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The Civil War Sesquicentennial Finale Concert

If you haven’t heard by now, Virginia has been participating in the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (i.e. the Civil War Sesquicentennial). From re-enactments to lectures to the traveling Civil War 150 HistoryMobile, Virginia has been active in exploring life during local, 19th century warfare.

Travel_Sesquicentennial Logo

The 150th commemoration will come to a close in 2015, and it’s going out with a musical bang. On Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission will be presenting a Finale Concert that “that brings together music, songs, images, and narration in a profound exploration of the Civil War and emancipation.”

Did you know that the Civil War “gave rise to more music than any other event in American history”? According to, enthusiastic melodies combined with romantic songs to produce an early motivation for soldiers. However, the fervor of army life quickly melted into loneliness and despair for soldiers, while songs of praise and gospel spirituals brought guarded hope for 3.5 million enslaved people. The war ended, freedom was secured, and the nation became whole, with songs like The Battle Hymn of the Republic forever becoming part of the national heritage that we share.”

Interested in going? Click here to register now for this FREE event. (And if you need lodging, check out our member inns.)


Sweet Tomato Chutney from A B&B at Llewellyn Lodge

According to Wikipedia, chutney is a “family of condiments associated with South Asian cuisine made from a highly variable mixture of spices, vegetables, or fruit.” Sounds pretty delicious, right? If you’re in search of a mouthwatering chutney recipe, then look no further:


1 whole head garlic, peeled & chopped

One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (1 inch by 1 inch), peeled and chopped

1-1/2 cups red wine vinegar

2 pounds fresh skinned tomatoes (or 1 pound and 12 ounces canned whole tomatoes)

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)

2 Tablespoons golden raisins

2 Tablespoons blanched slivered almonds


Put the garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup of vinegar in the food processor and process until smooth.

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, place the tomatoes (and juice from the can if using canned tomatoes) and the rest of the vinegar, sugar, salt, cayenne. Bring to a boil. Add the puree from the food processor and simmer uncovered for about 2 to 3 hours until it thickens and a film clings to a spoon when dipped. Stir occasionally at first and more frequently later as it thickens. (You may need to lower the heat as the liquid diminishes.)

Add almonds and raisins. Simmer, stirring another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool. It should be as thick as honey.

Bottle in clean containers, and refrigerate. Must be kept in the refrigerator. Good indefinitely. Makes about 2 cups. (This is delicious served with cream cheese and crackers.)

tomato chutney on crackers

Photo by Life Currents

Eat and enjoy! Thanks to BBHSV member A B&B at Llewellyn Lodge for the recipe! (Originally published here.)