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a poem, and cranberry chutney

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

-e.e. cummings

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

As I offered my Thanksgiving thoughts already this year, I figured those words of thanks from a favorite poet of mine would serve well as I extended this last-minute Thanksgiving idea. For me, this poem is another reminder to be attentive — my theme for the season, perhaps. I hope it says something to you, too.

Now! You’re likely the prepared sort and made and tucked away your cranberry sauce last weekend, but just in case you are not, I present to you the most fabulous holiday chutney I’ve ever tasted. It is zippy and bright and intensely flavorful in the best of ways — that is, interesting and delicious but not overbearing. It has characteristics of a typical cranberry sauce but strays greatly from the straightforward standard, which is an excellent thing if you’re in the mood for something a bit different this year.

If you’re all set for Thanksgiving, might I submit that you try your hand at this recipe at some point this holiday season? Though it cozies up wonderfully alongside stuffing and smashed potatoes, it also sits comfortably on a cheese plate and tops toasts like nobody’s business. (I think it’s quite nice, too, by the cold spoonful straight from the fridge late at night, but that might just be me.)

And with that, happy Thanksgiving, dear reader. May loved ones surround your table, may your plate be heavy with good food, may your heart be thankful.


chutney ingredients

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

Gingered Cranberry Fig Chutney

Adapted from Food52

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1/4 cup yellow onion, minced

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup raisins

8 dried black mission figs, cut into eighths (about 1/2 cup once chopped)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

Place all of the ingredients except the walnuts and thyme into a heavy bottomed pan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 – 25 minutes, until the chutney thickens slightly.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the walnuts and thyme. Let cool slightly before serving, or make several days ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

Yield: about 6 – 8 servings

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