2018 Production Report

Pickled Peruvian Red Manzana Peppers (1/7) Well yes, i pickled a pair of pints of Peruvian peppers., the red Manzanas that are every bit as blindingly hot as the yellow Manzanas from Jalisco, so they’re earmarked for my North Vietnamese barber and a couple of farmers’ market vendors for whom nothing is too hot.

MC – Mango Chutney (1/13, 3/28, 6/11)  I make batches of Mango Chutney when i can get Mexican mangoes.  Didn’t get enough pepper in it the first time but sure did the next two.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts (1/20, 1/30 and numerous occasions after)  There have been very handsome Brussels sprouts in the farmers’ markets lately, thus these batches.

K – Kiwi Jam (2/7) I was desperate to make a conserve that had no peppers in it because quite a few of my fans don’t eat peppers, so i realized i could make my old favorite, Kiwi Pasilla Jam, without the Pasillas.  Ha.  Worked fine and went over well.

KC – Kiwi Clementine Jam (2/13)  Somehow it struck me that adding a bunch of peeled and segmented Clementines to the Kiwis might make a jam that would taste good and set well owing to the pectin in the pith of the Clementines, so i used five pounds of Kiwis and about a pound of Clementines (after peeling).  And then, to make sure, i ground up an apple into it.  It worked.

Chocolate Sauce (2/13)  I make chocolate sauce frequently because there’s great demand for it, but i never mention it in these Production Reports.  I’m mentioning this one because it’s extra-splendid owing to my having bought online a 5 kg. bag of Callebaut cocoa powder and a 5 kg. block of Callebaut unsweetened chocolate, both smuggled in from Belgium.  So for the foreseeable future my chocolate sauces will be 100% Callebaut.  This is the best chocolate sauce i ever made.  Period.

KM – Kumquat Marmalade (2/14) Last Saturday i took my beloved old vendor Bruce of Hooverville Orchards a jar of blindingly hot Peruvian Manzana chiles that i’d pickled with him in mind because he’s one of the few people i know who has a capsaicin tolerance high enough to enjoy those things.  He handed me back a bag of kumquats, suggesting i might experiment with making a marmalade of ’em.  I thanked him, telling him it would be interesting to try.  My recipe is for five pounds of fruit, so i did the math and reduced the quantities of sugar and water to be appropriate for a pound and a half of kumquats.  Then i set to work prepping the kumquats.  Oh. My. God.  What an agonizingly tedious job!  So awful, in fact, that the pain triggered a memory of Glenn Tanimoto having given me several years ago a big bag of “seconds” kumquats because he hated to see ’em go to waste but found them not quite up to his exacting appearance standard for the fruit he sold.  Oh yes, making that marmalade was so excruciating that to save my sanity i forgot it immediately, only to be reminded now that it’s like performing heart surgery on a thousand mice.  See, what you have to do is start cutting perfect slices off the end and then, when you hit the first seed, stop and pick all the seeds out before you continue slicing the little slippery thing.  Thank God Bruce didn’t give me five pounds because prepping that many would have driven me blind and crazy.  After all that work i ended up with seven 4 oz. jars of marmalade.  No damn way i was gonna put it in 8 oz. jars.  And by the way, it’s so delicious that when my pain has abated i’ll consider making another small batch even though i’m having a little trouble thinking of people who deserve this stuff.

SBBV – Strawberry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar (2/16)  There was a garrulous vendor at the Alemaney Farmers’ Market this morning who chatted me into buying a flat of strawberries.  I just finished cooking them down with two cored and shredded apples and 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar.  Turned out intensely flavorful, but i’m not sure i can actually taste the balsamic vinegar.  Then again, that stuff is so expensive that i’m realizing that the best use of it is not in flavoring jams.

LLM – Little Lemon Marmalade (2/17, 3/8)  I spotted at Casa Guadalupe two pound bags of Eureka lemons the size of a medium lime for a dollar.  What!!!!!  Then i looked more closely and saw that they were organic and from Twin Girls Farm, a top-flight vendor at the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market.  This has got to be the bargain of the century since they’re bound to be good if they’re from Twin Girls Farm.  Bought a bag, tasted one, bought two more bags and made marmalade out of five pounds of ’em.  Held back enough on the sugar that nobody’s gonna call this one over-sweet.

SB – Plain old Strawberry Jam (3/7, 4/13 and more times later)  Poli Yerena is back from his winter break, bringing his strawberries, so i made this jam.  And did it again and again.

