Sunday, September 12, 2010

Making "Relish, Sauce and Chutney - All in One Day" from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver is one of my favorite books.  It has been on my bedside table since I read it the first time a over year ago.  I am constantly re-reading portions of it to inspire me and remind me of the great ideas it contains.  In this book Barbara Kingsolver documents her and her family's food life for one year.  They decided for one year to eat only what they grew or could purchase in their county in rural Virginia.  The story of their year includes recipes that the family used during that year and that they use in their cooking repertoire.  Daughter Camille Kingsolver was the recipe guru and many of the recipes look great.  However, I have been unable to find any reviews of the recipes and the recipes do not contain photos - and I like to see what the product will look like.  So my friend and I began the task of making the recipe and recording it here for you.

Here is the recipe as it appears in the book.


Thanks to Janet Chadwick, The busy person’s guide to Preserving Food

If you don’t have a garden, you can stock up on tomatoes, peaches, apples and onions at the end of summer, when your farmers’ market will have these at the year’s best quality and price. Then, schedule a whole afternoon and a friend for this interesting project that gives you three different, delicious products to eat all winter.

Canning jars and lids: 14 pint jars, 7 half-pint jars

Start with a very large, heavy kettle. You will be adding different ingredients and canning different sauces as you go.

4 quarts tomato puree

24 large apples

7 cups chopped onions

2 quarts cider vinegar

6 cups sugar

2/3 cup salt

3 tsp. ground cloves

3 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. red pepper

2 tsp. mustard

Puree tomatoes; core and coarsely chop apples; coarsely chop onions. Combine in large pot along with the vinegar, sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 2 hours or until thick. Meanwhile, preheat water in a canner bath and sterilize jars and lids (in boiling water or dishwasher) and keep them hot until use. Fill 7 pint jars with some of the thickened Barbecue Relish, leaving ½ inch headspace in each jar. Put filled jars in canner with lids screwed on tightly and boil for ten minutes. Remove and cool.


2 quarts sliced peaches

6 cups sugar

½ cup water

2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. Tabasco sauce

In a separate pan, cook peaches and water for 10 minutes, until soft. Add sugar and bring slowly to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil until thick (15 min.), stirring to prevent scorching.

Add peach mixture to the remaining tomato mixture in the kettle and bring back up to a boil to make Sweet and Sour Sauce. Fill 7 pint jars leaving ½ inch headspace, boil in canner for ten minutes. Remove and cool.

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts

Add these to the kettle, mix well and bring it back to a boil to make Chutney. Fill 7 ½-pint jars leaving ½ inch head space. Boil in canner for ten minutes. Remove.

As all the jars cool, make sure the jar lids pop their seals by creating a vacuum as contents cool. You’ll hear them go “ping.” To double check, after they’re entirely cooled, push down on each lid’s center – it should feel firmly sucked down, not loose. (If a jar didn’t seal, refrigerate and use the contents soon.) The ring portion of the lid can be removed before storing; when processed properly, the dome lids will stay securely sealed until you open the jar with a can opener.

Label each product before you forget what’s what, and share with the friend who helped. The Barbeque Relish is great on broiled or grilled fish or chicken. The Sweet and Sour Sauce gives an Asian flavor to rice dishes. Chutney can perk up anything.
GG and I began where we left off last weekend, with 4 jars of our tomato puree, minus the basil leaves.  In order to begin the process we had to prep the ingredients.  The apples were peeled, cored and sliced using a Pampered Chef Apple Peeler, Corer, Slicer.  This made the job of 24 apples much easier.  Here is how it looked:
Once the apples were all done, we took them an chopped them up into smaller pieces about 1/4 inch wide.
The recipe called for 7 cups of chopped onions.  We used 3 very large onions.  These are the ones you buy at your local wholesale club.  Here is what one of them looked like.
 I cubed them into medium to small pieces which looked like this:
The tomatoes, apples and onions all went into the pot with the vinegar, sugar, cloves, cinnamon, red pepper and mustard.  Since the recipe was unclear and if we were to add ground or prepared mustard we picked one.  We used Boar's Head Brand Deli Style Mustard, the kind you out on a sandwich.  It has good flavor and seemed to work for us.  All of the items into the pot looked like this:
We cooked this for about an hour and it started to come together into a uniform mixture.  The fruit finally sank down.  Before that, the fruit floated to the top.  I suggest keeping the lid off the pot while it boils down.  We did not for the first half hour and I think it made us have to cook it longer to get to the desired consistency.  We tasted it after the hour and it was very "vinegar-y".  It cleared out the sinuses.  It looked like this after the first hour:
The sauce continued to cook for another hour or so until the sauce was thicker and the fruit and onion had broken down.  It still has come texture to it but it the items are no longer distinguishable from each other.  Once done it tasted like a BBQ with a vinegar flavor in the background.  It tastes good.  Here is the finished BBQ relish:

 Now that this is done, put the relish into sterilized jars, place in a water canner and process for 10 minutes.  If you do not know hot to do this, use the process outlined in the Making Tomato Puree post.

Next is to prepare the peaches. The recipe calls for 2 quarts.  I used 5 pounds of fresh peaches.   I took each peach and washed it, and make an "X" on the bottom with a paring knife into the skin and placed it into boiling water for 5-10 minutes until the skin began to peel where the "X" was.  Next, remove from the water and cool.  Peel the skins once cool enough to hold and cut up into chunks.

Place the peaches and water into a smaller pot and cook until soft which will look like this:

Add the water, garlic powder and Tabasco.  We did not have Tabasco so we used Frank's Red Hot.  Also, the recipe does not tell you when to add the garlic powder and Tabasco so we added it with the sugar.  Once you add everything and boil it it will have a syrup consistency. 

Since it was still pretty chunky and GG and I did not want the sweet and sour sauce to be chunky, we place it into the blender and pureed it until it was smoother.  It looked like marmalade when we were done.  It looked like this:

Once the peaches are added to the BBQ Relish, the mixture is cooked for 10 minutes it looks like this:

It is a bit darker than the BBQ sauce.  It tastes very Asian inspired.  I would not suggest using it as a dipping sauce or alone but, I think it would be great as a marinade for grilled chicken or even as a stir fry sauce.  Take out the 7 pints of sauce, jar and process as described above:

Next, is time to make the chutney.  I prepared the walnuts by coarsely chopping them.  They looked like this:

Add the nuts and raisins to the sauce and cook for 20 minutes. 

I know the recipe says to bring it back to a boil but we found that the chutney was still too thin at that point.  It looked like this: 

So we cooked it until it was thickened and looked like this:

This was canned in thr same process as above.  We ended up getting double the amount of chutney than the recipe called for.  This could be because we did not sufficiently cook down the BBQ relish at the beginning.  So we compensated by cooking the relish longer and I think it is OK.  

At the end the BBQ Relish and Sweet and Sour Sauce looked like this in the jars:

And everything all completed looked like this:

I ran out of labels so I used Post-Its to mark the jars.  I am going to buy labels and mark them appropriately.  Store them upside down for one day in a draft free area and check the seals to make sure they are all down and no longer move up and down.

It was a pretty easy process.  It took us 4 - 4.5 hours.  The apple corer slicer made things easier, I recommend it if you have one or can borrow one.  Do this with a friend.  It is much faster and more fun.  I will post recipes from these sauces once I use them. 

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