Strawberry, Blueberry and Lime Preserves

Berry picking is much like one of the greatest moments in the Shakespeare meets modern American teenager movie, ’10 things I hate about you.’ No, really. Stay with me. I used to love strawberry picking. Crouching in the straw-covered dirt, the wide brimmed hat on my head casting a huge shadow. Searching between the drooping…

Pickled Jalapeños, Or How to Use Many Jars

Did I mention before I have a jar hoarding problem? I have a jar hoarding problem. Fortunately, I also have a jam and pickling problem, and a giving jams and pickles away problem, so things generally even out. The jar count for the last few months has been this: Pineapple marmalade: 3 8-oz jars Pineapple…

The Empty Jar Dilemma

I am a jar hoarding addict. Faced with an empty jar, I can never, ever abandon it to the terrifying fate of the recycling bin. It has to be saved. Which leaves me with a large box of jars in every closet, another in the spidery garage. And with far too many possibilities of what…

Sebo y Manteca de Res – Suet and Tallow

While lard has enjoyed a revival in the last few years in this country (Praise the Lard t-shirt, anyone?), rendered beef fat, or tallow, remains mostly in obscurity. Unless you’re really into grass fed lip and body balms. I blame poor marketing. Suet, or sebo in Spanish, the large fat deposits near the kidneys, is…

Camotes Poblanos – Puebla Style Sweet Potato Candy

There is a rule in caramel making. Against all logic, at least once or maybe twice, the caramel maker will stick their finger into a molten batch of caramel. Caramel, I am convinced, is much like standing at the edge of a precipice. The longer you stare at it, the more tempting it is. When…

Ate de Membrillo – Quince Marmalade

Quince may be the ugly duckling of tree fruit in the United States. Wait, no. That is too gentle. Quince is the freckled, red-headed step child of tree fruit in the United States. There’s nothing else you can call a fruit that receives a response of ‘what is that?’ when asking for it an orchard…

Blueberry Apricot Preserves

Every summer I develop blueberry fever for a short period of time. Last year it was Blueberry Thyme Shrub and Blueberry Peach Preserves (helped out with some deeply buried peach puree from my freezer). Along with these there always are blueberries made into quick compotes to top pancakes, muddled into cocktails (whiskey and gin are good…

Picking and Preserving Sour Cherries – Malta Ridge Orchard & Gardens

Picking fresh sour cherries on a beautiful morning in Saratoga County, New York, should be incentive enough to get out, but throw in cider donuts, free range eggs and local milk in an old-fashioned glass bottle, and the day becomes impossible to resist. Minutes away from my home, Malta Ridge Orchard & Gardens, owned by…

Summer Fruit Preserves

Five and a half pounds of handpicked fresh strawberries is a hefty amount for one person to eat, even a devoted strawberry eater such as myself. This is the danger of the ‘Pick Your Own’ farm. A trap for those unable to resist the allure of the local, organically grown, perfectly ripe, fragrant, and cheaper fruit….