75 Days Ago & Cranberry Chutney

       It's amazing to me to think that just 75 days ago we were still funning in the sun, bouncing on the beaches, swimming in the sea, and naturing with nature. The dunes were alive with with wild critters both on 4 legs and even some on 2. The sun would rise a little more like 112 degrees  vs today it is closer to 145 degrees SE as I look from my home office window across the street. and the angle is far less and the warmth of that beating down raise is only a haunting memory to my beaten joints and aching muscles. The things we did this past summer are mere memories in another scrapbook in the back of the mind filed away for those golden years. Fishing with the kids will become fishing with the grandkids, sunfish sailing with your Dad on the Sound will become something you never want to let go of. Eating home cooked seafood dinners with your Mother in the cottage one days you can only dream of coming in from the beach and smelling that good food. Mornings with a cup of coffee either on the cottage porch or even down at the waters edge sitting on the jetting as the sun climbs into the sky. Memories. What do we remember from yesterday, 75 days ago, 7 years ago, 25 or even 50 years ago. I have now been coming to, or part of the Cape now for over 5 decades or 1/2 a century. WOW, I'm not sure I have ever looked at my life as being over a 1/2 century old now, rather an odd feeling especially looking back over the years of Cape Cod experience. I hear the wind picking up outside my house, knowing they are not the warming breezes coming from the south up and across the warm Gulf Stream waters. The Gulls with their strategic aim nailing the freshly washed car in a grocery store parking lot not even close to a light post, now most have gone south. Now we wait we for the first sighting of the Snowy Owls returning from their summer homes in Canada. We remember the warm of 75 days ago and the memories we've made. What about looking forward 75 days and seeing what memories one can begin to make even as there are forecasts of snow in some parts of the state. What can you do around the Cape that will help build that warm fuzzy memory the overcomes the howling winds and bitter cold. The Cape in winter? Yup? Everything from shell fishing (when temps are above freezing). Take a drive up to P'town and see the fishing boats coming and going with the ice caked on them yet the crew still functioning. Take them around to the different harbors to view what they really are like without any vessels in them, or even go coffee shop hopping, there are some great ones around the Cape. The point is, just because there is a change in seasons, a change in temperatures, a change in the sun's angle, a change in the direction the wind is blowing does not mean that memories and memory making has to go away as well. Do whatever it takes to keep the memory making going all year round, regardless of circumstances and time of year. Well until we meet again, have a great and wonderful in all you do and especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.         

      This past weekend I went to the Cape Cod Tech Holiday Craft Fair, had a wonderful time with many local crafters and vendors. This coming weekend Nov 19 & 20 at the Upper Cape Cod Regional Tech in Bourn and following that will be the New Bedford Voc Craft Fair ( I mention this as many of our local crafter will be there). So get out and support our local artisans and get your Christmas and Holiday shopping done early. 
      Restaurant report, It's been a while since I have mentioned Jasons Tavern in Patriot Square. Folks I can not speak enough good words about this place. They are family friendly, great food, open year round and still offer a fun early bird special. This is one of those go to places that when you want an outstanding home cooked style meal this is where you wan to go and not feel like you've been robbed to eat, and walk out with a well satisfied belly, this is the place. If it's been a while, isn't about time you check them out, and to think you don't have to fight the tourist crowds to get in. 
      One last place to mention, that being the Chatham Candy Manor, located on Main St in Chatham. If you are a chocolate holiday giver, you enjoy having fudge out for your guests, you want to do something special for someone with sweets I can not wave the flag high enough, toot the horn loud enough, or bang on the drum long enough about how good they are. No I do not hold any stake in them or have any connection to them. I just love their stuff, and this is saying a lot as I am not a big chocolate eater, ok except when it comes to the Manor's Truffles, and personally I could just go into a comma on those things. But enjoy all they have to offer and share it as well this holidays season.   
      Welcome to you all and I hope you are stating warm as we have gone directly to winter. The wind has been whipping around the light tower like the gales of Novembers are known to do as Nor'easter can stir up almost out of nowhere. The beacon is is full working order and last week I was able to get a good cleaning done in the lamp room and the windows are spotless now that our residential gulls for the most part have headed south for the winter. I also took the time to do a go over on the old fog horn, a couple of our local woodland creatures had taken up residence through the summer. So it needed a good cleaning and the places they made entrance closed up. Weather is this old guys worst enemy as the moisture and salt will corrode the internal workings the quickest. If anyone has been around, you know by now that the grounds are set up to celebrate the harvest season. The maze is all set up and we have had a good turn out so far of young and old coming to enjoy the grounds. We also have some displays that honor both our Native Americans and New World settlers as well as displays of our shipping heritage and whaling and fishing community. We have so much to be thankful for and we want to be sure we give a well rounded picture of how this area was established and what helped define it. So this will be up through Thanksgiving weekend then down it comes and up goes the next season. I just hope the weather will cooperate enough to allow folks to come and enjoy themselves and maybe take the time to sit around the bond fire and roast some marshmallows and drink some hot chocolate. Well, I better get and do my rounds and run a check on the weather instruments and take my readings. Yes I still do some things the old fashion way, lest we forget what this is all about, preserving history. Well I hope you have a great and wonderful, especially if you can do it right here on old Cape Cod.         
      It's almost Thanksgiving and we have to have a good cranberry dish to go with the meal, ok so a good cranberry dish is good any time of the year not just for Thanksgiving. I found several that were good ones but I wanted to find one that did not go super wild on the ingredients, but then again must chutneys do so I am going for something that I thing really all can do and enjoy. Key here is if you like a cranberries, you will like this, if not, well, what can I say. This is a make ahead, you don't want to be doing this at the last minute, if you want that, look for a good cranberry relish, those are much simpler. But give this a try and I think you will be pleasantly pleased. Now on with the recipe. 
      Recipe of the Week: Cranberry Chutney
      1/2      cup      apricot preserves
      1/2      cup      cider vinegar
      1/2      cup      dark brown sugar, packed
         1      tsp       curry powder
         1      tsp       ground ginger
         1      stick    cinnamon
      1/4      tsp       ground cloves
  1  1/2      cup      water
         1      med     lemon, seeded & chopped
         2      med     green apple, pared, cored & diced
         3      cup      fresh cranberries
      1/2      cup      raisins
      1/2      cup      walnuts, chopped
       In non aluminum pot/pan, combine preserves, vinegar, sugar and spices (tie the spiced up in a cheesecloth bag or use a loose tea mesh ball). Add water and bring mixture to slow boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add chopped lemon and apples; simmer for about 10 minutes. Add cranberries and raisins and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until thick, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Pack into jars or other containers. Keeps indefinitely in refrigerator, ( if it last that long). 
Don't forget to come join us weekend mornings for some Morning Thunks & Thoughts, a few laughs and just some thoughts to get our day going. find me at www.ccrockhopper.com

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