2017 Production Report

Pickled Brussels Sprouts (2-5)  Iacopi had his little marble-size Brussels sprouts at the Marin Farmers’ Market today, so i got enough to make six jars.  Only flavoring in this batch is a teaspoon of white mustard seed and one chile pequin.

RLM – Rangpur Lime Marmalade (4-26)  Carol and i went to lunch the other day, and afterwards she offered me some of her Rangpur limes.  Well, who can say no?  Besides, owing to all our rain, her tree has a bumper crop this year.  I went ahead and took the trouble to hand slice the little things since they’re too fine to be just brutalized in the Cuisinart.

Pickled Asparagus (4-30, 5-9, more)  Fans have recently given me some taller jars suitable for asparagus, so i’m using them.  This was a great favorite year before last when i experimented around and discovered that to pickle asparagus all you needed to do was pack the asparagus into the jars, add the herbs, pour in boiling pickling solution, and screw the lids on.  The heat of the solution is sufficient to lightly cook the asparagus without making it all mushy.

CPK – Cherry Jam with Patak’s Lime Relish (5-3, 5-14)  This jam is such a favorite among my eaters that i used my first cherries of the year to make it.  Then made another batch later so as to have plenty.

CAL – Plain old cherry jam (5-11) The little roadside produce stand on North Petaluma Boulevard is back in business.  High quality, low prices, nice folks.

TLM – Two Lime Marmalade (5-12) OK this one is an experiment.  I had two pounds of Carol’s Rangpur limes left over from the batch of marmalade i made on 4-26, so i bought three pounds of regular limes from Lola’s and mixed them together.  The peels of the regular limes are much tougher, so they barely softened enough and carry a bitter whang, but this is still a very interesting marmalade.

RCAL – Rainier Cherry Jam (6-12).  For the first time this year, i didn’t overcook a cherry jam.  Good thing, since these cherries were so gorgeous.  They were also huge, and this presented a problem for my new 80HP pitter.  It missed quite a few of the pits, and i had to pick a lot out during the cooking.  I also missed some, so if you find a pit or two in your jar of jam, this is just to show that i wasn’t using Nestlé Quik n Eze Jam mix.

RCPO – Rainier Cherry Jam with Paprika and Orange  (6-14).  I got six more pounds of those beautiful Rainier cherries and went a little experimental.  I substituted four mandarin oranges for the lemons and after i’d extracted their juice, i went ahead and finely chopped the pith for the extra pectin it contains.  Then, to make sure this one tastes different, i threw in quite a few shakes of Hungarian paprika.  Kept throwing in more until i could taste it.  Interesting jam.

AAL – Apricot Jam.  (6-24)  JoAnn gave me a bag of apricots so i made a jam.  Wasn’t quite a full two liters, so i threw in three enormous yellow nectarines she’d given me, and i used the juice and pith of four mandarin oranges instead of the usual lemon juice.  Turned out good.

PRPC – Petaluma River Plum Chutney (6-25).  The plums hanging over the floodwall are coming along nicely, so i made a chutney just before they fully ripened.  Used three dried red peppers and managed to get the capsaicin to a reasonable level although i might go up to four of these peppers for the next chutney.

WPBB – Wild Petaluma River Blackberry Jelly (7-3, 7-16)  The blackberries hanging over the flood wall are starting to ripen, so over a week i made forays to fill plastic quart containers, which i then washed and froze until i had enough berries for a batch of jelly.

Pickled Sugar Snaps. (7-3, 9-10, 9-17)  None of my local farmers’ market vendors are selling sugar snaps, so i bought some at Whole Foods to pickle for the July batch.  In September, i got ’em from Iacopi, who now has a stall at the Castro Farmers’ Market.

Greengage Jam (8-28).  My timing was exquisite.  When i returned to the Castro Farmers’ Market after a two-year absence, i caught not only Marie but also the end of the cruelly brief Greengage plum season.  So i grabbed five pounds of these exquisite beauties and threw them into the refrigerator until i returned from eclipse watching.  The French call this a confiture de Reine Claudes and consider it a royal treat.  Which it is.

FBB – Freedom Blackberry Jelly (9-1)  Do i love being back in the city or what!  Yesterday went to the Mission Community Market and picked up a flat of Freedom variety Blackberries from Yerena.  The damn things are as big as tayberries and almost as delicious.  Oh, and it produces in both early spring and fall and is thornless to boot, which is approaching botanical heresy.  So yeah, got nine jars outa the flat.

SCBB – Scaredy Cat Blackberry Jelly (10-1)  Picked up a flat of blackberries from Sra. Yerena yesterday at the Alemany Farmers’ Market and decided i was going to do something different, a hot pepper blackberry jelly.  So i chopped two of those blindingly hot Thai peppers into it as it cooked, fearful of getting it so hot nobody but the Hmong could eat it.  You can imagine my disappointment when i tasted the finished product and could just barely detect the peppers.  Hell, all they did was just brighten up the other flavors.  Well, see, i was so scared of those peppers that i’d not tasted one since i bought ’em the week before, and now i don’t know whether a different variety was pawned off on me or whether this particular batch was a throwback.

PTPJ – Yellow Peach and Thai Pepper Jam.  (10-14)  After the wimpiness of that blackberry jelly above, i went ahead and put in four Thai peppers this time, and then, very near the end of the cooking, i went ahead and chopped two more of those peppers in, so you can actually taste ’em this time.  I quite like this jam.

WNT – White Nectarine and Thai Pepper Jam (10-15) The folks at the Hooverville stand at the Alemany Farmers’ Market had nice-looking white nectarines.  The advantage they have in being well up into the Sierra foothills is that they can tease out the season longer than the flatlanders.  This time i threw in six Thai peppers, which is just about right.  Well, for me.

SAL – Strawberry Jam (10-15) Went ahead and left this one plain for the traditionalists.

Leave a comment