We finished the last jar of last year’s pear chutney in September. We had it with meat pie. Mmmm… meat pie….
As soon as we saw some, we got 9 nice looking Bartlett pears from the farmers’ market. They didn’t have Bosc yet; they said they’d be picking them in the “next week or so” (next year I will wait for Bosc pears; their darker coloured skin lends a nice shade to the chutney).
Even though our pear chutney recipe calls for Bosc pears, I went ahead and made Bartlett pear chutney using hot shepherd peppers also from the market. The green Thai chillies (or are they cayenne?? – whatever their name, they’re hot hot hot hot!!) were from OUR garden. (Ha. Take that garden experts. Chillies WILL fruit in deep shade.)
There I was: happily coring, chopping and stirring boiling pear chunks and peppers. I had just added the reserved green chillies and suddenly realized that…
I. Forgot. To. Add. The. Sugar.
No problem, right?
Silently shrieking, I quickly stirred in the sugar and once it had been thoroughly mixed in, it was clear that the pears were cooked enough. But the mixture was still very liquid.
So I strained out the lumps and boiled the liquid to reduce it.
Happily, the only drawback was that the green chillies lost their beautiful emerald colour. Otherwise, there would be no way to know that anything had gone awry.
There WAS a difference between the two chutneys though. This year’s is quite a bit lighter in colour. (Was it because of using Bartletts rather than Boscs??) It will be really interesting to see if the 2011 pear chutney becomes darker in colour as it overwinters on its shelf in the basement.
It is also much much hotter. I think those red shepherd peppers are hotter than usual.
“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.
I had hoped I would be making new pear chutney from pears I had picked, but this year’s urban pear crop was devastingly poor. Even if it hadn’t been, I may not have gotten any pears. In fact, there are now so many volunteer pickers for Not Far From the Tree that it was exciting to be chosen for any activity at all.
There are still lots and lots of fruit trees in Toronto though!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a tree and would like people to eat the fruit as well, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree.
For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to
Lunch Box Project
a food collage journal
Every time I post about pears, it makes me think of Lisa Orgler’s lovely Lunch Box Project. I was wandering around today and found this wonderful drawing of a pull-toy. I WANT one!! (Is it a Trojan Pear Pull Toy? Does it contain hundreds of tiny blue cheeses just waiting to leap out? :-))
The Lunch Box Project began on January 1, 2009 as a resolution to paint an image of food daily. I achieved my goal of 365 delectable illustrations and am now carrying on that tradition in new ways. […] I paint on anything I can find…including playing cards, drink coasters or just a plain sheet of paper.
» 2 Kinds of Chutney: Pear and Coconut
» Wordless B&W Wednesday: two chutneys
» jam making: peaches and apricots (real food)
» meat pie
» masala dosa and a reminder