We had a busy weekend, even if we were all cooped up in the house all of Saturday thanks to the rain. Cakes were baked and iced, chutney was made. Mozzarella too (though no photos of that!). I ran in the rain and thoroughly enjoyed a hot shower afterwards. We took advantage of Nanna. Not bad for a weekend!
Friday evening we braaiied the crayfish we’d been saving to share with John’s Mom. We had a lovely meal, picking at the flesh, dipping in garlic butter and sipping on a lovely viognier. Absolutely delicious.
Early on Saturday morning, it started to rain. And rain and rain! Even though it was pouring, I decided that I’m going to keep up with my goal of not skipping any ParkRuns this year (or at least, not until our Christmas plans kick off!) so off I went, #5 under my belt. Obviously I didn’t take Little Man with me and John stayed behind with his Mom and got a start on making peach chutney. Because I was unencumbered, I was actually able to run a little. Very slowly and jiggling all over but I tried as far as possible to run the flats and walk up the hills. 45mins later and very very wet I was done and so chuffed with myself! (Photo below nicked from the Facebook page!)
I did a quick change into a dry top in the parking lot (a skill I learnt in my springboard diving days!) and went of to get Christmas presents for John’s brother and his family as well as a few groceries before heading home.
Ouma (John’s grandmother) makes an amazing peach chutney which is much coveted by the family. I have long wanted to try it, we have her recipe after all and when I finally saw local peaches in the shops, I knew it was time. I knew that the lady who catered our wedding also had peaches on her farm so I emailed her asking if we could pick up a few kilograms of “seconds”. Those peaches that have been pecked or bruised and are otherwise perfect, but not pretty enough to sell. A few emails and a phone call and I ended up with 7kg of fruit! I was surprised by how small the pile was…I thought it would be bigger!
We washed it all, cut out the bad bits and removed all the pits to end up with about 4kg of fruit. This and the rest of the ingredients (recipe at the end) are minced and gently boiled with sugar, vinegar and spices. We should have cooked it all a bit longer, it’s a bit runny but tastes delicious! And it’ll be even better in a few weeks once it’s had a chance to mature a bit. One bottle is earmarked for the peach providers…
We were supposed to braai on Saturday afternoon with some friends, but due to the weather they switched it to supper out at our local pub (The Rat & Parrot). Habitually I said we wouldn’t be able to join them until I remembered, “We have a Nanna in the house!”. Nanna happily volunteered to step in and babysit and John and I got to go out and have a meal and a few drinks together. I’m not sure when we last went out together!
Sunday the weather was marginally better. John and his Brewing Buddy did their thing in the garage (a pale ale I am informed) while we tidied up the kitchen and pottered around. I did some much needed weeding in the garden, so simple when the ground is nice and wet! Sunday lunch was spent with John’s brother and family who were in town for a short stay. His partner is Italian so the meal was substantial! Anti-pasta (olives, salami, parmesan, foccacia), pasta in a delicious tomato sauce, and then fillet and veggies with salad, followed by ice-cream and strawberries. Not even the espresso could prevent multiple afternoon naps! Little Man was a firm fan of the pasta…
Sunday evening was slow. A Skype chat with my Mom (not long till we see you-can’t wait!) I did some crochet, snacked on leftovers and watched a DCI Banks DVD, early to bed.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend too!
Ouma’s Peach Chutney
- 3lb (~1.3kg) fruit, we used dessert peaches
- 3 large onions
- 2 lb (~900g) sultanas
- 1 lb (~450g) currents or raisins
- 1 whole head garlic
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground cloves
- 1 TBLsp cayenne pepper
- 1 TBLsp salt
- 1.125 L brown spirit vinegar
Mince the fruit, onions, garlic, sultanas and currents. Add to a large, non-reactive pot. Add the spices, salt and vinegar and bring to the boil. Stir often to prevent it catching and burning. Once it boils, reduce the heat and allow to simmer, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. The colour will deepen and it will thicken in consistency. Once it reaches the thickness you desire (and this is personal preference). Remove from the heat and bottle hot in sterilized jars.
This batch made approximately 6L of chutney. The cayenne gives quite a kick, I’ll use a little less next time. I’d also like to add a few apples (some natural pectin to help it gel) and play with the flavours. I must remember next year…