Monday, December 30, 2013

Mango Chutney and a Story of Acting Like a Crazy Person (It happens to all of us, right?)

Here is my final Thanksgiving recipe recap - the mango chutney to accompany our leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches. We usually buy jars of chutney, but keeping with this year's theme, I decided to make my own.

As I've said before, this is our favorite Thanksgiving leftover sandwich - turkey, brie, mango chutney and greens on some good bread. And Andrew's family always eats their Thanksgiving leftovers with Ruffles chips, everyone's once a year guilty pleasure. Yum!

I have a confession though - I used store-bought bread for our sandwiches. I feel very lame about this, especially since I had just received a sourdough starter a few days earlier from my friend Erin. At least I had the chutney though!

Do you ever set a challenge for yourself and then impose really strict rules and guidelines? For several years in grad school, I was really into counting my steps. It started as an innocent challenge in a public health class to see who could rack up the most steps. It quickly spiraled out of control (for me - I think my classmates were all able to keep themselves in check). I kept track of my steps in my planner compulsively, and I dreaded getting sick or feeling tired, not because of how I felt, but because those days really brought down my average. At the time, the average American walked 10,000 steps per day. I had set a minimum of 20,000 for myself. Inevitably, there would be a few days each year when I would forget my pedometer, and I wouldn't have any data. Those were the worst, and I had to walk even further to keep my average up. I was addicted to my pedometer.

In late January 2008, after several years of tracking my steps and only a few short weeks after vowing to not miss a single day that year, I literally freaked out one morning when I realized that I had gotten out of bed, walked all the way to the kitchen to have breakfast and I wasn't wearing my pedometer. I ordered Andrew to go to the bedroom and get it for me so I wouldn't miss any more steps. He tried to tell me that it wouldn't make much of a difference, he tried to calm me down, he tried to reassure me that my year was not ruined. I, of course, would have none of that reasonableness. After he retrieved the pedometer for me and I ranted about how I was going to have count on 2009 as being a perfect year since 2008 was already ruined, he asked if I really wanted to keep counting my steps. What's that, honey? Do I really want to keep counting my steps??? The pressure of a perfect year was too much, and I decided to put my pedometer away that morning. It never came back out because I couldn't bring myself to do it halfway. It was all or nothing, and the all was just too much stress.

When my homemade sourdough loaves turned out less than perfect and I was forced to buy store-bought bread (forced by Andrew who convinced me that it was just too much work to bake more bread), I had a similar feeling to that morning in 2008. But it's supposed to be a homemade Thanksgiving - 100% homemade. I had to remind myself that this was my idea and that everyone would be perfectly happy with the bread. It still bothers me though. Next year!

Luckily the chutney turned out fantastic and totally distracted me from the bread.

Mango Chutney

3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 large mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup golden raisins (I left these out since I don't like raisins)
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled ginger root
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt

Makes 5 cups

Combine apples, mangoes, red pepper, sugar, onion, raisins, vinegar, and ginger root in a large stainless steel or enamel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and boil gently, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until fruit is tender and mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.

Add lemon juice, curry powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt; boil gently for 5 minutes.

See original link above for canning instructions. I refrigerated mine in an air-tight container. I made this on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and we ate it all on the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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