I find it very strange to be writing about cranberry chutney as an appetizer or a snack to enjoy while watching the Masters Tournament. But wouldn't you agree that everything is a little strange this year? Ordinarily, the week of the Masters I'm writing about pimento cheese, the favorite sandwich you can purchase in the patron tents scattered around Augusta National Golf Club. But, no, not this year. We'll be watching golf while deciding on menus for Thanksgiving and planning our Christmas lists.

So why not give things a test run and try this recipe from "Par 3: Tea Time at the Masters," an old cookbook from the Junior League of Augusta, Georgia. The cookbook is separated into sections according to the time of year: Fireside Suppers for fall; a Champions Dinner menu to mimic the annual dinner held for players every Tuesday of Masters Week; and in the section filled with the Junior League's favorite holiday recipes, this one for cranberry chutney. It's a fitting dish to serve at your Masters gathering, whether it be just two or 10 — social distancing in place, naturally.

The chutney is sweet and savory, combining all the colors and flavors of the holiday season — cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, pineapple, celery, pecans and apples that can be served warm or cold over a block of cream cheese as a spread for crackers.

But, of course, don't forget the pimento cheese. There's just something about tradition, and pimento cheese and the Masters go hand in hand no matter what time of year the tournament is played.


Cranberry Chutney

2 cups fresh cranberries

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup raisins

1 small onion, chopped

1 scant cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon each allspice and salt

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple

1/4 cup finely diced celery

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1/2 cup finely chopped cored and peeled apple

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese

Combine cranberries, water, raisins, onion, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt in a heavy saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally. Stir in pineapple, celery, nuts, apple and lemon juice. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve warm or chilled over cream cheese.

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