Just after we dropped the trout off to the Puzeys, I drove home to find Danny the fisherman waiting to give us a fresh crab. His boat came in before this weather could catch them out at sea, but they had to leave some of their lobster traps set, and we hope they won't lose too many in the storm.
Lobsters are selling for 3 times the money that crabs are at the moment, so crabs are almost considered a by-catch. They are delicious nonetheless, and easy to prepare. The back of a hatchet is a great tool for breaking into the shell, and the pincers on the ends of the legs are perfect for removing meat. If I haven't said it before, a good hatchet is invaluable.
Aside from doing a few hours' work in the village cafe, I took the opportunity to do some 'inside jobs'. And although the house doesn't look much cleaner than when I started, I did manage to finish these jars of apple and cranberry chutney using a simple recipe I found online.
Chutneys are not a huge part of American cooking; the term is Anglo-Indian and refers to any condiment made from contrasting spices and vegetables to accompany a main meal. The British developed a taste for it from their 'involvement' with the Indian sub continent. Our palate tends to favour the fruit/sugar/vinegar recipes, which are also easy to store and use fruits we have gluts of like apples and green tomatoes. And it looks prettier in front of the window than the view outside does.
The chutney is forming part of our preparations for Christmas. I know it's still 3 months or so away but we're making a concentrated effort to cook a Christmas meal composed wholly from what we can put away this harvest season. Chutney needs a few months to 'improve' and allow the flavors to develop. Mike loves cold meats on Boxing Day (Dec 26th) and this will be a welcome addition, although until I shoot it or harvest it, I'm not yet sure what meat that will be!
I hope this storm doesn't blow the last of my cooking apples off the tree before the travelling cider press comes in a couple of weeks.