Autumn Olive: An Underworld Fruit
Spent time in the woods gathering autumn olive berries yesterday from trees still heavy with ripe fruit. I hope we can reimagine these delightful fruits as life-giving and nourishing because of their abundance (or invasiveness, depending on perspective). The rain, falling leaves and dark day’s weather were symbolic of the slow transition to winter; these berries reminding me so very much of the underworld story of Persephone and her treasured pomegranate …
I was inspired to concoct a warming spiced autumn olive chutney for fall cooking to enjoy as the weather turns colder.
Warming, spiced autumn olive chutney
Simmer in a small saucepan until thickened. Take care to not scorch the fruit. Add to small glass jars and store in the fridge or even freeze. Perfect on vegetables, white fish, turkey, goose, phesant or chicken.
- 3-4 cups autumn olive berries (the central seed and thin stems will more or less soften up a bit while cooking but if you wish you can mash it all through a food mill before, but I am not that fussy)
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1 cup white or brown sugar
- 2 TBSP maple syrup
- 2 TBSP vanilla
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- season with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and chili pepper to taste
Enjoy this recipe and relish with gladness the earth’s bountiful and beautiful harvests, for soon it will be winter.