Love in a Jar

Thursdays Bite

(in a big way)

Fall is here, and so is harvest time. I don’t know if it’s the drought or if it’s just one of those years, but this is the year everyone’s fruit trees bore amazing bumper crops. Even my MIL’s nectarine tree that we’ve been making fun of for years out-did itself. From one scraggly fruit every three or four years to this year’s so-much-fruit-we-couldn’t-pick-it-all, that tree gave it’s all. We’re not expecting another nectarine, ever.

a kitchen witchs cookbook by patricia telescoAnd since this is Thursdays Bite, today I’m sharing Pagan harvest recipes from the Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook byPatricia Telesco. If you are interested in easy ways to add magic to your life or just use some very unusual recipes, this is a terrific book. Kitchen magic is everyday magic that mothers and grandmothers have been using for a long time. If you’ve ever made cookies to heal broken hearts or brewed up soul strengthening chicken soup- you too have used kitchen magic.

One major tip for a magical kitchen:

Keep it clean. Before cooking a magical recipe you want to be sure you cleanse your kitchen. Use something basic, like vinegar in a spray bottle of water, center yourself, and then clean away with a cleansing attitude. Waft some sage in the air and you are good to go. Starting with a fresh clean counter is not only good for your health, but  it will ensure your magic in your recipe stays true.

This is especially true when canning. Follow all canning rules. Lots of boiling hot water and a very clean kitchen make for lovely jars to open later, or to give as gifts during the holiday season. And check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation for tips on canning and preserving.

Quote from the A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook:

The primary objective for canning and preserving has been, until recent years, as a means to supplement porvisions during times of scarcity. Today, we preserve as a way of using extra foods, and their potency, for a rainy day! There will be creations such as “Mary’s Strawberry Syrup for Love,” and “Aunt Jane’s Protective Pickles” (heavy on the garlic), and “Sight Sauce” neatly lined up alongside other foods. The added bonus here is that your magical energy is already prepared and ready for any tine you need it, with nothing extra to do but oopen the jar. These goodies also make lovely gift ideas. It is interesting to note that Hermes, the Greek God of communication, is attriguted with teaching humanity about “hermetically” sealing items. he becomes an appropriate patron deity for kitchen withces during their magical canning and preserving efforts.

For some odd reason my parents occasionally canned chutneys over my lifetime. I’m not sure why, but every once in a while they would get together, go on a shopping spree, and spend a day in the kitchen peeling, seeding and chopping. Then, that Christmas, they would present the family with beautiful jeweled jars of chutney. Now, since my parents are one of those successful love stories (they’ve been married for 57 years), maybe there is love to be found in a jar of chutney.

New England Fruit Chutney for Lovers

In some form or another, each fruti and spice in theis recipe can be used to woo and tempt love. The vinegar and salt add precision and extra energy to guide your magic towards its goal.

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 apricots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 large pears, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • Rind of 2 oranges, grated
  • 2 tablespoons of grated lemon rind
  • 2/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar plus 1/2 cup
  • 3 cups packed brown sugar

Jessica’s note:(For canning method instructions, please see the National Center for Home Food Preservation)

Place the onions, apples, pears, apricots, peaches, oranges, orange rind, lemon rind, raisins, ginger root, garlic, nutmeg , allspice, cinnamon, salt and 2 cups of the vinegar in a large pot. Bring to a boil: stir regularly. Reduce heat; simmer for 1½ hours. Make sure all the fruits are evenly cooked. Stir in the sugar and remaining vinegar; simmer 1 hour.

Fill jars; leave ½-inch headspace. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Age in a dark place for at least 8 weeks before serving. This chutney is very pleasing with cheese breads and baguettes. The bread can be cut into the shape of hearts before serving. Yield: About 7 half-pints.

Magical attributes: The energy of romance, clarity of love, youthful vigor and idealism.

Elaine Cougler's Chutney Jars

Elaine Cougler made chutney. Yummy!

If any of you make the chutney, please let me know how it turns out. I do love chutney, but you can see why I have never even attempted it. My forays into canning have been mostly failed jams and a bumper crop of alcoholic peaches! Yum!

Have you ever tried a magical recipe? Stirred some love into oatmeal cookies, or tried to entice a beau with pecan pie? Share your stories with me, canning attempts and all!

