Christmas countdown tackles condiments

October 10, 1990|By Sherrie Clinton | Sherrie Clinton,Evening Sun Staff

These Christmas condiments are simple to make because they require no processing. Store them in your freezer and make sure the person who receives them does the same.

* Half-pint freezer containers or glass jars are a convenient size for storing your condiments. Glass jars and their lids should be sterilized before filling. To do this, cover the jars and lids with water, boil then on top of the stove for at least ten minutes and keep hot. Add the condiments directly to the hot, sterilized jars. Leave a space between the food and the top of the jar

* It is imperative that you note on the jar that these condiments must be kept frozen. Also note when the condiments were made and the last day they can be enjoyed.

Cranberry-Raisin Chutney

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

10 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick, about three-inches long

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup each thawed frozen apple juice concentrate and honey

6 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper,

1/2 cup each finely chopped onion and thinly sliced celery

1 small tart apple, peeled, cored and chopped.

Tie allspice, cloves and cinnamon stick in a washed square of cheesecloth; set aside.

In a three- to four-quart pan, combine cranberries, raisins, apple juice concentrate, honey, vinegar and water; cook over medium heat, uncovered until berries begin to pop, about ten minutes.

Add spice packet, ginger, red pepper, onion, celery, and apple. Simmer uncovered until apple is very soft and almost all liquid has evaporated, about 40 minutes. Discard spice packet; let chutney cool, or discard spices after cooling. Ladle chutney into about four one-half-pint canning jars or freezer containers, leaving one-inch headspace. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator for up to two weeks, in freezer for up to six months. Makes about four cups.

-- "Sunset Gifts from Your Kitchen" edited by Elizabeth L. Hogan;

Lane Publishing Co. -- 1988, $7.95.

Marnie's Dried Peach

and Apricot Chutney

5 Granny Smith apples

3/4 cup dried peaches, cut in sixths

3/4 cup dried apricots, cut in quarters

1/2 cup light raisins

6 cloves of garlic, mashed

2 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1 3/4 cups red wine vinegar

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Peel the apples, cut in quarters and carefully remove the cores, seeds and other hard matter. Cut in one-half-inch chunks.

Put all the ingredients in an enameled or stainless steel saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of the cooking time the mixture should have the consistency of thick jam.

Spoon the chutney into clean, hot jars, leaving one-quarter-inch of room at the top of each jar. Carefully wipe the rim of each jar. Cover and allow to come to room temperature. Label the jars and refrigerate for up to three months or freeze up to six months.

-- "The Christmas Kitchen" by Lorraine Bodger; Doubleday Books -- 1989, $19.95.

Sweet Freezer Chips

1 medium-size mild white onion

2 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium-size) cucumbers

2 tablespoons salt

8 cups ice cubes

4 cups sugar

2 cups cider vinegar

Thinly slice onion, cut unpeeled cucumbers into one-eighth-inch thick slices. Mix cucumbers, onion and salt in a large bowl, cover mixture with ice cubes and refrigerate for two to three hours.

Drain off water and discard unmelted ice cubes, do not rinse vegetables. Pack cucumber and onion slices into three one-pint freezer containers or canning jars, leaving 1 1/2 -inches headspace.

In a two-quart pan, combine sugar and vinegar; bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour just enough hot syrup over cucumbers to cover. Cover containers, let cool, then store in freezer for at least one week or up to six months. To thaw, place containers in refrigerator for at least eight hours. Makes about

three pints.

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