It was a good reminder of how the wheel of the year turns.
The apple chutney was delicious, although I didn't make it myself. It was an anonymous gift left on my doorstep before Yule.
My apple tree is the central feature of my garden and every year it produces an abundant crop - far too many apples for me to get through - so I give a lot away.
Last autumn I offered them on Freecycle, and had a large number of responses. I let each person fill one carrier bag, because that seemed the fairest way of sharing them.
Then I got the mysterious gift of chutney, with a little note saying: "Thanks for the apples. The chutney will taste better if left for a few months."
It was worth the wait. The cheese-and-chutney sandwiches I took to work look lovely and I am anticipating several similar lunches to come.
I wish I knew who had left the mysterious gift so I could thank them and, if I get a similarly large apple harvest this year I will definitely give away more on Freecycle, and consider myself blessed by the spirit of the apple tree.
For more on apple trees: www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/01/dancing-in-orchards.html