Monday, March 21, 2011

Can Crazy

I have discovered a new passion. Canning. Joe and I are always interested in saving money and preserving food. We both share a strong believes that traditional methods and treatments of food are important. I really feel that doing things in traditional ways connects us both to our pasts and to our futures. Making things using traditional methods is usually far more sustainable then buying things from the store. I have a great interested in how my food is produced and want to play as big of a roll in that production as I can… thus my love of cooking right? It has been a fun journey. Recently that journey has led me to canning food. My mother used to can many moons ago. Back when my grandfather had lots of extra fresh vegetables from his back yard. Life, as it always does, got busy and she feel out of practice. (maybe having three young kids at home? Who knows.)

But there the canning equipment sat, for almost 20 years… just waiting (can someone que the beauty and the beast soundtrack?) As many people know I am currently staying with my parents while I recover from this last flare up. While I was exploring the basement I discovered the canning equipment. I have always wanted to “learn” to can and this was my chance… a new hobby was just what I needed! And because I can’t eat canning makes perfect sense. When I can start eating again I will be all ready! That, and it makes great gifts! AND its supper fun!

So I have been canning up a storm. I have used other people’s recipes for the most part but I felt inspired by some leftover vegetables and ingredients that we had on hand. I adapted the following recipes from I added a lot and took out some so I feel that I can claim this recipe as my own. My person food taster (my dad) gave it high marks so that’s good enough for me. I would suggest eating it on some crackers and cheese… or backing chicken or fish in it. But I think you can bake chicken in everything and anything so maybe I’m off on that one. When I can eat again I will let you know.

I am entering this recipe in this month’s Ott’A iron chef competition: canned tomatoes. I am excited to be a part of a competition. I may or may not be a little competitive. So I am going give it a try!

Winter Fruit Chutney

Original Recipe By Elly in Canada on 2008

Adapted and Changed by Chrissy (me) 2011

  • Prep Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 1 3/4 hrs


    • 3/4 cup quartered dried pitted prunes
    • 3/4 cup quartered dried apricots
    • ½ cup golden raisins, chopped
    • ½ cup dried cranberries, chopped
    • 1 large red onions, chopped
    • ½ cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
    • ¼ cup celery, cleaned and very finely chopped
    • 1 large tart apple, peeled and finely chopped
    • 1 large sweet apple, peeled and chopped
    • 2 small pears, peeled and chopped
    • 1 cup Red Golden canned tomatoes, chopped drained seeded
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
    • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup cider vinegar
    • ¼ cup red wine
    • ½ cup apple juice


  1. Place prunes and apricots in saucepan; add 1/2 cup water, red wine, apple juice, ½ cup cider vinegar and bring to boil.
  2. Remove from heat; cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in all the remaining ingredients bring to simmer. (including the second ½ cup of cider vinegar)
  4. Cover and simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until thickened to jam like consistency, 50 to 60 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and spoon into hot sterilized canning jars and process in a hot water bath for 10-15 mins. Or store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks (at the most)

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