The autumnal pickling continues. Gooseberries, wild plums and some onions have gone into a sort of gooey vinegary sweet mess. Didn't quite know what to call it on the labels, as it isn't chutney... so I've called it Fruity Pickle Jam. And it's yummy.
Gilly Fraser asked for the recipe and something silly went Pop in my head, so here it is.
What ya needThree big jars (really big coffee jars) of slightly burnt gooseberries (must have been cooked by other half, who cooks and eats all wild fruit without sugar); one big jar of wild plums, sort of made into jam, with sugar; a pound of small, flower-shot onions, cleaned of woody stalks and peeled, and chopped finely while holding your breath and crying; half a pound of demerara sugar, preferably rescued from the back of mother in law's cupboards. Half a pound of elderly currants. Three big teaspoonfuls of ground ginger. A pint of spiced pickling vinegar (6%) and a bravado grinding of black pepper.
What ya do (can't dignify this with the term "method")Boil the onions in water for five minutes to soften them. Drag the gooseberries kicking and screaming out of their jars and force them into marriage with the wild plums in a large preserving pan. Drain and add the onions, which by now are past caring about relationships. Add the sugar, currants, vinegar, ginger and black pepper.
Stir and heat very gently to simmering point, and put up with the fruity, spicy smell for the next twelve hours while you pick out plum stones from the murky depths. This will reduce the pan-ful to something like a chutney consistency; either that or jam. Mine veered towards jam, probably because of the sugar in the wild plum jar. I got seven standard jam jars out of this.
Some of them even have chutney in them.
I know you are all crying at the impossibility of copying this virtuosity.
Sue's books can be found at her web site, Jackdaw E Books, http://www.jackdawebooks.co.uk/