Apple Cranberry Rhubarb Relish

The English language is a funny thing.  There are so many words that are nearly interchangeable that sometimes I find myself at a loss as to which one is correct to use.  For instance, take the topping on that waffle in the picture.  What would you call it?

I have been calling it:

rel·ish noun \ˈre-lish\

something adding a zestful flavor; especially : a condiment (as of pickles or green tomatoes) eaten with other food to add flavor

chut·ney noun \ˈchət-nē\

a thick sauce of Indian origin that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment

jam noun

a food made by boiling fruit and sugar to a thick consistency

While I’m not quite sure what I ended up with, I started out to make a chutney.

Since I can confirm that topping my waffle with it did result in Merriam Webster’s alternate definition of relish – enjoyment of or delight in something that satisfies one’s tastes, inclinations, or desire – I am making the executive decision that what I made was a relish.  When you, or Merriam Webster, make it, y’all can call it what you like.

Apple Cranberry Rhubarb Relish

Inspired by Bluebonnets & Brownies Apple Rhubarb Chutney from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

BAH Note:  The chutney recipe I used as my guide is meant to be canned.  I don’t preserve so I store my relish in the refrigerator.  I wasn’t quite expecting this recipe to make the quantity it did.  If I had to do it all over again, I would cut the recipe in half.  Also, if you are making a full batch, you need to work in a dutch oven, preferably a 6 quart one.  I used my 12 inch frying pan and was really pushing my luck.  Remember, boiling sugary liquid is HOT.

BAH Tip: If you are using frozen rhubarb, it is much easier to dice before it has thawed.

  • 8 cups apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (from approximately 8 medium size apples)
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 bag whole cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine rhubarb, cranberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar, water and 4 cups of apples in a dutch oven.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil.  Lower heat to maintain a gentle boil, stirring frequently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Add the remaining 4 cups of apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg and return to a gentle boil for 15 to 30 minutes or until the mixture has cooked down to a thick consistency and the diced apple pieces are tender.

Carefully transfer the relish into individual glass containers and store in the refrigerator.

{printable recipe}

Flashback Friday – Remain Calm

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 7/31/08 at Exit 51.

Remain Calm

On my way into work today, I noticed something odd. That I noticed anything at 8am is remarkable. But I digress. What I saw was about a dozen large ants scurrying about the side of the building.

Now, I don’t mean meandering along the ground. No, I mean zigzagging their way up and down the exterior. Vertically. Which made me wonder, do the ants ever realize that they’ve left the ground? Continue reading “Flashback Friday – Remain Calm”

Desserts 4 Today Just Peachy Ice Cream

Dear Abby Dodge,

Thank you for giving some less than pretty, late in the season peaches a chance to shine.

xoxox,

Me

What happens when what’s left of your last flat of peaches from Trader Joe’s don’t age well? You can either take the loss or get creative.  With the help of Abby Dodge, and her recipe for Just Peachy Ice Cream in Desserts 4 Today, I got creative.

Do yourself a favor, ask my friend Googley about Abby Dodge and how you can get your hands on Desserts 4 Today.  Because it’s pretty crazy what you can do with just 4 ingredients.  Go.  Ask. Googley.

Get Out The Vote…For BAH

While the blues and reds battle it out across party lines, I invite you to participate in a different election.  Bon Appetit Hon has been nominated as one of Maryland’s Outstanding Blogs in the Baltimore Sun’s Mobbies 2010 and voting has begun.

Anyone can vote so please take a moment to click over here to cast your  ballot for favorite blog each day between November 2nd and November 12th. Bon Appetit Hon is listed under the Foodie category. Campaign disclosure: you will need to register on the site but I have never gotten an email or spam from Baltimore Sun.  It’s quick and painless.

Here are my campaign promises:

  • I promise that I will not robocall your house asking for your vote.
  • I promise that I will not run negative campaign ads about my competitors.
  • I promise that I will not misuse gift cards solicited on behalf of the needy.
  • I will bring you new stories and recipes each week.
  • I will continue my Food Memories series featuring your stories and recipes.

Let your voice be heard!

I am Wendi from Bon Appetit Hon and I approve this message.

