a jam of the evening

By on Jul 9, 2012 in fruit, love, preserving | 2 comments

9 o’clock in the evening is a perfectly reasonable time to make jam. A reward, say, for having spent 2 1/2 hours in meditation over a never-ending line of fresh strawberries nestled in quart boxes, their uniquely sweet and floral scent gently floating up, reminding you yet again that your Strawberry Shortcake doll from the 80s never smelled anything like this. 2 1/2 hours standing quietly over a sink, one hand deftly wielding a small knife, the other guiding the unsuspecting strawberries to the sharp point that would soon relieve them of their stems. One by one, quart by quart, the pile of hulled strawberries mounts in the sink. Who was I to resist their lure? Surely I did not really need to make all 8 quarts into jam. A few berries here and there, just for quality purposes, were tested. On the day of meditation I made five jars of jam. And then looked at the other giant pile of...

another cranberry

By on Nov 23, 2011 in breakfast, experimenting, fail... or not, fruit | 0 comments

Thanksgiving. Christmas. The food part of the holiday season kicks off in earnest tomorrow. Turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, with and without marshmallows, green beans doused in condensed soup and onions that emerge from a can and yet are suspiciously supposed to be “fried,” scads of warm dense pies filled with all manner of fruit and nut. And inevitably… the cranberry. A great deal of us were introduced to cranberry sauce via the can. If you were very lucky, you could make the “sauce” slide out in one solid quivering log. More often than not it had to be scooped out into an eery dark mass that was sparingly scooped onto the plate in an obligatory holiday act, then poked and pushed around to make more room for stuffing. In more recent times the home cook has been inundated with a hundred different ways to make cranberry sauce from scratch, a task only a...

suggestive frozen fruit

By on Aug 7, 2011 in dessert, experimenting, fruit | 0 comments

In the lush damp heat of summer, frozen treats call out to child and adult alike. Anything to alleviate the oppressive heat that pushes through the cracks in the windows, defying fans and air conditioners, laughing as it maintains dominion over the sweaty human masses. But so many of these treats are born of false coloring and high fructose corn syrup, and soon they collapse, falling in gooey glops to the searing ground below, creating a sticky film of goo over the hands on the way down. But what of… frozen fruit? Pure, unadulterated, no colorings or flavorings born of a laboratory in New Jersey, just honest straightforward fruit. A quick whirl in a blender, the right childish popsicle molds, a few hours in the freezer, and you have a treat that not only helps abate some of the sticky damp of summer, but satiates the never-ending fruit cravings that result in fridges bursting...