19 February 2018

The Production Reports

The older i get, the more i enjoy serpent’s tooth jokes.

 For ten years now i’ve been making Production Reports listing all the preserves i make.  Here’s the one listing everything so far in 2018.

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 Poli Yerena brought from Jalisco, so they’re earmarked for people like Lisa, my North Vietnamese barber, and Bruce at Hooverville Farms, for whom nothing is too hot.

MC – Mango Chutney (1/13)  I went ahead and made another batch of Mango Chutney while Mexican mangoes are in season because it’s so popular.

Pickled Brussels Sprouts (1/20, 1/30)  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 set well.  Also tasted good

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 standard for the fruit he sold.  Oh yes, making that marmalade was so excruciating that to save my sanity i forgot it immediately.  It was 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 only 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 Alemany 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 intense, but i’m not sure i can actually taste the balsamic vinegar although the flavor does seem brighter than usual.  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)  I spotted at Casa Guadalupe this morning 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 and and anything from Twin Girls at their stands costs six times as much.  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.

 

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