Food Memories – The Professor’s Black Beans and Rice

Debra was one of the fabulous bloggers I met over the summer at the Potluck.  Her blog, SmithBites, was one of my summer finds.  Through our twittersations, I learned that not only is Deb the life of the party but she has a heart (and I’m guessing a house) big enough to love an entire clowder of cats.  Yes, I did have to turn to my good friend Google for that term.  Thank you very much, now we’ve all learned something today.

Her food memory originally appeared on her site, which just happens to have the tag line “Food That Connects Us”.  I had emailed her about participating in the Food Memories project and when she offered this story, the story of the first dish that her future husband ever made her, I couldn’t type out my thanks fast enough. It also came to my attention that Debra has special ninja powers protecting her posts.  The details of that discovery aren’t pertinent to anything other than I think having ninja powers is pretty cool.

The Professor’s Black Beans and Rice

There is a running joke in the family that The Professor and I never dated . . . and we didn’t . . . even though we spent quite a bit of time together, it was never, ever called ‘a date’. Once we decided we were getting married, the wedding took place within 10 days – yes, you read that correctly, 10 days and it was quite lovely.  But the first meal The Professor ever cooked for me (on a ‘non-date’ night of course) is still one of my all-time favorites and always takes me back to that house on 38th Street, the galley kitchen and the cute little dining room with hardwood floors.

Black Beans & Rice, packaged salad mix, non-fat bottled Italian dressing, a roll with ‘lite’ butter and non-fat ice cream for dessert; he was eating a low-fat, vegetarian diet and I was eating a full-on fat, lots-of-meat diet.  It gives us both a good laugh whenever we talk about it  but he cooked for me people, and he was wooing me even if he didn’t realize it.  I moved into that house after we were married and together we created a home.  There were a multitude of meals made in that kitchen – some triumphs and some major fails . . . uhm, like the dish created by The Professor which included barbecue sauce and dried chickpeas that hadn’t been soaked . . . but hey, I count myself lucky – his mother reports that, as a young boy, he used her blender to grind up worms, seeds and heaven-knows-what to feed a baby bird he had found.  And that’s exactly what I love about The Professor, he’s fearless when it comes to trying new things!

But there were also some terrific meals prepared in that kitchen as well; things like Crab Cakes with Red Pepper Remoulade, Hummingbird Cake, Strawberry Angel Food Cake, Pork Chops with Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce, coconut cream pies, strawberry jams and Spaghetti.  We had wonderful gatherings and parties in that house too:  Grandma’s 80th birthday party, Mother’s Day Brunches, a sister-in-law’s birthday that involved a ‘Jenny Gymnast’ doll (get Cheryl going and it’s laughter so hard that tears stream and you find yourself wishing you’d worn Depends), Easter suppers and a Thanksgiving meal for 15 where we were packed so tight in that dining room, that if anyone needed a potty break, everyone had to stand up to let you pass.  Happy sigh . . . such wonderful, wonderful memories and ones that I will always cherish.

I’m still a meat-eater but much, much less these days; The Professor now eats meat as well and I’ve recruited him over to the dark side of full-fat, real food (using less) rather than a bunch of artificial and chemically altered fats.  Our palettes are always eager to explore the culture and world around us.  Oysters, duck, bison and vegetables like ramp, patty-pan zucchini, kale or tomatillos and even some of the old standards like meatloaf or pot roast have been given a unique twist using a few new ingredients or techniques.  And 12 years later, he still cooks for me.

What food memories do you have about dating or ‘non-dating’ whether it’s one you cooked or ate at a restaurant?

The Professor’s Black Beans and Rice

BAH Note: I’ve never been a beans and rice gal but I really enjoyed this dish. I may have added a few items that weren’t authentic to what The Professor served Debra that night but when I told her about adding cubed turkey and sliced avocado, she was all in favor of my decision.

  • 1 small onion diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped green onion or cilantro (for garnish)

Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until the onions are soft. Add the rice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice is heated, and add the beans and cumin (if using). Cook for another 3 to 5 minutes until everything is heated through, adjust seasoning, and serve garnished with green onions or cilantro.

{printable recipe}