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!

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Pink Chutney

I posted last sunday that I will be making an experimental Purple French Bean, Red Onion and Tomato Chutney and that I was going to make up the recipe. well today, I did!

Purple Beans, Red Onions (but no tomatos) as I decided on a more vegetable based chutney, more a bean relish to go on the side of a plate of meat or cheese and salad, rather than a chutney to put in a sandwich! So, Purple French Beans, Red Onions, Bramley Apples, Sugar, Red Wine vinegar and salt and spices ( coriander, cumin and ginger).

I finely chopped the ingredients

and tipped them in a preserving pan
After bringing it all to the boil, see! it IS pink!

Doing the channel test ( If you don't know what that is, go back and read my blog!)

Finished product, 5 jars of Compostbins Purple Bean, Apple and Onion Relish.

It is very different to the chutney I made the other day, more pickle-y and less sweet, even though the proportions of sugar and vinegar are the same AND it has more apple in it than the chutney. I guess that is because the beans absorb and cook at a different rate?

ANYway, it is very nice and I can see a good dollop of that going on a plate of cold roast meats at Yule!


  1. Yummy! We are saving up all the jars with vinegar proof lids now !!

  2. You know, I am very tempted to put an order in with you, so you can send me down a jar of each! Paid for obviously! They look really really good!

  3. Hear! Hear!! in total agreement with mousedemon... would love to buy some of your mouth watering chutney.... how about an Etsy Chutney shop??**??

    Jane xxx

  4. Your chutney looks good. You'll have to let us know what it tastes like. :-)

    I've had a couple of attempts at chutney, but the results were rather harsh. They're intensely vinegary. My pickled onions are the same, so much as I love pickled onions, I find mine difficult to eat :-( I imagine, in the case of the chutney, that I can't blame the problem on vinegar alone, but I'll have another go and use wine vinegar (like you do) instead of malt or white vinegar. Perhaps these other vinegars are just too harsh.

  5. I use Cider vinegar for most chutney, I used Red wine for this one for the pinkness!

    I find malt vinegar very harsh and that may well be the issue, Galanthus....

    and THANK YOU everyone for the favourable comments! If I ever meet up with any of you in real life I will be sure to bring along some chutney :-)))

    I DO barter the odd jar, and I DO give it away as gifts. I have been asked to do a Farmers Market stall, but the production of a large enough quantity to be able to sell regularly is a bit of a problem...at the moment I make 10 jars at a time and it takes on and off about 4hours, and I would only sell them for a few pounds....so it becomes rather a low paid enterprise when you take into account the cost of all my lovely ( organic) ingredients as well...but of course I couldn't sell the chutney as Organic and get a price premium, because I am not certified!

    To make even a small profit one needs economies of scale...at least if selling commercially.

    BUT I do barter it, and that is much more "fruitful" ......getting stuff you want from others, fostering local food networks etc etc !

  6. Shame about the Etsy shop, but understand what you mean, was really only joking... shame though! a girl can only try :-))) Wished I lived nearer to barter though.. like having a good old barter!
    Keep up the good work.. your blog is great and packed with loads of things that I am interested in!!
    Jane xxx

  7. That looks really great. We've never tried to make chutney but you may encourage us to try it next season. Your wonderful blog has already inspired us to try new things in the garden. After looking at your poly tunnel posts, we decided to make one of our own. It is sort of a cross between a poly tunnel and a hoop greenhouse. We'd love to know what you think of it. Come by our blog at gardendesk.com to see it.

    Keep up the great posts!

  8. Hi marc and renee! Thank you for visiting. I went and looked at your polytunnel....very impressive! You will extend your growing season with that!

    I am going to clear out ours hopefully today and get some salads etc in for the winter. I need to dig over the veg patch Compostman is still convalescent so can't do it...) but my acing back is saying its not very likely at the moment.

    Also need to pick the last of the apples and make cider and more chutney...an apple and tomato one this time I think.


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.