Diary of the Plague Year: Day 19 3 April 2020: Green tomato chutney

Lunch today is goat’s brie with home-made green tomato chutney.

The great thing about writing a blog is that you don’t have to be falsely modest and when I say this is the best chutney I have ever had I really mean it.

The annoying thing about not really following recipes and belonging to the flying-by-the-seat-of-your pants cookery school is that sometimes you really wish you had made a note of how you actually did it.

I am convinced cooking is actually a form of alchemy and all sorts of unlikely influences enter the equation, your emotional state at the time, a misaligned planet, the weather. It is not just a matter of slavishly following recipes.  I made this chutney on the eve of returning to Folkestone to see my mother who was not expected to make it when I last spoke to the family.

I was given a boxful of green tomatoes from J and so I decided to make some bottled tomato sauce and the chutney the evening before my journey on the overnight bus.  I had never made chutney before and looked up the easiest recipe on the internet. I decided to halve the amount of vinegar and quadruple the amount of garlic and to add ginger. Sultanas were added for good measure and various spices.  The whole lot bottled went into the chest-of-drawers in my spare room to seethe for the two months I was away.

Well, the results are spectacular. It is really, really good. I think the added ooopmh may be due to the Chinese Five Spice Powder. I wonder if I could ever replicate it?

My mother made a full recovery by the way and is living happily in Folkestone.

Lunch April 3 2020 Chutney