Post 40 detox (the Merrydown Cider part)

I’ve hit it hard recently. I turned 40 at the start of the year and we don’t seem to have stopped celebrating. Every weekend there has been another excuse to party, another birthday, a family gathering or get together with friends.

I’m starting to feel the strain.

So my detox starts here. I have a full 2 weeks before the next birthday celebration and even though there seems to be enough booze in the house to start our own pub, I am taking a fortnight off.

Not a big statement I know, but I’ve got to start somewhere. I’ve started up Zumba again and my fruit and veggie box is back on order.

Just as I am starting to feel like I’m on the right track this arrives.

merrydown cider hamper

The lovely people at Merrydown Cider have sent me a summer hamper full of their award winning local Sussex cider. Lucky me! Thankfully it also included a challenge. And no, it wasn’t a drinking challenge. It was actually to cook with the stuff.

Ordinarily I would view sploshing booze in to food as a bit of a waste, but seeing as I am now in detox I decided to give it a go.

My recipe was partly pinched off the Able & Cole site with a bit of a field somewhere twist. Cooking is not really my thing, but this was pretty easy and I took a few little short cuts.

Here goes:

cider chuntey ingredients

  • 400g apples, finely diced (or just chopped up)
  • 300g pears finely diced chopped
  • 300g onions, finely hacked up
  • 150ml cider vinegar (I used honey and cider – out of date but I’m pretty sure it vinegar doesn’t go off)
  • 100ml cider, plus a little extra, if needed?
  • 175g honey (I used Sarah’s Scrummy Honey with sour cherries – a yummy birthday gift)
  • 150g prunes (raisins – where the closest in our cupboard)
  • 3 fresh bay leaves (actually I only had dried but it worked)
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger finely chopped (I grated mine)

chutney ingredients

Put all the ingredients into a large, heavy pan.

Slowly simmer for a while with the odd stir. Around the time it take you to drink the rest of the bottle of cider worked for me. If it starts to dry out then add a splash more from the bottle. Yes, I know, detox fail number 1, but what are you supposed to do with the rest of the bottle?

According to the recipe it’s ready when you stir it and see the bottom of the pan and it’s nice and glossy but still with obvious chunks. I actually forgot the gas was on and did the school run to return to a rather dried out chutney. Of course I had to open another bottle of cider to resurrect it but it seemed to do the trick.

In to jars and it’s ready.

Sarahs chunky chutney

We took ours on our first camping trip of the year this weekend.

april picnicapril picnic cider

Sunny picnic in April. Magic.


Merrydown picnic

(Yes, we finished the cider too)

Detox starts today.

Thanks Merrydown!


5 Responses to “Post 40 detox (the Merrydown Cider part)”

  1. 1 cuttlefishlove April 23, 2015 at 09:51

    Ooh, this is great! I love making jam and pickles, but have never taken the plunge and made a chutney – this one sounds delicious so I might have to give it a go!

  2. 2 Carina April 23, 2015 at 10:32

    I think I would have been slightly squiffy by the end of making that chutney! Not used booze in my chutneys yet, looking forward to it! 🙂

  3. 3 Alison April 29, 2015 at 11:28

    Cider is great in so many dishes but never thought of adding it to chutney. It looks lovely

  4. 4 Nikki Frank-Hamilton April 29, 2015 at 17:25

    This looks delicious, I have never seen this cider before, going to look for it, I am gluten free so beer is out of the question, but cider…game on! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. 5 HonestMum April 29, 2015 at 23:00

    Oh yum. Good luck with the detox!

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