Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Cranberry Apple Relish

November 25th, 2014

Here at Chiot’s Run we LOVE cranberry relish when it comes to Thanksgiving Day meals. I make a big batch each year and we take some to all of our holiday gatherings. It’s a quick and easy side dish and it really adds a great flavor to your turkey meal. I made a big batch last night to take to Ohio for our Thanksgiving celebrations.
cranberries 2
My cranberries are purchased from a small farm, the apples are from our heritage apple CSA.
1 (12-16 oz) bag of fresh or frozen cranberries
2 apples, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar or maple syrup
1 cup of cider (you can use water if you don’t have cider)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and cook covered for about 30 minutes (make sure you keep it covered as cranberries have a tendency to pop). Uncover, taste and adjust sugar and seasonings to your family’s liking. Cook until desired consistency; if you like it thick cook longer, if you like it thinner you can turn off now or add water if it’s already too thick. Chill and serve.
cranberries 1
I made a double batch because you really can’t have too much cranberry relish, at least that’s what I think. If I have leftovers it will grace the top of a meatloaf later in December.

Do you take a big scoop of cranberry relish at the table, or do you pass it on to the next person?

Planting Less

November 24th, 2014

Generally I grow way too much garlic, which isn’t a big deal as I give a lot of it away. This fall I decided to plant only about 1/3 or 1/4 of what I normally plant. I didn’t buy any seed garlic since I used stock that I grew myself.
planting garlic
All my garlic was planted a few weeks ago, six varieties were planted. Yesterday I gave them a nice layer of duck house litter to protect them during the cold winter and fertilize them next summer. Here’s hoping for a much smaller amount of garlic to weed and harvest next year.

Are you cutting back on amounts of anything you plant?

Quote of the Day: John Steinbeck

November 23rd, 2014

“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” 

John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley in Search of America)

winter 1
Yesterday we spent a lot of time outside preparing for winter. It was cold, but it was good. I don’t mind being cold if there’s a fire to warm up by somewhere close. Today will be more of the same, stock tank heaters need to go into the duck ponds, pigs need extra hay for bedding, the last of the potted planted need to be moved into the garage, firewood needs moved and stacked, the roses need mulching along with so many other things. I certainly enjoy doing these chores when it’s cold outside and I enjoy coming back inside for a nice cup of hot chocolate afterwards!
If you have never read Travels with Charlie you should. Better yet, get the audiobook version and listen to it on your next road trip. You won’t be disappointed!

What’s on your getting ready for winter chore list?

Making it Beautiful

November 22nd, 2014

Last month I painted my office, it needed a bit of spruce up. Even though it was painted a lighter color, the walls were dirty and it needed to be brighter. I spend a lot of time in this room and really wanted to be surrounded by something nice while I work.
office art 5
office art 3
I cut up some of my old calendars and purchased a few old botanical prints off Etsy.
office art 1
I really wanted something that I could change frequently if I wanted to so no frames were used. The plan is to fill the wall around the corner.
office art 2
Little metal clips were used to hang the prints, I pushed sewing pins to hang them on. Since none of the artwork is heavy they work very well.
office art 6
Inspirational quotes are also being printed and added. I’ll probably change them out every now and then, perhaps for something seasonal.
office art 4
Overall I’m happy with the way it’s turning out so far. It certainly makes the office bright and cheery, it will be especially nice during the long white winter! I usually don’t hang much stuff on the walls preferring more of a blank slate.

What’s your favorite way to decorate walls and add color to a room?

Friday Favorite: Winter Sunrises

November 21st, 2014

Winter means leafless trees and that means the sunrises can be seen far and wide. I’m not sure why, but it also seems that the sunrises and sunsets are much more beautiful this time of year. A few weeks ago we woke up to a very thick blanket of snow, thankfully the sunrise was also stunning that morning.
sunrise (1)
In Ohio we saw the sunset more than the sunrise. Here in Maine our house is on a hill so we’re lucky to enjoy both of them.
This is one of the wonderful things I savor in the winter. There’s nothing quite like watching the sun come up over the horizon with a warm cup of coffee in your hand.

Do you get to see sunrises/sunsets from your house?

Also Find Me At
Reading & Watching

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

Tropical Traditions

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.