Last month I spent a enjoyable day with a few other Sustainable Communities SA members learning how to make chutney. The informal skill sharing session was hosted by Patricia and David from the McLaren Vale group. Myself and Eleanor from the Unley group first got to enjoy the numerous local and sustainable initiatives that Willunga has to offer including the WIllunga Farmers and Quarry Markets, the Willunga Community Share, Singing Cricket Food Co-op and Willunga Environment Centre. I dropped off some oranges and books at the Community Share and came away with some celery and a lemongrass plant which has since found a home in my garden.
We then headed back to David and Patricia’s home for an afternoon of chutney making. For many of you this might be a simple thing to make, but for me, not having ever made a chutney, jam or any preserve before, it was a bit daunting. So it was great to get hands on experience from Patricia and to pick up all the little tips and tricks that you don’t get from a book.
Making your own chutney, preserves and jams is a great way to control what goes in (no nasty preservatives), is much cheaper than buying it and can be a good way to use up excess garden produce. Just as important for me though was the great conversation and laughs we shared while making the chutney. It turned what could be quite a laborious task if done individually into a fun afternoon with good company and delicious chutney to take home at the end.