November 26, 2014

Perfect Cranberry Sauce-Relish

I invented this recipe last Thanksgiving, when I was unable to decide between the gorgeous ruby color and thickness of cooked cranberry sauce or the crunchy freshness of raw relish.  Here you have the best of both worlds!

Summer's perfect cranberry sauce-relish

1 bag cranberries (12 oz)
Juice of 1 orange, or 3-4 tangerines
Zest of 1/4 orange or 1 tangerine
Sugar or honey to taste (~3/8 cup)

Blitz the cranberries, juice and zest in a food processor until finely chopped.  But not too finely.  Last year I used a Valencia orange, which was delicious, but this year I made do with tangerines I had on hand.  

Put half the cranberry mixture in a small saucepan and add a splash of water and the sweetener of your choice.  Bring to a simmer and cook for approx 10 minutes, stirring often as the pectin works its magic.  Keep adding splashes of water as needed, so the sauce doesn't stick to the pan and burn.  

Remove from heat and stir in the uncooked cranberries.  Taste and add more sweetener or zest as desired.  Remember this is supposed to be a tart dish.

Serve and bask in the adulation of all present.  For you have conquered the ferocious Cran Berry.

November 17, 2014

Salmonberries in Winter

I finished this sweater in June, at least the knitting of it.  I found buttons for it a couple weeks ago, and here it is!  Just in time for winter :)

This sweater took F O R E V E R to knit, but it's done and full of cozy squishy warm alpaca/wool goodness.  Salmon berries are a delicious local berry, and seemed the perfect descriptor.  The bumpy stitch pattern on the inner sleeves and back is blackberry stitch, so there ya go.
Photo from June

November 8, 2014


On the hardest days I imagine an afterlife, free from pain and loneliness.

Someday I'll take a trip.  A fabulous trip, far from familiar sights and sounds.  The kind of trip you spend a lifetime dreaming of but never think will happen.  At the end of the journey I arrive in a village of everyone I've ever loved.  There isn't a rush of hellos, just a quiet walk as I meet every loved one who traveled before me.  At the edge of the village, a cottage of my own, with a bee loud glade and flowers blooming around every corner.

The first afternoon I climb the highest mountain, easy as cresting a hill, and view the whole valley crumpled below like the lines on my palm.  Winds gust up the mountain peaks and I fall into one, riding it down to the green valley.  I lie in a sunny field among high grasses and wildflowers, soaking in the warmth.  Every happy summer day that came before was but a shadow of this pleasure.  Butterflies dance along my arms and perch on my hair to wish hello. As the sun sets an evening barbeque awaits, and bottles of cold lemonade are passed around, hot buttery ears of corn nibbled, and ribs cover everyone's face with sticky-spicy-sweet sauce.  The sun sets as a band begins playing and we all dance for hours under the full moon.  Our feet never tire or misstep. The moon sets and fireflies appear as we murmur to sleep on the soft green lawn.  A mother sings a lullaby and we all become her child.
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