Friday, September 04, 2015

A Homemade Life: Cranberry Chutney with Crystallized Ginger and Dried Cherries

I should probably change the name of this blog to something along the lines of "complaints about the weather" because I feel like I do that a lot.  But today, I'm going to do the opposite.  The weather has been phenomenal this week.  A bit of a chill in the air in the mornings, and a welcome reprieve from the scorching heat we've had this summer.  

I love this kind of weather, although it's not predicted to stay this way for long.  The heat is expected to return this weekend.  And the problem with the heat is that when you have a 3 year old, you can't exactly just hang out at home in the air conditioning.  

Not long ago we braved the heat and headed out to Leo Carrillo Ranch.

The ranch was built by famed actor Leo Carrillo and at one point in time functioned as a working cattle ranch.  Now it remains a historic site where you can roam through the casitas and grounds.

The oppressive actually seemed fitting, making it feel a bit like the wild wild west, sometime around high-noon.

When we pulled into the parking lot, tons of toddlers were pouring out of their respective family cars, because there's a special feature at Leo Carrillo Ranch which is a big draw for the younger set.


Lots and lots of peacocks.

And not just peacocks, but also peahens, complete with their tiny babies!

Seriously, how cute are these little guys?  Have you ever seen baby peacocks before?  It was my first time.

The peafowl weren't exactly friendly.  There was no petting or cuddling with the birds.  But they were accustomed enough to the many visitors that they were willing to come up quite close.  This one wanted to check and see what was going on when Thatkid was working on his (terrible) peacock imitation.

We drank a ton of water while we were there and left before lunch to try to avoid being out in the hottest part of the day.  Because that's what you do when the temperatures climb.  But right now I'm trying to take advantage of the cooler temps and planning our fall schedule. 

Fall always gets so busy with the Jewish holidays, Thatkid's birthday, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.  I'm running into the dilemma of feeling that it's too early to worry about Thanksgiving and the thought that it's only 2 months away, and this year Thatmom isn't hosting!  Which means I need to get on my game with planning.  Luckily I've picked up a couple recipes over the year that will make my life easier.  Like this cranberry chutney.  I love using cranberries during the holidays - especially in my baked brie.   I usually make my own version of cranberry chutney which involves sugar and cranberries.  This is a more complex flavor than mine, and I'm excited to sub it in.  It also works really well as a cranberry sauce substitute for things like leftover turkey sandwiches.  And if you want something easier than baked brie, there is little easier than placing some goat cheese and this chutney on an endive leave.

Cranberry Chutney and Crystallized Ginger and Dried Cherries (From A Homemade Life)
 24 ounces apricot preserves
3/4 cup raspberry vinegar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup grand mariner
2 bags fresh cranberries
1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
  1. Combine apricot preserves, raspberry vinegar, salt, cloves, and grand mariner in a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until it has thickened slightly.  Stir regularly to keep from scorching.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium add the cranberries and cook until they are soft, but not popped.  
  3. Add the ginger and cherries and stir well. Remove from heat.  Cool completely before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I always add ginger to my cranberry sauce! It's my secret ingredient...and everyone seems to love it!