Rhubarb Chutney and Guilt…

Apparently, I write lots of posts but never publish them.  Seriously, I found loads in my draft area….it could be that I did publish them as part of a re-named post and I’ve just forgotten (if so, sorry) but as it seems a shame to have put the time into writing them in the first place, I’ve decided to get them up updated and press the button to finally make them live.

DSC_0001The below post was written some time last year, since then I have bought a larder cupboard, which was a great investment for me as the kitchen here has very little storage (due to the two walls of glass, that give an amazing outlook into the garden, but at the price of space to put units).  I painted it myself to save money (it was a bit of a labor of love), in ‘Elephant’s Breath’ Farrow and Ball paint as I had two unused tins that were supplied about 10 years ago as part of the kitchen fitting (it’s the colour used inside the wall glass units in there).

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It has made a big difference to me as I have all my jams and jellies in there now, along with loads of kitchen gadgets that otherwise would be cluttering up the work surfaces.  It means I can easily get to everything instead of hunting under the stairs when I need a new jar of jam, which I’m often too lazy to do.

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I also found an awesome way of using up marmalade, in this BBC recipe for Bitter Orange and Cardamom Martinis.  They are seriously amazing, especially if you freeze the mixture and leave it for a while, it turns into a blow-your-socks-off grown up kind of slushi.  Lush.  Yes, I am – ha ha ha!  Not really.

Anyhow, back to the post as written some time last year…or maybe even the year before:

I’ve decided to make chutney for the first time in years, largely out of guilt that the rhubarb grows so well in our garden, but then often sits uneaten, despite trying out various ways of using it up (I blame the kids, rhubarb, like my lovely pink gooseberries just don’t rock their boat no matter how I present it).  To add to that guilt, and explain why I haven’t made chutney for years, below is a list of what is lurking in the cupboard, under the stairs, where I keep all my preserves (with links to their making, where appropriate).

You see the problem?  Look at those year dates.  I LOVE making jams and jellies, however no-one but me eats them, and as I’m seriously off bread (love it but it doesn’t love me, or my waistline) the poor jam gets left…for years, apparently!  The strawberry jam is no problem, Charlie loves it and gets through it quite swiftly.  When I do give in and eat toast, I will go for the blackcurrant jam or marmalade so I’m slowly working through that backlog.  I try to make puddings and cakes with the marmalade, but I have to be careful as the boys soon tire of the flavour if made too often, I even once tried to make myself chuck all the really old jams, but the honest truth was upon opening them they were perfectly fine, in fact more than fine and I just can’t justify throwing it away.  The fruit jellies will get eaten this year as sausages are appearing frequently on the menu, especially now BBQ season is upon us.’

To add to my guilt, also hiding in the cupboard are the following bottles:

  • 2 x Pontack (elderberry potion for adding to stews etc)
  • 4 x Cassis
  • 3 x Rumtopf Juice
  • 2 x Seville Gin (only just ready so not opened yet)

I’m not too worried about the above list, I’m sure I’ll happily get through that, given time 😉

So, knowing the above, why am I making chutney?  Well, because my youngest (the strawberry jam eater) yet again comes to my rescue, he’s taken to loving cheese and chutney sandwiches so I’m using it as an excuse to make some chutney, which I haven’t done for a long time.  I’ve learnt my lesson though, and I’m only making a half batch using this recipe from River Cottage.

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What else?  My sister came over for lunch on Sunday and instead of flowers, she brought me a bunch of asparagus, celery tops and herbs from her garden, which was a lovely gift…..I am seriously considering adding an asparagus bed to the garden, I know I’ll have to wait years before cropping any but it tasted so delicious freshly picked that it might just have to happen.

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There was some added protein on the parsley leaves.  I love these little tiny snails at the moment, they are popping up all over the place in the garden, I suspect I wont be quite so happy when the slugs and snails eat all my crops due to my not using nemetodes this year.  Also, really, REALLY annoyingly iPhotos has totally changed and I can no longer edit photos as precicely as I could.  I’m gutted as I had got quite comfy with the editing tools and rather relied on them to seriously improve my photos, it’s going to be a nightmare for taking my shop images, I’m just going to have to learn photoshop, I guess, life is so hard 😉

 

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7 thoughts on “Rhubarb Chutney and Guilt…

