It’s been five or so years since we’ve had a dog and I’d forgotten about the sense of community walking a dog every day can bring. Dogs are such special creatures, they radiate joy, loyalty, affection, happiness and acceptance, which has a flow on affect to you the owner. It’s no surprise what flows to you when you have a dog and an open heart. A lady at the park commented to me last week “I live on my own, but you can never be lonely when you have a dog”…so true.
One of the lovely connections Charlie and I have made since being together is meeting Meredith, Marie and their dogs KoKo and Audrey Hepburn. It happened when our family was incredibly sad as Nick and I didn’t know whether we wanted to keep Charlie after the first couple of days. The plans we’d been talking about for the future now our girls are older didn’t include the commitment of a dog, I was also stunned by the shock of the new, having a dog in the household again.
After a sleepless night we came to the painful decision to return him and the foster couple were going to be called that afternoon by Nick. Hayley went to school at recess so we could take Charlie for a walk and spend some time with him, we assumed he’d be returned that night. With very heavy hearts we walked him to the local oval. Upon arriving there Charlie saw some dogs and ran up to them, I glanced up at the owners and realised I knew one of them..Marie was a parent from Hayley’s primary school. She was walking with her friend Meredith, after a while I shared our story with them, they thought it was sad a beautiful dog like Charlie had found himself in a rescue shelter and felt for us and our decision.
It was obviously the wrong decision as the foster couple couldn’t take Charlie back immediately because they’d planned a trip to Sydney. We offered to keep him until the following Tuesday. The rest is history as after spending more time with Charlie the family and I found it impossible to give him back.
I couldn’t wait to bump into Marie and Meredith at the park again to let them know we kept him. This happened about two weeks later and we have connected because of the dog. Chatting away, I mentioned I had a food blog and the conversation flowed to food, crafting (Meredith crafts the most beautiful felt brooches and knitted hats amongst other things), farms and the country. We thought it’d be fun to cook together, so yesterday they came over to my house and we made Kasundi. Kasundi is a Southern Indian tomato chutney. It’s spicy and earthy with a little heat, made with tomatoes, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, green chilli and spices. Our family loved it, we dropped dollops of it onto our Lamb, Spinach and Pinenut sausages that night and declared dinner a delicious meal.
The next cooking session is jam at Marie’s, can’t wait, ohh and Charlie’s invited also!
This recipe came from Meredith, she’s made it before and gifted it to friends who always ask for more when their jar is empty! We multiplied the recipe by six to make around twenty jars yesterday. The single recipe makes two cups.
Kasundi 60ml sunflower oil 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (I couldn’t find them so used yellow) 1 tablespoon turmeric 2 tablespoons cumin 2 teaspoons chilli powder 1/4 cup peeled, grated fresh ginger 4 crushed garlic cloves 1 seeded, finely chopped green chilli 30ml malt vinegar 2 x 400g cans diced tomatoes 1/3 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon salt 130ml malt vinegar
Place ginger, garlic and green chilli in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
Heat sunflower oil in a large saucepan until hot. Spoon in mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder. Cook and stir for 5 minutes to release the flavours.
Add the ginger, garlic, chill mix and 30ml of malt vinegar and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the cans of tomato, brown sugar, salt and 130ml malt vinegar and simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.
It’s ready when the oil comes to the top.
Note: don’t forget an easy way to peel ginger is with a teaspoon, click here to see how. Catherine x