So what could a witch do with an abundance of veggies i.e. marrow, some courgettes, red onions and granny smith apples? I decided to make up my own chutney recipe!
Chutney is a sauce or relish of East Indian origin, often made of both sweet and sour ingredients, as fruits and herbs, with spices and other seasoning. Although we have coined the name from India, I feel sure our ancestors had a similar method of preserving the bounty of summer for the long dark nights of winter, when food would be scarce.
There are several reasons I enjoy doing this; the fact it saves produce given by our Earth Mother from going to waste, that it is simple to make (the longest part is slicing everything into small pieces), gives fantastic tasting results which actually mature the longer they are kept and make great gifts for friends and family (if they are not all eaten first!).
My recipe is as follows, the weights are approximate, because I don’t always weigh items and if I do but there is still some left over, it gets put in too so as not to waste! I have also added the magical intent which each ingredient had for me.
1 ½ - 2 kg (3 ½ - 4lb) marrow and courgette – fertility, prosperity and protection 250g (8oz) red onions – protection, peel away problems or emotions, passion 250 g (8oz) granny smith apples – offering to the Goddess, love, health, abundance and prosperity 250g (8oz) sultanas – fun, happiness, offering to the Moon 250 g (8oz) demerara sugar – happiness, love and protection 1 tsp powdered ginger – health, success, protection and prosperity 900ml (3 generous cups) white wine vinegar – heat, health, protection A few black peppercorns – protection and warmth
Cut up the marrow and courgettes into small pieces, put in a bowl with some course salt and leave to stand for a couple of hours, then drain and rinse (helps to remove excess fluid from the vegetables) and place in a preserving pan or big saucepan.
Slice the onions and apples, put into your pan with all the other ingredients, bring to the boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, until when you draw your spoon through the mix, it slowly comes together with the fluid looking like syrup.
Leave it to stand for 15 minutes, the pour into sterilised jars (this can be done with sterilising fluid or, my preferred method, ‘cook’ my jars in the oven on a low heat whilst the chutney is reducing).
Once cool, label and place in a cool dark cupboard for at least 2 months.