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20 Comments

Filed under About the Author, Magic, recipes, Thursdays Bite

20 responses to “Love in a Jar

  1. Apricot Chutney? Jessica, I am in LOVE!

  2. What Sherry said. Those ingredients sound YUMMERS!

    The only thing I’ve “canned” (and I’m not certain it truly qualifies) is holiday breads (Banana Nut, Pumpkin) baked in wide-mouthed mason jars and then sealed. Yes. You bake the mixture right in the jar and then seal it while it’s still warm. I decorate these with bits of holiday fabric under the outer seal.

    One year (short story long), I decided to get creative and substitute liqueurs and liquor for boring old water. I made Banamaretto Bread, Pumpkin Southern Comfort Bread, even Pina Colada Bread. I’m a taste-tester of batter when I cook. I taste-tested a few too many of those puppies. First — likely only — person on earth who’s experienced a hangover from baking canned bread.

    • Oh, I want those recipes! They sound like holiday winners. Let me get this straight-you used your regular quick bread recipes and swapped liquor for the liquids? Bake in a jar and seal it up? My family and friends would love this one, and it sounds way easier than Chutney!

      I bet you were a lot of fun that holiday season. Tell you what, I’ll have a party and you bring the wine, bread!

      • Hey, Jessica! I’ll pull out the original recipe and send it to you. But, yes, you basically use any quick bread recipe, fill pint-sized, wide mouthed mason jars 3/4 full and bake them. When they come out of the oven, place the lids on top and screw on the rim. When they “pop”, they’re sealed. You can remove the rim, add Holiday themed paper or fabric, and screw the lid back on. The original recipe shows a shelf life of 6 months.

        And, yes, I replaced liquid with liquor for “my night of experimentation.” The cook was the only one who got tipsy toppled. Most (if not all) of the alcohol cooked off during baking.

        They make great, inexpensive gifts for co-workers, etc, or inclusion in Holiday goodie baskets.

      • Okay, ladies, today I made the chutney and I can just see the breads are going to be next. I love these! And especially that they leave such room for the imagination! Thanks to both Gloria and Jessica.

      • Oh! You made the chutney? Is it as pretty as it sounds? Can you send me a picture and I’ll post it with the recipe? I really wanted a picture of a jar of preserves with the recipe as I love the way they look. I bet your pantry is spectacular!

      • I will. I’ll email you a picture of the chutney after I put my hand written labels on it tomorrow. No time today. Off to sail on a sailing ship in Toronto harbour! Doesn’t that sound awesome? Hope the rain holds off.

      • Thanks Elaine. I added the photo, I think the chutney looks awesome!

      • Yum! I received it and everyone in my Colorado gift list will be very excited to have their jars of bread. Maybe I’ll even make the chutney to go with it, but don’t keep your fingers crossed. It would be a long time not to type. 🙂

  3. Hi Jessica! Yes, I have been a preserver, canner and freezer of summer’s bounty almost all my life and this has passed from my grandmother and mother to me and down to my daughter. She makes an amazing fig jam that is very expensive and only yields a very few jars. They treat it like gold. This summer I froze blueberries, peaches, rhubarb, and a little applesauce, but I still had frozen strawberry jam from last year so didn’t do any more. I did make my favorite sweet pickle recipe, Dianne’s Icicle Pickles, named for my once-upon-a-time sister in law. There is something so satisfying about creating these goodies. No surprise that a writer likes to create, is it?

    • Yum! I changed my mind, I’m coming to your house. My grandparents used to live next to a Dr. Ill (yes, that’s right as in Dr. Illness, his son also became a doctor!) And Mrs. Ill made the most delicious sweet pickles with fresh dill from her garden. Dill sweets! The best. I could eat an entire jar for lunch and not need another thing!

      Maybe you’ll have to share Dianne’s Icicle Pickles on your blog someday? Hint, hint? I make pickles but they never get preserved. I do refrigerator pickles and the family eats them so fast there is no time for canning. Didn’t plant a garden this year though. Maybe next year!

  4. My fellow sisters in canning! I’m a veteran canner, although I’m down to just chili sauce now, and I’m itching to make it this year as soon as I have a free weekend. I used to always make pickles and relishes and jams. I’ve done a couple chutneys, but never one I fell in love with, so yours might be it, Jessica. I’d can or freeze all summer season from the first cherry picking, but times, they are changing.

    That said, I still have time to make Elaine’s breads. I want your recipes too, Elaine!!

  5. Oops, read the above wrong, Gloria’s bread recipes, but Elaine and Sherry must help bake . . . at Jessica’s house! Writing/Canning/Baking retreat anyone?

  6. Ok those breads sound too good to be true. Really, Gloria? I think we do need a foodie meeting! Can you bake on Skype?

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