Witches’ Brew…

In between writing Tobias, I’m in the throes of making chutney from the largesse from our orchard. We’ve already frozen stacks of nectarines and apricots for all things jammy, desserty and cakey. (That word – cakey. Reminds me so much of the late M.m. Bennetts – writer of the most extraordinarily good historical fiction set in the Napoleonic Wars. Cakey was definitely her thing.)


Currently, we’re picking pears, quinces and apples – last week we made pear and quince chutney which is the colour of quince paste – a rich watermelon pink colour.


I forgot to reduce the amount of cayenne and curry powder as we were only cooking 4 lbs of fruit and thus that batch has been dubbed the Brains Blow-out. This week however, we are making simple pear chutney. Not so powerful…


Young Dog, our adolescent Jack Russell, has appointed himself the guardian of the most loaded of the pear trees. He chases the ghastly black bush ravens away as only a JRT can.


All the fruit is peeled and cut – a tedious job, and one has to remind oneself that this chutney eaten with meats and cheeses, is absolutely delish!


We use a fifty year old recipe which is foolproof.


The spices. Waiting…


It simmered for the whole day – ‘Double, double, toil and trouble, Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.’

And filled seven jars for all our trouble.


We have still to pick all the apples and we both have an urge to make apple and rhubarb chutney. Maybe next week…


And there are three young trees of almonds to pick and shell.



we could leave the almonds for the parrots.