  1. Hi Beth,
    I have larder envy now! How lovely to have more storage in the kitchen, wish we made our own jams here, very impressed you do 🙂 Were lucky in that the place were renting has a lot of kitchen storage but I know when we have to leave one day I’ll miss it as its so handy for keeping all my kitchen pots in…love your miss bumbles ginea pig too, you do have a beautiful home and taste, safxxx

    • Hello Saf, I do hope you are feeling better??! Making jam is sooooo easy, but if you then store it uneaten, for years, it’s a bit pointless, I guess. I just hate to see the fruit I grow wasted. I hope you get to have your own house one day, I know it’s not easy, I only got on the property ladder because I inherited some money, I was a waitress at the time so wouldn’t have stood a chance otherwise, and luckily I bought a run down maisonette in London, did it up and made money to then put into the next property. It’s so different these days, it must feel like a very far away dream for most people, I’m very, very lucky to won my own home (and huge mortgage, I should add!!). Bxx

      • Hey Beth,
        Thank you, I’m feeling much better now, had a sickness/stomach bug, felt like death for about 3 days but now so grateful it’s gone away! Reading your blogs made me feel better, they are a great escape 🙂 how are you? I hope your well and doing ok, I often wonder how you are. I hope life is feeling ok for you and your boys.
        I’m still saving to get on the property ladder, am unlikely to inherit anything, but still trying to get there. It’s great you did as it means so much to feel settled somewhere and make it your own. I really love to see pics of your place as it’s very stylish and very ‘you’, it has your stamp on it. I have fantasies about owning a home one day 😉 there’s a road near where we live, with lovely old Victorian houses and I pass them longingly each time (sometimes they come up for sale) but I don’t know if it will ever happen. Maybe one day. Paying rent does suck out so much money, but I keep trying.
        It’s funny because when I was ill, it sounds cliched but it made me think deeply about the things that matter and I realised that health is the most important thing, more then me owning a home, my dad always says to me ‘as long as you can get up in the morning, your doing ok’, and it’s so true, so I’m grateful for that. Sorry if I’m rambling on, but I wish you every happiness Beth, your the loveliest lady I know, safxxx

    • Oh Saf, I’d hate to be trying to buy in today’s market, it’s just so difficult. I used to dream about my future house too, it was always quite big and Victorian and had a green dining room. In reality, I’m much nearer than I imagined I’d ever be, but there is no green and it’s unlikely I’ll ever own a big detached number, but a girl can dream:) I agree on the health thing, I have a hospital appointment I’m not very excited about tomorrow, but it needs to be done and hopefully it’ll all end well. You do write such lovely comments and they always make me smile to read them. Thank you for always stopping by and saying ‘hello’:) Bxxx

      • Hey Beth,
        I’m so sorry this is late to you, I’m behind on my blogging reading at the moment, too much work and not enough time to relax! I do hope it all goes well for you at the hospital appointment, its always good to get things checked out. Don’t worry it will all be ok, I always get terrible nerves before appointments but its always gives peace of mind afterwards when they sort things out doesn’t it. Thank god for the NHS 🙂 Anyhow, I’ll be thinking of you and will keep my fingers crossed for you. The home thing is always on my mind as we have to leave our rented place by next September but I try not to get too down about it as my dad always says, as long as you’ve got a roof over your head and dinner every night things are good, and I agree with him there. Oh I can imagine the sort of home you mean, with a green living room! Sounds lovely, my dream one sounds similar, Victorian, with an old fire place and carved ceilings!!! I’ll keep playing the lottery for us! I’ll have to email you sometime Beth, as I recently saw someone loss there home, but there ok and doing alright. I can’t write about it publically but it showed me that life is the most important thing at the end of the day. Thanks for always chatting to me on your blogs Beth, you are a kind friend, Safxxx

  2. Oh Saf, I’d hate to be trying to buy in today’s market, it’s just so difficult. I used to dream about my future house too, it was always quite big and Victorian and had a green dining room. In reality, I’m much nearer than I imagined I’d ever be, but there is no green and it’s unlikely I’ll ever own a big detached number, but a girl can dream 🙂 I agree on the health thing, I have a hospital appointment I’m not very excited about tomorrow, but it needs to be done and hopefully it’ll all end well. You do write such lovely comments and they always make me smile to read them. Thank you for always stopping by and saying ‘hello’ 🙂 Bxxx

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