Generally cooking is something I do because I have to. I am not a natural cook and the day-to-day stuff I tend to find a little monotonous perhaps because I am not terribly inventive. What I like to do are the things I do rarely or at least not on a daily basis – baking, jams and chutneys for example.

I had been given a little truckle of lovely strong Cheddar cheese, The Little Black Bomber made by the Snowdonia Cheese Company, one of my favourites. Nibbling on it, is a great cure for the munchies, but it was missing a nice chutney to go with it. So, off I went in search of a pineapple.

I have Nigella Lawson’s “How to be a Domestic Goddess” and there are a couple of very nice chutney recipes in it. One is for a spiced apple variety which I make for a friend’s husband, adding extra chillies of the hot variety because he likes heat. The other is for a lovely pineapple chutney which is perfect with a strong cheddar. Easy to make, and packed full of flavour it shows how simple these things are to do.

Before the modern year round supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, when we used to eat seasonally, chutney making was a great way of preserving a glut of fruit or vegetables for use during the dark days of winter. It is a little bit of summer on a plate to eat with your cold cuts or cheese. Preserving in this way originated in Northern Europe, and travelled the world with the spread of trade particularly in spices. I really would recommend giving it a go, it is fun and easy and you get a lovely end product.