Apricot Chutney

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I optimistically purchased a package of apricots a couple of weeks ago and promptly went on two weeks of travel for work, as you have heard. Prior to the apricots turning into a slag heap in the fridge, I finally rallied myself on Sunday, and turned out a small batch of apricot chutney.

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12 apricots, washed, pitted and halved
4 small, sweet orange peppers, 1/8″ dice
1/4 red onion diced, 1/8″ diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup golden raisins
11/2 tsp ground cardamom
11/2 tsp orange peel
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Everything in my father’s huge orange enameled pot on medium heat for about 15 minutes. The mixture will probably boil, but you don’t want to lose the shape of the apricots.

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Because I have “temporarily” misplaced the rings from my weck jars, I was only able to keep this batch in the fridge, and I’ll have to make a batch of chicken curry to help make the chutney go away!

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The Way Back Machine, June Edition

Here’s what I was working on for Craft a Week during the month of June last year

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I finally fell for the washi tape craze at this time and wrapped up a few small cans to use for pencils and such.

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Then I made these little tags out of a stiff linen paper I had scraps of. Because I didn’t have a lot of the paper, just some scraps, I had just enough for one set.

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Next up, I made some personalized envelopes for my friend L, who takes great photography. She could use these envelopes as a liner for the mailing envelope, in case she needed to mail prints to anyone.

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And lastly, I strung some resin starfish on some twine to give that beachy feel to my hutch for the summer. This same garland is currently among the missing summer decos for my hutch that I am trying to locate.
Yes, I now realize that I missed a week of production in June, or I didn’t document the product if I did!

Just Beachy

We left the house yesterday morning with our trusty folding double beach chair, a lightly packed beach bag, a couple of magazines and high hopes there would be no traffic. We left the house a little before 7 am, got gas, stopped 1/2 way for a Dunkie’s run and were 4th in line for the parking lot at Old Silver Beach in Falmouth by 8:40 am. It was a perfect beach day! Little onshore breeze, warm water, cloudless sky and one of my favorite beaches. We both needed an unscheduled, idle and relaxing day, and our totally spontaneous decision at 6 am paid off.
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This is what the beach looked like at 9 am! Just beautiful.
We stayed on the beach till 3 pm, enjoying people watching, occassionally dunking ourselves, watching sailboats drop and pull up anchors, and just chillin in general. After using the outdoor shower to wash off the salt and sand and changing out of swimsuits, we drove into Falmouth Center and strolled around looking for sustenance. Didn’t take us long to find Liam McGuire’s Irish Pub. Adult bevvies were enjoyed, Copa Mundial was watched and although I was boring and ordered a burger, the Hubs enjoyed outstanding fish taco featuring avocado crema and deep fried jalapenos. Rave reviews….and the Hubs reports that it pairs very well with Stella Artois on draft!
fish taco
(I do not know why this photo won’t publish right side up..sorry)

On the Shelf: My Favorite Reads

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I thought it would be fun to share not only my favorite movies on an ongoing basis, but also my favorite reads. Just like my favorite movies I start out with my absolute favorite book EVAH! Published in 1987, The Shell Seekers is a 40 year long saga of a painting and the family that owns it. Penelope Keeling is the protagonist, a formidable mother of three who is more open minded, and open hearted than two of her children. Her daughter Olivia, is sort of the protagonist in waiting. She, too, is more open minded about many things, including her mother’s rather bohemian lifestyle over the years and what’s really important in life. This book epitomizes “Aga Saga” and the descriptions of it’s settings in Cornwall are perfection. The author’s attention to detail in describing clothing, homes, gardens and meals compels the reader to stay at it. Given the right conditions, it could be read in one or two sittings.
Recommended food and beverage to eat while reading: Hot tea and scones or a really good glass of wine
Recommended place to read: On a sofa wrapped in an afghan or on a deck chair on the beach with feet in the water

Midsummer Night’s Garden Update

There are some notable successes in the garden this summer…

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Rose trees that I took for dead, dead, dead suddenly came to life. As recently as Memorial Day there as not a scoche of life in them. The Hubs thought they were going to sit out a year, and my sister said, ” give them another month. They’re still warming up” from our heinous winter. She was right, first bloom this past Monday. They will need a really hard prune this fall!

I am also having much better success with Morning Glories. Usually I plant them in pots in the cold dirt and am lucky if they will climb the provided trellis and unfurl a few blooms by late August. This year I repurposed two window boxes and put them on the top of the fence. Closer to the sun, warmer dirt, more and longer light has yielded much bigger and denser vines and it is only mid June!

Nothing I can plant in Morning Glories, however, will ever surpass the absolute cascade of them that the Hubs and I found growing across a roof in Napa!
blue mg

Mason-whee!

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Ball mason jars are celebrating 100 years of canning from 2013 to 2015 and have come up with a series of different jars to commemorate the occasion. In 2013 the jars were a beautiful turquoise color and were pint sized. I use them for salad dressings and more. In 2014 the jars are now quart sized and are a lovely shade of green, shown here. ( I’m hoping for pink ones in 2015…)

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Anyway, I had four jars and four mercury glass knobs from another project that I hadn’t used. So the Hubs obligingly drilled some holes in the lid for me and I now have some extra storage for this and that. Just need a coat of paint on the lids to match the mercury glass knobs.

Patron Saints

More obscure saints of the Catholic Church and their patronage
The Hubs always kids around and applies the names “our lady of perpetual responsibility” and “St.Procopius” to any Catholic church, hall, school, hospital etc, with which he is not intimately familiar. How embarrassed was I to find out that there is not one, BUT two saints by that name.
Not much is known about the first St. Procopius of Scythopolis, just that he was beheaded during the reign of Diocletian. St. Procopius of Sazava was canonized in 1804, he was an abbot and hermit in Bohemia.

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Then there’s St. Zita, patron saint of domestic servants.

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She gave away food from the household she worked for and instead of sending her packing, her master\mistress joined her crusade.

Meatless Monday

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Always on the lookout for a filling, easy to assemble meal for meatless Monday, I decided last nite to make a big salad with fresh tomatoes, perfectly ripe avocado, a little red onion, cuke, and the end of a bit of mozzarella cheese.
I tossed in 1/2 a bag of baby romaine and ginned up some green goddess dressing to toss the salad in. Delish! Especially with some fresh French bread from weekend baking!

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In the Bag Pt Deux

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During crafternoon a couple of weeks ago, I also made these little muslin bags. You can buy the bags in bulk at craft stores. I added the stamp and then tied little crystal buttons to the drawstrings. Nice to use as a gift bag for a piece of handmade jewelry.

True Love

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Today would have been my parent’s 57th wedding anniversary. Their wedding song was “True Love” from the movie “High Society”. It was evident everyday of the 55 years they were together. I miss them more than I could even imagine. Especially when I remember them like this:

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