Hey! How’re things?
It’s been raining non-stop in Wellington lately. Apparently in the last three weeks we’ve had four days when it didn’t rain. I’m guessing today is day number five, because it’s gorgeous and sunny today, though still freezing outside. Someone on the news last night mentioned we’re only a few weeks away from the shortest day of the year. That totally caught me by surprise. In fact, the last few months have raced by for me, so much faster than I thought they would. It’s like I’m working again – weeks and days are just flying by.
Even though it’s lovely today, yesterday’s weather was the absolute worst we’ve had all year. Heavy, heavy rain, and hail! I was talking to dad on the phone last night and he thought he could hear someone frying bacon. Nope – it was the hail. I had the heater on all day, and even got the oil column heater set up in the hallway down the other end of the house because the kitchen and our bedroom just weren’t getting warm at all.
I did some more dyeing, but I’m not sure if the results are something I’ll put up as roving in my etsy shop. I think the colours will spin up nicely though, so I might spin the yarn and then put that up. I did however put this up this morning:
And then at the end of the day I started working on some kiwifruit* chutney.
Kiwifruit in the middle of winter, you ask? Well, mum got a load of unripe kiwifruit from the vines at the hotel where she works (they have heaps of fruit trees that they let the staff pick fruit from, including some nice Pinot Noir grapes that mum made into jam!), and sent heaps back with us. I went through all the ripe ones (still tons left) and chopped them up for this recipe, which I got from the excellent Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving:
Ball’s Kiwifruit Chutney
1.5 L chopped peeled kiwifruit
3 green apples, peeled, cored & chopped
1.5 cups chopped onions
1.5 cups cider vinegar
1.5 cups regular sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t chopped ginger
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 t mustard seeds
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t ground cloves
salt & pepper
(The recipe also called for allspice, but we forgot to buy some).
You combine everything but the spices and simmer for about 30 minutes, then add the spices and cook, about 10 mins, until thickened.
Then you prep your jars and lids (wash, and then heat to the same temp as your resulting chutney; whether you leave the chutney to cool, and then have an easier time of it with the jars, is up to you – most people go with hot hot hot), fill the jars, leaving a centimetre of headspace, wipe rims, lid, and then put in your canning pot.
Cover with water and bring to the boil. Process for 10 mins.
* As cute as we kiwis are, nicknaming ourselves after a cute flightless fuzzy brown bird, and cute flightless fuzzy brown (& green) fruit, we don’t tend to call kiwifruit ‘kiwi’, the way the rest of the world does. There’s a subtle discernment working: ‘Kiwis’ are the people, while ‘kiwi’ works in the singular and plural, and we use this for the bird. That leaves just ‘kiwifruit’ for the fruit.