Of Canning, Coats, and Craft

Last week, after a little rummaging around, I found a chutney recipe that used green tomatoes. I guess it’s about time to finish off with the green tomato glut by late November. So on the heels of Thanksgiving, I got my canning equipment out again and started to work.

Six cups of chopped green tomatoes...

Six cups of chopped green tomatoes…

The recipe called for 6 cups of chopped green tomatoes. I definitely had that.Β It also called for an onion, some packed brown sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, salt, and a cup of vinegar. The full recipe is in Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan, who also has a blog.

A few more ingredients!

A few more ingredients!

I cooked it up for the required amount of time. It took a little more than an hour to get it boiled down to the proper consistency.

It smelled really nice, sweet and pickley...

It smelled really nice, sweet and pickley…

Eventually, I poured it into jars and boiled them for 10 minutes and voila! I already had enough pickled green tomatoes. Now I just need to figure out what I would eat chutney with…

Hurrah! Green tomato chutney!

Hurrah! Green tomato chutney!

I’ve also begun to think about decorating a bit for Christmas. Back in October, Bianca of Wolfberry Knits blogged on using tea light containers for Christmas decorations. Her stars are fabulous. I need a little practice. Also to burn more tea lights so I can have a full swag of them.

Not as good as Bianca's, but I'll get more practice.

Not as good as Bianca’s, but I’ll get more practice.

And for those of you who went through the coat saga with me back in June and helped choose its buttons in late September, here is the finished coat! I’m quite pleased with it. There have actually been a couple days recently that required it.

Long enough and lined with the great material from the previous coat...

Long enough and lined with the great material from the previous coat…

This morning, I had another walk with a friend around Roosevelt Island. We saw ducks again, a group of birders looking for a yellow bellied sapsucker, and miracle of miracles, a great blue heron. Now there’s nothing particularly miraculous about seeing one of those, but we saw this one grab a fish, grapple with it, and swallow. It was amazing. And today I had made a deliberate decision not to lug a camera…So you’ll just have to imagine the heron’s throat expanding and shrinking back into shape as the fish went down.

This is the happy salmon, draw for another blog, and not what the heron ate...

This is the happy salmon, drawn for another blog, and not what the heron ate…

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60 Responses to Of Canning, Coats, and Craft

  1. Sylvie G says:

    I would eat that chutney with possibly everything. The coat is great and I like that you have the other one in the lining. Christmas decorations are for the NOrthern hemisphere (yours look great). They look ridiculous here. I always miss a photo opportunity when I do not take the camera.

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  2. The coat looks perfect – I can see you already striding about DC in it, your beautiful elegant hands pointing out the sights as you go πŸ™‚ I am saving tealight containers to make stars for next Christmas as I only managed to use up three between October and now……….. I used to make green tomato chutney back when my children were young and used it to accompany so many dishes. One of my kids loved to eat it on bread with nothing else………… How’s the kitchen remodel coming?

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  3. I enjoy that kind of chutney with cheese and crackers….yum! The coat looks lovely, Lisa. It must be nice and warm for your area, and a real plus that it’s tailored just for you. You know, I made a whole slew of those stars . I have a Himalayan salt candle holder and burn quite a few tea lights, so I was happy to be able to recycle them—usually while watching the news on TV. I have been wondering just how best to string them into a garland…I like your ribbon idea. Your heron swallowing the fish reminds me of my snake-frog experience…it is amazing to see how the shape of the prey goes down the eater’s gullet! This was a very enjoyable blog to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would eat the chutney with any and everything!
    I have made over 80 stars!!! And they hang in strings down in front of the sheers – looking spectacular. The story about them is scheduled to be posted on 24th December! I had a hell of a time trying to sew them together with cotton. They kept getting tangled!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mary Tang says:

    Love your coat. Chutney is good with everything; I agree. When I was cook for about fifty people in the outback I used to make meat loaves with a glazed topping of chutney. They were the people’s favourite.

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  6. Canning has always been a mystery to me. My mom was a great cook, but canning wasn’t something she did. It’s such a great way to preserve your garden bounty.

    I remember that coat and the button saga as well. It looks terrific. Sorry you missed the photo op with the heron but glad you could record it with your eyes. Magical.

    Apparently several of you are following the creater of tea light stars. They’re charming.

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Canning was a mystery to me until I got the book I mention in the blog. It’s in small quantities and doesn’t need pressure. So it relies on recipes with enough acid or sugar to assist preservation. Once I redo the kitchen I’ll have more places to put things like pressure canners and may go for that as well, providing the garden does well!

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      • Hmmm…how did I miss the book reference? You mean the one with the recipe?

        It’s amazing to me that food can be preserved so well and for such a long time.

        Are you excited about the kitchen remodel? Will you be extending one of the walls, or working within the same blueprint with a different configuration? I remember your kitchen as we walked through your home and the dining and living area, but I don’t recall what is on the other side of the walls. It will be wonderful remodeling it to your own specifications.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        No moved walls and no moved water pipes. Keeping it simple. Lots of new cabinets, new floor and new appliances, different flow–L shaped and a cold closet if the designers think it will work. Then I’ll recover and do the bathroom in a couple years…

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      • It sounds like a nice project. Not too overwhelming in scope, yet changes significant enough to make a real difference. I hope you’ll share posts as you go along.

