Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Thursday 9 October 2008

In which I share a secret with you all.........

As I have had so many comments on my 2 chutney related postings, I thought I would share my chutney recipe!

My chutney recipes are basically 600 ml vinegar, 20 g salt, 500 g sugar, assorted spices usually around 2 teaspoons of them(I use ground spices quite happily!),500 g onions and then 3 Kg of assorted fruit and veg. This makes around 10 "chutney/relish" sized jars, the 350 g ones.

I find SOME fruit is needed, even if its only 500 g apples and 500g dried fruit, as apples especially help to thicken the chutney, the 500g dried fruit is part of the 3 Kg of assorted stuff though! I also always use Cider vinegar or wine vinegar occasionally, I use Aspalls Organic and finds it makes for a smooth result without a harsh vinegary tang...it IS possible to eat my chutney immediately but I would reccomend keeping it for at least 2 months, longer if you can!

I made an Autumn Polytunnel Harvest chutney a couple of years ago which was basically what was left in there…tomatos, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, to a total of 2.5 Kg, 500g apples and then the onions, sugar, vinegar salt, spices. It was YUM and we have just finished the last jar…I will have to make some more!

I don’t know if it would be ok to leave out onions and use more of some other fruit and veg, but I guess it would be fine!

As I only make chutney out of what we grow here ( except the raisins!) I make small quantities of experimental chutneys and play around with the ingredients!

Someone has asked me what books I use...well I sort of make things up as I go along because I find , as long as you stick to the basic proportions it works!

The River Cottage Preserves book is good, as is The Complete Book of Home Made preserves by Jill Nice I got from a charity shop, the Piers Warren How to store your garden produce is very good as well..I use that a lot! Also I like Margurite Pattern Jams Preserves and Chutneys. I think these are still available!

Hope this is helpful to those of you who have asked, but don’t blame me if you don’t like what you make, chutneys are definately for experimenters and I suggest you make a very small batch by scaling down the ingredients list, BEFORE you make a larger batch!

1 comment:

  1. Love secrets!! and really appreciate you sharing this one. Thank you so much!! I have a stash of green tomatoes to use up, some apples and marrow so will see what I can brew up!!

    Jane xxx


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.