Sunday, December 22, 2013


We are at home, on vacation. Its nice to have these two days before we have to be on the road and visiting. My family was in for Friday and Saturday for Matthew's Masters graduation. It was nice to have family here at Christmastime; usually we are the ones doing the going and no one ever visits to see our decorations.

Today was spent mostly getting things wrapped up and ready to be gone for a week. Remember this lemon we grew on our tree? It's now marmalade. It is a very strong flavor but it is very refreshing to taste marmalade that's not Smuckers-mass-produced-ness. I should make a ginger cake and try it out. Another day perhaps.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

{recipe} Cranberry Chutney

I made this for a baby shower tea I hosted back in November. I pulled it out the other day for a picnic and was wowed by how the flavors had come together. It smelled, and tasted, delightful. I served it with soft cheese on seedy, oat-y brown bread.

~ 1 small bag fresh cranberries, whole and washed
~ 3/4 c. apple cider
~ 1/4 c. cider vinegar
~ 1 large tart apple, grated or chopped
~ 1/2 c. dark brown sugar, packed
~ 2 T. chopped onion
~ 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
~ a healthy pinch of ground cloves
~ as much ground ginger as you like in these sorts of things, optional

Put all in a medium saucepan and cook on medium-low, stirring occasionally to encourage the cranberries to burst and help thicken the sauce. Cook until desired consistency, noting that it will thicken a bit when chilled. Store in mason jar in fridge.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Thanksgiving debriefing and a recipe

Thanksgiving was like a slow motion dream. We were gone for eight days and we sort of planned that long of a trip but sort-of-not-really. Julian's grandfather has been in ill health for a while and passed away while we were gone, just before we planned to return home, so we stayed over. We had our first Thanksgiving dinner with my sister-in-law and her family -- our nephew made this delightfully bedazzled placemarker for me.While we were there, she made these pork chops and I thought they were quite tasty so I snapped a pic of her cookbook.

We came back to Rockbridge Co. for Thanksgiving with my family which was a very nice occasion, if I do say so myself. I didn't get to do any of the cooking, in part because of our travel and in part because we did not leave Julian's grandfather in the nursing home until about 11:30am on Thanksgiving day, so by the time we arrived, everything was ready. Unfortunately, Julian came down with a headcold that evening.

Friday, while we were still in Lexington, Julian's grandfather passed away, so Sunday evening, we went back across the mountain for the services Monday and Tuesday. I'm sitting in the office today, absolutely exhausted and wondering a.) how everything that has happened in the past 8 days really happened and b.) how it all happened and yet, on any given Wednesday in December, it seems like nothing has changed.