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December 2008

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Eastern region bloggers

Tim BairdTim Baird
Carrboro, North Carolina

Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim


Warren JohnstonWarren Johnston
South Royalton, Vermont

I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren


Barbara KattmanBarbara Kattman
Holliston, Massachusetts

We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara


Autumn LongAutumn Long
Wallace, West Virginia

My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn


April LuginbuhlApril Luginbuhl
Cleveland, Ohio

My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April

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Ajvar, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Posted at 9:24 AM on December 1, 2008 by Autumn Long (3 Comments)

My totally awesome friend who hails from the former Yugoslavia (and now lives in Seattle) sent me a fabulous care package of homemade ajvar! When I saw the return address on the package, I said, "Ooh, I hope it's ajvar!" And my wish came true. I cracked open a jar immediately and had to stop myself from eating the entire thing.

If you have never tried this stuff, honey, you just haven't lived. Ajvar is a smooth, thick, roasted red pepper relish. It is very popular in the Balkans, and for good reason: It's hands-down delicious! I love ajvar with cheese and crackers, and on sandwiches. It's around this time in late fall/early winter that my lunches start to get boring, with no fresh tomatoes or garden veggies to dress up sandwiches. The ajvar arrived just in time to enliven my workday lunches.

My friend's family made this ajvar with Anaheim peppers, which are mildly spicy and add just the right amount of heat. I have requested the recipe, and when I get it, I will share it if anyone is interested. My friend also sent me several dried whole Anaheim peppers, which are gorgeous, long and bright red. I will try to germinate their seeds next spring to grow my own Anaheims. Hopefully I will be able to make my very own ajvar in 2009. I will
need to make gallons of it, at the pace this batch is disappearing.