Friday, September 10, 2004

Pear Chutney

(Originally posted on Friday, September 10, 2004 by Tim)

Finally! A little free time to write. I've been swamped this week after we spent last weekend at Brian and Anduin's place near the nation's capital. I've taken on alot this term with the preparation for my classes and I really need the free time on the weekend to catch up. I have no regrets on last weekend though, I had a great time and I'm just too old to let work stop me from having a life.

I did find a little time earlier this week to indulge in an activity that combines one of my hobbies with one of my obsessive tendencies. I made a very nice pear chutney. The hobby part of this activity is the cooking and the obsessive behavior is not letting anything go to waste. I don't know if you picked up on this in my jam recipe post, but a large part of the motivation for making that jam was to keep the grapes from spoiling. This behavior was evident last weekend when Brian and Amy brought a very tasty lemon curd to Brian and Anduin's house. I complimented them on the spread, asked for the recipe and then wondered out loud where I might find lemon trees in Virginia. They then proceeded at length to try to explain to me that money could be exchanged for lemons in an edifice known as The Grocery Store. Sigh! Some people just don't get it.

When we got back, I found that one of the Emeritus faculty at Radford had brought in a big bag of pears from a tree or trees in his yard.


In the end, I went with a chutney instead of a jam. There are more chutney recipes for pears than jam recipes for pears on the internet. The ingredients for chutney are more exciting than for jam as well.

Pear Chutney
2 tbs butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
6 small pears, hand picked from someone's yard, peeled and chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs lemon juice

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add next three ingredients and cook until mixture is carmel in color and a little thick. Add pears, salt, vinegar and lemon juice. Reduce heat and simmer until chutney thickens. Allow to cool.

I tasted the chutney and found it to be quite tasty. It is sweet and salty and a bit hot from the peppers. However, I was a bit stumped as to what we would eat it with and started thinking about how I might make a jam out of the hundreds of pears that were laying about in our Emeritus faculty's yard. Cathy came to the rescue on this one by making an excellent marinated tempeh that went very well with the chutney. Maybe she will post her recipe some time. This chutney would also go very well with pork or with ham.

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