Before I swing into action with the chutney recipe here is (no, not a selfie) part of an old hedge near Broughton-in-Furness that looks remarkably like a hippopotamus.
Right - Green Tomato Chutney - what do with all the tomatoes that have not ripened, are not in a drawer with a banana trying to get ripe and one cannot bear to just chick on the compost heap.
I have just made about 20 pounds of it, much to go to the November fair in aid of R's church.
2.5 lb (1kg) green tomatoes
same of cooking apples - I use Bramleys
A couple of pounds (860g) of onions
Wash, peel and chop roughly before mincing. (No, not over to the sink and back)
Add a pound (450g) of raisins.
Then add 6 crushed cloves of garlic, big ones if you like the stuff. Do not slice as they tend to stay in the chutney as crunchy powerful pieces after cooking.
Pop in 0.5 UK tablespoon cayenne pepper, 2 level dessertspoons of ground ginger, 0.5 tablespoon salt and 1.5 lb of soft brown sugar (you can use Demerara) and mix it all up well.
Now you need some pickling spice (you can buy it or make your own). I could not find any in the supermarket so mixed black peppercorns, mustard seed, cloves, allspice and coriander seed. You can add chilli flakes but chillies upset me so - no go. Tie it in a muslin bag and attach to the handle of the pan.
Add malt vinegar - about a couple of pints (1.1 litres) and stir well.
Pop on the hob, whatever, and bring slowly to simmer. We have an Aga range so it goes into the bottom simmering over (the smells go up the chimney) for about 2.5 hours. It needs a stir every half an hour or so, more nearer the end. It is done when dragging a spoon through the surface leaves a permanent groove.
Then it looks like this.
Whilst hot put into preheated jars and put lids on tightly. The lids will need tightening again later. Most modern jars do not need the little waxy disc of old.
This is the second lot. I got about twenty pounds of chutney. (I have said that before - Mm!) Nearly as bad as leaving the golf club with my wallet on the roof of the car! Someone friendly who knew me found it in the road a third of a mile away, cards intact, coins scattered and a few notes absent but, hey! what luck. Brain dead sometimes.)
Back to chutney -
When cold slap on some fancy labels to make it pretty.
Now it is best if left to stand for at least a month to mature.
You can use the smaller jars as Christmas Presents with say one of jam and one of butterscotch sauce.
So there you are - it kept me away from the dreaded garden for a day or two (well one day was wet so I might as well make chutney as anything.)
So to finish - I found a setting on my camera (the one I have had for a couple of years) and whoopee - it does panoramic shots.
ps The settling pond (that we did not line) has developed a hole and water is running out I know not where - to some underground stream?
Had to try a bit of plugging and patching. Main pond OK.