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November 24, 2009

Apricot Cranberry Chutney

We're busily (read that - frantically) getting ready for Thanksgiving. Looking forward to a house full of loved ones...and already missing the ones who won't be here with us.

The next two days will prove to be crazy ones, as we ready the house, finish the last of the shopping, bake, and cooking, and set the table in preparation. I'm not complaining, it's really my favorite holiday of the year!

Anyhow, later tonight I will be making Apricot/Cranberry Chutney. It's a recipe I found a couple years ago, and is a delicious (and festive) option to traditional cranberry sauce. I thought you might enjoy it as well. I wish I could take credit for it, but I found it originally on

You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
  • 1 (12 ounce) packaged fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the apricots, cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves.
  2. In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add the dried fruit mixture and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a covered container.
The last time I made it, I did let it chill, but I tasted it while it was warm, and it was delicious. I bet it would be fabulous poured over cream cheese and served as a spread with crusty bread.

Oh mouth is watering just thinking about it!


November 22, 2009

The Winds of Change

I just sat down at my computer and realized that I haven't turned the page on my daily calendar since November 7th -- and I haven't taken time to write to you since the end of October! Apparently the month of November was consumed as quickly as the bulging bag of candy my children brought home after Halloween.

The truth is, since I last posted, the winds of change have swept through my life and left me feeling a little a little dizzy -- a good dizzy -- but dizzy just the same.

For nearly two years, I had been working out of my home for a consulting firm. The nature of my work allowed me to have a very flexible schedule, and I often started my day just before 7AM, with a cup of coffee and an hour or two dedicated to maintaining my blogs. The flexibility was a gift -- but unfortunately the work that I was doing for the remainder of the day left me feeling somewhat unfulfilled.

Having spent most of my professional career working in higher ed advancement, I had grown very used to working amidst the energy of a college campus, building community among alumni, parents, students and friends of the college, and raising money to help provide the best possible college experience for students. In many cases, the money raised made a college experience possible for students who would otherwise have been unable to afford it. As silly as it may sound, knowing that I somehow played a part in making that experience happen, really helped me sleep well at night.

I was missing that feeling of personal reward from my consulting job. Lo and behold, at the end of October, the winds of good fortune blew my way, and I was invited to return to a college campus as the director of their annual giving program. Needless to say, I quickly tied up the loose ends of the consulting work I was doing, and started the month of November in my new role. I've been loving every minute of it, and feel blessed to be back on a college campus doing work that I love.

Unfortunately though, the time that used to be spent writing in the morning, is now time spent commuting. And by the time I get home at night, have dinner, and spend time with the family, I am hardly in the right frame of mind to start blogging. Needless to say, both 'Round the Kitchen Table and Today I Pray have been shamefully neglected during the month of November -- which is so sad when you consider all the joyful things we could/should be talking about right now -- like gratitude, family, holiday traditions, etc.

So this morning I just want you to know, that as the winds of change are blowing through my life, I haven't forgotten you -- in fact, I miss corresponding with you. There are a couple ideas that are rattling around my mind about how to manage the blogs going forward, so don't be surprised if you see some changes in the very near future.

Thanks for hanging in there while I figure it out -- and during this season of gratitude, I just want to thank you for joining me 'Round the Kitchen Table.