The Last of the Wedding Presents

The last of the wedding presents
The last of the wedding presents

I think all our guests thought of Lea and me as a romantic couple, so a lot of our wedding presents were candlesticks and wineglasses, mostly wineglasses. We had a yard sale in Henniker and sold half of them, and then split them up when we got divorced, and still, if you came to my house with a bottle of champagne and wanted some glasses, I would say, flutes or saucers?

Twenty-odd years later all the wineglasses have at last gone their ways and the only wedding present that survives is this beautiful ceramic baking dish. I put the onion slices in first and put the cover on to give them a good scorching, then the garlic and carrots and cauliflower, to give them a good scorching  too, then the portabella mushrooms and red peppers, to scorch them somewhat.

Then I add two capfuls of cider vinegar and some Bragg’s Amino Acids (like soy sauce), and put on the cover for a minute or two. Then I mix in the penne with parmesan and let it cool.

If you ever feel a stir fry is getting away from you, add a capful or two of cider vinegar to prevent overscorching. Don’t add too much, though, or the veggies will get soggy. The vinegar also cuts down the amount of Bragg’s or soy sauce you need to use. More vinegar, less salt!

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Stephen Hartshorne worked in newspapers and magazines around New England for many years and served as Information Officer in the New Hampshire Senate under Senate President Vesta Roy. He worked as a material handler for nine years at the Yankee Candle Company until the company was taken over by corporate weasels. He is currently the associate editor of, an alternative travel website, which gives him the opportunity to correspond with writers and photographers all over the world. He lives in Sunderland, Massachusetts. This blog is dedicated to his mom, who made him bookish.

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