For the past week it has become more than obvious that autumn, even winter, is upon us. As if from nowhere the leaves have fallen from the trees, the days have grown shorter, and in the morning I can smell frost on the air. This time of year always makes me want to hole up in our apartment snuggling with the cat, an extra duvet on the bed, and a cup of tea in hand.
Life has been far from calm, however, and instead full of Tim’s school, house guests, Thanksgiving parties, and the general joys and challenges of life. To be honest, in the past few weeks there have been days that have felt overwhelming. Tim and I both have the habit of tearing off more than we can chew on a regular basis. Things like: deciding to throw a party for 17 people when we don’t have a day off a whole week in advance and Tim is scheduled to fly until 6:30 the day of. And yet somehow it all comes together. We bake pies until 1 am the night before and then it rains and Tim stays home to help with the turkey. I am learning, day by day, to take more in stride and believe that if I allow the chips to fall as they may, it still might all work out in the end.
Not to be outdone, we’ve managed to get a good amount of preserving done as well. Last week, in an effort to start cleaning up the garden before winter, I harvested our cherry tomato bushes of all the remaining green fruit. In the past, I’ve just let this fruit go to waste, telling myself that was all for the best, but not this year! This year I hunted on the internet, talked to friends, and then discovered in my copy of Tart and Sweet two recipes: one for Green Cherry Tomato Chutney and the other for Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes. I was lucky (?) enough to get almost 7 lbs of cherry tomatoes and managed to supplement with some green romas we also have hanging around on our bushes. It was a bit of an epic canning evening, as Tim can attest, but well worth the effort.
We haven’t been able to try the green cherry tomato pickles, but let me tell you about how we have tried the chutney. This chutney makes me think of big bowls of Indian food, though I’m certain green tomatoes are not standard Indian fare. But the layered spices in this recipe really bust out a move on your taste buds. I hope you enjoy it too!
Green Cherry Tomato Chutney
4 lbs green cherry tomatoes, halved
3 hot red chili peppers, seeded and minced
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp brown mustard seed
1 1/2 tsp ground Aleppo pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Add all ingredients to a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are completely broken down. The texture should be similar to a marmalade.
2. Ladle into hot jars (we needed 3 pint jars), leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Check for air bubbles, wipe the rims, and seal. Process for 10 minutes, adjusting for elevation.
Serve with cheese and crackers, or spread of over a Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. Either way – enjoy!