        We remodeled our kitchen about ten years ago. We loved all the changes and still do a decade later. My favorite part: all the new drawers. They’re so much easier to access than cabinets.

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      • arlingwoman says:

        Yes, drawers are much handier in some ways. I forgot to add that I want the blasted garbage can hidden somewhere as well. I’m sure they can do that, too! It’s reassuring that you like it 10 years on.

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      • I helped an organizing client with his remodel as well. He has a pull-out drawer with two bins, one for trash, the other for recycles. Regular sized trash bins hang from an interior frame. Closed, it just looks like one of the cabinets. Also, since you are tall like me, consider having elevated counter tops.

        Do you have a Pinterest account? If you aren’t doing it already, it’s a great place to collect all your ideas.

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      • arlingwoman says:

        Oooh, a friend of mine whose father was a carpenter had those elevated counters in her kitchen. I’d forgotten about that. Thanks!

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      • OH…..food in jars. I get it now.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay! So happy to see the stars!! :)) enjoyed your post Lisa, thanks for the mention and I really LOVE that coat! πŸ™‚ ps my dad swears by NOT taking the camera on walks, he says all the great stuff always happens when he doesn’t have it πŸ™‚

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  8. starkwe says:

    It’s always so exciting to see an animal catch its prey!
    One thing I forgot before my son left for Japan was to get him to get the Christmas stuff down from the attic. I guess that’s my job this year!

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  9. Success all round, then, except for missing the heron photo. I’m very impressed with your chopping. I’ve only ever known Jackie do it so small.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. And I like the alliterative title

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  11. KerryCan says:

    This post makes it clear you’re nesting, all ready for winter!

    Like

  12. jennypellett says:

    I love your coat, Lisa – very Annie Hall! Also the tea light decs- what a good ideaπŸ˜‰

    Like

  13. Lisa, that coat is wonderful…but you have to model it!! ;0) I love green tomato chutney with cheese sandwich, meatballs, porkchops, veggies of any kind, on a cracker…I guess I really love green tomato chutney! xo Johanna

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    • arlingwoman says:

      Wow. I’m so glad I asked in the blog because there are soooo many suggestions and they sound relish, so I will be eating it as soon as it sits a bit! Had someone over who could have taken the picture on Saturday, but forgot!!! Well, we have all winter to get a picture of me in the coat.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Robin says:

    I don’t think the salmon would be quite so happy if the heron had eaten it. πŸ˜‰ I love your coat. It’s beautiful. The green tomato chutney looks beautiful, too. And delicious. I usually roast my green tomatoes, whirl them up in the food processor, and freeze the sauce for use in chili. The green tomatoes have a flavor similar to tomatillos and gives the chili a bright flavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. LB says:

    Lisa, this is such a comfortable, comforting post, full of lovely things. Cooking, canning, crafts, and walks with friends. Your stars look really good.
    So you made that coat? wow! If you get a moment, send the link to the coat saga.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Boomdeeadda says:

    Wow Lisa! Your coat is almost as long as that door. You’re a tall one πŸ˜€ I guess I’ll have to skip back to get the skinny on it. I just bought a coat today. From a consignment shop actually. My first time there but I’ll go back since it’s all rather well displayed and the items are very gently used or even new. I guess some ladies buy things they never wear. Who has room for those things in the closet?
    I can see you strolling along with those long legs of yours, through the Capital on your way past all the sights looking well healed. Don’t you feel rather special when people ask, “where do you live” and you can say, “in our Nations Capital”. I’m mean, you’re only a few miles from The Whitehouse! The honest to goodness Whitehouse…..that seems pretty wild to me.
    I eyeballed all your vintage ornaments with glee. I actually have just old ones on my tree. That is when I actually ‘decorate’ the tree. I never had time this year and we’re going away so I’m not going to bother now. I do plug it in nightly to enjoy the lights though. xox K

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  17. arlingwoman says:

    Oh, golly, Boomdee! What with the horrible general hatred of DC in most of the country, I always say where I’m actually from: Arlington VA. So many people blame DC for everything, literally, not metaphorically, and it’s really the fault of the representatives THEY send here! The coat is 54 inches long–lower calf on me. I like to be warm. I love a good consignment shop, but I don’t like shopping and you have to cruise them regularly to find stuff. So glad you got a coat! Sometimes church sales are good for that too, but given my length requirements, I’d never find one. My coat, I think, would be pooling around your ankles…

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  18. Hannah says:

    I love your coat, it’s very classy + classic! I literally just threw away about twenty burnt out tealights. Typical! My friend makes little foil ornaments like those using the foil platter/baking dish things that you can find in the supermarket, and she paints them with nail polish! πŸ™‚ Happy New Year! Hannah

    Like

  19. reocochran says:

    Oh, Lisa, found the finished coat. I had missed this post. The color and length, along with the slanted pockets all created a lovely effect. I think green is a great color which handles many seasons where warmth I’d needed to survive outings. Lovely and so sorry, my Mom and I sewed a lot, while my oldest did well on 4H projects my youngest didn’t. We all value nicely made clothes.
    Your hand wrought stars are a year round festive sight. Nicely done!Smiles, Robin

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