SBT – Strawberry with Thai Chile Jam (3/11, 4/2)  Hadn’t made anything brightened up with chiles recently, so i did this one. You can taste the chiles but i shoulda added more.  Did the next time.

TM – Tangerine Marmalade (3/12)  OK, this one is an experiment since you’re supposed to use sour fruit to make marmalade.  Still, i found some small tangerines with thin skin and an attractive price, so i thought, why not?  I used about half the usual amount of sugar since the tangerines were already quite sweet, and the marmalade turned out pretty good.  Not, alas, as good as my other marmalades.

Pickled Beets (3/20, 5/11)  My goodness there sure are a lot of recipes for pickled beets out there.  Many of them are just for refrigerator beets, but still i went through a lot of recipes for canned ones and came up with a middle of the road compromise.  Cooking times listed for the eight beets ranged from 15 minutes to an hour, so i did 45 minutes since i definitely don’t want them crunchy.  The pickling solutions i saw were likewise all over the map, but since i’m often praised for cutting back on the sourness, i went for half vinegar (1qt) and half water ( 1qt), substituting for the tap water that in which the beets had been cooked.  I used less sugar than most recipes call for, a half cup.  And i threw in handfuls of cloves and allspice berries.  They’re getting good reviews.

 

Pickled Asparagus (3/18 and numerous dates afterwards)  My need for taller jars for the Asparagus may be met this coming Wednesday at the Castro Farmers’ Market when i ask Marie if she still has the jars i gave her Asparagus in three years ago.  Otherwise, there won’t be much.  This time i did a couple of jars in St Benoit yogurt jars, which are only marginally tall enough.  Threw in the mustard seeds that i use in all my pickles and, to get adventuresome, a pinch of hua jiao (麻辣) in each jar.  We shall see.

Pickled Sugar Snaps (3/25 and several occasions later).  These are a great favorite.

KJ – Kiwi Jalapeño Jam (4/3)  I was generous, but reasonable, with the Jalapeños.  Quite nice jam, actually.

Pickled Snow Peas (4/14) The Herrs at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market this morning had the first of the season’s snow peas.  So i bought a big bag, spent the afternoon arranging them in jars, and sprinkled in mustard seed and dill seed.  For most of the 15 jars, i slipped in Piper longum, the Indian long pepper.  For the rest, a dried Thai chile.  Need to remind people who get those that the pickles will get hotter and hotter until they fish the chile out.  Then i poured into the jars the boiling pickling solution and screwed the lids on tight.  I am enormously pleased with myself over this, as these pickles have been a great favorite in past years.

CPK – Cherry Jam with Patak’s Hot Lime Relish (5/6)  This one is a great favorite of many people, starting with my retinologist and her husband.  First cherries of the season, so they’re not as fully flavorful as they will be later, which made it easy to decide to spice them up.

LLM – Lisbon Lemon Marmalade (5/8)  I got the little Lisbon lemons from Twin Girls, and they made an excellent marmalade.

BC – Brooks Cherry Jam (5/11) Alfieri is back in production with cherries, so i’ll be getting most of mine, like these Brooks, from them. Those are perhaps my favorite eating cherry.  Flavor and mouthfeel for days.

RTC – Royal Tioga Cherry Jam (5/17)  Alfieri’s Royal Tiogas may have nudged Brooks from first place.  Delicious, and made a good jam.

CCPK+ – Coral Cherry Jam with Patak’s Hot Lime Relish (5/25)  To give it the plus, i chopped in a Thai chile, so the capsaicin is right up front on this one.  And hell, Coral cherries may be even better than the Royal Tiogas.

RLM – Rangpur Lime Marmalade (5/26, 6/7)  Carol’s tree is still groaning with these little beauties, and she gave me a big bag of ’em for this marmalade.  Better yet, even though i have a tendency to overcook marmalades, this one is still easily spreadable.  ta da.  The second batch has about 20% lemon in it because that big bag from Carol didn’t have quite enough for two batches.  Turned out fine anyhow.

CC – Coral Cherry Jam.  Oh my goodness.  Every red cherry variety i’ve tasted this year has been better than the previous, and the Corals are no exception.  The even better news is that i let this batch reduce a bit more than necessary, so it set up quite firm.  No worry about this one running off the edge of your toast.

 

RCPK+ – Rainier Cherry Jam with Patak’s Hot Lime Relish (6/7) I never added Patak’s to a Rainier Cherry jam, so i thought i’d try.  Went ahead and put half a jar of the Patak’s in, to make sure.  And then, to make doubly sure, i chopped in a Thai chile.

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