to Six Flags Great Adventure in Southern New Jersey. Maggy and I, we headed instead for a girls’ day out, apple and pumpkin picking in Gillette, NJ.

Last Saturday was the kind of day you picture when you think of Fall – crisp, and clear, and with a cool wind. Mags and I could have done without the wind, as they were at about 60 mph at some points, but it really was a beautiful day to be wandering through apple orchards, having just drunk a cupful of fresh-pressed hot apple cider.

We got all sorts of apples: Empire, Fuji, and new-to-us, Suncrisps. They are a hybrid between Honey Crisp and Granny Smith apples. Golden leaning towards green in color, and the taste of them is absolutely exquisite. They’re light and firm, with a sweet taste and just the right acidity.

I fell hard for ALL the apples from Hillview Farms.. so hard that I came home from their farm with nearly 15 lbs. of apples. Tell me people, what on earth am I going to do with 15 lbs. of apples?

Well, the first thing I did was take to my Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I know what you’re thinking: Applesauce. It’s the obvious choice.

Here’s the thing: James and I are not really applesauce people. We have very different definitions of apple sauce, so we avoid it all together, because one of us just can’t eat an entire jar of it, or even six pack of applesauce pots. I didn’t have any SureJel on hand, so any recipe calling for that was out too. (It was cold last Sunday, I was not about to leave my house!)

That’s when I turned the page to the recipe for Apple Rhubarb Chutney. Guess who happened to flash freeze a boatload of rhubarb when it was in season? Smarty me, that’s who. Hooray for chutney! The book says that this chutney pairs well with any sharp nutty cheese, or as a topping for pork. Cheese? Pork? I’m in.

Believe it or not, the Apple Rhubab chutney came together fairly quickly, and didn’t require a lot of baby-sitting. I let it go on the stove for quite some time until I got it to the texture I wanted. I used every variety of apple we picked, so it’s got some sweetness and some tartness.

And it’s great with KerryGold Dubliner cheese, which I just happened to have a smidge of, thanks to the coupons they gave out at the BlogHer Food Conference. Hooray for Irish cheese!

I enjoyed the chutney with some fresh baguette from our local bakery, the KerryGold Dubliner, and a crisp glass of white wine. To me, there’s no finer meal on a lazy Monday, especially a lazy Fall Monday.

So tell me – what AM I going to do with all these apples? I can’t very well bake 4 or 5 pies, can I? Or can I…

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