Monday, August 25, 2014


What's not to love about the beautiful state of Maine. Lighthouses, beaches, scenic marsh land  and of course lobster. I love everything about Maine. It's easy to see why I think Portland Head Lighthouse is one of the most charming New England destination you can visit.  This is why every summer while visiting my good friend Mary, I make sure we have a visit.  I feel so fortunate to have Mary from Ocean Breezes  and her husband Ron in charge of the sightseeing.  They could have jobs as Maine tour guides.  They know the history of almost every nook and cranny.
An  interesting fact about Portland Head Lighthouse is that it is the most visited, most painted and most photographed of all  lighthouses in New England. Looking at the photo I believe you can see why. I myself take dozen of photos every time I visit.
The very first time I visited the lighthouse it was high tide and the waves were crashing against the rocks.  A heavy fog began rolling in from the open sea and then as though on cue the resonant sound of the fog horn started to blow.  I was in awe.  It is a memory that I remember vividly and treasure still.  Thank you Mary and Ron for another memorable visit to what is now one of my favorite destinations

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Condiment Trio.......

I won the condiment lottery with this trio. All made without chemicals, preservatives, food coloring, pesticides, synthetics or GMO's.  Healthy and natural,  just the way I like it!.

Ketchup recipe from Country living.  Mustard and relish from Better Home and Gardens.
Here are the recipes starting with the ketchup.
  • 1 28 oz. can of organic crushed tomatoes
  • 1 med. onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 orange, juiced 
  • 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1.2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  1. Puree tomatoes in a blender.  Transfer to a saucepan and set aside.  Saute onion, let cool.
  2. In blender, puree onion and capers.  Add sugar and blend until smooth.  Add the rest of the ingredients, blend.
  3. Transfer onion mix into the saucepan and stir.  Simmer over low heat until thick, about 1 hour.  Using a funnel, pour into bottles.  Refrigerate.
Here's the relish recipe
  • 6 cups pickling cucumbers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 3 cups red sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • cold water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp. celery seeds
  • 1/2 ground tumeric

Wash cucumbers and peppers. Chop, discarding pepper stems and seeds; seed cucumbers, if desired. Measure 6 cups of cucumber and 3 cups of peppers. Peel and chop onions; measure 3 cups. Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt; add cold water to cover. Let stand, covered, at room temperature for 2 hours.
Pour vegetable mixture into colander set in sink. Rinse with fresh water and drain well.
In a 4-quart Dutch oven or kettle combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed, mustard seed, and turmeric. Heat to boiling. Add drained vegetables; return to boiling. Cook over medium-high heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until most of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Ladle relish into hot, clean half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims; adjust lids. Process filled jars in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes. Remove the jars, cool jars on racks.

Last but not least, the mustard recipe:

1/4 cup each of brown and yellow mustard seeds
2/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. honey
2 cloves garlic minced

Place seeds, vinegar and spices in a small bowl and let stand 24 hours.
Pour the seeds which have absorbed all the vinegar along with the honey and minced garlic into a food processor
Processor for one to two minutes. Scrape down sides a few times.  The mustard will not be smooth.

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