Home made preserves - Green tomato chutney build

I have a stack of tired, old, dried, spices that I tend to avoid.

I should throw them out, but instead I like to risk ruining perfectly good food with them.

I started with the perfectly good food.

It included a few green tomatoes, one of which fell from the vine for some unknown reason. It was this act of self harvest that originally made me think to make green tomato chutney.

And an apple and half a very large red onion.

I finely diced the pealed apple...

the red onion...

and the green tomatoes.

I also added some sultanas...

I dropped all the diced fruit and onion into a pan and added around a cup of malt vinegar...

and the contents of the sugar bowl.

Next was some spice.
cinnamon (more than you might think)
white pepper (about what you might think)
tired, old, dried, powdered, ginger (as much as I had)
cayenne pepper (just a bit)
and 3 cloves and two bay leaves that I put in a stainless steal mesh thing for making cups of tea. (to be removed)

and some hot English mustard.

I think that's everything I added.

I put the entire lot on low heat to simmer for an hour or so.

And I have a tip. I came up with it all on my own. I don't know why I had to, as it's the kind of thing my grandmother should have taught me.

But it's this.

If you are like me and tend not to follow recipes, other than a vague guide as to the the flavours and to get a general idea of ingredients, there comes a point where you have to add something, but you don't know how much to add.

Now, it's easy enough to add a bit at a time, but you cant go back from that. ie if after adding, you think "actually it tasted better before" you're in trouble. My tip lets you go back.

It's simply a matter of adding a little of the ingredient into the centre of the pot, and gently stir it in a very local way, so you only mix it with a little of the main mixture. That way you get to taste it as if you added a lot, because its all concentrated in one spot. If it turns out to be too ,much, when you stir it all through the rest of the mixture it dilutes to almost nothing. If it's good, you can add the amount that will make the rest of the mix the same strength.

No doubt it's something people do all the time, but I still invented it :)

Just before removing it from the heat I added some fresh coriander leaves (cillantro?) in the end, it looked like this and tasted really, really good. (my independent taster said "Yep" to the question "Good?".)

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