My family's farm has plum trees that become laden and misshapen this time of year. My mother dutifully picks the black fruits and cans them in sweet syrup — a welcome treat in winter for topping oatmeal or just eating by itself, warmed. But one can only make so much jam! Here are some ideas for using up a surplus of plums.
It's no pretty jar of jam or row of canned tomatoes, I know, but I suspect that making your own fruit-flavored vodkas might just be the most fun way to preserve the season! This is also perfect for when you're not in the mood for a big preserving project, but want a quick way to make sure that handful of juicy berries, plump purple figs, or last peaches doesn't go to waste. Because a bottle of jewel-colored, summer fruit-infused vodka will never go to waste. Trust me on this.
The first day of fall is exactly one month from today. Autumn is my favorite season of the year, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up all the wonderful summer produce that's been showing up in my CSA box. This week I'm totally into grilled peaches.
I'm a big fan of repairing reputations. I believe most things start off with the best intentions, but sometimes take a wrong turn, start running with a bad crowd, and need a loving hand to get back on track. This, I'm afraid, is what happened to poke cake.
In the summer when the berries and stone fruit are in abundance, I make a fresh, single jar of jam at least once a week, sometimes even more. The entire process, from cutting the fruit to spooning the cooked jam into a jar, takes about 15 to 20 minutes. I don't can it in a water bath; I just stash it in the refrigerator.
It's so much simpler than large-batch canning projects that it's unfair to compare the two, but the end result is just as delicious, if not more so. All week long, I dip into a jar of fresh, brightly colored jam, spooning it into yogurt or on top of ice cream, or swirling it into a cocktail. And, of course, spreading it onto my morning toast!
Preserving is a craft, but it can be an art form too. One taste of a great jam is all you need to understand that a master jam-maker preserves not just the flesh of the fruit, but its very essence, the fleeting flavor that makes that particular fruit unique.
This week we are sharing the preserved foods experts can't live without, and today we turn to jam-maker and fruit whisperer Jessica Koslow of Sqirl, whose jams, jellies and marmalades made from heirloom fruit varieties have garnered a cult following in Southern California and beyond.
If you've been following my CSA posts this year, you may be thinking: Hey! The last box you posted was from Week 5, and now it's Week 8! What gives? Well, my friends, I was out of town over two pickup days, so I gave my share away on those days. But a lot can change in two weeks, I now see: my share this week was the biggest one yet! Arugula, peppers, eggplant, peaches — and the cucumbers. I fear I may drown in cucumbers.
A handful of sweet, juicy cherries epitomizes great summer eating but sometimes that dark, sweet flavor needs to be shared, needs a friend, needs to mingle.
Cherries and lime? Friends. Cherries and shaved ice? Best buds. Do I even need to mention how close cherries and bourbon are? That's why it's best to take at least a pound or two and reduce them to their purest form.
When fruit and vegetables come from the market rather than our own land, it's easy to forget that preserving began as a way to keep the bounty from going to waste, not a weekend project with a shopping list. This week we are sharing the preserved foods experts can't live without, and today we turn to cookbook author and seasonal food champion Deborah Madison, who reminds us that when life gives you local apricots, you make lots of apricot jam — because you might not see another crop for seven years.