Autumn Musings

Usually I love the autumn, a reprieve from the brazen heat of the summer. This year it came rapidly and the leaves turned within days. A succession of windy days shook left the tree trunks bare, outlined against the blue skies.

The world is tinged with a touch of sadness and unreasonable foreboding plays with my normally cheery predisposition. I am reworking my second manuscript. Words flow onto the page and lap off it.

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Tomato Chutney Recipe

At work we have an outdoor area which is perfect for mobility assessments. It has a textured track, stairs, slopes and a raised veggie garden. Over the summer with plenty of water, the tomatoes, eggplants, basil and chilliest grew and grew.


Initially we were reluctant to pick the ripening fruit but it became so abundant that cries of, “Yes go ahead, take all you want,” became common. There were no shortage of takers initially, the tomatoes red, plump and fleshy but as autumn came the  fruit became smaller, sunburned and less perfect.

Interest waned.

Resting on the mulch some of the tomatoes began to rot. Less people took them home. On Friday I took some and got the chutney making bug as I apt to do at this time of year. I love taking the abundant fruit and preserving it for use later on in the year.

chutney 2016

Autumn Chutney


  • 2 kg tomatoes, ripe, green or in between
  • 3 large onions diced finely
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • I cup chopped dates
  • 500 gm brown sugar
  • 1 -1.5 cups red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, chopped jalapenos, star anise, cloves, mustard seeds, ginger (Just smell and taste until you are happy with the mix of condiments)


  • Gently saute the onions and garlic adding the spices to release the aroma
  • Add the freshly chopped tomatoes, fruits, vinegar and sugar
  • Simmer for 45 minutes or until the mix thickens
  • Bottle while hot into glass jars with metal lids

This chutney goes well with red meats, fish and cheese. Cheese goes well with wine. And wine goes well with family and friends. So share the chutney!





“In Autumn we often drive through the Australian countryside to visit family. From the road I spotted it, an old tree there on its own heavily laden with bright yellow fruit. The ghost of an old home stood by, long forgotten.

Wanting to pick some my husband and I drove along the dirt lane. Soon a bucket full of ripe fruit sat on the boot of the car. The quinces were fuzzy and slightly oily. In no time their aroma filled the car, a smell so unique and rich; it immediately provoked a sense of comfort.”


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