The high summer yield from our gardens has dwindled dramatically as the season wanes.

But that doesn’t mean the end of your canning activities. Even though any single fruit or vegetable may not amount to a significant batch of anything, when combined with other ebbing ingredients, you’ve got relish and chutney!

They’re an uncomplicated lot, those tantalizing condiments. Where jams and jellies require specific amounts of sugar and lemon juice to live up to their full potential, relishes and chutneys are forgiving. As long as they’ve got a nice balance of vinegar, salt and sugar, the end product is bound to be interesting and useful as a condiment in your kitchen. And like I said, because most recipes call for a small amount of many different ingredients, it's a great way to use up what's left in the garden.

Since we explored relishes in August, I’d like to focus on chutney, that exotic condiment that starts with any number of exquisite seasonal fruits and vegetables and blends them into otherworldly condiments with flavors that become so many times greater than any one of the parts.

On one level, chutneys are to India what salsas are to Mexico. They’re that common. But chutney is much harder to define. They can be raw or cooked, chunky combinations of spiced-up fruits and vegetables, or finely minced melanges of aromatic herbs and vegetables.

Here’s a small collection to inspire your creative side. While pears, plums, peaches, apples and even blueberries are still available, give ‘em a try! Bon appetit.

Pear Tomato Chutney

Makes about 3 pints

15 large, red, ripe tomatoes

6 pears

1 large or 2 small cucumbers

3 medium onions

3 red bell peppers

1 red jalapeno chile

1 cup raisins

3 cups packed brown sugar

3 cups distilled vinegar

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

If planning to store the chutney in glass jars at room temperature, wash 3 pint or 6 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Peel, core and chop the tomatoes and pears. Peel, seed and chop the cucumbers. Peel and chop the onions. Seed and mince the jalapeno (To avoid irritating your skin with the juice, wear rubber gloves).

Combine the prepared vegetables in a large, non-aluminum pot with the raisins, sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thick. This will take about 1½ to 2 hours.

For storage in refrigerator, place in plastic freezer containers or glass jars, cover with tight-fitting lids and refrigerate for 6 months or longer (quality may suffer after that, but the relish will be safe to eat).

For long-term storage at room temperature, ladle the hot chutney into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving ½-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 20 minutes above 6,000 feet).

Adapted from "Blue Ribbon Pickles & Preserves" by Maria Polushkin Robbins.

Autumn Fruit Chutney

Makes 6 half pints

This is an ideal chutney to use up end-of-season fruits. The resulting mixture makes a wonderful seasoner for salad dressings and dips. It also stands up nicely to grilled pork chops and pork tenderloin. Any variety of pears and plums can be used, or they can be substituted by quinces, peaches, nectarines or apricots.

1 pound cooking apples (2 to 3 medium-size), cored and cut into small chunks (unpeeled)

1 pound pears (3 medium-size) cored and cut into small chunks (unpeeled)

1 pound Italian (purple) plums, halved and pitted

1 medium onion, chopped

1-1/3 cups raisins

2-1/3 cups cider vinegar, at least 5 percent acidity

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange

2 cups packed light brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon salt

If you plan to store the chutney in jars at room temperature, wash 6 half-pint canning jars; keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs

Place the apples, pears, plums and onions into a large non-aluminum pan. Add the raisins, vinegar, orange zest and juice, sugar and allspice. Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour or until the chutney has reduced and thickened.

For storage in refrigerator, place in plastic freezer containers or glass jars, cover with tight-fitting lids and refrigerate for 6 months or longer (quality may suffer after that, but the relish will be safe to eat).

For long-term storage at room temperature, ladle the hot chutney into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving ½-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes (20 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet).

Adapted from "Clearly Delicious" by Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz.

Blueberry-Port Chutney

Yields 4 half-pint jars.

If you can’t find fresh blueberries, it’s perfectly OK to dip into your freezer cache. Try this chutney with roast turkey, duck or goose. It is also good with meats and curries. Mixed with mayonnaise or plain yogurt, it makes a piquant dressing for salads made with meat, poultry and/or fruits.

1 quart blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1½ cups red wine vinegar

¼ cup ruby port

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed

1 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch each of salt and ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

If planning to store the chutney in jars at room temperature, wash 4 half-pint canning jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Place the blueberries in a 4-quart saucepan. Add the onion, vinegar, port, raisins, brown sugar, mustard, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and red pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until chutney is thick.

For storage in refrigerator, place in plastic freezer containers or glass jars, cover with tight-fitting lids and refrigerate for 6 months or longer (quality may suffer after that, but the relish will be safe to eat).

For long-term storage at room temperature, ladle the hot chutney into 1 hot jar at a time, leaving ½-inch head space. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (20 minutes at 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 25 minutes above 6,000 feet).

— Jan Roberts-Dominguez is a Corvallis food writer, artist, and author of "Oregon Hazelnut Country, the Food, the Drink, the Spirit," and four other cookbooks. Readers can contact her by email at janrd@proaxis.com, or obtain additional recipes and food tips on her blog at www.janrd.com.