By: Ellie Topp, P.H.Ec.
Adapted from a previous OHEA media release for the Ask a Professional Home Economists (P.H.Ec.) series.
Get a head start on holiday preparations by making delicious and colourful jars of a cranberry relish or chutney. Cranberries celebrate the season with their rich colour and bright taste and are easily turned into a welcome hostess gift or a treat for a special friend.
Quick Apple Cranberry Chutney has a rich mellow taste and is perfect to serve with chicken or pork. The Cranberry Rum Relish is a splendid accompaniment to the holiday bird. Both of these require less than 15 minutes cooking time.
A dollop of chutney on a cracker spread with cream cheese makes a superb appetizer requiring little preparation. And a bit of either the chutney or relish stirred into yogurt becomes a delicious low-fat veggie dip.
Home preserving is easy and can be done safely if proper processing procedures and times are followed. It is essential to use mason-type jars. These jars are widely available in 125 mL (1/2 cup), 236mL, 250 mL (1 cup) and 500 mL (2 cups) sizes which are perfect for creating small gifts.
They often come with lids decorated in a holiday motif or, to personalize your gift, cut a circle of holiday fabric and tie it to the lid with ribbon and a card. One short evening spent now will provide you with several tasty gifts ready for holiday giving.
QUICK APPLE CRANBERRY CHUTNEY
Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
2 cups (500 mL) chopped cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped apple
1/2 cup (125 mL) each: finely chopped red onion and sweet red pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped gingerroot
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each: ground cumin and salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) each: freshly ground pepper and hot pepper flakes
CRANBERRY RUM RELISH
Makes 2 cups (500 mL)
1/3 cup dark rum 75 mL 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots 50 mL Grated rind of 1 orange 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries 750 mL 1 cup granulated sugar 250 mL 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 2 mL
Recipes adapted from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp, P.H.Ec. and Margaret Howard, RD, P.H.Ec. (Firefly 2001).
Ellie Topp is a Professional Home Economist and certified culinary professional. She is co-author of several cookbooks, including The Complete Book of Year-Round Small Batch Preserving and Savoury Wisdom: Delicious Recipes for Two.