grandma’s cranberry chutney

November 26, 2013 § 1 Comment

chutney ingredients

chutney ingredients

Eventually, I will get all of our family recipes up onto this site, so that we can have a virtual recipe box. This is the first of many, and I think, possibly, my favorite thing to cook this time of year. It makes your mouth pucker and helps everything taste livelier. Turkey, stuffing and cheesy potatoes, which can be so rich and flat on their own, benefit especially from some cranberry zing.

Back to the recipe box. We move around so much, we modern people, and I can’t always take Grandma’s recipes with me. This year, of course, everything is mixed up because of the impending human. If I were doing Thanksgiving with my parents in Connecticut, then the box would be right there, nestled between a dozen cookbooks and stacks of papers and old tchotchke, in that corner of the kitchen known simply as “the credenza.” (Say it in a baritone.) Although it also houses beautiful blue stemware and several propped up china plates, this corner shelf has ended up a repository for all of those doodads one uses at the kitchen table: cell phone chargers; tissue boxes; instructions manuals; rubber band balls; dogeared Hammacher Schlemmer catalogues; SAT prep books from 2001. I worry that the recipe box might get swallowed by that heap. Best to preserve it.

berries & sugar

berries & sugar

Because I’ve been having low-grade labor pains for 2 weeks now and feel that I could, at any point, end up in a hospital bed, I decided to make the cranberry chutney today. And I’m so glad I did–the whole house smells like a holiday, which makes the sensation that there is an intermittent jackhammer in my lower back somewhat less unpleasant. Also, everything tastes better on day 2.

In a funny aside, this morning I typed “Does labor feel like___” into my search engine. (What was I thinking?!)  The second option bing gave me was, “Does labor feel like bones breaking?” All I can hope is that I get to enjoy this and all of the other members of the Thanksgiving feast before the drilling / bone breaking becomes so powerful that I lose my appetite. Can you imagine anything worse than the loss of an appetite on Thursday, November 28th?

Cranberry Chutney
1/2 c apricot or peach preserves
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
12 oz package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 medium-sized pear, peeled and cubed
1 medium-sized apple, peeled and cubed
1/2 c golden raisins
1/2 c coarsely chopped walnuts
In a medium saucepan, combine preserves, brown sugar and spices and bring to a boil.
Cook until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Add berries, fruit and raisins and cook over medium heat for about 25 minutes, or until thick.
Add walnuts and cool.

§ One Response to grandma’s cranberry chutney

  • Dear Isabel, I am a French Mum with (not so far away) Eastern roots and an illustrator. I have been following your lovely first blog, “Bread and Courage”, because I liked very much the way you expressed yourself about cooking, family This new blog shows even more delicacy and refinement in your thinking, but also more depth, surely because you are about to, or have become by now, a mum (congratulations!). Such an overwhelming change, not to mention the lack of sleep. I have an adorable little boy named Nicolas, 14 months old, who is American-French-Greek Cypriot. Every day it only gets better and more fun and the bond becomes something absolutely extraordinary that nothing can compare with. And I got to cook again (which I love, to keep up family traditions). I am sure you will be a great mum. I look forward to reading more of your blog when you will find the time again! 🙂 All the best, Helene

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