It never fails…autumn brings out the pioneer in me. As soon as the weather turns chilly and the leaves begin to turn, a call comes from somewhere deep in my DNA to start Pujellytting Things By for winter.

These days, my efforts in this department are more symbolic than practical. I don’t aspire to a cellar full of jars like my grandmother’s, because frankly, I’m not all that wild about canned carrots and beans. But cooking up a dozen pints of jam or spicy chutney…ah, now that’s a fine way to spend a fall afternoon.

Two of my favorite recipes are Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam, which is wonderful slathered on salmon or a roast beef sandwich, and Indian Pear Chutney, which is the perfect accompaniment for roast chicken. Both are great to have in the cupboard (stir a few spoonfuls of either into a pan sauce to really punch up the flavor) and they also make nice gifts. Since I’m trying to buy local these days, I’m planning to make mine with fresh garlic I bought from from Ben Chung at the Orleans Farmer’s Market, and some gorgeous Butter Pears from Crow Farm in Sandwich.

Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam
makes 6 half-pints

3 heads of garlic
7 cups thinly sliced Vidalia onions
1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 package Sure-Jell Light (not regular Sure-Jell)

Trim the tops off the garlic, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and roast in a 300 degree until soft. After they cool, squeeze the soft garlic paste out of the peels.

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat, then add onions, and vinegar. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Add thyme, red and black pepper and galic  and whirl the mixture in a food processor or blender. Measure out 5 cups of the mixture. If you’re short, add a little water to make up the difference. Now follow the directions on the Sure-Jell Light package for peach jam, using the onion mixture and 3 1/2 cups of sugar. Ladle the hot jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Wipe rims, cap. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Adapted from Sage Cottage Herb Garden Cookbook by Dorry Baird Norris

Indian Pear Chutney
makes 6 half-pints

juice, pulp, and peel of 1 lemon, finely chopped
2 cups cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
5 1/2 cups coarsely chopped firm pears, peeled and cored (about 3 lbs)
3/4 cup crystalized giner, cut small
1 1/2 cups raisins

Chop the lemon, removing the seeds and saving the juice and put all in a  heavy pot with the sugar, vinegar, garlic, salt, cayenne pepper, and chili powder. Boil the mixture over medium heat for 30 minutes, sirring occasionally.  Add the pears, raisins, and ginger to the syrup. Boil slowly, stirring to prevent scorching, until the fruit is tender but not mushy and the syrup is thick, about 30 to 45 minutes longer. Ladle the boiling-hot chutney into hot sterilized pint or 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Wipe the  rims and cap.  Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Remove. Cool upright and naturally.

from Putting Foods By by Green, Hertzber, and Vaughan