Autumn Means Chutneys & Pickles


 I love homemade chutneys & pickles, & have just made a couple of different ones.

I used up the last of the courgettes in a picallili style  mustard relish, & as we all love spicy food I made a tomato, red pepper & chilli chutney. These are both quite easy – if a little messy & it is much easier if you have a food processor for all the grating. The quantities are approximate as I just used what I had leftover to use up.

Sterilise jars & lids by washing in dishwasher – or v hot water – then place on a tray in a warm oven for 10 minutes. Fill while both jars & chutney are still warm, put lids on, & as the chutney cools it forms a vacuum which creates an airtight seal.

Courgette Relish

I used 2 Large courgettes & summer squash (patty pan) – about 1.5 kg before preparation.

One onion & one pepper (I used red for a bit of colour).

500ml white wine or cider vinegar

200g sugar

1 .5 teaspoon dry mustard powder

1 teaspoon crushed mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)


Deseed the squash & grate or thinly slice (no need to peel)- mix together with the onion & pepper, sugar, vinegar & spices in a large saucepan.

Bring to the boil & cook until veg is just cooked but still a little crunchy.

Mix a tablespoon of cornflour with a little cold water into a paste & stir into the pan & cook for a minute or two more to thicken the sauce.

Spoon into clean sterilised jars while still warm, put lids on & store in a cool place for a couple of months before eating.

Red Pepper & Chilli Chutney.

This is a bit of a cheat – using a large jar of roasted red peppers.

1 lge jar of roast red peppers.

1 onion

1 eating apple

A courgette or marrow

Some fresh tomatoes – I used whatever I had leftover  but you could use tinned tomatoes if necessary.

(You need about a kilo & a half of veg to 500mls vinegar so add whatever you like to make up the weight)

500 mls white vinegar (I used cider)

125g sugar

Either fresh or dried chilli to taste – I used 3 jalapeño red chillis, seeds & all, but a teaspoon of dried would be ok.

Chop up all the veg fairly small & add to a pan with all other ingredients , bring to the boil & simmer until thickened & reduced, this can take a while so keep stirring occasionally to stop the chutney burning or catching on the bottom of the pan. You could use a slow cooker without the lid for this bit. 

When nice & thick (remember it will thicken more on cooling) spoon into sterilised jars & store for 2-3 months.

Both of these are delicious with cold meats & cheese & make perfect homemade Xmas gifts.


Big Brother Gift

i made a quick big brother gift for my cousins little boy, I didn’t want him to feel left out when I posted my baby squircle blanket to them. 

I decided on one of the Edward’s Menagerie crocheted animals from the book by Kerry Lord. 

I have made quite a few of these now as gifts for adults & children & everyone loves them. 

This time I decided to make a monkey – she’s actually a Gorilla but don’t think the little 2yr old will be picky!

For more info on all the Edward’s Menagerie range here’s the link to The TOFT Alpaca Shop where you can download individual patterns, buy Kerry’s book & purchase British Alpaca yarns.