Sunday, September 26, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday: Green Tomato Chutney with Vodka


For more MYM, visit Drowsey Monkey, who hosts this meme.

You combine them in penne alla vodka, so I thought I'd try it, and it worked. I used the red one too, so there are tiny bits of red in my chutney, but mostly it's a golden yellow and it looks fine.

This creates quite an aroma as it's cooking, so leave a window open if you don't like it.

1.75 kg Green Tomatoes, roughly chopped

500g Apples, chopped (I used eating apples, cos I prefer them...maybe that's what the red bits in the chutney are??!)

500g Onions, chopped

225g Sultanas (or Raisins)

Half teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger or finely chopped Ginger Root (see tip in previous post re essential oils)

1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg (see tip in previous post re essential oils)

500ml Vinegar (I used Cider Vinegar, cos it's nice and mild)

500g Sugar

125g Walnuts, halved or chopped

3 Tablespoons Vodka

Here's a link to previous post Plum Chutney With Walnuts and Hazelnut Liquer

Method is to put everything except the walnuts and vodka in a saucepan and cook slowly for 2 or 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add the walnuts, then cook for another hour. Add the vodka at the end and stir in so you don't boil off the alcohol!

And at the end, it will look something like this. Come to think of it, this is kind of Mellow Yellow too!

Ideally, you should leave this to mature for a couple of months, but the people I give it to can never wait that long. Yup, I still don't really like chutney, just love making it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chutneys and Summer Stock Sunday

For more Summer Stock Sunday, and today is the last one (boo!), visit Robin Around the Island by clicking on the link here. Thanks Robin for hosting this meme, it has added colour and fun to my summer. Hope you're having a lovely break in Holland!
This first picture speaks summer so much to me. These were the blossoms on our plum tree at the start of the summer, promising a bountiful harvest. They didn't disappoint.
I preface this post with a little note about my Mum, who was a fantastic cook, and who each summer would make about 300 pots of various jams and marmalades. She never made chutneys - we preferred jam.
This next picture is the view from our kitchen window. I love this tree, its gnarled branches, its abundant foliage, and its succulent fruit.

The birds love it too!

And Hubby loves it three, he takes many, many bird photos from this window, much better photos than these.

My Mum was a tee-totaller, had taken "the pledge" at her Confirmation, and never drank when the pledge ran out (at age 18). However, in baking, she believed in adding lots of alcohol to fruit cakes, liberally soaking the Christmas cake in whatever she could lay her hands on! Her excuse was that it helped preserve the cake (but her cakes never lasted very long anyway, whatever we didn't wolf down would be eagerly eaten by the many visitors who called for a cuppa).

Anyway, I have adopted her philosophy, and liberally add alcohol to cakes and preserves, and I use her excuse too. You can decide for yourself.


(The liquer is one I bought on a visit to Montserrat a few years ago, and I was just looking for an excuse to use it! The walnuts were added for my diabetic brother, to slow down sugar hit, but they work really well- turning it into a kind of confection).

600g Plums

1.75 Kg Apples,chopped in small pieces - either cooking or eating, if using cookers you'll need to increase the amount of sugar slightly

500g onions, chopped

225 g (or thereabouts, this was one packet here) raisins or sultanas

500ml vinegar (preferably cider vinegar)

1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed (see tip at end)

1 teaspoon ground ginger or finely chopped ginger root (see tip at end)

Half teaspoon salt

500g sugar (any kind)

125g walnuts, halved or chopped, your call (this was one packet here)

3 tablespoons (or you decide how much!) hazelnut liquer- or any other liquer that you fancy, play around with it, let me know how you get on!

The method is easy peasy - put everything except the walnuts and liquer in a saucepan and cook slowly for 2 or 3 hours. Add the walnuts , then cook for another hour. Add the liquer at the end, and stir in- you don't want the alcohol boiled off!

Notes: 1. I don't bother peeling the apples and the peel disappears in the mixture.
2. Instead of the coriander seeds or the ground ginger, you can use essential oils, but there are two cautions: you must be sure of the quality (one way is by making sure the Latin name is on the bottle, Coriandrum Sativum is coriander and Zingiber Officinalis is ginger, and Myristica Fragrens is Nutmeg, Nutmeg features in the next post Green Tomato Chutney with Vodka), and you must use only the amount stated; even though it seems very little, these oils are strong. You dissolve 2 drops of each in either a tablespoon of sugar or the hazelnut liquer (if using) and add it at the end of cooking, mix in well.

