Apples into chutney, magic!

A mere four hours of washing, chopping, coring, slicing, cooking gently, boiling rapidly - and you have 20 jars of apple chutney!

I called this batch "Friendship Chutney" as the apples were from our friends Lis and Paco. I am so grateful as we have none at all on our poor trees this year - and these are the sort we used to have, which feels nice. Last year was a total wash out for apples, and when I look in my preserves notebook it's 4 years since I made chutney. It doesn't feel that long, so I might have forgotten to write some in the book... anyhow, the supplies in the earth cellar were very low.

Now there are 20 jars of delight, see extra for photographic evidence - and in the hall there are two bowls of chopped apples ready for another batch tomorrow. I have some ancient dried figs soaking to add to the chutney too, it's a good way to use things up. The smell was so lovely, right through the house. It feels like treasure to have made all this produce.

We put the central heating on today, it's chilly right enough - but most of all it's damp. The house feels so cosy and welcoming now, and I am so happy that we can just press a switch and get heat rather than having to fell trees and chop wood for heating. We have our tile stove/open fire upstairs but the main heating in the house is an electric boiler in the cellar, and water filled radiators.

So, this has been a day of creativity and homeliness - and politics got in there too somehow. The government situation has still not clarified much, and the final count won't be till later this week. Plenty of room for maneuvering. And messing about. The chances of Vänster, the Left Party (official name in English) getting a look in are small since we are treated like wild extremists, but who knows? The situation with 17% of the MPs belonging to SD the far right - fascists in my view - is so grave that new deals will have to be struck to keep their influence to a minimum.

It feels good to have the predictability of the boiling chutney! Apples, onion, raisins, a bowl-full of spices, sugar and special Swedish 24% vinegar. It's great as it means you add very little liquid to the pan and that keeps the mixture good and thick.

We walked down to the lake at lunch time, conversed with some cattle - they are not all that chatty but very keen on being near to where humans are. One, the bigger boy amongst the girls, burped in my face, a very pleasant grassy smell it was too. There were two geese on the little lake, honking a lot when we came closer. Swans too - there are plenty of things on the move, heading south. It's definitely autumn!

The signs of autumn are: 
general election - always in September
putting on the central heating
buying bulbs to plant out
hot water bottle in bed
aching joints
making chutney

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