Sunday, 9 September 2012

Double Double Toil and Trouble

The Cauldron
Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble. No poisoned entrails or fillet of a fenny snake in this pot however. Instead the major ingredient was cucumber.

There was really no option but to process the new cucurbit glut by making more chutney. I was making manful inroads into my personal European, cucumber mountain with daily sandwiches and the use of pickling jars. Yesterday however provided two specimens each weighing in at three pounds and eight ounces and I had to admit defeat. I was not going to be able to munch my way through this brace before their junior brethren required cropping. Accordingly the trusty deep saucepan long since liberated from my mother's kitchen was brought up from the cellar in anticipation of today's boil up.

The two goliaths of the cucumber world, along with a lesser example, were drawn, quartered and cubed and then left salted for twenty four hours. Today the resulting liquid was drained off and the cucumber cubes rinsed under cold water before being toppled into the saucepan where they were joined by the rest of the carefully selected ingredients prior to suffering the indignity of being brought to the boil and then having to manage the ignominy of ninety minutes of simmering. That completed the resulting chutney was spooned into hot, sterilised jars which were then sealed.

The Secret Ingredients

8lbs cucumbers - cubed
12 oz sugar
4 small chillis - chopped
4 oz raisins
2 large onions - chopped
1oz dried mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1.5 oz tumeric
2 oz salt
4 pints vinegar

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