By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons
It's wet, cold and dreary outside. I've gone through three different garden catalogs and folded down a dozen pages to return to when my after-the-holiday splurge bank accounts normalize. To pass the time indoors, I've started reading Michelle Obama's new biography, "Becoming," and it's an interesting, well-written story so far.
We've eaten soups and stews for several days so I decided to whip up some snack foods to satisfy our munchies. An adapted recipe of Charoseth called for ingredients leftover from holiday baking, so I tried it.
We liked the taste. It pairs well with crackers, cheese, and carrot and celery sticks. Hope all our gardening friends are looking forward to a lovely year in their gardens and in this month will enjoy snacking, reading and dreaming about sunny days ahead.
A spoonful of fruity Charoseth on a cracker will satisfy the munchies on a cold, dreary day.
Home kitchen-tested recipe
Makes about 2 cups. Original recipe is from The Christian Science Monitor.
½ cup chopped almonds (I used pecans)
½ cup chopped dates
¼ cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup raisins
2 tbls. dried sweetened cranberries
1 ½ cups finely chopped apple
2 tsps. cinnamon
2 to 3 tbls. grape juice
2 tsps. honey
Place nuts in food processor with chopping blade. Process until coarsely ground.
Add dates, apricots, raisins, cranberries, apple and cinnamon and pulse about 4 to 6 times, until mixed.
Scrape into a bowl and mix in just enough grape juice to make a pasty consistency so the mixture sticks together. Add honey.
Spoon mixture into a crock or refrigerator storage jar. Refrigerate. Fruity spread can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Before serving, place the desired amount you want to eat in the microwave and heat 7 seconds to remove chill. Serve with crackers, sturdy chips or vegetable sticks.
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By Stephanie Pratt, Instant Hedge,
Photographs courtesy of Instant Hedge
When fall hits, we often find ourselves in a frenzied state of cleaning up our gardens. However, fall is really one of the best times to plant trees and shrubs, and it's the ideal time to install a new hedge! Here are a few reasons why:
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