Gam’s Apple Chutney

Gam's Apple ChutneyInterpretive Cooking

Every family has a Thanksgiving recipe handed down through the generations. Even if it just opening a box, it still counts as a family tradition (or at the very least, a funny commentary on whether or not your ancestors could cook). Case in point, my paternal grandmother was a disaster in the kitchen. In fact, my grandfather did all of the cooking during a time when it was definitely not the norm, and they always came to our house for Holiday meals.

My maternal grandmother was just the opposite. If you read my posts regularly, you will know about Gam’s recipes—she was a really great cook. I have come to realize that she was pretty bad at actually writing her recipes. When you consider she was a teacher for most of her life, it seems sort of strange that her recipe writing would be that “open to interpretation”. It may be more a generational thing than her inability to get her point across. Gam never had a problem getting her point across. She made her opinion very clear…often.

In my cookbook collection, I have some “antique” cookbooks that were written at a time when people, mainly women, did a lot of the cooking. Certain steps were implied, and were not written down—it was assumed the reader just knew. I would definitely put my grandmother’s handwritten recipes in this category, especially because they were written for her own use. She didn’t elaborate. That thought was underscored when I pulled out her recipe for apple chutney in anticipation of Thanksgiving leftovers.

My favorite part of Thanksgiving are the turkey sandwiches the next day and I really like them with some thickly-spread apple chutney. For me, Gam’s apple chutney is the best. But I had to read through her recipe a few times to make sure I understood her thought process. There were a few important pieces of information missing, but I managed to channel my inner Mary Jane, and figured it out.

Below is the revised recipe. Although cooking yet another dish this week might be the last thing you would like to do, keep in mind that a tasty little jar of homemade chutney makes a great gift for the hostess or that last minute gift for the person you forgot!

Gam’s Apple Chutney

8 cups apples, peeled and chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 cup brown sugar
2 cup raisins
¼ cup fresh ginger, chopped
¾ cup onions, chopped
4 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. coriander seeds
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. cinnamon
4 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
Juice of two limes

Place chopped apples, vinegar, sugar and brown sugar into a large non-reactive pot or Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil. Add the raisins, ginger, onion, garlic, spices and lime juice to the pot and bring back to a boil stirring constantly to prevent burning.

Lower the temperature and simmer for about 15 minutes until fruit is soft and spreadable.

Ladle into hot jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes.

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