Towards the end of September my mom came to visit and we tackled a humongous batch of Chili sauce. Two things about chili sauce - it doesn't taste like "chili" and also you have to chop an exorbitant amount of veggies and fruit. The recipe that we used was my Grandma's - it was one of the earliest recipes I actually blogged about and you can read about it here (spoiler alert; I stole that photo above from that post because it was just so much better than all of the pictures I took while we tore my kitchen apart in the process).
It's cumbersome but pretty simple to make. And we use it as a substitute for anything you might be inclined to slather in ketchup.
While my mom and I were going through the process of chopping all the veggies and the steaming and sterilizing of the jars, it definitely dawned on me how much work canning is. I can completely understand why we've turned the process into a more efficient and less labour intensive one with the grocery store shelves stocked and supplied by someone else who has done the work. This took a lot of effort. But man, there really is something about having a part in the process. Is it just me, or isn't the best part of the meal sometimes making it? It might sound cheesy, but as I get older, I'm finding the moments of satisfaction in efforts like this. It's just so neat to put a jar of food on the table that you made, from start to finish. Next year it would be really great to have a hand in growing most of the ingredients too - I doubt I'll be growing pears, apples and peaches by next September, but maybe tomatoes and peppers.
I'm also really in love with taking this recipe and preserving it. There's something to be said about finding a recipe that your grandmother turned to year in and out, and bringing it back into the rotation. I think it keeps a part of them alive with you. And also, I'm excited to share these sorts of traditions with June. What is it about becoming a mother that makes you so nostalgic?! SNIFF SNIFF. Anyway, before I turn to a puddle of chutney:
This year's finished product^^^^
We'll be thinking of you as we make our way through a few of these jars nana! <3