And these sad photos are the plums that I didn't get to pick. There really were soooo many and, well, there was Porto and Madrid...
some even rotted on the branches, which made me very sad...and that just teaches me that I can't have everything

Sorry I haven't been around this week- been sick.
I'll visit everyone starting tomorrow, and will also post the green tomato chutney recipe tomorrow- it's prepared, I promise!

Summer Stock Sunday

There was lots of work going on in Madrid when we were there in August. When Madridians clear out to the seaside, the city takes the opportunity to upgrade streets and Metro stations. Seems very sensible to me

I was fascinated with the word "Obras" in the second sign, because the Irish word for work is Obair.

But it wasn't all work and no play, there was lots of relaxation going on too!

For more Summer Stock Sunday, to see or to take part (and this is the second last one!) click on the button at the top, which will take you over to Robin, who hosts this summer meme.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Summer lights going out, one by one.

Lights of summer are extinguishing, one by one.

We can feel it in the ever-cooling air, see it in the ever-darkening evenings, sense it as we see leaves curl up their edges, lose their vibrant green and depart their trees, sometimes float gently down, sometimes whizz to ground on a wind-fuelled rapid descent.

Time marches on, irrespective of the wishes of those of us who would cling to those embers of a favourite season (me!).

But, with each passing day, next summer is one day nearer! Not so bad after all!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Where I'd rather be today

Stephanie from Hookin' Knittin' & Livin has inspired me for today's post, with her photo of where she'd rather be.

It has been a tiring week, with a couple of difficult meetings at work, and a busy time at home, so I'm tempted to say I'd rather be here

yes, actually having the craic.....

but my soul could use some peace, so really I'd rather be here... walking around the lakes

or sitting on this bench, soaking up some autumn sun.
These last two are Glendalough, which in Irish means the glen of the two lakes. It is a place of great beauty, only a short drive from Dublin, where St. Kevin hung out for a while. I guess he found peace too.

And this is very similar to where Stephanie wants to be, and for similar reasons!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Summer Stock Sunday

I really liked this graffiti in Madrid, and would have been quite happy to sit at one of those tables and admire it.

For more Summer Stock Sunday, or to join in the fun (only a couple more weeks left!) visit Robin by clicking on the pic below. And thanks, Robin, for hosting this meme.

Friday, September 10, 2010

It's a dog's life

On my way to work this morning, I saw this lot heading up the street.

My first thought was "they're bunking off school".

on closer inspection, not alone were they bunking off school, they were up to all kinds of shenanigans too!! Now I wonder do their mothers know what they're up to?

And they were caught in the act. Yes, there are 5 dogs in the picture below!

I just about got these pics on time, though (and even pulled in to take them!) cos 2 seconds after I took the last one, two ladies came down the street and reclaimed two of the dogs, with a strong reprimand.

Well, a dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

Back to France for this week's Ruby Tuesday. As cachanilla73 says below-
Freedom isn't free

My idea in composing this was that the sacrifices and loss of life endured by those brave soldiers(symbolised by the poppies), and that horrible machine gun, were necessary so that we can today enjoy the freedom to ride on that lovely carousel. The beach in the background is one of the D-Day landing beaches. Click to enlarge.

I was quite emotional on our visit to these beaches, our teenage children, on the other hand, were not interested in gettting out of the car! WW2 probably seems like a long time ago to them!

For more Ruby posts, visit Mary T, who hosts this meme.

Click on these slippers, you'll have fun!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Summer Stock Sunday

I took this picture in Porto, while I was there in August.

I just thought there was something cute and a little cheeky about the stand of this fella. To me, he looks as though he has just pooped all over the stone, and stands proudly displaying his deed.

What do you think?

And the Summer Stock Sunday element is that you'd never see doorways like this in Dublin, so every time I look at it, I know it's from a trip abroad.

For more Summer Stock Sunday, which continues till the end of September (hurrah, extended summer!!) click on the picture below, which takes you to a beautiful tropical island, and Robin, who hosts this fun meme.

Edit: I got an invite from Catherine at Despatches from the Deise to a BBQ at Karen's. Popped in, brought some twice-baked potatoes and a giant sized chocolate cake, and there's some great food and even better company! Links are in names, if you're at a loose end any time this weekend. I love a good party!