It’s mid-June, but given the weather in the last few days, you wouldn’t know it. The temperature has fluctuated wildly in the span of only a week – we’ve had 80 degree days and 50 degree days (yesterday was a 50 degree day and I DO NOT APPROVE.)
We’ve had sunny, clear days. We’ve had overcast and windy days. We’ve had thunderstorms. We’ve had brutal cold winds.
It’s been a whole lot of crazy unpredictable weather around here.
On Sunday, I was outside gardening all morning and worked up quite the appetite (and sweat), so when I went inside to get my lunch ready, I ran around and opened all my windows for the first time this year. A monumental occasion, to be sure.
Not 15 minutes later, the winds started whipping and the rain started falling and I heard thunder. So, while my food was cooking, I scrambled around outside moving all my gardening stuff into my shed and bringing in the delicate young plants.
Then I remembered the windows were all open.
As soon as I walked into my living room, I saw it and groaned audibly. The wind had blown over a plant that sits next to my window and there was soil all over my living room floor.
The floor that I had just swept and mopped the day before. Why does this kind of thing always have to happen when you are starving and your food is minutes from being done?
I had started grilling my lunch before it started raining, and in my mad dash to put everything away and clean everything, I didn’t have time to move it inside. Which is perfect because if there was one thing that saved my mood and my afternoon, it is the fact that it was grilled.
Because everything is better grilled.
And nothing compliments a grilled meal better than a good condiment/sauce/dip.
I mentioned that I made Cherry Chutney last week, and that jar has gotten some serious mileage and I don’t skimp on sauce and condiments. I have eaten it with everything from raw veggies to eggs. I’ve eaten it thinned with vinegar and oil as salad dressing and braised veggies in it. It’s a perfect savory/sweet sauce that just….works.
Food goes from ‘meh’ to WOWZA with this sauce; it goes from WOWZA to….whatever comes after WOWZA. This sauce makes food better is what I am trying to say. All food.
As if that fact weren’t enough, it’s about the easiest thing to make there is. The list looks long, but most are spices and pantry staples, so just a few ingredients, very little chopping, and 30 minutes are all you need.
- 150 grams cherries, pitted (about 2 cups)
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 T coconut oil (or other mild cooking oil)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest (or extract)
- 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 tp salt
- 1/8 tsp black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 ounce chopped candied ginger (optional, but highly recommended)
Store in a glass jar in the fridge and serve chilled with raw veggies or. however your little heart desires.
My lunch that day was perfect – grilled mixed veggies with a couple hot dogs and some Cherry Chutney for dipping.
And just as I was licking my plate clean (figuratively….or maybe not?), the sun came out again and the clouds cleared. I opened a couple windows again, moved the plants back outside and resumed my gardening. With a happy, full belly.
Do you have any non-conventional recipes with fruit? Have you ever made chutney?
I went through a really big mint chutney phase several years ago in grad school when mint was growing like mad in my yard. I have some in my garden again, so I think I see a comeback in the future….