I was reading a cookbook this week — I collect cookbooks and flip through them frequently, although there are some I’d never actually cook out of, such as the Texas one with recipes about killing, cleaning and cooking your own food with a side of tumbleweeds or the Midwest one where everything seems to be suspended in Jello — and I came across a recipe for cranberry chutney that sounded interesting. Cranberries, Granny Smith apples, onions and raisins — heck, doesn’t that say Thanksgiving to you?
So since it’s a nice rainy day and the kids were at school, I figured I’d make some. It was a pretty involved recipe that required several 30 minute simmerings and multiple stages and steps like “grate the peel of two oranges, but save the oranges for the juice in the next step.”
My husband comes downstairs during stage two, when I’ve added chopped apples, balsamic vinegar, orange peel and spices to a brew of onions and brown sugar. “Wow, that smells potent.”
My son was a little more succinct when he walked through the door, fresh from middle school. “Wow, mom, what stinks?”
My daughter, of course, was a little more dramatic when she ran off the school bus. “My nose! My nose! I can’t breathe in here, that smells AWFUL!”
I was visualizing something that was… cranberry. You know, red and rosy, maybe a bit more intense than the smooth stuff that plops out of the can. I ended up with this mass of… well, cranberry chunks mixed into a base of deep brown chunks.
The stuff I took off the spoon tasted pretty good, though. I’m just not sure I’m going to be able to convince anyone to eat it…