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Foodie for the summer

Jam-to-be

Something about the appearance of the first local strawberry every year puts me on a local / organic / sustainable food and green-living kick.   Ideally, I’d like to think along these lines all year round, and I do try, but it’s just so much easier when the farmers markets open up and the fresh local produce is available in great abundance.

[If you were “lucky” enough to spend Thanksgiving dinner with me anytime during the 70’s you will remember me as the only one at the table eating a hot dog instead of turkey, and picking over the lone vegetable on my plate:  a small pile of corn, the only veggie I didn’t despise.  You are probably finding all of this joy over fresh produce hard to swallow.  I understand.  Eight-year-old me wouldn’t have believed it either.  I’m still pickier than I should be, but I’ve come a long way in the last few decades.]

Jam-to-be

I take advantage of inter-library loan a lot when I’m on one of these kicks.  Food memoirs and cookbooks comprise the bulk of my reading right now.  I’ve already read and returned Food RulesThe Town That Food Saved, and Seasonal Fruit Desserts, and soon I will dive into Hungry Monkey and Edible.

My podcast-listening is dominated by the likes of More Hip Than Hippie, Edible Radio, and Spilled Milk.

(Any other book or podcast recommendations along those lines? I can’t seem to get enough right now!)

Jam

I picked up a few quarts of strawberries from a somewhat-local farm a few days ago.  Half of the batch was frozen for future Strawberry-Lemonade Smoothies, and the other half is becoming jam as we speak.  While looking for a recipe I discovered something very cool: you can make jam in a crock pot.

Oh, yes.

It’s still bubbling away on the counter, and I’d be lying if I claimed I hadn’t slurped a tiny sample from my stirring spoon, but I should reserve my final judgment for later – when it’s cold and set.  Tomorrow I expect to spread it on homemade bread along with a healthy dose of natural peanut butter.  I’ll report back then, but between you and me, I have a hunch that lunch tomorrow is going to be very, very good.

6 thoughts on “Foodie for the summer

  1. You know, I blame you for giving me the idea to make jam in my bread machine. Must…resist…new…idea. 🙂

    Though I like jam myself (especially with fresh whipped cream on a Belgian waffle — my favorite weekend breakfast), Ray really only likes apple (he says it reminds him of pie filling), which means all the strawberry that I’ve made so far will be either for me or for Christmas gifts. Same will go for the peach when they come into season. So, I will probably stick with the bread machine…although being able to make a larger quantity at once is somewhat appealing. No! Must resist!

    1. I have kind of the same issue. Neil doesn’t eat much jam, and when he does he prefers raspberry. I ended up with six jars of the strawberry, and I will probably eat two of them myself. The others, I will be so glad to have around when I’m scrambling to figure out what to give all the men on my Christmas list!

      I hope to get around to making raspberry and maybe blueberry, too, but we’ll see. Apple sounds interesting – I’ve never had that! I’ve made apple butter, though, in the crock pot, and that’s very good on a slice of pumpkin bread in October. Hope I get around to making that, too…

  2. Here’s my recipe for apple jam (well, technically preserves, I guess):

    http://allrecipes.com/PersonalRecipe/62253168/Bread-Machine-Apple-Spice-Preserves/Detail.aspx

    I kind of winged it from a couple of other similar recipes I found, and I really like it (and so does Ray). I submitted it to AllRecipes, but considering how slow they are to review and approve new submissions (I submitted one more than 5 *years* ago that they still haven’t gotten to!), I expect it’ll just remain as part of my personal recipe box.

    I don’t like raspberry or blueberry, so apple, peach, and strawberry will likely be the only jams I attempt. (I’ve never had peach jam, but I like peaches, so I’m looking forward to trying it.)

    1. Ooh, that looks good. I added it to my recipe box 🙂

      I submitted my pumpkin bread recipe there something like eight years ago and it’s still not published, so I don’t think they’re in any rush…

  3. Polka Dot Cottage: Foodie for the summer http://tinyurl.com/27nxohr

  4. […] you’ve been here any length of time, you know how I get at this time of year. The warm breeze starts blowing, the trees begin to green, and I start looking forward to the […]

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