How to make chutney

Here is the recipe :


  • 100g root ginger, peeled and very finely chopped. 24p

  • 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds – omit if you don’t have them around 6p
  • 8-10 chillies finely chopped, I leave the seeds in as we like the heat. – free from garden

  • 2kg tomatoes, chopped – free from neighbour

  • 500g apples, peeled, cored and chopped – free from friend’s garden

  • 250g raisins, chopped – 32p

  • 625g onions, chopped – 36p

  • 2 tsp salt. – 2p

  • 500g brown sugar – I used dark sugar as I like the caramel effect. 99p

  • 570ml malt vinegar – I used the average bottle – 52p (don’t use cheap vinegar! it’s the basis of the taste)

I made 10 jars, which I think beats Tesco’s finest or anything you can buy! mine cost £1.99 for 10 jars, so 19p a jar. Now that’s frugal and here’s how to do it.

Chop all of the ingredients into the same size chunks, it will give it a better texture. Place in a large saucepan, boil the ingredients together whilst stirring continuously, when it has softened, become chutneyish and sticky………….it’s ready. Pour into hot sterilised jars.
The chopping and peeling does take a while, but listen to the Archers of afternoon play and the time passes so easily. Don’t worry if you don’t have a large preserving pan. Whilst I was chopping and filling up the largest pan I have, I realised it would not fit. I washed out with washing up bowl with boiling water and mixed all of the ingredients before transferring it to two pans.
There is no set time for how long to boil the chutney for. You must keep stirring all of the time and you will feel the ingredients soften, congeal and become chutney like. It will become sticky and the smell is delicious.
Wash the jars and then place them on a baking tray in a hot oven for half an hour……no germs will survive that. I also boil the lids in a small pan with water (of course). When the chutney is ready, ladle into the hot jars. It will bubble and spit a bit so take care. Hold the jars with a tea towel and put the lids on whilst the chutney and jars are still hot. As the jars cool, the heat reduction will create a vacuum which is also part of the preserving.

As the tomatoes come from 1 Pendean Drive……………that became the name of the chutney.


More Free Food

We visited a poorly friend on Sunday and nearly jumped for joy at the sight of the bramley tree that groaned with apples that they didn’t want. I busied myself in the garden with their little girl and collected all of the apples that were lying on their lawn. I also keep coming home and finding bags of tomatoes and cucumbers on my doorstep

I don’t know if my chillis will ripen any more so I picked them today. I can feel another batch of spicy chutney in the offing. Any recipes for chutney including the ingredients in the pictures would be gladly accepted xxx regards, Froogs xxx

Forager’s harvest.

I love recycling and getting something for next to nothing. Most of my quilt is from cut up clothes, odds and ends donated from mum and Bluebell, cut up clothes from the 50p rail at the charity shop and offcuts that I bought cheaply at Totnes market and Trago.

In keeping with the getting something for nothing. I love the abundance of fruit around at the moment. As I walk past gardens I keep noticing apple tree with boughs heavily laden with fruit and the blackberries are the biggest and sweetest I’ve had in years. I take a bag when ever I go out with the dogs and come back with at least half a kilo each time. I now have two kilos in the freezer and I’m about ready to start making jelly. I also kept the pulp from the crab apples, rather like olives (with the first pressing giving us the extra virgin olive oil) the crab apple pulp will give more juice and pectin when I stew them with the blackberries. It also bulks it out and gives it that wonderful Bramble jelly quality.
I’ve had my eye on a damson tree since it first blossomed and I returned today to strip as many as I could reach from the lower branches. Don’t worry about taking them before they are entirely ripe, just like the plums in the supermarket that are like rocks when you buy them, they will ripen at home. I also pick them early as I want to get them before anyone else does or before they ripen and just fall off the branched.
They make the most wonderful jam, and great with toast for breakfast, also lovely in a sponge cake or even as a topping to a cheese cake. I will of course blog my jam making endeavours. Some years it’s good and some years not so! We’ll wait and see.
We also headed to Argos car park today and up the road that leads to the Callington turning. I was too late for the blackberries but well in time for the sloes. I also make jam from these. It is a really tart jam, not unlike blackcurrant and again, good with ice cream, in a chocolate cake (yes you heard right) or again, on top of a cheese cake. It’s good with poultry or lamb. You don’t get much and it’s almost impossible to skim all of the stones out, but it is really lovely.

Foraging for free food

We walked the dogs this morning and there is an abundance of wild strawberries. They grow on the Cornish stone hedges that everyone has at the bottom of their garden. They grow in the crackS and ripen really quickly. They are tiny, like little sweets. We kept stopping, picking and eating them! No good for the diet, but wonderful for our vitamin C intake! I would like to ask the homeowners if they want them, as technically they are on the other side of their boundary and not in their garden but the moral side of me feels as if I am scrumping!

Wild Food.

Although we may well get the ‘June drop’ – every where I look the fruit trees are laden. I’ve also mapped where I saw blossom earlier in the year too. I have walks………..don’t mind if I don’t disclose do you? and I know where the Damson trees are heavily laden with young fruit. My apple tree and Victoria plum tree are equally laden. I’ve noticed the Hazel trees are covered in tiny nuts. Raspberries seems to have gone wild here too and pop out of hedges where there are blackberries and Sloes. I love Sloe gin, raspberry jam, damson wine and damson jelly and keeping hazel nuts to sit and crack and nibble on right through the winter. This might be a bumper year.