Though thinking about it and posting in all honesty, I’m not sure why I used past tense in that title; I STILL love Count Chocula the best. He’s my man. Don’t even try telling me he isn’t real and the relationship can never work. It’s fate that we stay together even when I am 96 years old and gumming oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ll just have to let the yummy chocolatey goodness sit in the milk a little longer is all. I’m also a sad portrait of a Cap’n Crunch addict but don’t tell the Count; he’s a jealous sort.
What are your favorite cereals. If you say you are madly in love with say, Shredded Wheat in soy milk I am going to worry about you. Same if you answer Grape Nuts. I mean c’mon, we’re all friends here… let’s quit trying to be all adult and pretend we really eat that crap for any other reason that it’s good for us and we know we need to take care of ourselves What cereal do you want when a cereal craving hits or you want something sweet and reminiscent of childhood?
While I like Count Chocula, I never cared for his friends, Boo-Berry and Franken Berry (that was today’s poor attempt at a lead in by the way. I wanted to make sure you caught it ). Even as a kid, I knew the flavors were completely fake. They were like settling for a Tootsie Roll when what you really wanted was a Hershey bar but you only had a nickel (ok, a penny back in MY childhood but I’m hedging on that here. Shhh.). As an adult, I’m no different. I want real flavors when I’m eating not something made from chemicals and red dye number 4,328. Well, other than that Twinkie, Cheeto, Grape Laffy Taffy and Lemonheads issue. Those don’t count. Really. They don’t. Quit rolling your eyes at me youngun or I’ll put you to bed without dinner!
Going on the “I want real flavors” idea, today I made some homemade chutney. This is a canning recipe but it can be put into refrigerator or freezer containers too. It’s won’t keep forever but it will last about 2 months it kept refrigerated and longer in the freezer. Canning it however gives you the lovely sweet tart berry flavor for a year or twelve. I had some blueberries I needed to use as well as cranberries in the freezer (in case you didn’t know, you can buy a ton of them in season and they will keep for up to a year in the freezer. Just an FYI.) that I wanted to tell you.) It is sweet and also quite tart as well as spicy and savory. It would be great with a nice salty piece of ham or a rich fatty pork chop or a piece of roast chicken. I can also see using it with ye olde block of cream cheese and crackers. Let me know what you think.
Spicy Sweet Blueberry Cranberry Chutney
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups raspberry vinegar
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust to personal taste)
- 7 cups blueberries (about 4 containers)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (NOT canned sauce)
- In a large non stick saucepan, stir together sugar, vinegar, onion, ginger, cinnamon, red pepper and salt. Stir well to mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently to dissolve sugar. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
- Stir in the fruits. Return to boiling, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Stir frequently because this WILL stick to the bottom if you don’t. Simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes or until desired consistency. It will thicken up some as it cools so don’t let it get too thick while cooking. You want it thickened but still syrupy.
- Ladle the chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space.. Make sure to wipe the rims well because anything left on the rims now can be future germ territory later. Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. Let cool and store in a cool dark place. It’s like Count Chocula; it likes the dark.