Gingery rhubarb chutney

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Believe it or not, i have met a lot of chutneys i didn’t like. But this isn’t one of them. I was lucky enough to inherit a row of very healthy and vigorous rhubarb plants when M and i moved into our house in the berkshires. when i say healthy and vigorous, i mean it. i am not 100% sure what the heck a peck is, but i am pretty sure even peter piper would be tired of picking rhubarb already…

(he might just be inclined to get back to pickin’ pickled peppers at this point) But anyway, I’m always on the lookout for all ways to use more rhubarb. usually i’m pretty much in a jam about it. (more on that later) ’cause when i say i have a lot of rhubarb…i mean,

I’ve been allotted a lotta rhubarb. Basically, i was looking for a chutney. because, well, i want to like chutneys. chutneys are cool & worldy. exotic even… expats on preserve. as it were. Look the point is, maybe i’m missing something, but fruit and garlic, together… not my thing.

That’s why when i found this recipe in a much cited (in the secret world of pickles and jams that is) beautiful and hard to find book; the glass pantry i knew it was the one.

First of all, it’s sans garlic, second, it’s gingery, from fresh raw ginger, not of the candied variety. and best of all, it uses a lotta rhubarb! all that said. it’s delicious!

Gingery rhubarb chutney adapted from the glass pantry about 9 stalks of rhubarb (approximately 6 cups, sliced 1 inch thick)

3 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped or very thinly grated lemon zest
2 cinnamon sticks, 3 inches each
1 1/2 to 2 inch piece fresh ginger (depending on thickness) peeled & minced
1 1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 pint mason or weck jars to make approximately 3 pints

1. prepare ingredients as above

2. combine brown sugar, cider vinegar and chopped lemon zest in a non-reactive pan. stir over low heat for 5 or 6 minutes, just until all the sugar dissolves.

3. add the sliced rhubarb, cinnamon sticks, and ginger.

4. raise the heat to medium-high and cook for another 15 or so minutes until all the rhubarb is soft.

5. add the raisins, salt and chopped walnuts and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

you can stop here and enjoy…in that case i might suggest cutting the recipe in half as stored directly in the fridge it is at its best for 3 weeks.

6. or you can process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes.

which i highly recommend…c’mon do it! it’s fun! and you can keep them in a cool dark place for a year. once opened store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

everything you need to know to can is here and here’s one more tidbit of info: whenever you have a smaller recipe that you are canning but your canning pot is BIG, you want to make sure that you have enough jars in there so that your full jars don’t bounce around – in other words, a full pot-o’-jars. so just leave the jars you don’t use in the pot filled with water.

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