The price of productivity

Jars of green tomato and apple chutney

Picking all those green tomatoes on the weekend seemed like such a great idea, but they’ve been sitting on my kitchen island ever since, mocking me. Have you ever been on the receiving end of a jeering look from produce that’s just waiting to show you up?

I’ve been feeling decidedly lazy and unmotivated since the weekend: being faced with what looks like a good sized child’s body weight in tomatoes will do that to me. Tonight I decided that I’d better just keep putting one foot in front of the other and made a double batch of our favourite green tomato and apple chutney. Sitting here, looking at the sealed jars on the counter and a bit of a mess in the sink, I’m very happy that I persevered, but not really relieved. No, no. Because, as you can spot in the photo above, many more green tomatoes still await me.

If you too are beseiged with green tomatoes and like a fairly classic chutney to enjoy with cheeses, meats and suchlike, fear not. The following recipe from Well Preserved by Mary Anne Dragan is wonderfully simple and extremely delicious.

Green Tomato and Apple Chutney by Mary Anne Dragan
Makes about 6 to 7 8-oz jars

1 lemon, sliced thinly (ends and seeds discarded)
5 cups green tomatoes, finely chopped
2 cups apples, finely chopped (I used Macintosh)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup currants
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1.5 tsp dried chili flakes (I always end up using red pepper flakes)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ginger

Prepare the preserving jars.

Combine all the ingredients in your preserving pot. Simmer over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until thickened. Stir often to prevent sticking, especially during the final minutes.

Remove from the heat. Spoon the chutney into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean and seal according to your usual method or manufacturer’s directions. Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

10 thoughts on “The price of productivity

  1. I have a few greenies out there myself. Giving them one more week as it’s been pretty warm these last few days, but I’m definitely taking my chances with our nighttime temps. Hopefully the squirrels will leave me enough to give this a go – looks delicious.

  2. It’s that time of year again — a friend of mine is canning apples and here you are with a tomato recipe — yummmm. 🙂 I prefer to be on the eating end rather than the canning end, but one of these days I do want to try it. If I don’t have currents, what would you substitute?

    And don’t get me started about produce mocking me. Most times I don’t notice until it’s too late and things have spoiled! Fortunately we eat fruit very quickly in our house, so it doesn’t happen that often. But every now and then we fall off the wagon I guess, and I see our plums and peaches have morphed into one. Ewwww.

    1. The great thing about canning is that you can purchase locally grown produce and can without having to grow your own! I was completely new to canning just a couple of years ago, having grown up in a family where nothing like that was done, and now I’ve picked up confidence pretty quickly. This recipe is worth trying canning for, and I’d substitute raisins, either dark or golden!

      I’m afraid that even growing food hasn’t kept me from the same fruit nightmares that you’ve encountered. There is nothing worse than moldy, collapsing fruit – gross! 🙂

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