An Every day sort of Anniversary

Today my husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary. I guess you could say we’re still newlyweds, although we celebrated like we’ve been married for fifty years. It was lovely and simple and just like any other sunday… just the way we wanted it.

There was some major worm bin renovating. (More on this later).

There was some chicken stock brewing on the stove filling the house with soupy smelling goodness…

I used up the last tomatoes as well as the last mini yellow bell peppers from my garden and some tomatoes from my mom’s garden (thanks Mom!) and made for the first time, some Ripe Tomato Chutney from a great book that I received in the mail this past week – Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving For The New Cook By Mary Anne Dragan. Since my tomato supply was so limited I ended up cutting the recipe down A LOT to make one cute little jar of chutney. But, it turned out pretty delicious and I am excited to try more preserving recipes in the future.

Here is the easy to make Ripe Tomato Chutney adapted from Mary Anne Dragan’s Well Preserved :

8 cups chopped tomatoes

6 cups chopped apples

1 cup chopped onion (I did not have an onion so I left this one out)

1 cup chopped bell pepper (the recipe calls for red but I used yellow)

2 cloves garlic peeled and minced

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups brown sugar

1 Tblsp ground mustard

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp chili powder

Prepare the preserving jars. Combine the tomatoes, apples, onion, red pepper, garlic, and vinegar in your preserving pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Remove from heat. Ladle the chutney into hot sterilized jars, leaving a 1/2 inch head space. Wipe the rims clean. Seal according to manufacturers directions. Process the jars in a boiling bath for 10 minutes. Makes about 7 to 8 8oz. jars.

After making chutney I moved on to the remaining apples from the apple farm. I still had so many and didn’t want them going bad on me. So I thought since I did so well with the chutney, I would try my hand at some Apple Mint Jelly.

This one is a two day process… after cooking the apples, lemon and mint together all day, the mushy mixture has to settle through some cheese cloth over night until I have enough liquid to cook into jelly. I will be getting up early tomorrow to finish this one and will let you know how it turns out.

So with all this cooking and worm bin renovating you may be wondering what happened to those anniversary plans… Jeff and I were busy all day with our respective cooking and cleaning projects but we spent a lovely morning together at the farmers market and then spent the evening planning next weeks vacation to Boston and Maine. We plan to celebrate a little more romantically by driving from Boston (where Jeff’s family resides) up the coast to Maine and staying in several bed and breakfasts. It will not only be a welcome break from work and every day life but it will be wonderful to visit with Jeff’s family and to spend some quality time with my husband in a state I’ve always wanted to visit. Whether we are relaxing on the east coast or working diligently on household projects, I know I chose right. This man I married is something special and I am so happy to be sharing my life with him.

                                     (photo by Maria McCarthy)

Hope you have a lovely week and Happy October!!!

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