|Byron Bay hinterland (photo from byronbayadventuretours.com.au)|
|beautiful sea turtle (image from www.documentingreality.com)|
It is also a foodies' paradise down there with coffee and macadamia plantations, farmers' markets, a well-known cookie company and lots of great little cafes serving local and often organic foods.
I have an old clipping from a magazine with a recipe for Byron Bay nectarine chutney, and once a year when the fruit is plentiful, I get cracking and make a big batch. There are lots of chutney recipes on the Net so you can try all sorts of variations accordingly. But here is the one I have used with a few of my own little changes.
1 kg nectarines- chopped into small chunks
2 onions finely chopped
500g sultanas or raisins- I like sultanas!
150g glace ginger
850g-1kg sugar- depends how sweet you like it
3-4 small red chillies chopped finely
4 tsp yellow mustard seeds
700ml vinegar- I like to use a mix of white wine, sherry and whatever other vinegar I have in the pantry
1-2 tsp salt- I had used 1 tsp but found it needed more
Shove everything into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and mix it all up together
bring to the boil, then simmer with frequent stirring to prevent sticking for anything from 1.5 hours to 3 hours
then bottle in sterilised jars and whack in the fridge for up to a year. I know it sounds scary to cook for so long but you can do lots of other things in between and just give it a stir every so often. I think it may have been that my nectarines were very unripe- more like apples-that it took so long to thicken. I also have a sneaking suspicion that I didn't turn the stove-top high enough so that it wasn't particularly hot even after an hour. So learn from my mistakes- make sure the heat is high enough and try to get ripe fruit. The recipe says it should only take an hour and a half, and I have made it in that time before!
|beautiful fruit ready for the chop|
|everything chopped and ready for the pan|
|ok here we go- 3 hours of simmering to come|
|see my beautiful wooden stirring spoon-it came from the mantelpiece of an old homestead in Tenterfield|
|looking thick after a couple of hours|
|ladle the chutney into a Pyrex jug so you can easily pour it into the jars|
|the end result! lots of lovely jars of chutney to see you through till next stone fruit season-unless you eat it all first...|