This Cookbook Full of Foods for Holiday Giving such as “Cherry-Apricot Chutney.”by Larry Cox on Oct. 04, 2012, under Uncategorized
Edible DIY: Simple, Giftable Recipes to Savor and Share by Lucy Baker (Running Press, $19)
Lucy Baker is a contributing columnist for SeriousEats.com and author of a previous cookbook, “75 Recipes for Spirited Sweets,” published by Running Press in 2010. In her latest collection, Baker, a self-taught cook, has gathered recipes that are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and delicious. This cookbook should be especially popular with home cooks who like to gift scrumptious treats to friends and family members.
The 75 recipes are grouped into five chapters: Crunchy, Boozy, Sweet, Spicy, and Jars. Baker suggests that instead of showing up to a friend’s house with a bottle of wine, why not carry, instead, a jar of homemade Peach Jam, a bucket of Spicy Peanut Caramel Corn, or a condiment such as Honey-Beer Mustard. She adds that nothing says thank you quite as much as a gift that has been personally prepared.
I tested two recipes in this collection. With the holiday season just around the corner, I prepared “Cherry-Apricot Chutney,” which might be a perfect pairing with pork chops or chicken. It was much simpler to fix than I had anticipated and yielded 5 half-pint jars. I also made a batch of “Pecan Granola Bars” which I plan to gift to myself.
This is a fun cookbook and, as I wrote earlier in this review, a perfect inspiration for holiday giving.
2 cups cider vinegar
¾ c packed brown sugar
1 ½ to 2 lbs sweet cherries, pitted and chopped (about 4 cups)
1 c chopped onion
¾ c dried chopped apricots
1 Tbs mustard seeds
½ tsp salt
½ tsp allspice
1 cinnamon stick
Bring the vinegar and brown sugar to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, stirring frequently. Add the cherries, onion, apricots, mustard seeds, salt, allspice, and the cinnamon stick. Return the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and ladle the hot chutney into 5 hot, clean half-pint jars. To preserve the chutney, process the jars in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. The preserved chutney will keep up to a year on the shelf. Otherwise, store the jars in the refrigerator for up to a month.