People deserve second chances, right?
I haven’t always been the person to honor second chances, I can be kind of bitchy like that, but I am a changed person as of late. Recently, I’ve made the decision to give a loved one a second chance, an opportunity he asked for several times before I agreed. Blindsided by frustration, anxiety, and uncertainty, I didn’t realize how much damage I was doing to him, myself, our relationship, our well-being, and our future by being a hard ass. Luckily, his humbleness and faith in me/us has allowed him to give me a second chance as well.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
The recipe I am sharing with you today has been shared on my blog once before. I almost linked back to the post in a more recent post but I decided not to because IT WAS EMBARRASSING. My photos sucked and I didn’t have much of anything interesting to say back then. So I decided to give this recipe, this post, a second chance.
(( I realize that my photography skills aren’t much better than they used to be but I’d like to think I’ve improved a few points. When I photographed the photos for this post, I used my 50mm lens that DOES NOT auto focus…. that’s tricky for me because I am BLIND, literally, my world is a blur. I uploaded these photos and laughed, because there is a slight blur to them. Bear with me, I’m shopping around for a 50mm lens that will auto focus and may some day take advantage of a third opportunity. ))
My sudden desire to make this fragrant chutney came after speaking with a girlfriend about the late-season heirloom tomatoes that unexpectedly popped up out of nowhere in my garden. My tomato bushes got BIG this year, mainly due to my lack of attention and pruning so the green, bushy stems concealed the juicy, ripe fruits underneath it all. My girlfriend suggested a chutney, which prompted me to find the recipe in my archives and make a big batch.
I’ve had several dinner sessions with this Spiced Heirloom Tomato Chutney, and have already finished off several small mason jars worth of it.
This spiced chutney pairs well with a bottle of wine and a variety of cheeses and crackers, and I’ve spent several nights curled up in blankets on the couch with those exact items.
It can be alternated with dijon mustard as a dipping sauce for fried green tomatoes (you can see in the photos, I’ve got enough green tomatoes from the garden to feed a small village fried greens) to offer the taste buds variety. I’ve already made friend greens three times this season and I’ve got enough green tomatoes for one or two more sessions.
I have used this sweet/savory chutney as a condiment atop a baked white, flaky fish, the same way that I’ve seen chef’s use mango salsa atop fish. I like to allow the chutney to warm up to room temperature prior to serving atop a warm dish.
For Thanksgiving, I plan to serve this chutney aside a sweet cornbread instead of the traditional butter and honey. Uncommon, I realize, but colorful and ambrosial. For cool points, I’ve jarred some of the chutney up for the in-laws to enjoy with their Thanksgiving dinner as well. M favorite part about gifting food items to that family is knowing that they’ll use in a way I’d never think of and they’ll enjoy it.
- 2 lbs. assorted tomatoes (of choice)
- 1 large onion, chopped into eights
- ½ cup raw turbinado sugar
- ⅓ cup white vinegar (5% acidity)
- ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- pinch of sea salt
- large pot of boiling water
- large pot of ice cold water
- Cut a large “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Working in batches, place the tomatoes in a large pot of boiling water.
- Blanch for 30-60 seconds or until skins start peeling off. With tongs, pull the tomatoes out of the boiling water and immediately drop in to ice cold water; drain.
- Remove the skins of the tomatoes and discard. Remove the core and discard. Quarter the tomatoes and set aside.
- Pulse the onions in a food processor until chopped. Add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices and continue pulsing until the tomatoes are chopped.
- Pour the mixture in to a large pot along with all other ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour or until mixture is thick and reduced, stirring often.
I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season: a fragrant kitchen, this versatile chutney, new perspectives, and a fresh start.