Monday, 19 August 2013

Blueberry Chutney

Well, they did it. The four kids paddled, portaged and hiked their way through Killarney Park. I had my doubts whether they'd be able to do the whole trip without parent intervention, but they proved me wrong. On portages almost a kilometre long, they happily walked with heavy sacks and paddles in hand. On long stretches of lake, they sang, laughed and told stories to paddle their way to the next destination. Despite some cold temperatures and high winds on a couple days, the trip was a great success. We hiked to the summit of Silver Peak on an off day and the kids just marched on without complaint. It reminded me once again to never underestimate what any person can do.

 I'm certainly guilty of underestimating what my children can do.  I never thought Luke could go to Brazil for a month without me and yet he did it.  I doubted if Josilin would ever see the honour roll at school and yet, there she was this year beaming with pride.  It's a fine balance pushing your kids to greatness without having unrealistic expectations.  Too much pressure and they'll have anxiety.  Too little expectations and they'll fail at everything.  Watching these four kids work their butts off in order to prove their abilities was a lesson in letting go and waiting to see what happens.  What I saw was each kid learning to stern a canoe (no easy task), learning to communicate with one another and encourage each other in order to achieve their task.

 We borrowed a third canoe in order to make this trip happen.  Kind and generous friends lent us one so the kids could try having their own boat.  Upon our return I knew I needed to send a little foodie gift as a thank you.  I picked up some fresh blueberries at a local market for inspiration.  The chutney tastes great on cheese and crackers, but is also mighty fine on grilled fish or chicken.  I spread a little on my chicken sandwich yesterday and it reminded me a lot of a leftover turkey and cranberry sammie.  It comes together really fast and with only a few ingredients.  Stores for about a week in the fridge, so if giving as a gift, they are not pressed to consume it right away.

Blueberry Chutney

adapted from BBC

1/4 cup finely diced Vidalia onion
1 Tbsp coconut oil
pinch cayenne
pinch allspice
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 cups blueberries
1 Tbsp cider vinegar

In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil until melted.  Add onion and saute until translucent, about 5min.  Add spices and sugar and cook 1 min more.  Add blueberries and vinegar and continue cooking until berries start to soften and liquid evaporates a bit; about 10min.  Ladle into sterilized jars.  Store in fridge for up to one week.

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