Let’s face it, Christmas isn’t a time for giving and it certainly isn’t a time for sharing, it’s the time of the year at which everyone attempts to work out what each of their friends and family would like to receive. Therein lies my problem – it’s exceedingly difficult to buy gifts for people of whom you don’t have an in-depth understanding. As you’ll all probably know, there’s nothing more disappointing than receiving an inadequate gift, particularly when you’ve put so much time and effort into the reciprocation. As such, it seems to me that the best approach is simply not to chance it – instead, make gifts that you know your loved ones will enjoy. Besides, gifting something unwanted is tantamount to waste and as we all know… waste is exceedingly un-frugal.
Perhaps I’m what’s best described as a Christmas sceptic, a scrooge; someone who finds it impossible to understand the true meaning of the festive season. However, I suspect that there may be more Christmas sceptics out there than anybody lets on. After all, no one likes to openly admit to being even a little selfish. Still, with gifts like this red onion chutney perhaps my sin and punishment isn’t as large as first presumed. Perhaps a little cognisant selfishness has the power to help everyone receive a gift they actually want, or at least one they’ll use and enjoy. Once people realise that everyone’s just as selfish as everyone else, they’ll start buying gifts in order to encourage healthy reciprocity.
If you’re in search of a little culinary warmth, you’ve come to exactly the right place. Not only is this chutney pleasingly comforting, it packs a healthy dose of spice to get those sinuses flowing freely once more… how beastly. As you can imagine, this festive chutney has rather a lot of flavour – it contains eight red onions after all! But it isn’t too powerful and pairs rather nicely with a little mature cheddar, or perhaps something even a little stronger! Perfect for the cheese course of your Christmas Day meal! Merry Christmas!
P.S. There’s a new frugal tip in my tips section!
Red Onion Chutney
Makes 2 jars
• 8 red onions, finely sliced
• 2 chillies, finely slices
• 150ml balsamic vinegar
• 150ml white wine vinegar
• 200g light brown sugar
• A little salt and pepper
• Olive oil
1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and fry the onions and chillies until lightly browned. This should take approximately 20 minutes.
2. Tip in the vinegars and sugar, season tentatively and cook over a medium heat for 30 minutes. Once thick enough to adequately coat the back of a spoon remove from the heat.
3. Sterilise your jars and tip in the chutney, sealing immediately. Leave for at least two weeks to mature, a month is best (though you’ll miss Christmas!)
Cost: By following this delightful festive recipe you’re likely to produce two jars of chutney for a mere £3. How very frugal, particularly when you realise that buying one jar of good quality chutney can sometimes cost as much as £5!